Harry Potter And The Jacobites

​The magic of Glenfinnan is the fascination it holds for different generations.

Sean McBride


Railway Bridge among the mountains.
Glenfinnan Viaduct. All pictures courtesy of the author.

​Have you ever wanted to go to a museum but there is just no way the kids are buying it because museums are history and history’s boring? Let me introduce you to a magical place just north of the Scottish Highland town of Fort William on the road to Mallaig.

A spectacular railway bridge traverses amazing mountain scenery over which a steam train regularly passes every day between April and October. You see, mostly depending on your age, or on your outlook and interests, this train, and the line it passes along has a different name and appeal to different people.

Statue of a lone Scottish Highlander on top of a tower at Glenfinnan in Scotland.
Monument to the Scottish Highlanders who rallied to Bonnie Prince Charlie and the 1754 Rebellion.

I represent the old people who like museums and love history. On reaching the village of Glenfinnan at the end of Loch Shiel the first thing you see is a tower with a statue of a lone highlander on the top. You find yourself standing at the historic site where centuries ago, the clan chiefs rallied to the cause of Bonnie Prince Charlie and the Jacobite uprising of 1745 began.

In the hills nearby a huge stone viaduct towers a hundred feet above the valley floor and spans the best part of a mile. The Glenfinnan Viaduct, built as part of the West Highland Line in 1897, stands majestically among the hills. Every day, a steam train called the Jacobite Express passes over its arches and long its span as it makes the journey between Fort William and Mallaig.

Looking down on a railway bridge among the mountains of Scotland.
Overlooking the Glenfinnan Viaduct.

​”OMG Dad! It’s the Harry Potter Bridge!” With that proclamation from my youngest daughter Julia, even though she is now in adulthood, the true magic of this place is fully realized. To anyone who had a childhood from the nineties onwards, this place has nothing to do with history.

It is the railway line along which Harry Potter, wizard more important, famous, and amazing than any would be Jacobite King, made his way to Wizard School at Hogwarts. They’ve all seen the Harry…



Sean McBride

I am an Adventure Travel Writer who provides the inspiration to help people live their finest moments through adventures https://travel-writer.uk