When we were in Scotland, we of course had to visit a couple of the famous lochs located all over the western part of the country. One on the list was Loch Shiel, which is not far from Fort William.
On the northern end of the loch, where we went, you can have a nice view down the lake. You can walk all the way down to the water and along the shore.
Right by the loch there's the Glenfinnan Monument, a very popular monument depicting a highlander in a kilt on top of a tower.
Just a couple of metres away from the loch there's a visitor centre and a trail leads up a hill. After a walk of maybe five minutes, you reach the top of the hill and have a wonderful look down on the lake and the surrounding area.
What you can also see from the hilltop is the Glenfinnan Viaduct. It is a railway viaduct to which you can also walk. It is about another 10 minutes or so into the country, and you can walk right to the foots of the columns. You have a better overview, though, if you stand a little elevated.
On thing that makes Loch Shiel so special to us, and made it a must-see on our list, is that it's the place where Hogwarts is situated. The Great Lake in the movies is Loch Shiel! And the Glenfinnan Viaduct is the way the Hogwarts Express takes to get to the castle.
When we were standing there, it was so simple to imagine Hogwarts there on the side of the lake, or to see Buckbeak flying over the water. It is a very magical place!
Even if you're not a Harry Potter fan, Loch Shiel is definitely worth a visit. We saw the scenery in the autumn, around the middle of October, and it was breathtaking. The leaves in the woods that surround the top of the lake made everything so colourful, which makes for a stunning effect. It's incredibly beautiful and very calm and peaceful. I loved it there! Especially because we went in the late afternoon, which meant that pretty much nobody but us was around.
The loch has a fantastic mirror effect, which adds to the beauty of it. Seeing everything reflected in the water gives the whole scenery a symmetry that is very pleasing for the eye. And it makes it look so much more magical and inspiring.
I can highly recommend seeing Loch Shiel. It's such a pretty loch, and it has to be my favourite of those we saw. It being a Harry Potter filming location only is an added bonus!
Have any of you ever been there?