Rannoch Moor, a large expanse of around 50 square miles (130 km²) of boggy moorland to the west of Loch Rannoch, is in Perth and Kinross, partly northern Argyll and Bute, and Highland, Scotland. Rannoch Moor is designated a National Heritage site.
The area is the approximate location for the last great glacier in the United Kingdom at the end of the last ice age. As a result of this, the landscape is rising by around 3mm per year.
The West Highland Railway has halts at Bridge Of Orchy, Rannoch Station, and Corrour. ScotRail also run a direct sleeper service from London's Euston station. Bear in mind that Corrour is a request stop for the sleeper train and that passengers in the seated coach must change carriages at Edinburgh Waverley.
Good luck! The moor is a rugged wilderness, though there are routes. As well as the A82 road and the railway, a number of roads take you to the edges of the moor, with some paths crossing it. The West Highland Way skirts over the western section, from Bridge of Orchy to the top of Glencoe before heading off over the Devil's Staircase to Kinlochleven. A path from Kinlochleven to the Blackwater Dam then heads cross-country to reach Loch Ossian. From Loch Ossian walkers can follow a path to Loch Treig and then follow a trail known as the Lairig Leacach to Spean Bridge, or a rougher path to the head of Glen Nevis. There's also an estate track round Loch Ossian, though beware of deer fence gates which are sometimes padlocked, and from the eastern end another estate track heads via Strathossian House to eventually reach the A86 road near Loch Laggan.
Some walkers may be tempted to use the railway line, but this is very dangerous (and illegal). Maybe not the greatest of ideas but you can see the temptation to use something that's dry and straight when you're in the middle of a boggy moor, and when the trains seem infrequent. The line is used by freight, charter and maintenance trains in addition to the passenger trains in the timetable. The section from Rannoch Station to Corrour has a couple of hazards to bear in mind - one fairly lengthy (and for the vertigo sufferers, high) viaduct, and Britain's only snow shed. This is an artificial tunnel where a cutting has had a roof added to protect the line from winter snows. Both these features make it difficult to see or avoid oncoming trains.
Hikers may enjoy tackling Beinn Na Lapp (a Munro) or the smaller Leum Ulleim (William's Peak), both starting from Corrour Halt. For Beinn Na Lapp head toward the Youth Hostel then pick up the track for Loch Treig, then head uphill over the heather. For Leum Ulleim there's a path running northwest from the station to begin with.
Very little! There is no shop at Corrour, nor at Rannoch Station. The nearest shops are in Kinloch Rannoch, Fort William and Tyndrum.
Eat & Drink
- Corrour Station House, ☎ +44 1397 732236. May - Aug daily except Tue 12.00 - 22.00, Mar, Apr, Sep, Oct closed Mon, Tue, On Wed opens at 18.30. Closed Nov - Feb except Dec weekends.. The tearoom by Corrour Halt is a haven of civilisation. Mains £10-15.
- The Kingshouse Hotel stands at the border of Rannoch Moor and Glencoe. Pub food and accommodation, plus a lounge with a view - a large window is surrounded by a picture frame complete with brass nameplate, framing a spectacular archetypal mountain Buachaille Etive Mor, aka the Boochal.
- Moor of Rannoch Hotel, Rannoch Station, Perthshire, PH17 2QA, ☎ +44 1882 633238. Small hotel in a very remote location with stunning views. Ideal for walkers. Excellent home-cooked food and an interesting selection of bottled beers and whiskies.
- Corrour Station House (right next Corrour Station). 3 rooms with good views From £40 pppn.
It's an upland wilderness area, so be prepared for weather and possibly midges.