Where Can You Stay When You Get The Jacobite Steam Train
The obvious place to stay when you get the Jacobite is Fort William, as thats where the train leaves. However, when I was looking for accommodation I did find Fort William on the expensive side probably because it is a big tourist destination. Im a big Airbnb fan and Id much prefer to stay somewhere I really like thats a bit further away rather than something Im not keen on. So we opted to stay in Glencoe, which is a half hour drive away.
Harry Potter Train Timetable 2022
Now for the disappointing bit.
The Jacobite steam train only operates from April to October, and it only has two services from Fort William each day.
Note that the morning service in the 2022 schedule is slated to run until 28th October, with the afternoon service only available until Friday 30th September.
This is why it’s so important to book your ticket or tour far in advance, as it’s a really popular experience for all visitors to the area – you’re not just competing with other Harry Potter fans!
So, if you’re reading this post now and know your travel dates, we highly recommend booking tickets as soon as possible.
Is There A Hogwarts Express In Hollywood
At Universal Studios Hollywood, there is no Hogwarts Express attraction that you can ride. Instead, there is a prop train, which can also be seen in Orlando, where guests can pose for photos and meet the train conductor of the Hogwarts Express. There is only one park in Universal Studios Hollywood, so there is no need for a train back and forth between the parks!
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Can You Ride The Hogwarts Express Without Park To Park Tickets 2022
One of the biggest downfalls of the Universal Hogwarts Express 2022 is that you have to have a park-to-park ticket to ride it. That means, if youve only purchased a one-day, one-park ticket, you cannot ride this attraction. You also have access to the Hogwarts Express at Universal if you are an Annual Passholder since you have entry to both theme parks.
All the acceptable tickets to ride the Universal Hogwarts Express:
- One Day, Park-to-Park Tickets
- Annual Passholder Tickets
Traveling On The Hogwarts Express
For our trip, we drove from Edinburgh to Fort William the day before, making a few stops along the way at Cairngorms National Park and Inverness. We decided to to take the morning train to Mallaig so that we could drive back to Edinburgh that afternoon.
Be sure to arrive at the train station a little early to snap some photos and take a peek inside the engine where the engineers are polishing all the brass and preparing for the journey. There is also a small shop that sells Harry Potter knick-knacks and snacks for your trip .
Once you settle into your carriage, youll set off towards Mallaig, following the river and Loch Eil. Shortly after you leave the station, the conductor will make an announcement that the train is approaching the famous Glenfinnan Viaduct and Loch Shiel both featured in the Harry Potter movies .
Make sure you have your camera ready! We recommend that you make your way the end of your carriage so that you can poke your head and camera out the back as the train rounds the viaduct. Its the perfect spot for photos! The views are tremendous, and the viaduct is where youll really start your climb into the highlands.
Before long, the train will make a short stop at the Glenfinnan train station. Youll have twenty minutes or so to use the restroom, check out the Glenfinnan Station Museum, and snap a few more photos of the Jacobite if youd like.
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King’s Cross To Hogsmeade
The King’s Cross station is built on a site that previously held the Jaws attraction. The entrance to the station, which is a quarter-scale replica of London King’s Cross railway station, is located in the London area, close to Diagon Alley. Passengers enter the station building and have their admission ticket checked. They then enter a queue which takes them farther into the station building, under a split-flap departure board, and past London-related advertisements, several stacks of suitcases and a shop selling British brands of food and drink. After ascending a flight of stairs, passengers find themselves between signs for King’s Cross Platform 9 and Platform 10. They can see those ahead of them walking through the “wall” forming the entrance to Platform 9¾. This effect uses the Pepper’s ghost illusion. After continuing around several corners, guests arrive on Platform 9¾ to wait for the next train. After the Hogwarts Express has reversed into Platform 9¾ and the arriving passengers have disembarked, the next passengers enter one of the twenty-one compartments in the three passenger coaches.
Passengers then disembark from the train, walk down a ramp past the front of the Hogwarts Express and follow a path leading to Hogsmeade.
The Harry Potter Train Takes You Past Scotland’s Jaw
The Harry Potter train starts near Britain’s highest mountain, Ben Nevis, and visits Britain’s most westerly mainland railway station, Arisaig.
It passes close to the deepest freshwater loch in Britain, Loch Morar, and the shortest river in Britain, River Morar, before finally arriving next to Loch Nevis. How’s that for ticking more attractions off your bucket list?
The biggest highlight of the Harry Potter train in Scotland has to be the Glenfinnan Viaduct, the landmark every Potter fan knows. This 21-arch viaduct sits at the head of Loch Shiel and 100ft above ground. If there’s time, the train driver might pause on the viaduct to allow you to take in the view.
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How Much Is The Hogwarts Express At Universal
The most common ticket: one-park-per-day ticket, costs about $125 .
