The Jacobite steam train, of Harry Potter fame, is a family favourite. The train runs trips twice a day – morning and afternoon – from April to October. The trip is 84 miles round and has been described as the greatest railway journey in the world.
The Jacobite’s picturesque route takes you through the heart of the Scottish Highlands, from the slopes of Ben Nevis past rivers and freshwater lochs. The train makes one stop at Glenfinnan, known for its famous viaduct overlooking Loch Shiel. Here you have the option to visit the West Highland Railway Museum or simply stretch your legs before hopping back on. Alighting at the village of Arisaig is also possible upon request to the guard. The peaceful village sits on the shore of Loch nan Ceall and serves as a gateway to the Small Isles, accessible via boat (The Sheer Water) until mid-September.
The journey reaches its mid-point at Mallaig, just in time for lunch or dinner. This bustling fishing port has a ferry terminal with boats to Skye and the Small Isles. The train stops in Mallaig for over an hour and a half to allow passengers to enjoy the shops, bars, restaurants, and beautiful landscape before heading homeward.
Services are on hand to make your trip extra special – with cream teas, beverages, chocolates, and flowers available to order in advance. You can even book to ride in a Harry Potter style 6-person contained carriage.