West Highland Line named most scenic UK rail journey

Scotland's West Highland Line, made famous for its role in the Harry Potter films, has been named the most scenic rail journey in the whole of the UK.

A train on the Glenfinnan viaduct, part of the West Highland Line. Picture: David Mitchell
A train on the Glenfinnan viaduct, part of the West Highland Line. Picture: David Mitchell

The 164-mile journey runs from Glasgow to Mallaig by a number of lochs, and also crosses the famous Glenfinnan Viaduct - the world’s first concrete rail viaduct.

Travel magazine Wanderlust picked one of the most iconic stretches of the route, the section between Fort William and Mallaig, as the most scenic journey in the UK after compiling the top five across the country.

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Flying Scotsman on track for visitors
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The line beat out competition including the route at Snowdonia in Wales, the Yorkshire Dales and the sea view journey that runs to Dawlish in Devon.

The Flying Scotsman’s journey from London to Edinburgh was named fifth on the list produced by Wanderlust, who have previously named teh West Highland Line the best rail journey in the world.

They wrote about the 85-minute journey: “Departing a short distance away from Ben Nevis, the Jacobite encounters some of the UK’s most dramatic scenery.

“As the steam locomotive chugs along the 67km track, mountainous hillsides pierce the skyline and lakes glimmer in the distance.

“The route’s extension to Mallaig was constructed over a century ago, with the intention to make the remote area more accessible, and it has successfully continued its service to the Scottish Atlantic coast since.

“Perhaps the most recognisable part of the journey is the Glenfinnan viaduct, which featured in the Harry Potter film series.

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“Beyond this, the train stops at Britain’s westernmost mainland railway station and passes the shortest river in the UK, before arriving at Loch Nevis – the deepest seawater loch in Europe.”