However, since the Hogwarts Express takes you from one park to another, you can upgrade your one-park-per-day ticket to a two-park version at the nearby ticket booths for an extra $55-$70 or buy a two-park two-day ticket and enjoy Universal Orlando in all its glory.
Use A Gopro Or Wrap Your Camera Strap Around Your Wrist
You will need to put your camera out to take photos. The windows are not clear enough to allow you to take good photos from your seat. You will need to get up and have your camera out.
There are loads of branches along the tracks and it can be a risky business to have your camera outside, especially if you are a bit clumsy.
If you have a camera strap, make sure to wrap it around your wrist, just in case.
Also, if it rains, you may want to use a GoPro or waterproof equipment.
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The Jacobite Train And The Glenfinnan Viaduct
Arguably the most famous location visited whilst aboard The Jacobite Train is the Glenfinnan Viaduct.
The viaduct is built from mass concrete and is the longest concrete railway bridge in Scotland at 380m long, and it crosses the River Finnan at a whopping height of 30 m.
From aboard The Jacobite, one cannot help but admire the view towards the Glenfinnan monument.
The 18m high monument was built in 1815 as a poignant reminder of the clansmen who gave their lives to the Jacobite cause.
It was here in Glenfinnan that Bonnie Prince Charlie raised his Fathers standards, less than a year before the Battle of Culloden, marking the start of the 1745 Jacobite campaign.
When time allows, The Jacobite Train may pause on the Viaduct to allow you time to take in the truly magnificent views and take some photographs.
If you are not aboard the train, but would like to witness it crossing over the Glenfinnan Viaduct, be at the Glenfinnan Visitor Centre before 10.45 am or 3.00 pm daily.
This 21-arched bridge was made particularly well known after it featured in the Harry Potter film series. The company running the Jacobite service provided Warner Brothers with the train used as the Hogwarts Express in all of the movies and allowed them use of the Jacobite’s route for filming.
Where Is The Harry Potter Train Located
It’s 501 miles away from platform nine and three-quarters and London Kings Cross, so you best get a move on if you’re reading this and have tickets booked
The Jacobite steam train departs from the station in Fort William , and takes passengers on a six-hour roundtrip to the coastal port of Mallaig .
Both are in the western Highlands, so you need to plan your Scotland itinerary in advance to make sure you’re in or near them. Thankfully, Fort William is the perfect base for climbing Ben Nevis and visiting Glencoe, so it’s already a popular destination for travellers in Scotland and ideal to include on your road trip route.
It’s therefore best to be based in Fort William at least the night before, or a manageable drive from it.
For more information on how to reach Fort William by public transport or typical driving times from other places in Scotland, plus the best things to do there and the best accommodation, read our wee Fort William guide.
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When Does The Jacobite Steam Train Run
The Jacobite doesnt run all year round, so make sure you plan accordingly. Here are the dates and times when you should plan your trip.
Morning service on the Jacobite
Morning service from Fort William departs at 10:15 a.m. and arrives in Mallaig at 12:25 p.m. After enjoying lunch and some sightseeing in town, the train departs Mallaig at 2:10 p.m. and arrives back in Fort William at 4:00 p.m.
M-F service begins on Monday April 22nd and runs through Friday October 25th Weekend service begins on Saturday Saturday May 4th and runs through Sunday September 29th .
Afternoon service on the Jacobite
Afternoon service from Fort William departs at 2:30 p.m. and arrives in Mallaig at 4:29 p.m. After enjoying dinner and some sightseeing in Mallaig, the train departs at 6:38 p.m. and arrives back in Fort William at 8:31 p.m.
M-F service begins on Monday May 13th and runs through Friday September 13th .Weekend service begins on Saturday June 15th and runs through Sunday September 1st. .
Be sure to check the schedule ahead of time for exact dates and times.
Where Can You Eat In Glencoe
When I was choosing the Caman Stay my ears pricked up when I read in the reviews that there was a dog-friendly restaurant in Glencoe just five minutes walk away. It can sometimes be tricky to find dog-friendly spots in places youre unfamiliar with, especially when youre arriving late, so this seemed super convenient. The place was the Glencoe Gathering.
The Glencoe Gathering was just as lovely as expected. For one it had super friendly staff who made a great big fuss of our pup Casper and even fed him a couple of treats. He was happy from the off! Despite arriving at 5pm and knowing that the Covid-19 restrictions meant it closed at 6pm we were determined to make the most of it, even if we couldnt order alcohol.
We both ordered the scallops with chorizo and black pudding, which was just ridiculously yummy. Ive not had scallops in an age so it was a real treat. It came served on a bed of rocket with a wedge of lemon on the side, as well as a generous portion of chips. Honestly, it was so tasty!
The menu was admittedly a little bit on the pricey side by my usual standards the scallops were £20.50 for example but the quality of the food was really great. I guess I didnt mind spending a little bit extra for such a great experience. I was on holiday after all, right?
