The Railway Tunnels At Glenfarg


railway tunnels

Several years ago, I heard about an unusual walk just a few miles from home, at the village of Glenfarg.

It sounded intriguing, but I never found the time to go.

Lockdown, however, presents me with the ideal opportunity. So, one day in June, I lace up my walking shoes and set off.

It’s not often that you need to take a sturdy torch when going for a daytime walk! But this is no ordinary stroll in the countryside.

Sandwiched between the M90 motorway and the wooded slopes of Glen Farg lie the remains of the Edinburgh to Perth railway.

These days, it’s possible to walk through two intact tunnels on a five and a half mile long circular route.

It’s not for the fainthearted!

The walk starts in the middle of Glenfarg, and to begin with follows the track left by the rails.

glenfarg

Photograph by Angela Gilchrist.

It’s lovely, walking through woodland edged with wildflowers alive with bees and butterflies.

Every now and then the trees thin to give panoramic views, like the one below.

glenfarg

Photograph by Angela Gilchrist.

But ahead lies an adventure . . .

It’s not long before you come to the northern tunnel.

Its gaping black mouth looms out of the trees, and I feel a pang of nerves before heading inside. This is why you need the torch!

The tunnel is curved, and at the middle point you are in complete darkness. You can’t see either end.

It is a truly spooky and disorientating experience. The ground is uneven in places.

Graffiti on the walls shows other people have been here before me. They must have been in philosophical mood — their scribbles are very contemplative!

Finally, I could see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Glenfarg

Photograph by Angela Gilchrist.

The route continues along a quiet country road, which at one point crosses the motorway, then crosses back.

I leave the road behind and follow a farm track which leads through woods.

glenfarg

Photograph by Angela Gilchrist.

Birds are singing, and a burn gurgles and splashes on my right hand side.

Crossing the main road, the path rejoins the bed of the old railway once more. I walk over the top of an impressive stone viaduct.

The southern tunnel is ahead of me now. This one is slightly less daunting as I know it is straight and I will always be in sight of one end.

Out the other end into woodland once more, and the path takes me beneath the bridge I crossed at the start of the walk.

railway tunnels

Photograph by Angela Gilchrist.

What a fascinating and unusual day out it has been!

For more from the team, read our blog here.

Click here to read some of our past travel features, or here to see where we’ve been walking during lockdown.

Angela Gilchrist

Angela is Editor-in-Chief of “The People’s Friend” magazine. Her passions include cats, Highland ponies, good books, vegetarian food and long walks in the Scottish countryside. Her favourite place to get away from it all is the magical Isle of Skye.