Glenfinnan Monument accessibility guide

Glenfinnan Monument is a moving memorial to the 1745 Jacobite Rising, set in a dramatic location at the head of Loch Shiel.


Our visitor centre is your gateway to exploring this Highland beauty spot, which is also a popular place to see the Jacobite steam train crossing Glenfinnan Viaduct.

Contact us with accessibility enquiries:

01397 722250

At a glance

We look forward to welcoming you to our bright, open-plan visitor centre, which can be reached via step-free access from two accessible parking spaces in our car park.

The visitor centre includes:

  • Welcome area and shop
  • Monument View café
  • Visitor toilets (including a unisex accessible WC)
  • Jacobite exhibition

The Viaduct View takeaway café can be found 100m from the visitor centre, at the far end of our car park. It is accessed via a doorway with a small step and has an external serving hatch where hot food and drinks are distributed. There is a gravelled picnic area with picnic tables surrounding the café.

The monument is 100m from the visitor centre, beside the loch, on the opposite side of the main road. Cross the road with care at a lowered kerb crossing and follow the level, bound-gravel path towards the loch.
A new extension of the path provides access to the exterior of the monument enclosure wall.
There is a loose gravel path to the door of the monument itself, from where 63 original stone steps climb up to the top of the tower.

An aerial view of Glenfinnan Monument in its surrounding landscape. Lush green fields and trees run towards the loch edge. Tall mountains line the loch shores. The sun gleams through the clouds.

Getting here

Glenfinnan Visitor Centre
PH37 4LT

The visitor centre is 17 miles west of Fort William and 26 miles east of Mallaig on the Road to the Isles.

Car-free travel

Glenfinnan’s parking facilities can be very busy during summer. We encourage visitors to come by alternative means, if they can. Visitors who arrive by bike or public transport (with valid bus or train tickets) will receive 2-for-1 admission to the monument and a complimentary tea or coffee in our café as a thank you.

  • Steel loop cycle parking is available.
  • There is a daily bus service to Glenfinnan between Fort William and Mallaig. The bus stop is 200m from the visitor centre, walking on pavement. Check Shiel Buses for up-to-date times.
  • There is a daily rail service to Glenfinnan from Fort William (Glasgow service) and Mallaig. Check ScotRail for up-to-date times. The Caledonian Sleeper service, direct from London, also stops at Glenfinnan.
  • It is a 1.5km (0.8-mile) walk along pavement from the train station to the visitor centre. Alternatively, there is a lovely 2.4km (1.5-mile) signposted hillside walk from the station, via Glenfinnan Viaduct, to the visitor centre. This path has steps.

Arriving by car

The visitor centre is just off the A830 (the Road to the Isles). Our visitor centre is visible from the roadside and is marked by brown tourist signs.

  • Our car park has space for 55 cars. A parking machine can be found near the entrance to the car park.
  • There is a community-run car park adjacent to the National Trust for Scotland car park, 100m from our visitor centre. It is connected to our car park by a loose gravel path.
  • Our popular visitor parking facilities are often at capacity for much of the day in the summer. Please consider arriving by bus or train, coming early or visiting outside of peak times to avoid disappointment. Please do not park outwith designated parking spaces, as this causes safety hazards and disruption for visitors and local people.

Accessible parking

We have two dedicated accessible parking spaces in the coach parking area (follow signs).

  • One of the accessible parking spaces is 10m from the visitor centre and the other is 20m away.
  • Blue Badge holders do not need to pay a parking fee.
  • If the accessible bays are occupied, we will try to find somewhere suitable for you to park or you may prefer to drop passengers off near the entrance instead.
  • We are not able to reserve parking spaces ahead of time. However, if you require special assistance, please call or email us in advance of your visit.

Arriving by coach

Visitors arriving by coach or tour bus as part of an organised group will be dropped off in the coach parking area, which is a 30m walk up a slight incline to the visitor centre.

Our facilities

Visiting with a dog

Assistance dogs are welcome throughout the visitor centre and estate at all times.

  • Well-behaved dogs are also welcome in all areas – please keep dogs on leads and under close control at all times.
  • During busy periods, we may need to limit the number of dogs in the café. Priority will always be given to assistance dogs.
  • A water bowl for dogs can be found by the drinking water fountain at the parking machine near the entrance to the car park.

Mobile signal

There is generally good outdoor mobile reception at Glenfinnan Monument. It is more patchy inside the visitor centre.

  • In an emergency, staff can always be found in our shop and café.
  • Staff use radios to communicate on site and can raise the alarm via landline phones.
  • Contact 999 outside of hours.

Entrance to visitor centre

  • There is a slight incline leading up to the visitor centre door from the car park.
  • There is a covered area with six outdoor tables and chairs for café customers.
  • Enter the building via the left-hand entrance door and exit via the right-hand door. Doors are usually kept open but otherwise open towards you with a handle.
  • The café and toilets are to your left as you enter. The exhibition is at the rear of the shop, on your right.


