Ride the Hogwarts Express!

Track down some of the best Harry Potter filming locations across the UK and take a trip on the Hogwarts Express with this advice from NationalRail.com.  

harry potter

 

If you’ve been waiting for an owl to drop off your letter, this is it…

You can now book train tickets for the Hogwarts Express, which runs across Western Scotland.

Think we’re pulling a Fred and George? We’re not! The Hogwarts Express is a real train which runs across 84 miles of railway in the United Kingdom.

hogwarts express
The ‘Hogwarts Express’

Even in the Muggle world, the train is famous. It’s a steam train named the Jacobite, and runs along what is considered ‘the greatest railway journey in the world.’

Wizarding folk will see that this train looks quite similar to the infamous Hogwarts Express. It is, in fact, the train which featured in the Harry Potter films.

harry potter train
 Gif credit: HarryPotter.wikia.com

The Jacobite boards in Fort William and Mallaig, which is near the highest mountain in Britain, Ben Nevis. The train runs past the deepest freshwater loch, Loch Morar, and passes the deepest seawater loch, Loch Nevis!

Before you board the steam train, stop by nearby Glen Coe, which was used in multiple HP films for the set of Hagrid’s hut and is the home of the bridge leading to Hogwarts’ entrance.

glen coe train tickets
 Glen Coe

Make sure to pay attention when you cross over Glenfinnan viaduct, which was the bridge to Hogwarts! It’s 380 metres long and 31 metres high – and you’ll ride over it just before alighting at Glenfinnan.

glenfinnan crossing hogwarts express
Glenfinnan Viaduct

The ‘Hogwarts Express’ runs from April to October, with single adult fares starting at £29.00.

 

 

Train stations used for Harry Potter filming locations

You MUST try to get to Hogwarts via the REAL Platform 9 and 3/4 which is located in Kings Cross Station (the perfect first stop once you get off the train in London!) Plan ahead as there is sometimes a queue of silly muggles trying to pass through the rather solid wall.

kings cross station platform 9 34
 Go on, try to get through the platform.

Another great Harry Potter train location is ‘Hogsmeade Station.’ Just take a quick day trip to the Goathland Train Station, the set from the films, which is located in the North York Moors National Park.

Watch out for death eaters at the Leicester Square London Underground, ask Hagrid for a ticket on the Hogwarts Express at York Station Pedestrian Bridge, and keep your eye out for an apparating Dumbledore at Surbiton Railway Station in Surrey.

 

 

London Harry Potter filming sites to visit on your next holiday

Remember when Harry first spoke in Parseltongue? Go try to speak to the snake at the London Zoo Reptile House!

See Gringotts in person with a walk past the Australia House – have a peek inside to see the chandelier that is now back in one piece.

Australia_House_Gringotts
Australia House AKA Gringotts Bank

Hop the tube and get off at Westminster Underground Station – better known in the wizarding world as the entry to the Ministry of Magic.

While you’re in London, enjoy a night of theatre and modern HP by checking out Harry Potter and the Cursed Child!

 

Afterwards, stop by The Market Porter for a pint. The exterior of this proper British pub was the bookstore next to the Leaky Cauldron in the films.

Stay the night Hogwarts-style in the Wizard Chambers at the Georgian House hotel – the room is hidden behind a bookcase and has the ever famous velvet bed curtains.

harry potter hotel london
Photo credit: the Georgian House.

If you really want to see it all, find a ‘Muggle tour’ and geek out with fellow HP fans.

Magical UK places Harry Potter fans need to see

Get your first flying lesson where Harry had his: Alnwick Castle, AKA Hogwarts in the first few films. You’ll recognise the architecture of the castle, and they really will (try to) teach you how to fly a broom!

via GIPHY

If only your plate really did just magically fill up, and butterbeer could be served: the Great Hall was filmed at the University of Oxford’s dining hall in the early films.

oxford university great hall

Get yourself to Edinburgh to retrace JK Rowlings steps as she was writing the novels on napkins: she frequented restaurants The Elephant House and Spoon, and stayed at the Blamoral Hotel.

jk rowling elephant house

Depending on your level of HP fandom, rent out room 652 to see what she wrote on the wall. 

 

 

 

Ready for a magical wizarding tour of Great Britain? Start planning your trip and checking off that bucket list! Book your train tickets with nationalrail.com for the best train ticket prices in Britain.