This Is How You Can Ride the Hogwarts Express in Real Life

published Mar 23, 2019
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(Image credit: Nick Fox /

Calling all Harry Potter fans: the Hogwarts Express is real. You can actually board the train and go for a ride. Though, we cannot promise you that once you get off the train you’ll be in Hogsmeade. While the train exists, that doesn’t actually mean that Hogwarts is real. Though, we can keep dreaming.

How many times have you fantasized about riding the Hogwarts Express? If you’re a big Potterhead, chances are you’ve made the trip down to Universal Orlando Resort in Florida to ride the train between both Universal parks. As fun as that ride is, it isn’t actually the train ride that we see in the Harry Potter series. If you’ve been craving an authentic Potter experience with a great view of the country, you actually can get just that.

Did you know that you can book a trip on the real-life Hogwarts Express? The name of the real locomotive is actually the Jacobite, serviced by West Coast Railways. While it doesn’t say Hogwarts Express on the front, the train actually does look exactly like the train that Harry, Ron, and Hermione all rode on their way to Hogwarts. Anyone who has planned a trip to the UK to see all of the famous Harry Potter filming locations, you’re going to need to add a trip on the Jacobite to your list.

The West Coast Railways website describes the journey on the Jacobite as:

Described as the greatest railway journey in the world, this 84-mile round trip takes you past a list of impressive extremes. Starting near the highest mountain in Britain, Ben Nevis, it visits Britain’s most westerly mainland railway station, Arisaig; passes close by the deepest freshwater loch in Britain, Loch Morar and the shortest river in Britain, River Morar, finally arriving next to the deepest seawater loch in Europe, Loch Nevis!

Any Harry Potter fan knows that the Hogwarts Express is an important part of the fandom. There were many memorable moments aboard the train (and near it), like when Harry and Ron first met Hermione when she was searching for Neville Longbottom’s toad, Trevor. Or, who could forget when Ron and Harry chased after the train in Arthur Weasley’s flying Ford Anglia? There are less fond memories on the train, like when Harry eavesdropped on Draco Malfoy and wound up getting his nose broken for his sneakiness. Thankfully Luna Lovegood was there to save the day!

The train passes over the Glenfinnan Viaduct (the spot where Harry and Ron caught up with the train in “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets”) and has a great view of the Loch Shiel and the Jacobite monument.

If you’re looking to book a trip, an adult 1st class trip is £59.95 ($79.20) and a standard ticket is £37.75 ($49.87). A child ticket is £32.90 ($43.46) for 1st class and a standard kids ticket is £20.75 ($27.41). If you’re interested in booking a private table for two, you can reserve one for £123 ($162.50). You can book your trip on the West Coast Railways website. Travel Pirates also had a deal offer that has kids tickets for $28 and adult tickets for $50 for April through October, though those deals often run out quick.