Jacobite Steam Train, Fort William to Mallaig
The Road to the Isles is a wild, remote and rugged route across the Scottish Highlands, and travellers are able to explore this route aboard the Jacobite train. Described as the greatest railway journey in the world, the Jacobite takes passengers on an 84-mile round-trip from Fort William to Mallaig through some of the most picturesque sights of the Scottish Highlands. The journey starts near Ben Nevis, the highest mountain in Britain, passing lochs, mountain passes and villages and stopping over in the port of Mallaig, before returning to Fort William. Harry Potter fans will love this journey, as both the scenery and the train itself have been featured in Harry Potter films. You can book tickets to Fort William on Trainline.com.
Prices from: £43
Departing from: Fort William
Journey length: 5hours 50mins
Jacobite Steam Train route
A journey on the Jacobite train along the Road to the Isles takes around six hours, and that includes just under a two-hour stopover in Mallaig. Two services run a day in both the morning and afternoon, departing at 10:15 and 14:40, respectively. Starting at Fort William in the foothills of Ben Nevis, the train heads west and calls at the beautiful villages of Glenfinnan, Lochailort, Arisaig, Morar and finally Mallaig.
Highlights include the deepest freshwater loch in Britain, Loch Morar, the 21-arched Glenfinnan viaduct (featured in Harry Potter) and the silvery beaches or Moror used in Highlander and Local Hero. After arriving in Mallaig passengers have just under two hours to explore and grab lunch (fish and chips is a must), before jumping back on board and returning to Fort William. The service runs seven-days a week during the summer and early autumn months.
Jacobite Steam Train
The Jacobite train is made up of an old-school steam locomotive and both 1st and 2nd class carriages, all ex-British railway carriages from the 1960s. Passengers travelling 1st class can choose from a 1st class open carriage or compartment. Open carriages are open-plan and have white-clothes tables for four or two while compartment carriages that seat guests in private six-person compartments.
All 1st class passengers receive a complimentary tea or coffee on each part of the journey and cream teas can be pre-ordered for an extra charge. The 2nd class carriages are refurbished Mark I or Mark II coaches and offer seated tables for four in more basic surroundings. Find 1st class compartments familiar? The train actually provided the steam engine and carriages used for the filming of the Hogwarts Express in the Harry Potter movies
What we love
The train is an accessible way to access the outstanding beauty of the remote Scottish Highlands, retuning to Fort William and with a handy stopover in Mallaig. We love the vintage grandeur of 1st class compartments and the delicious cream tea. The Harry Potter connection is also pretty cool.