Glenfinnan Monument and Railway Viaduct

Today, the fern-filled hillsides surrounding the Glenfinnan Monument regularly fill with camera-toting tourists, all eager to see the historic Jacobite Steam Train—which serves as the Hogwarts Express in the Harry Potter movies—breeze across the elevated stone viaduct. More significant than the train, however, is the monument itself, which serves as a striking tribute to those who fought in the Jacobite Risings.

Less than a year before the Battle of Culloden, Bonnie Prince Charlie raised his father’s Standard on this very land, marking the start of the Jacobite campaign. An army of 1,500 rallied around him, then marched as far south as Derby before the retreat that would seal their fate. In 1815, a nearly 60-foot monument was erected, with the long, kilted Highlander at the top representing the clansmen who gave their lives to the Jacobite cause. Travelers can make the dizzying climb to the top of the tower for unrivaled views of Loch Shiel, then tour the visitor center, which tells the story of Prince Charles and the 1745 Jacobite Rising.

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