Harry Potter Railway Shortlisted for World's Greatest Journey
April 20, 2010, 06:44 PM
The Telegraph reports that the 164-mile Scottish railway line from Glasgow to Mallaig has been placed on Lonely Planet's shortlist for the world's greatest journey. The railway line features heavily in the Harry Potter films, notably when the Hogwarts Express passes through the 21-arch Glenfinnan viaduct.
The chief executive of VisitScotland, Philip Riddle, is quoted in the article, saying, "[the] railway's spectacular scenery makes it extremely popular with visitors from around the world and the fact that it features so prominently in the Harry Potter films ensures a truly spellbinding experience for passengers."
The winners of Lonely Planet's inaugural awards will be decided in an online poll and announced this August.
You can read the full article here on The Telegraph's website.
My daughter (12) and I took this trip last summer after hiking 7 days up the West Highland Way. We took the regular train (ScotRail) from Fort William to Mallaig, which goes over the Glenfinnan viaduct. That train was FAR less expensive, more comfortable and more frequent. When going north, sit on the left side because the loch is to the west (right side going south when returning). When going over the viaduct and looking west, you can truly imagine Hogwarts in the landscape.
We had previously been on several steam engine trains while living in Leeds in 2003. That Halloween, we took part in a Wizarding Weekend in the North Yorkshire Moors where we stayed in Goathland (the original Hogsmead from the 1st film). The historic steam engine railway goes up and down the moors. They were fun, but going in one over the viaduct would not have made it more beautiful.
If you go to England/Scotland, I highly recommend Alnwick Castle (pronounced Awnick) in Northumberland (NE England) where the first film was made. Standing in the area where the Quidditch class was filmed was amazing.