Go inside the Hollow Mountain
Join expert guides as they lead visitors into the mountain and share the story of the power station – from its initial construction to its current role generating on demand electricity for Scotland.
Travelling by bus from the Visitor Centre, the scenery of Loch Awe is replaced by the dark solid granite of the mountain as the tour drives to the centre of the power station. From the bus, it continues on foot up to the viewing gallery, which overlooks the machine hall and its four mighty turbines.
Cruachan Visitor Centre allows children and adults to learn all about how electricity can be quickly generated using the power of water. From interactive educational exhibition to the excitement of guided tours inside the Hollow Mountain, it’s sure to inspire future engineers.
Guided tours last approximately 30 minutes and are led by an expert guide. Tours can be booked at the Visitor Centre, however, requesting a place in advance is strongly recommended to prevent disappointment, as there are limited spaces on each tour.
Educational visits are free and can be requested by contacting us directly.
Senior citizens/Students: £6.50
Children, 5 – 15 years: £2.50 (under 5 years are free)
Green Tourism Offer: Discounted rates are available for people arriving by public transport, on foot or by bicycle. This offer is subject to availability and requesting a tour is strongly recommended to prevent disappointment.
Cruachan Dam is a marvel of modern engineering in a breathtaking location on the slopes of Ben Cruachan. A crucial part of the pumped-hydro power station, it offers stunning views across the reservoir and the surrounding Highlands.
The buttress-style dam is 316 metres long and 46 meters high at its tallest point. The reservoir contained behind the dam can store more than 10 million cubic metres of water. Its natural catchment area is increased to a 23 km2 radius through 19 km of tunnels and piped aqueducts diverting rainwater and streams.
The dam and reservoir are not accessible by car or included in the power station tour, but there are several walking routes by which visitors can access them:
Easy route – From Loch Awe Village
From the Visitor Centre, turn right and drive to Loch Awe Village. After the 30 mph sign, take the first road on the left signposted St Conan’s Road to the padlocked gate, which has access for walkers – please note 24-hour access to this gate is required by station vehicles. From here a three-mile-long road leads to the dam. The road has a good surface all the way and climbs gradually across the hillside.
Steep route – From the Visitor Centre
The path begins at the Falls of Cruachan Railway Station, 200 metres along the road from the Visitor Centre. Climb the steps to the railway station and go through the blue gate under the railway line. The path ascends steeply through woodland, crosses a stile over a deer fence and onto open hillside. Please note that this path is steep and ascends 400 metres (1,312 feet), making sturdy footwear essential.
Bring a bottle
At 1,126 metres (3,694 feet), Ben Cruachan is classed as one of the finest Munros in the Southern Highlands and is popular with hillwalkers and climbers. Its pointed peak towers above its rocky satellites and offers spectacular views. A ridge walk to the neighbouring peak of Stob Diamh provides a circular route around the Cruachan reservoir which takes between seven and nine hours to complete and covers a distance of 8.5 miles.
The walk is classed as ‘hard’ and includes steep and rocky paths with a small section of easy scrambling.
The descent covers a grassy slope which can be boggy.
Hillwalking essentials, including sturdy boots, a map, compass, torch, whistle and warm, waterproof clothing are all a must for safety on Cruachan as the weather is unpredictable – even in the height of summer.
All visitors are welcome to visit the Hollow Mountain Cafe in the Visitor Centre for refreshments whether they are part of a tour group or not.