A day on the Jacobite, aka the Hogwarts train!

A day on the Jacobite, aka the Hogwarts train!

Dreamed of taking this train trip since I was a kid, and what could be more romantic than taking it on our honeymoon 💕 Only thing I didn’t plan for was the Scottish weather…

Since taking this trip, I’ve read in the news that the Jacobite train service is now suspended (as of March 2024). So I’m feeling very grateful that we did it already in 2022! Read below for tips and a summary of our trip, fingers crossed the train will run again someday soon! 🤞🤞🤞

Our journey began with a lot of rain, which made me feel very unlucky until I read that Fort William (where the train leaves from) is in the rainiest part of Scotland, and that 50% of the whole month of July is rain! According to this website May would actually be the best month to go, although even then the chance of rain is pretty high.

Still, the rain and mist did make for some atmospheric photos. It was giving vibes from the third Harry Potter movie (Prisoner of Azkaban, my favourite!) when the dementors come on the train.

The train goes from Fort William to Mallaig, which takes 2 hours and 15 minutes. We had a round trip ticket with a few hours in Mallaig before getting the train back to Fort William again where we spent the night in a hotel with a view of the train line! I recommend getting the round trip because then at least if it’s raining one way it might be a little better the other way. The weather for us was better on the way back.

I also preordered some Scottish whisky when I booked the tickets! I’d totally forgotten I’d done that and was getting really jealous of the person whose whisky was on the table where we were sitting, until I saw the name on the whisky was actually mine! Definitely perked up the trip.

In Mallaig we took a sightseeing cruise and saw lots of seals!

Don’t forget to also make a stop at the Glennfinnan viaduct before leaving Fort William, that’s the most famous bit of the track. You can look up the train timetable to get there at the right moment to get a shot of the Jacobite going over the viaduct! I was amazed at how many other tourists there were that had climbed the hill in the rain to get that perfect shot. A lot of train nerds and Harry Potter fans. It’s really muddy and there’s lots of midges in summer, so I’d recommend good shoes and long sleeves. Probably also a raincoat.

All in all I would recommend this train trip, just mentally prepare yourself first for rain! And don’t forget the whisky!