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Hogwarts Express Train

Scotland’s legendary West Highland Line is dubbed the Hogwarts Express Train line, photogenically featured in the Harry Potter films when Harry and crew are transported by train to Hogwarts School from King’s Cross Station’s Platform 9 3/4. Away ... 

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5 star rating: Highly Recommended
July 2014

My mom and I went on a three week vacation throughout Europe and we booked a tour nearly every days of the trip. This three day tour was by far the highlight of the journey. Our tour guide was Scot and he made the tour absolutely fantastic! He added stops to the tour that were not on the itinerary (whiskey distillery and Fairy Pools), and offered hilarious commentaries throughout the drives to each location. As he said, everything is better with music, and Scot added several musical commentaries as well (Indiana Jones while driving up a rocky road on the Isle of Sky, Titanic while getting off the ferry, Harry Potter while going to the train, etc). It just made the whole experience that much better. You could also tell that he loves his Country. His passion about everything we saw was very apparent throughout the whole trip.

So, praise of Scot covered, really everything we went to was just fantastic. The Isle of Skye was a great experience and the Jacobite train was the icing on the cake. The scenery on the train was just beautiful - hint, make sure you ask to sit on the right...the bridge picture can only be taken from the right side of the train.

I also definitely would not pay extra to stay on a hotel. The Bed and Breakfast they put us up in was just fine. The room was Huge compared to anything we stayed at in London, Scotland, Rome, or Paris, and the owners of the B and B were very sweet. Plus, the breakfast was delicious. The only negative of the B and B that I can think of is the thinness of the walls. We could here people just talking in the next room. However, everyone was pretty tired, so we all went to bed at roughly the same time, so the noise wasn't really an issue.

I really just can't say enough about how great this trip was. My mom mom and I both just fell in love with Scotland with this tour. Run, don't walk to sign up for this amazing experience!

Doing what: 3-Day Isle of Skye, Scottish Highlands and the Jacobite Steam Train from Edinburgh

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
July 2014

Lovely experience. We booked this trip as part of UK tour mainly for our 10 year old who is a Harry Potter fan. There was much more. Beautiful scenery, history of Scotland and the Jacobite uprisings, a few short hikes through the glens and the hermitage, loch ness and much more. Our tour guide Howard was knowledgeable, funny and friendly. He was quite spirited and took us on short hikes during the trip, which my son and I enjoyed very much. Good walking shoes and a rain jacket come in handy. We had wonderful company in the coach. The Hogwarts express runs from Fort William to Mallaig which is a port town close to the Isle of Skye. There was an option to go seal watching during lunch hour in Mallaig. We chose to stay in the village. There is not too much to do in the town for children other than a nice lunch. There is a small art gallery, museum and a book store.
The Hogwarts train ride was definitely the highlight. Our hike up to the viewpoint in Glenfinnan to watch the train chug along the via-duct was the best part.
There were quite a few children and Harry Potter fans on the trip which made it entertaining for the children. The history, hiking and scenery was quite engaging to the adults.
Our B and B in Fort William was nice and the hostess really lovely. However , if we had the option, I would have preferred to stay at accomodation on the loch ness. Although we stopped at the loch ness, a short stop at the lochness store would have been interesting.
Definitely recommend to both families and solo traverlers.

Doing what: 2-Day Jacobite Experience including the Hogwarts Express

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
July 2014

Scotland is an absolutely beautiful country, and Isle of Skye is particularly lovely. Our guide, Andy, is passionate about his country and was a wealth of information. He conveyed the history and culture of the country at every turn. Upon comparison with other travelers, the upgrade to hotel (vs. B and B) was probably not worth it since others reported the B and B accomodations to be spacious and private.

Doing what: 3-Day Isle of Skye, Scottish Highlands and the Jacobite Steam Train from Edinburgh

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
July 2014

I am in love! Mark was awesome. Full of information, quirky sense of humor, and very accommodating.

