Jacobite Steam Train Tours

83 Reviews
Chugging through the misty lochs and sweeping glens of the Scottish Highlands, the Jacobite Steam Train (or Jacobite Express) is one of Britain's greatest train journeys, taking passengers on a nostalgic train ride between Fort William in the West Highlands and Mallaig on Scotland's west coast. The 84-mile (135-km) round-trip route passes Ben Nevis, Scotland's highest mountain, and the Glenfinnan viaduct, seen in the Harry Potter films when the Jacobite Steam Train was featured as the fictional Hogwarts Express.

The Basics
Most visitors ride the Jacobite Express as part of a full-day or multi-day tour from Edinburgh that also visits other Highlands sites such as Cairngorms National Park, Glencoe, Loch Lomond, and Loch Ness. The final station at Mallaig is also the starting point for ferries to the Isle of Skye, making it a popular add-on to overnight and multi-day island tours.

Things to Know Before You Go
  • You can ride the Jacobite Express one way between Fort William and Mallaig, or choose a round-trip ticket that allows for an hour and a half to explore Mallaig before the return journey. 
  • Advance booking is highly recommended—a very limited number of same-day tickets are available.
  • Due to the vintage design of the train’s carriages, the Jacobite trains are not wheelchair accessible; mobility scooters and non-folding wheelchairs cannot be brought onboard.
  • Wear layers suitable for changing  weather—it can get chilly in the Highlands even in summer, and there is always a chance of rain.

How to Get There
Trains run from Fort William station, which is located in the Scottish Highlands about 134 miles (216 km) northwest of Edinburgh and 109 miles (175 km) north of Glasgow. Visitors without their own transport often visit as part of a tour from one of these cities.

When to Get There
The Jacobite Steam Train runs from May to October, with morning and afternoon departures. There are also limited winter departures around Christmas. If you don’t book your ticket in advance, arrive at least an hour before the departure time (earlier if on a weekend or during school holiday periods) to ensure a spot.

The Jacobite Steam Train for Harry Potter Fans
For fans of the Harry Potter movies, the Jacobite Steam Train will forever be known as the Hogwarts Express—movie buffs will recognize a number of filming locations along the train journey. Fans can book a seat in the Harry Potter compartment, where Harry and his friends sat on their way to Hogwarts, and enjoy spectacular views of the Glenfinnan Monument and Loch Shiel as the train crosses the Glenfinnan viaduct, a memorable landscape from the films.
Location
Address: Fort William, Scotland
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Hours: May-October
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Admission: Varies
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3-Day Isle of Skye and Scottish Highlands Tour from Edinburgh, Including "Hogwarts Express" Ride

Venture to the Scottish Highlands and spend two nights at the Isle of Skye, including a Jacobite steam train ride on the West Highland Railway Line — aka the ‘Hogwarts Express’ of Harry Potter fame. This 3-day guided trip from Edinburgh takes you through Cairngorms National Park to regional highlights such as the Old Man of Storr and the Cuillin Mountains. Visit Eilean Donan Castle, ride the ferry to Mallaig and stop at the legendary Loch Ness. Enjoy daily breakfasts during your hotel or B&B stay in Portree.
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5-Day Best of Scotland Experience from Edinburgh

Get a comprehensive look at Scotland during this 5-day journey through its rugged and rural landscapes. Travel through the Lowlands, Northern Highlands, West Coast and the Isle of Skye, including a stop at Loch Ness and Eilean Donan Castle plus a seasonal railway ride on the Jacobite steam train from Fort William to Mallaig. Enjoy overnight stays in Oban and Fort Augustus , and a 2-night stay in Isle of Skye , with daily breakfasts included
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5-Day Isle of Skye, Loch Ness and the Jacobite Steam Train from Edinburgh

Experience the dramatic beauty and history of the Scottish Highlands on this 5-day trip from Edinburgh. Aboard a luxury coach, enjoy the scenery of Cairngorms National Park and the mysterious Loch Ness. Visit famous sites like Stirling Castle and Eilean Donan Castle, hear bloody histories like the battles of William Wallace and the massacre of Glen Coe, and journey on the famous Jacobite Steam Train from Harry Potter. Four nights in 3-star lodging and daily breakfasts included.
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2-Day Jacobite Experience including the Hogwarts Express

This 2-day heritage tour of the Scottish Highlands features historic locations linked to the Jacobite movement of 18th-century Scotland. Visit the village of Dunkeld, drive through Cairngorm National Park to Loch Ness, and stay overnight in Fort Augustus. You’ll ride to Mallaig aboard the Jacobite steam train, featured as the Hogwarts Express in the popular Harry Potter films. Along the way, hear tales of battles fought by the Jacobites — supporters of the exiled King James II.
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