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How to go Munro bagging by train

Written by Fiona

January 21 2019

Are you a Munro bagger who relies on public transport? Or perhaps you are a walker who prefers to leave the car at home and travel by train where possible? If so, this guide to some of Scotland’s 282 Munros that are accessible by train will be of great use.

Munro bagging by train

While most Munro baggers choose to drive by road to reach Scotland’s Munros – the 282 Scottish mountains with a summit of at least 3,000ft – travelling by train is less tiring, especially on the return journey, and better for the environment.

From Scotland’s central belt, there are two main train lines to the Highlands. As well as the West Highland Line, there is the Highland Main Line, which runs north via Perth to Inverness. See National Rail Enquiries.

Here are some of many train-to-Munro hikes to consider.

The Corrour Munros

The track from Corrour station walking towards Loch Ossian Youth Hostel and access to three Munros.

6 Munros to bag by train

Three Corrour Munros

Viewers of the two gritty Trainspotting films will have glimpsed the remote location of Corrour Station, yet to experience the wonderfully wild landscape you need to visit.

Depending on the season – summer or winter – there are three or four trains each day from Glasgow’s Queen Street to Corrour on the West Highland Line although fewer on a Sunday and just one of Sundays in winter. The earliest train from Glasgow arrives at 8.59am, while the return departs at 6.25pm.

There are plenty of stops south and north of Corrour where you can also board the train.

The London to Fort William Caledonian Sleeper train is an option, too, with an arrival at the request only stop at 8.59am. 

The Munros of Beinn na Lap, Sgorr Gaibhre and Carn Dearg are relatively straightforward in good weather and walkers start by leaving from the station platform on a wide track. Many Munro baggers will aim to walk all three in one outing or you can walk each separately.

Walkers will enjoy looking down over picturesque Loch Ossian and further afield to the many mountain peaks of the wider West Highlands area.

To find out about routes see Sgor Gaibhre and Carn Dearg from Corrour and Beinn na Lap.

Why not stay at Hostelling Scotland’s Loch Ossian Youth Hostel?

A walk of Ben Cruachan in summer.

Ben Cruachan and Stob Daimh

The tiny Falls of Cruachan train station, on the West Highland Line between Glasgow and Oban, is a request only stop that gives easy access to the fabulous craggy ridge walk of the Cruachan Horseshoe.

in summer, the first train from Glasgow arrives at 10:52 and the last return train is 18:42. For fit walkers the eight hours in between should be enough to complete the circular walk that takes in two Munros, Ben Cruachan and Stob Daimh.

A wooden sign points the way to and from the station.

From the station, walkers cross the A85 to spot a wooden sign pointing the way to Ben Cruachan. The wide track leads to a huge feat of industrial engineering, the Cruachan Dam at the head of Cruachan Reservoir, before climbing the steep slopes of magnificent Ben Cruachan.

Ben Cruachan walk in snow.

Stob Daimh is located to the north-east of the ridge before the descent back to the station.

In good weather, the views over Loch Awe and towards a landscape of multiple Highlands peaks are breath-taking.

Note: This train service runs between March and October only. Se the route of Ben Cruachan and Stob Daimh.

Ben Narnain from Beinn Ime. Credit: Cunikm
Beinn Ime: Credit: Iain A Robertson.

Arrochar Alps

The Arrochar Alps to the west of Loch Lomond include the two rugged and rocky Munros of Beinn Ime and Beinn Narnain, as well as Ben Arthur, a Corbett nicknamed The Cobbler.

Regular trains travel between Glasgow and Arrochar & Tarbet station and take around 75 minutes. It’s a 1.5-mile walk to the start point, just outside Arrochar village, for the off-road path that heads upwards to all three peaks.

Whether you choose to walk the three mountains or pick just one or two, you are promised a rewarding outing in an easily accessible but stunningly remote feeling glen.

Cycling into Ben Alder mountains from Dalwhinnie.

Ben Alder

One of the most remote Munros, Ben Alder requires an initial walk or bike ride on an off-road track of some nine miles from Dalwhinnie to Culra Bothy.

Conveniently, Dalwhinnie has a station the Perth and Inverness train line and takes around an hour to reach. You can reserve a place for free carriage of your bike on the train.

The earliest train reaches Dalwhinnie at 6.12am and the last return train is at 9.35pm. It will depend on your fitness and your aspirations as to whether you attempt Ben Alder in one day or wild camp overnight and return the following day.

Stunning scenery around Ben Alder.

In fact, many people choose to stay for a couple of nights to hike more of the Munros that are located in the Ben Alder forest area.

Munro baggers are never disappointed by the impressive central Highlands landscape of mountain peaks and ridges, pretty high-level lochans and fast flowing streams.

How to walk Ben Alder.

The West Highland Line south of Beinn Dorain. Credit: Gareth James

Beinn Dorain

The striking cone-shaped mountain Beinn Dorain is easily spotted from the main road of the A82, heading north from Tyndrum.

The grassy pyramid is often walked with the neighbouring Munro, Beinn an Dothaidh, which reveals fine views over Rannoch Moor and on to Glencoe’s many peak.

Bridge of Orchy is the starting point for the two Munro hike and boasts a train station on the Glasgow to Fort William line.

Beinn Dorain. Credit: Henry Hemming.

The difference between the arrival of the first train from Glasgow and the departure of the final train from Bridge of Orchy is 11 hours, which is ample time for most walkers to complete the hike.

How to walk Beinn Dorain.

Views from the top.

Fionn Bheinn

So often overlooked as walkers head for the more majestic mountains of Torridon, Fionn Bheinn can offer an easy ascent on a summer’s day – and rewards with some magnificent views.

The remote Munro is accessed from Achnasheen, a small station on the Inverness to Kyle of Lochalsh line. The walking route found on the other side of the A832. (Look for the red phone box.)

The first train for Inverness leaves at 8.55am and arrives at Achnasheen for 10.18am, while the last return train is 6.25pm, which gives plenty of time for the out-and-back 7.5 mile route.

It’s a steady climb that can be a bit boggy in wet weather so you might be wise to reserve this Munro for the summer.

Fabulous views from Fionn Bheinn.
Look out for the phone box at the start of the walk, near Achnasheen.

The vistas widen as you climb and include the easily identified profile of the Munro of Slioch, in Torridon, to the north-west of Fionn Bheinn, while a group of mountains known as the Fannichs provide an eye-catching vista to the north and east.

From the summit you might be fortunate to see the dinosaur-back ridge of the Cuillin mountain range on the isle of Skye.  

Walk Fionn Bheinn.

Top of Ben Nevis sticking out of the clouds. Pic taken from neighbouring Carn Mor Dearg.

Five more Munros by train

Ben Vorlich (Loch Lomond) can be reached from Ardlui station. Trains run from and to Glasgow until after 10pm. Walk Ben Vorlich.

 Beinn Liath Mhor from Achnashellach, which is a request-stop station on the Inverness to Kyle of Lochalsh line. Hike Beinn Liath Mhor.

Ben Nevis is the UK’s tallest mountain and can be reached by train, alighting at the outdoors Highlands town of Fort William. Walk Ben Nevis by the mountain path.

Ben Wyvis can be reached from Garve on the Inverness to Kyle of Lochalsh train line. Walk Ben Wyvis.

Monadh Liath Munros from Newtonmore on the Perth to Inverness line. Walk Carn Dearg, Carn Sgulain and A’Chailleach.

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