This tour was one of the best I've been on while traveling through the UK. I highly recommend it.

Doing what: 2-Day Jacobite Experience including the Hogwarts Express

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
July 2014

This would have to be one of the most informative tours I have ever been on our guide andy knew everything that you needed to know about the history of skye and scotland overall I highly recommend you take this tour

Doing what: 3-Day Isle of Skye, Scottish Highlands and the Jacobite Steam Train from Edinburgh

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
July 2014

An outstanding tour! Our guide and driver Nick was excellent. He had the right mix of information and entertaining stories for us so that we got a good feel for the history and character of the Highlands. He also took us to some less popular but highly enjoyable sights, including the Fairie Pools and the Silver Sands of Morar where it was warm enough to stand in the water. Highest marks.

Doing what: 3-Day Isle of Skye, Scottish Highlands and the Jacobite Steam Train from Edinburgh

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
July 2014

Our tour guide, Mike, was simply outstanding. We had not done our research reading before we went so Mike's commentary was fascinating ( and validating) that we had booked the right tour. Being rabid Harry Potter fans (my friend and I are elementary school teachers) we were snapping photos from the very beginning of the "Harry Potter Hogwart's Bridge!" It was even a bigger thrill to see the people who had hiked out to the bridge tressle to take a photo of the train from above! The group was very diverse, but appreciated the attention from our tour guide. Overnighting in our Bread and Breakfast was a true delight. He was running the B and B alone, but he was cordial and attentive. There were 7 of us staying ther,e and it was great fun! I have traveled a great deal, and I was truly impressed with the people, the country, the history, and the entire experience. Being from Alaska, I truly appreciate the diverse experience of Scotland. Truly a delight!

Doing what: 2-Day Jacobite Experience including the Hogwarts Express

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
July 2014

I had THE best time on this tour. I've always wanted to visit Scotland, and this was the perfect way to do it. Our tour guide, Keith, was wonderful. I was a solo traveller, so I opted for the B and B option, and the guest houses and B and Bs they put me in were great. The beds were comfortable, the proprietors were kind, and the food was really good. I would definitely recommend taking this tour. Thank you!

Doing what: 5-Day Isle of Skye, Loch Ness and the Jacobite Steam Train from Edinburgh

3 star rating: Worth doing
July 2014

Our guide Howard was fantastic. However, if you're hoping to do this excursion in order to spend time at Loch Ness, be aware that you only have about a ten minute stop there which doesn't include the exhibition center or gift shop. Viator contracts this out through a local tour operator, and they haven't communicated well to coordinate what you think you're getting with what happens. We were on a bus with 24 tourists (not 15 as the Viator info said), and didn't stop at the village mentioned, but instead saw Culloden, Ruthven, the Hermitage, Pitlochry for lunch, and a brief late afternoon photo op at Loch Ness. The B and B was lovely; fortunately Howard took those who wanted on a hike up to view the Jacobite between stops as it came across the viaduct, because the view from inside the train was only great if you were by the right window. Bring your own Harry Potter candy and music, it's certainly not themed for the fans. There's a highly publicized one hour seal cruise at the lunch stop that day which was fine, if you want to spend the extra ten pounds a person, you see about ten seals sitting on the rocks. Long drive back includes stop to see cattle instead of Stirling castle because we were short on time, and you're dropped off at a different location from pickup which is tricky if you've prearranged your taxi ride to meet you there.

Doing what: 2-Day Jacobite Experience including the Hogwarts Express

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
June 2014

This trip was amazing! Three days of pure beauty. The landscape was absolutely amazing! The highlands are powerful and beautiful, the Eye of Sky is unique and I totally recommend. The tour guide, Andy, was so funny and helpful. He wanted to show us everything, and even put Scottish music in the bus during our travels.

