Car park for busy Scottish Harry Potter railway viewpoint

Funds have been granted to rural Scottish areas for tourism projects in order to deal with steadily increasing numbers. £3m is shared among 18 projects, 13 of which are in the Highlands and islands.

Tourism secretary Fiona Hyslop announced the funding yesterday at Glenfinnan.

The Glennfinnan railway viewpoint gives a stunning view onto the viaduct. The viaduct opened in 1901 as the first and longest concrete viaduct in Scotland or England, and you can still see trains travelling across the glen on the 30m high structure.

However, the reason that it is a tourist attraction in need of funding is thanks to Harry Potter. The viaduct was used in four Harry Potter films to show the Hogwarts Express taking students to and from Hogwarts. There are car parks available, but they are small, in keeping with the size of the village, and cannot cope with the tourism numbers.

The car park proposed will have 120 spaces and will help relieve the pressure on the nearby road, though one local resident suggested they really need more than double that size to take the numbers of tourists.

Glenfinnan resident and a member of the community group who applied for funding, Ingrid Henderson, said: “We have a high number of visitors to the Glenfinnan railway view point that is continuing to grow.

“On a random Tuesday afternoon in July we counted 700 visitors – with no proper car park that was making things along the roadside very dangerous.

“We are delighted the Scottish Government have given us this money. We are now waiting to hear about other funding.

“All being well it means we will have the 120 space car park up and running for the season getting underway next year.”


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