You’ve read the four new Harry Potter books, you’ve got your tickets for Hogwarts at Halloween and you’re already planning to decorate your Christmas tree with Harry Potter baubles (yes, it’s still August, but preparation is key to a magical festive season, people).
There’s only one thing left to do, Potterhead. Climb aboard the Hogwarts Express and pretend that you finally received your acceptance letter.
And we’re not talking about peeping through the window of the stationary train at the Warner Bros. Studio (although it is an excellent part of the tour) – you can actually take a ride on the real train from the films if you fancy a trip to Scotland.
The Jacobite (read: Hogwarts Express to us) runs twice daily from April until October, and chugs from Fort William to Mallaig in the Highlands. While we can’t promise there will be a food trolley selling Chocolate Frogs and Bertie Bott’s Every Flavour Beans, you will be treated to epic views of the Scottish countryside throughout the journey.
The trip is 84 miles – around six hours – each way, starting near Ben Nevis and running past Loch Morar, River Morar and Loch Nevis. You’ll then stop in the village of Glenfinnan and have the option to hop off at Arisaig to see the small isles of Rum, Eigg, Muck and Canna as well as the southern tip of Skye.
Tickets for this epic adventure are very reasonable indeed, costing just £31.75 for a single or £37.75 for a standard return. If you want to be a bit fancy, you can upgrade to first class for £59.95.