Choose Corrour!

Corrour, Britain’s highest and most remote railway station, more than 1300ft above sea level and 20 miles from the nearest public road. We were inspired to visit here after watching ‘All the Stations’ in 2017 and their more recent returns to Corrour. Within a couple of hours of stepping off the train, we were in love with the place and beyond glad we came.

Our first view of Corrour was a gloomy but impressive one

When planning our Highland adventure, we’d initially only intended to stay for one night at Corrour, however after discovering the two-night minimum stay policy, we were determined to make it work for us and so had to have a bit of a juggle with the order of our trip to make it fit in. Although a bit of a pain to move things around, this was most definitely worth it in the grand scheme of things and by the end of our stay, we wished we were staying for many more nights!

Leaving Fort William on the 1723 to Glasgow, we followed the River Spean and after Tulloch began to head south and climb onto Rannoch Moor. Along the banks of Loch Treig, we were surprised by the presence of a Red Stag just outside the railway fence, who appeared just as we were passing. Hoping the sighting of this stag would put us in good stead for viewing the wildlife we arrived at Corrour around an hour after leaving Fort William, just as the sun was setting over the moorland.

Corrour Station House and the surrounding Rannoch Moor

Just three of us alighted at Corrour, ourselves and someone we later learned was one of the five resident staff at the Station House. Crossing the track, we were quickly checked in by Harry before heading back to the platforms and the station’s former signal box. Opened as accommodation in 2016, the conversion of the signal box won an award from the Railway Heritage Trust and I can honestly say it definitely deserved it.

The signal box has three rooms: Macciaillin Mor; The Great Marquess and ours; Lord of the Isles. All three are double rooms with en suite bathrooms and whilst not huge, are perfectly spacious and designed to feel cosy. With the room a little bit chilly on our arrival (autumn had definitely hit us), we stuck the heaters on low, dumped our bags and headed across to the Station House for some dinner.

The Venison Burger & Venison Casserole were both excellent!

The Station House is open from the end of March until the start of November and essentially opens when the first train of the day arrives (around 0830 from Fort William) and closes when the last one departs (around 2120 to Fort William). Over our stay it was clear why it is popular, providing a start or end point to many a journey or even just a stopover on the way to somewhere else.

With Venison from the Corrour Estate’s own deer, there are some delicious choices on the menu and with us being here for two nights I decided to try both the venison options. OH MY GOODNESS! The food is definitely some of, if not the best, that I have tasted, and the portions were incredible. The venison was tender and in burger form was just right, whilst in the casserole it literally fell apart. I think the wonderful Shona was in the kitchen both nights we ate, so if you’re reading this, the food was Epic!

Loch Coir’ a’ Bhric Beag and some of the mountains in the distance, taken from the lounge

After a fabulous meal we decided to enjoy the other part of the Signal Box accommodation, the lounge, which sits atop the signal box with 360ᵒ views over the moor. Although darkness had fallen, it was still amazing to sit up here and watch the sleeper appear out of the gloom with a road before disappearing back into it as it headed south to London. The following morning, having woken fairly early, we decided to spend a couple more hours in the lounge before breakfast and in the early light the views were stunning.

The weather was struggling to make up its mind and so we decided to tweak our plan for the day and after an excellent Full Scottish Breakfast (Black Pudding & Haggis!), we opted to relax, catch up with some blogging/knitting and generally just enjoy our location until lunch. After spending most of the morning relaxing, we decided to work up a bit of an appetite for our lunch and so walked the short distance to Corrour summit.

A southbound ScotRail service approaching Corrour summit

Corrour summit is the highest point on the West Highland line, at 1350ft (411m) above sea level, however in comparison to the surrounding mountains it feels like the lowest point. With a bit of careful planning we saw the lunchtime ScotRail service pass the summit and arrive at the station before Corrour and the surrounding moor became, once again, a sea of beautiful emptiness. Heading back to the Station House, we had some more delicious food before setting off to see how much of the nearby Loch Ossain we could handle.

One of the advantages of Corrour is that, although surrounded by mountains, the circular route around Loch Ossain is a relatively flat 12 miles. We definitely didn’t do that much walking, our fitness not being up to scratch, but we did walk a good few miles to about halfway down one side before heading back. On the edge of the loch nearest to the Station House is one of the Corrour Estate’s other accommodation options, a youth hostel, which sits just off the estate track, jutting out into the water.

The view of Corrour station from near Corrour summit

Our walk back from the Loch to the station house was a bit quicker than the walk out as the weather looked like it was about to turn, however it held out and we were soon back in the comfort of our room. With Beth opting to have a nap, I grabbed my laptop and settled into the armchair next to the fire in the Station House and finished a couple of blogs (PBO-EDB & West Highland Line if you haven’t already seen them).

Having decided to prolong our stay in what was rapidly becoming our favourite place in the world, we were planning on catching the lunchtime train the following day, allowing us a more relaxed evening as the need to pack for an early start was negated. Enjoying some more amazing food (both of us had the casserole this time), we settled in for some board games and beer by the fire before heading over to the signal box just as the last train departed.

Corrour Station House and Loch Coir’ a’ Bhric Beag

As well as the local venison, the Station House serves some other great local and Scottish produce, such as Haddock from Scrabster (probably the most northerly fishing village on the mainland). With beers brewed especially for them by the Glen Spean Brewing Company and the estate’s own distilled whisky, the selection of food and drink is excellent, and I’d certainly visit for a day trip if I lived a bit closer.

Our final morning in Corrour dawned bright and sunny, but with a definite chill in the air. After packing up and leaving our luggage in the ‘communal drying room’ (much needed after wet days on the moors), we headed over for another filling breakfast and some more time by the fire before heading to the platform for our train south.

Choose Corrour!

The arrival of the 1220 ScotRail service to Glasgow Queen Street marked the end of our stay at the wonderful Corrour, however we will definitely be back, having thoroughly enjoyed our stay and fallen in love with the place. If you’re looking to stay a couple of nights in the Highlands or even just fancy some amazing food with amazing scenery, make sure to Choose Corrour!

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