Adventures on the Real Hogwarts Express

Originally posted on The Bucket List Project

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The UK is a well-known literary paradise and as a self-proclaimed “book nerd,” I was excited to explore the stomping grounds of C.S. Lewis, Lewis Carroll, William Shakespeare, Robert Louis Stevenson, Arthur Conan Doyle, Michael Bond, and Charles Dickens to name a few. However, one of my favorite moments of the trip came with a more modern literary connection when my love of Harry Potter and affinity for trains combined for a perfect afternoon.

The Jacobite Steam Train aka Hogwarts Express takes its riders on a magical journey through Scotland. Winding through the Highlands from Fort William to Mallaig on the West Highland Railway Run, riders voyage along the same route that the Hogwarts Express and the flying car travel in the films. The Glenfinnan Viaduct might be one of the most iconic locations in Scotland, especially since appearing as Harry Potter’s gateway to his education.

One of the main Adventures on the Real Hogwarts Express is visiting The Glenfinnan Viaduct. Learn all about the Jacobite Steam Train, also known as the Hogwarts Express, in Scotland.

Luckily, our afternoon aboard the train offered majestic views and butterbeer hot cocoa, but no dementors. About halfway through the journey to Mallaig, the train stops for a moment in Glenfinnan, offering riders the opportunity to stretch their legs, tour the small but informational West Highland Railway Museum (for an admission fee) and visit the dining car for a mid-trip snack.

You arrive at Glenfinnan Station on you Adventure on the Real Hogwarts Express, the Jacobite Train

After the shortstop, the adventure continues to the fishing port and charming town of Mallaig. Be sure to wander around, grab a bite to eat and explore the shops before the train heads back to Fort William. Also note that the ferry to the Isle of Skye departs out of Mallaig, so if you are adding that to your Scotland experience and are able to make the timetable work, you can take the Jacobite one way and hop on the ferry.

Stopping in Mallaig, Scotland is one of the main Adventures on the Real Hogwarts Express. Learn all about the Jacobite Steam Train, also known as the Hogwarts Express, in Scotland.

Of course, the trip back to Fort William is just as magical but does not stop in Glenfinnan so grab a snack before the train departs. Or you can order one of the many treat packages offered by the Jacobite for an additional charge. Packages available include, High Tea, Champagne, Chocolates and Artisan Cheeses.

A view of the Highlands of Scotland amid the steam adds to the beauty of Adventures on the Real Hogwarts Express. Learn all about the Jacobite Steam Train, also known as the Hogwarts Express, in Scotland.

Once in Fort William, take the 5-minute walk into town and explore their brick laid streets, wonderful pubs, unique shops and lovely landscape – the town sits at the base of the highest mountain in Britain – Ben Nevis and is surrounded by Loch Linnhe. We stayed at a beautiful Airbnb in Fort William and loved our weekend there.

Adventures on the Real Hogwarts Express all begins in the beautiful town of Fort William, Scotland. Learn all about the Jacobite Steam Train, also known as the Hogwarts Express, in Scotland.

Round trip tickets for the train range from £35-59 for adults and £20-32 for children depending on whether you choose first class or standard fares. You can also book a private table for two for £121. We had standard fare tickets and it was quite lovely. However, if you want the full Potter experience, the first-class cabins are nice and look similar to the private cars in which you see the characters ride in the film. Be sure to book in advance as we traveled in April and had to switch our travel plans around to accommodate the trip. We booked only two weeks ahead and the date we originally wanted was sold out. The train schedule changes depending on the season, so be sure to check that it is in service when you are making your plans.

Learn all about Riding the Jacobite Steam Train, also known as the Hogwarts Express, in Scotland.

The 84-mile round trip journey on the Jacobite Steam Train is not to be missed. While it will certainly spark the imagination of every Potterhead, it offers a spectacular adventure for mere muggles as well. Not only am I a huge fan of the Harry Potter books and films, but I have loved trains since I got a train set for Christmas when I was a kid. When we travel, I am constantly on the lookout for the chance to check another train adventure off my bucket list, steam engines preferred. The Hogwarts Express fulfilled a dream and was everything I had hoped for – if only I had boarded at Platform 9 and 3/4.

Is having adventures on the Real Hogwarts Express in Scotland on your Bucket List? Have you ever ridden the Jacobite train to see the Glenfinnan Viaduct? Tell us all about it in the comments below.

Originally posted on The Bucket List Project

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