Doing what: 3-Day Isle of Skye, Scottish Highlands and the Jacobite Steam Train from Edinburgh

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
June 2014

it was great, accomodation was good , tour guide joe was fantastic really made the trip. His knowledge and humour were excellent

Doing what: 3-Day Isle of Skye, Scottish Highlands and the Jacobite Steam Train from Edinburgh

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
June 2014

I booked this trip to go on the "Happy Potter train", but I got soo much more!! The was an amazing tour. The bus driver/ tour guide was amazing, he made a ton of stops so we could take pictures, made small detours to see things we asked about, and told us lots or stories, history, and information about the highlands. AND the train ride was everything I imagined and more. We stayed at the B and B in portree and it was great. The people who run it are extremely nice, the room was clean, the beds were comfortable, and the breakfast was very large. Water pressure wasn't great, but who cares when your have such a great time. If I had tried to drive around the highlands myself I would have missed so much. The tour guide pointed out lots of things I didn't know about. Took us to place where they filmed movies, showed us hairy cows, mountain ranges, monuments, waterfalls, peat bogs, bridges, castles, gardens, and more. We got to take a ferry ride from the Isle of Skye. We saw bag pipers in Portree town square, which was a very nice surprise. If you are looking to experience the highlands in three days this is the way to do it. It was amazing and I would do this tour again.

Doing what: 3-Day Isle of Skye, Scottish Highlands and the Jacobite Steam Train from Edinburgh

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
June 2014

Amazing tour, well coordinated, frienly tour guide. Totally recommended

Doing what: 3-Day Isle of Skye, Scottish Highlands and the Jacobite Steam Train from Edinburgh

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
June 2014

This was definitely the best tour I've ever been on.

The trip is actually a combination of two tours: the 5 day tour ( http://www.viator.com/tours/Edinburgh/5-Day-Isle-of-Skye-Loch-Ness-and-the-Jacobite-Steam-Train-from-Edinburgh/d739-5211SKYE5D ) and an additional 2.5 days spent mostly on the eastern side of the country (I think this might be it: http://www.viator.com/tours/Edinburgh/3-Day-Cairngorms-National-Park-Tour-from-Edinburgh-Royal-Deeside-Speyside-Whisky-and-St-Andrews/d739-5211DEESIDE ).

We covered a lot in just a week, but I'd have to say the highlight was definitely the Isle of Skye. The scenery is amazing. We also visited castles, historical sites, and everything else mentioned in the itinerary. If you don't have much time, I'd recommend taking the 5 day tour, but the additional 2 days are worth sticking around for if you have the time, particularly if you're interested in whisky, golf, or seeing more of the wildlife. There's also a pretty cool castle on a cliff we visited on day 7 that I would not have liked to miss. Basically, the 5 day trip is a must, but I'd recommend taking the extra 2 days if you can.

I chose guesthouse when booking the trip, but somehow I ended up staying in both hotels and B and Bs. I'm not sure what criteria is used to select them but they were all great as well.

We also had separate tour guides for each trip, who were very knowledgeable and knew all about the history of Scotland and facts about the different places we visited. For the 5 day trip, we had Angela, who was very fun, very Scottish, and great at telling stories! For the last few days of the trip, we got Joe, who was also amazing. Really funny. A proper highlander and a great storyteller, too. The trip would not have been the same without them, so if you happen to end up on a tour with either of them, rest assured, you'll have a great time :)

Highly recommended!

Doing what: 7-Day Scotland Tour from Edinburgh: Highlands, Loch Ness, Isle of Skye and 'Jacobite Steam Train'

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
June 2014

What an exciting adventure in the Highlands! Our tour bus driver, Mike, was very informative and extremely patient with less than desirable members on our tour. The Jacobite Hogwarts Express was fun and the scenery was picture book perfect! The B and B I stayed in at Fort William, was very clean and the breakfast was yummy! The weather also cooperated with our tour and it was excellent.

Doing what: 2-Day Jacobite Experience including the Hogwarts Express

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