And if you want to read about more foods you should try in Scotland then have a look at my post on the 25 Scottish foods you should try!
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A Clever Ride On Many Levels
The entire experience is clever. “You wonder how they did it,” says Robbie Coltrane, one of the film’s stars who was on hand to celebrate the expanded Wizarding World at a pre-opening media event. Coltrane’s character, Hagrid, has a couple of scenes in the attraction. “The entire train ride is only about four minutes long, but you feel like you’ve been on a real journey,” he says.
I’m not sure exactly how Universal did everything, and the ride’s designers have kept some of their tricks close to the vest. Thierry Coup, senior vice president of Universal Creative, did reveal that there are two Hogwarts Express trains which constantly shuttle guests back and forth between the two parks. Since there is a single track with a brief section of double track at the halfway point, the trains have to leave the stations at precisely the same time and travel at the same speed so that they can safely pass one another.
There are no thrill ride features as there are in Harry Potter and the Escape From Gringotts or Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, nor are there any animatronic characters like the impressive goblin tellers in the lobby of the Gringotts ride. But the Hogwarts Express is a grand-scale attraction and one of the 12 best rides at Universal Orlando. It will delight both Potterphiles and more casual fans and immerse them to an impressive degree in The Wizarding World.
Glasgow And Edinburgh To Fort William By Train
Train travel lovers and rail pass holders will love the Glasgow Queen Street to Fort William leg of the West Highland Line. Of course, if youre starting your Jacobite steam train journey from Mallaig, you can travel in the other direction.
The journey between Glasgow Queen Street on the West Highland Line to Fort William takes around 3 hours and 45 minutes. The journey takes just under 5 hours from Edinburgh, changing once at Glasgow Queen Street.
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Where Is The Hogwarts Express
On Platform 9 3/4, of course! If youre looking to ride the Universal Orlando Hogwarts Express, you can start in either Universal Studios Florida or Islands of Adventure Park. Both Universal theme parks have a train station where guests can enter a queue and catch a ride on the bright ride steam engine. You can find the attraction entrances in the following places:
- The entrance of Hogsmeade in Islands of Adventure Park
- Kings Cross Station, which is right outside of Diagon Alley at Universal Studios Florida
The Hogwarts Express Wheelchair Ecv And Pram Accessibility
The Hogwarts Express is a unique attraction in that it is also a mode of transportation between both of Universal Orlandos theme parks. As such, it has greater accessibility for wheelchairs, ECVs , and prams .
Guests may bring all three of these items aboard the train, but please be aware that Universal-rented prams wont be allowed instead, passengers will drop them off upon entering the Hogwarts Express queue and then pick up another rental upon exiting the ride at the other station.
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Where Is The Harry Potter Train In Scotland Located
The Harry Potter train is located in Fort William, at the railway station in the heart of the town. There are actually two trains and two services that run daily.
We caught the morning train from Fort William we arrived the day before and spent the night at the Premier Inn Fort William. It was just across from the train station, so it was a super handy location.
I do recommend arriving in Fort William the day before you ride the train. There are plenty of fun things to do in Fort William, and it also means you have more time to get organised for your trip.
If youre looking to stay in more luxurious accommodation, I recommend the Nevis Bank Inn. We had dinner at their restaurant and it was 5 out of 5 I had the steak and it was superb! Its only a 10 minute walk to the train station.
How Does The Hogwarts Express Work At Universal
As mentioned earlier, it works as a two-directional train instead of a unidirectional one using the funicular cable car railway technology.
You can access the train from both parks and get transported from one to the other.
On the way there, instead of the backstage operations of Universal Orlando you will see beautiful scenes of British countryside with a slight chance of Dementors through the cleverly curved screens posing as windows.
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Seating Options & Cost For Jacobite Express
You can buy three different types of tickets to ride the Jacobite.
- Standard: This costs Â£43 Return and Â£36 for one way and is a basic seat in the carriage. Iâll admit and say that it doesn’t look overly pleasant and a similar standard to a normal train carriage. All standard class passengers travel in refurbished vintage Mark I or Mark II coaches and these are all seated around tables for 4.
- First Class: This costs Â£65 for the return ticket. These seats are located at the âfrontâ of the train and are nicely decorated, and come with a large comfy seat with extra legroom, your own table and youâll have a little lamp on your table too. Itâs quite Harry Potteresqueâ¦.The First Class Carriage A is an open compartment with private tables for 2 and tables for 4 at either side of the aisle.
- Harry Potter Carriages: These cost Â£146 per table return. Yes, thereâs an actual Harry Potter section of the train, which is technically first class as well and is decorated in the same style as first-class, but the main difference is that you will get your own private area with a door. Just like Harry, Ron and Hermine had when they rode the Hogwarts Express. So if youâre a massive Potterhead, then this is the option for you. This is only available on the morning service of the Jacobite.