In April 2016, I booked a trip to Harry Potter Bridge and Silver Sands of Morar with Student Tours Scotland. Following my 2016 Bucket List Challenge, I wanted to visit Glenfinnan Viaduct (a.k.a. Harry Potter Bridge) so I was thrilled when I found out about this trip. As an avid Harry Potter fan this was the dream tour, however, I was even more excited to see the Silver Sands of Morar, after I saw a couple of photos of the beach. I just couldn’t believe that such a place exists in Scotland. So, I was thrilled to have the opportunity to see it.
The whole trip was very well organised. First, you receive an email from Gary, the guide and organiser of Student Tours Scotland with a schedule and instructions for the day. On the day, you get a handmade map of the towns you are going to visit before getting on the bus. And after the tour, you also get an email with all the places you have visited and the history of those places for future reference. I think that was the best part, as I had so many pictures that it was impossible to remember which places I photographed. A bit of advice as well, if you are going on a tour with Student Tours Scotland be prepared to travel all day with minimum breaks. After all, this is the best way to see a lot of places, right? So, bring lots of snacks and lunch with you, as there probably won't be any time to stop and eat lunch. Being a lot of time on the bus is not boring at all, as Gary tells lots of interesting legends and stories about Scotland and the history of the places you are going to see.
The tour started at 8.00 am, our first stop was at the Green Welly for some hot drinks. Afterwards, we were ready to embark on the journey of getting to know Scotland and its natural wonders. The first place we saw was Prince's Cairn on Loch nan Uamh. The cairn marks the spot where Bonnie Prince Charlie fled Scotland on 20th September 1746 after the failure of the Jacobite risings of 1745. The place is fun to explore. I definitely recommend going there with comfortable shoes, as otherwise, you might miss a chance of going on the rocks and snapping some good photos.
Then, we headed to one of the highlights of the day - the Silver Sands of Morar - where Gary told us the story of Morag, the cousin of Nessie. That is right, Nessie is not the only monster roaming the waters of the Scottish lochs. There are a lot of people saying they have seen Morag as well. Some describe it as a half-human half-fish, while others describe it as a monster similar to Nessie. We might never know for sure, besides none of us actually saw it, or did we?
I was actually more fascinated with the sand. It was even prettier than on the photos I had seen. But I still could not believe that such places existed here, in Scotland.
Next, was the most exciting part of the trip - Glenfinnan village and the Glenfinnan Viaduct. We had around 1.30h to walk around, take photos and enjoy the nature. There were a couple of things to see at Glenfinnan, the main one being the viaduct. But there were also the beautiful Loch Shiel, the Glenfinnan Monument and St Mary and St Finnan Church. There is also a viewpoint with a beautiful view of all the sights. As you might guess, I did not make it to all those places. First, my friends and I headed to the monument and the loch to enjoy the beautiful views.
Then, came the moment I was waiting for this whole trip - seeing the Glenfinnan Viaduct. It was surreal. The bridge looked bigger than I expected, in fact, it is 380m long and 30m height making it the longest concrete bridge in Scotland. If you are lucky, you can see the Jacobite steam train, which is supposedly the prototype for Hogwarts Express. The train runs from Fort William to Mallaig during the summer months and in December. So, if you go there during those months, you might see it.
After that, we went to see St Mary and St Finnan Church situated at the head of Loch Shiel and we tried throwing a penny at the church bell. You are supposed to make a wish and if you can make the bell ring, by throwing the penny, then, your wish will come true. Trust me it is harder than it sounds, but it is fun to try.
That was the last stop for the day. On the way to Glasgow, we passed Fort William but there was no time to stop. Gary told us one last myth and then we played bingo. And thus almost imperceptibly we arrived back in Glasgow.
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A girl from Bulgaria, travelling around Europe and sharing her travelling experiences! Currently living in Scotland.