My neverending quest to seek out as many filming locations as possible around the world always leads me to two distinct types of destinations. The first type is overtouristed destinations. Places like Dubrovnik/King’s Landing from Game of Thrones in Croatia or ‘The Beach’ in Maya Bay, Thailand. Then there’s the other type. The type that compels me to ride a six-hour round trip from Glasgow to Corrour Station in Scotland.
Corrour Railway Station is the UK’s geographically highest train station. It’s situated within the Scottish Highlands (Rannoch Moor) and is popular amongst backpackers in the summer months checking into the nearby Loch Ossian Youth Hostel. Not so much with film fans in the winter months, as it turns out. But you live and learn!
Corrour is famous, amongst certain crowds, for being the spot where Tommy takes Renton, Spud and Sick Boy out into the highlands to experience that lovely Scottish fresh air in the popular 1996 indie film Trainspotting. It also makes a reappearance in the sequel T2 Trainspotting (2017) when the latter three pay their respects to Tommy’s memory at the station. It’s an incredibly beautiful, sparse area of natural beauty. And as someone who doesn’t love driving, I really love that you can reach such a remote area by train!
This guide has everything you need to know to visit Corrour Station in Scotland, whether you’re a fan of Trainspotting or not. It covers how to get to Corrour from Glasgow and Fort William, where to stay in Corrour and what facilities there are in Corrour.
How to Visit Corrour Station in Rannoch Moor, Scotland
How to get to Corrour Station
Travelling from Glasgow to Corrour
Google Maps seems to think it’s fully possible to drive to Corrour Station. Apparently, you can drive from Glasgow to Corrour in less than four hours. But do yourself a favour and leave the car at home. The scenery through Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park is so beautiful and you’ll want to actually see it, not just drive through it.
Direct trains from Glasgow to Corrour depart from Glasgow Queen Street Station only three times a day, towards Fort William via ScotRail (sometimes Caledonian Sleeper, too). You might want to catch trains with connections that travel more frequently, but the direct train times worked for me.
I caught the 8:23 train from Glasgow, arriving at Corrour around 11:21. Then, I hopped on the 12:30 train back to Glasgow arriving at 15:36. I could either spend one hour or four hours at the station. Since it was winter, I opted for just one hour. However, if you’re visiting in summer, the small cafe (which I’ll mention later) will be open. And if the weather is nice, you might want to take a picnic and walk around Rannoch Moor, so four hours might make more sense.
If you can see the layout of the train when you book your seats, try and sit on the left-hand side of the train on both journeys. On the way there, you’ll have the best view of the mountains and on the way back you’ll have front row seats to Loch Lomond!
Travelling from Fort William to Corrour
The easiest/most common places people travel to Corrour from are Glasgow and Fort William. You’d have to change at Fort William if you were travelling from Inverness and you’d have to change at Glasgow if you were travelling from Edinburgh. So, Glasgow and Fort William are the starting destinations that make the most sense!
You may already be visiting Fort William thanks to another popular train-related filming location (which I can’t wait to visit this August! I am, of course, talking about the Glenfinnan Viaduct featured in the Harry Potter films). So, it’s really easy to visit Corrour from Fort William. Scotrail and Caledonian Sleeper trains both run on this route, and the journey takes just an hour or less. However, train times are just as sporadic and only four journeys from Fort William to Corrour Station depart each day.
I either book my trains through Transpennine Express (no booking fee and gotta love those nectar points) or Trainline when I would rather have the tickets on my phone and see journey updates. Which I did with this day trip to Corrour Station!
Top tip: It’s worth noting that Corrour Station is a request stop. So make sure the train conductor knows you’re getting off at Corrour! Which they should do if they check your ticket properly. And try and stand prominently on the platform as your return train approaches so they know you plan on getting on and will stop for you.
Facilities at Corrour Station in the Scottish Highlands
Whilst on the ScotRail train travelling to and from Corrour, there was a trolley service. That’s a dead boring piece of information. But sometimes it’s nice to know you can buy a cup of tea and a KitKat should you have a sudden need.
When I visited Corrour Station in February 2020, there were zero facilities. Well, there was a little waiting room/hut where I could wait out the mild snowstorm. But no toilets, no nice little cafe to warm up in, nothing like that. Visiting Corrour Station seems to (generally) be a seasonal activity. Though there were some hikers going to the hostel I mentioned earlier during my visit.
Corrour Station House is a little hotel/restaurant mere metres from the station open every day from 8:30-21:00 during the high season (end of March-October). So while the train station doesn’t officially have toilets, etc. this place will (if you buy something, obvs). Apparently, they’re the UK’s remotest restaurant. So, that’s cool! It looks like a really nice cafe so I’d definitely stop in.
Trainspotting Locations at Corrour Station
Which Trainspotting (1996) and T2 Trainspotting (2017) scenes take place at Corrour Station in Rannoch Moor?
The best scenes! No seriously, I think the reason I wanted to visit Corrour Station so much was mostly due to the significance of the scenes in both Trainspotting films. In Trainspotting, Tommy’s gushing over the great Scottish outdoors prompts Renton to deliver his second most well-known monologue of the film commonly known as “It’s shite being Scottish!” The beautiful surroundings put the boys’ heroin dependency into perspective. It helps us realise how self-focused and insular they are, unable to appreciate their country’s natural beauty. Yet Renton’s speech also gives an insight into how ‘being Scottish’ has affected his outlook and maybe offers one pitiful reason why the boys take drugs.
It’s just such a bloody good film. I kinda wanna stop writing this post and watch it right now.
In T2 Trainspotting, Spud leaves yellow flowers on a rock with Renton and Sick Boy in Rannoch Moor in remembrance of Tommy. I think this scene is not only about the boys’ commemorating their friend but as a way of appreciating what they couldn’t 20 years earlier. Yep, Tommy dies. Sorry, spoilers for those who haven’t seen the films.
Photographing the Trainspotting Locations in Rannoch Moor
There are a few key parts of the station and surrounding areas in Corrour/Rannoch Moor featured as Trainspotting film locations. Specifically, the train platform, the ‘pointy’ mountain in the distance and the sloped hill to its right, the wooden platform over the tiny river, and the rock where Spud lays the flowers in T2 Trainspotting.
Well, it was just way too snowy to find the wooden platform the boys sit on when they refuse to walk any further. I arrived during a small windy/snow storm so I had to hide out in the little waiting room for around 20 minutes. Luckily, the weather cleared into a gorgeous sunny day, but there was maybe a couple of feet of snow to contend with. I also couldn’t find the stone Spud puts the flowers on! I know, I’m just a terrible film fan, right?!
But I am pleased with my photos of the mountains and the station. It was an absolute faff setting up my teeny tiny tripod in the snow, connecting it to my phone (to use as a remote) and then running back around to pose. I must have looked very daft to anyone watching. But how often do you visit one of the most remote Scottish filming locations in existence? The very Trainspotting location where Ewan McGregor refers to his fellow countrymen as “the most wretched, miserable, servile, pathetic trash that was ever shat into civilization.” That’s a poignant moment in cinema history right there, my friend.
That’s my guide on how to visit Corrour Station in Scotland, the Trainspotting filming location in Rannoch Moor. Have you watched Trainspotting or T2 Trainspotting? Or have you visited Corrour Train Station? Let me know in the comments below!