Today I spent the day at Cruachan Power Station at Dalmally, Argyle. This is of interest because it is an underground power station, converting water from a reservoir on Ben Cruachan into electricity for the National Grid. The power station is currently owned by ScottishPower.
Visitor Centre and Mountain Tours
There is also a visitor centre at Cruachan including a cafe and shop and visitors can also take a coach tour through the mountain to the power station. This lasts 30 minutes and is an excellent experience.
Cruachan was used in the James Bond film “The World is not Enough” starring Pierce Brosman. Travelling through the tunnels on the tour did remind me of James Bond films and I was pleased to be walking through an area which was used in one of the films. The tour includes a coach journey to the machine hall where four turbines make up to 440MW of electricity. Tropical plants can be seen growing in some of the passages, such is the temperature in the mountain.
When the Tour finishes, time can be spent at the visitor centre learning more about the generation of electricity. The cafe serves a good range of food and was very popular with the visitors. The gift shop had some nice Scottish goods for sale at reasonable prices.
Birds in the Area
There are a large number of birds in the area, including two osprey, which were nesting across the River Awe. They have been regular visitors to the area for the last four years and had produced two young, which had not yet fledged.
While I was there the ospreys could be seen flying over the river looking for food, but unfortunately they did not catch any fish, as this would have been great to see. Other birds including chaffinches, blackbirds and blue tits were hovering around the picnic tables and were quite tame and unafraid of people.
The remainder of the my time was spent climbing up part of Ben Cruachan and walking along the River Awe before heading back on the bus to Glasgow. The weather was nice and sunny and very warm and this added to the enjoyment of the day.
Map of the Area
Further Details Address: Cruachan Visitor Centre Dalmally, Argyll PA33 1AN, Scotland Telephone: 01866 822618
Open Daily: April – October Daily 9.30am – 4.45pm.
Winter Opening Hours: November – March, Monday – Friday only 10.00am – 3.45pm. Closed January.
Public Transport: Bus: Scottish Citylink Glasgow to Oban service Rail: First Scotrail Glasgow to Oban – request stop at Cruachan