Rannoch Station Cafe

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Fancy a walk to Glencoe? Why not start at the Rannoch Station Cafe and fill your boots before you set off …


“You can hardly miss it.” For once this is 100% true. In fact, never was there a truer expression when you encounter Rannoch Station Tearoom.
It’s at the end of the road, the B846, if not the end of the train line, which runs from Glasgow to Fort William. I’ve been there twice and both times I’ve experienced rain and never a passing train, but that didn’t dent my enjoyment for feeling really, really remote but with the comforting whiff of coffee close by and a selection of 14 different teas to warm you up. Plus, naturally, smashed avocado and a bar? But it’s the sheer comfort of cheeriness of the staff and such delights as unsophisticated platnesful sof ‘Dippy Eggs served with buttered sourdough toast soldiers’, hot dogs, toasted teacakes, porridge as well as a great selection of wondrous baking.

Quite correctly, the slogan on the website declares ‘proud to serve Scottish fare’.

One constant is the busyness. Most tables are taken whenever you arrive, but turnover is quick and its friendly enough for new arrivals to be squeezed in. Chat is non stop. Although just about everyone has arrived by car, you can get the impression that customers have that intrepid aura of infrequently experienced adventure; we MADE it! And reward themselves with generous tranches of cake or scones half the size of a football before oozing back behind the wheel. As many arrive dripping and damp, owing, if only, to the short walk over the railway bridge, there is a heartening warm fug inside.
Deer are an almost constant presence here. You can very close indeed if you stroll from the car park, crossing over the railway line and onwards to lochs with surprising red gold beaches. Few customers appear to do so. But mud splattered cyclists collect their sustenance from here, so clearly some take to the tracks.
Helpfully there is a signpost nearby. 12 miles to Glencoe, walkers only, 87 to Glasgow by train, 35 to Fort William by train and a mere 16 by road to Kinloch Rannoch, although this sign indicates the possibility of a bus, they haven’t run for many a year.
Coffee, lunch, tea all merge into one here. I wondered if some customers munch their way through all three, taking a short and necessary constitutional round the station before the next plateful? The loos are at one end facing oncoming west bound train. Best to remember to make sure the door is locked?
There is a children’s quiz which takes them out and about round the restaurant and small history section.
Open Easter to October, the eating section of the station takes in mostly all the original station buildings. You have to walk over the bridge to get there; one longs for the puffing steam engine to effect a magical disappearing moment. However, although the misty photo on the website appears vintage Scottish nostalgia, it is of course, it is 100% real. The Hogwarts express occasionally chunters by.
Just across from the platform is a picture postcard shed, which am surprised hasn’t yet been shipped, complete with rusting red ‘wriggly’ iron roof to enhance a Cotswold back garden.
Soup, slabs of cakes, breakfast, hearty soups, jumbo hotdogs… and if that isn’t enough, it would be tempting to try the suggestion above the serving counter
“Feeling chilly…..?
Try a hot toddy?”