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Travel bucket list idea:

Last updated: 26 June, 2023
Expert travel writer: Lucy Gillmore

Yes, this is the Harry Potter vintage steam train and it crosses the legendary 21-arched Glenfinnan viaduct, made famous by the films.

The Jacobite’s route up the west coast of Scotland is one of the world’s most spectacular rail journeys, an 84-mile round trip from Fort William to the little fishing village of Mallaig.

Starting in the shadow of Scotland’s highest mountain, Ben Nevis, other sights to tick off along the way include the mainland’s westernmost train station, the deepest loch and shortest river and glorious sweeps of sand that appeared in other cinematic gems, ‘Local Hero’ and ‘Highlander’.

Optional extras include pre-ordered Jacobite High teas served on the homeward leg, champagne and chocolates.


Price from: £90
Minimum age: Any
Age suitable: 4+
When: All year around
Duration: 6 hours

Getting there & doing it

Fort William where the journey starts is a large coastal town. There’s a direct train service from Glasgow; the journey takes around 4 hours.

The Jacobite round-trip takes around six hours and is a full day’s experience.

When to do it

The train runs a morning service every day from the beginning of April to the end of October. There is a second service in the afternoon from 1 May to the end of September.

Easter and the peak summer months will be the busiest. For a quieter journey opt for May or September and October.

Destination guides


Destination guides including or relevant to this experience

Scottish Highlands

Scottish Highlands, United Kingdom (UK)

Ruins of Kilchurn Castle on the edge of Loch Awe with brown hills behind

Magnificent mountain scenery slashed by silvery lochs and peppered with brooding castles: all laden with rich Scottish heritage, history and tradition. Drive the NC500 road trip, or ride on the spectacular West Highland Line.



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