Great Glen Way – Day 1

Home to Fort William

We had agreed that Steve’s house would be the start point, so I met everyone at 6.30am there as planned. Steve had booked the taxi to take us all to Wolverhampton train station to catch the 7.35am to Glasgow. We arrived in plenty of time, so we had an early morning coffee and bought respective newspapers. It wasn’t long before we were up and out on the platform just as the train was arriving.

We boarded the train, deposited our bags in the storage areas and were seated just as the train left the station. After a few minutes everyone was quietly reading their papers.

The journey to Glasgow was very relaxing and, after the expected time of three and half hours, we arrived at Glasgow Central; now it was off to find the next station to get the train to Fort William. We headed off to find Queen Street Station which was only 10 minutes away and easy walking. It was lunch time and all the streets were buzzing with people, street artists and shoppers.

Once at Queen Street it was decided that, as the next part of the journey was of 4 hours duration – the train stopped at almost every station between Glasgow and Fort William – we should buy lunch, so “Meal Deals” were purchased. What good value!

As we boarded the train it was a bit of a scramble, but luckily we were able to sit as a group, even though there were so many people. As we passed Loch Lomand the scenery became spectacular, it also reminded me of the West Highland Way walk that Steve and I did a few years ago. As we were nearing the Trossachs , people were taking photos of the mountains which looked spectacular as the sun was lower in the sky as the evening light fell.

On arrival at Fort William it appeared that everyone was getting off the train; the platform was busy with passengers. We made our way slowly out of the station as the Jacobite steam train had just pulled in and everyone wanted to see it, so progress out into the high street became even slower. I knew our accommodation was at the far end of town as I’d checked it out on Google. It was rather boring walking along, dragging our cases over the pedestrian cobbled pavement. We eventually found our accommodation with lovely views from the hotel

and our host was lovely, giving all the advice she could about local eateries. Asking where we were staying the next day, she recommended places to eat in Spean Bridge. After settling in to our rooms, we decided to go and find where to eat now as the evening was already upon us.

We walked into town, found a bar for a quick drink and it was agreed that, as advised by our host, I would book for tomorrow night’s evening meal. In the meantime we called home to assure our wives we had arrived in good spirits. Steve asked the bar staff where we could eat, which turned out quite well as they recommended a place across the road. After taking care to cross the pedestrian walkway we entered the busy restaurant, but after only a few minutes wait we were sitting down and enjoying our first night’s meal in Scotland.

The meal over, we headed out for a night cap and found a sports pub that was selling beer at £1.50 a pint, so decided to give it a try. The price was understandable as to charge more would have been robbery!

So, fed and watered, it was time to head back to our accommodation for a good night’s sleep

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