All Aboard the Belmond Royal Scotsman: Reopening in April for Visits to “Harry Potter” Filming Locations

If you ask Harry Potter fans what some of the most iconic, real-life pieces of architecture used within the film series are, we bet two of the most popular answers would be Alnwick Castle and the Glenfinnan Viaduct. Now you can experience the magic yourself because the Belmond Royal Scotsman is restarting its train trips this April.

The Royal Scotsman has two Harry Potter-related journeys: The Clans, Castles & Isles journey takes you across the Glenfinnan Viaduct while serving you lunch, whereas Glorious and Grand: A Private House and Garden Tour gives you the chance to take part in a private tour of Alnwick Castle and its gardens.

The fictional Hogwarts Castle set in the Scottish Highlands is represented in the films by the real-life Alnwick Castle, which is located in Northumberland, England. The castle is one of the most popular Harry Potter sites to visit and is best known for being the location of many of the scenes from the first two Harry Potter films.

Glenfinnan Viaduct, which was recently featured in a documentary about Scottish filming locations, can be seen in several shots throughout the movies as the iconic Hogwarts Express chugs across it every September 1, taking young witches and wizards to the start of term at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.


Hogwarts Express Glenfinnan Viaduct

The Hogwarts Express traveling across the Glenfinnan Viaduct (Credit: Warner Bros.)


The train tour, which launched in 1985, holds a maximum capacity of 40 guests, making it a more-than-suitable journey for those worried about being in large crowds of people during the COVID-19 pandemic.

While its original carriages have been replaced, the Royal Scotsman offers luxury and comfort in the form of 22 Edwardian-style cabins with en suite facilities, onboard entertainment, a bar offering over 50 different whiskeys, and a spa carriage where you can receive massages and facials.

The onboard spa broke records when it was introduced because it was the first spa experience to take place on an overnight train journey in Britain.




While it’s not reopening until April, many of its journeys are already fully booked and others have only a few carriages remaining.

Tickets vary in price depending on the train’s destination, length, and activities during the trip.

Those with a taste for “fire” whiskey can journey on the Scotch Malt Whisky Tour, which includes private distillery tours and a tasting at the Scotch Malt Whisky Society headquarters. For all those Quiddich players and Magizoologists who prefer the great outdoors, there is the opportunity to participate in Grand Taste of the Highlands. Both trips start at £3,195 per person.

If you are looking into booking a magical journey on the Belmond Royal Scotsman, you’d better pack your trunk, making sure it’s switched to “Muggle Worthy” (for as Mrs. Weasley rightly states, train stations are always “packed with Muggles, of course”), and don’t forget to keep an eye on the Belmond website for any COVID-19 pandemic-related changes and safety guidelines.

Would you like to travel aboard the Belmond Royal Scotsman? Which journey would you choose to go on?


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Grace Hurley

I'm an animal-loving Ravenclaw with a Masters Degree in Writing and a passion for the Harry Potter universe since the age of five.