Find Scotland Tours that visit Cruachan Power Station.
|Address:||Dalmally, Argyll PA33 1AN|
|Operated by:||Scottish Power|
|Opening Hours:||April to October, Daily 9.30 am to 4:45 pm (last guided tour at 4pm) |
Nov - March,Mon - Fri, 10am to 3:45 pm. (last guide tour at 3pm) - Closed between Christmas and 5th February.
Tour times vary and the only small groups can be taken at a time so the arrival of coach parties can bookup all the slots. You really need to call in advance to book a slot otherwise you might have to wait around an hour or more. Tel: 01866 822618 to check on tour availability
|Admission:||Exhibition centre is free |
Guided tour inside the mountain: £ 7.50 adult, £ 6.50 senior, £ 2.50 child (5-15 yrs), Under 5 yrs Free.
|Toilets:||Yes, also disabled toilets|
Cruachan Power Station is an unusual “industrial” attraction, hidden below some of Scotland's most beautiful scenery. The turbines of this sub-terranean power station are driven by water that descends from a dam that is 360 metres above the main cavern.
Cruachan power station can respond within 26 seconds to sudden demands for electricity. It can also utilise surplus electricity to pump water from Loch Awe back up to the dam at Ben Cruachan, thereby ensuring that there is always water available for electricity generation.
At the visitor centre there is a free exhibition with a short introductory video and interactive displays that explain the purpose of the Cruachan power station and how it generates electricity. The display is mainly aimed at educating children about energy generation, how to save electricity and how electricity can be generated from other environmentally friendly resources.
The tour of the power station only lasts ~30 minutes and starts with a short drive by mini-bus through the long damp tunnel that leads to the football pitch sized cavern which houses the enormous electricity turbines. It is surprisingly warm and humid inside the caverns so you don't need to dress up too warm. After the bus ride into the cavern, you have a short walk up a few flights of stairs to a viewing chamber above the turbines. The vast size of the man made cavern is hard to appreciate as the space is crammed full of equipment.
It has a bit of the feel of a scene from a James Bond movie and you have to remind yourself that there is actually several 100metres of solid rock above you. The guides are very entertaining, but we did feel that it wasn't really worth the admission fee. Something a bit different to consider on a rainy day, but nearby Kilchurn Castle is a better alternative if the weather is dry.
No photography allowed inside the Power Station, hence no pictures.