  • All areas of the shop have a smooth laminate flooring.
  • The shop counter has a lowered section for wheelchair users and an induction loop.


  • We have 1 unisex accessible toilet with a baby changing unit, 7 ladies’ toilets and, via a separate doorway, 2 men’s toilets (plus 3 urinals).
  • The accessible toilet has a red pull-cord assistance alarm to alert our staff to any emergencies.

When our visitor centre is closed, the nearest public toilets can be found in Corpach on the way to Fort William or at Arisaig if heading towards Mallaig.

Monument View café

  • The café is accessed from the entrance area and has level tiled flooring.
  • There is a self-service chiller, and a counter for ordering other food and drink items.
  • The counter is 85cm high.
  • Our induction loop can be requested from the shop if needed to assist with hearing.
  • There is a perching bar and 6 stools for indoor seating. A highchair for children is also available.
  • The exit to the outdoor seating area has a small step and is not suitable for wheelchair users, without assistance. Alternatively, please use the main visitor centre exit.
  • Staff are available to assist with carrying items.
  • Please talk to a member of staff for food allergy information. We serve some gluten-free, dairy alternatives and vegan options.


  • Our exhibition area features information panels in English and Gaelic.
  • There are several audio features, including listening posts in 7 foreign languages. An induction loop can be requested at the shop counter if required.
  • There is also a printed copy of the text (available at the entrance) that has been translated into Spanish, French, German, Italian and Dutch.
  • There is a one-way route around the exhibition.
  • A large central island diorama depicts the Raising of the Standard.
  • There is a backless bench and two wooden chairs with backs and armrests where visitors can enjoy the views from the large picture window.

Viaduct View café and picnic area

This takeaway café can be found 100m from the visitor centre at the viaduct end of our car park.

  • There are separate doors for entrance and exit. Both doors have ramped access.
  • There is a lowered counter to assist wheelchair users.
  • Hot food and drinks are distributed via an external serving hatch at 95cm height.
  • There is a gravelled picnic area with 6 picnic tables surrounding the café.

The monument

Built in 1815, this tower was not designed with modern access standards in mind. However, visitors can reach the exterior to enjoy spectacular lochside views via an all-ability path.

  • The monument is 100m from the visitor centre, on the opposite side of the main road.
  • Cross the road with care at a lowered kerb crossing and then follow a 2m-wide, level, bound-gravel path towards the loch.
  • A new extension of the path provides access to the exterior of the monument enclosure wall, upon which are mounted three memorial plaques – one in English, one in Gaelic and one in Latin.
  • Inside the monument enclosure wall, a loose gravel path leads to the door of the monument itself. A grass surface leads to 4 garden benches with backs and arm rests.

Climbing to the top

  • 62 uneven stone steps climb up a spiral staircase, 70cm wide, to the top of the tower. The steps may be slippery when wet.
  • There is a handrail, lighting and several windows, but some people find the space claustrophobic.
  • To emerge onto the viewing platform at the top, you need to raise yourself through a 45cm square access hatch with a handle and several small steps. Return the same way, climbing down backwards, like using a ladder.
  • There is a safety balustrade surrounding the top of the monument, but care is needed at all times.
  • Children under 12 must be accompanied and supervised by a responsible adult.

Visitor centre viewpoint

There is a panoramic viewpoint, 120m up on the hillside behind the visitor centre. It offers fantastic views towards both Glenfinnan Monument and the viaduct.

  • It is a 200m-walk to the viewpoint on a path that is clearly marked from the coach parking area.
  • The path climbs through woodland and has natural, uneven, rocky steps in places. It may be muddy and slippery when wet.
  • There are several benches, without backrests, on the route up.
  • At the top, the viewing area levels out and there are 4 more benches.

Path to viaduct

Glenfinnan Viaduct is a 1.2km (0.75 miles) walk from our visitor centre via a traffic-free path, which starts in the community car park adjacent to the National Trust for Scotland car park.

  • The two car parks are connected via the picnic area near our Viaduct View café.
  • There is a bound-gravel path from here to the viaduct. It crosses the River Finnan with a footbridge.
  • Visitors can walk up the hill behind Glenfinnan Viaduct for elevated views. This path is steep, uneven and rocky. It continues on to Glenfinnan train station.

Boardwalk to River Callop

This is a lovely, level, traffic-free path through woodland and wetland near Loch Shiel shore, starting on the opposite side of the road to the visitor centre. It is cared for by Forestry and Land Scotland.

  • The first stretch to the River Callop is a 200m walk.
  • The footbridge and path on the opposite side of the river are currently closed for repairs.

Guide last updated: 1 February 2023