Steam Trains and a Harry Potter Footbridge – The Watercress Line, Arlesford, UK

It’s not surprising that the Watercress Line, a heritage steam railway line between Arlesford and Alton in Hampshire, has an annual wizardry event. Steam engines are inextricably linked to Harry Potter and the iconic Hogwarts Express. So, if you’re a fan of the books it makes for a fantastic day out. And it comes with a bonus piece of the boy wizard’s film heritage too.

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This is the Haybridge footbridge, the Kings Cross railway bridge Hagrid and Harry walked over in the first film “Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone”.

Hang on, I hear you say, this isn’t Kings Cross, what the heck is the bridge doing here!? When it was mooted for replacement, it was taken apart piece by piece and moved here to Ropley where it was reconstructed.

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The “Harry Potter” film series is not the only film this bridge has featured in either. It also crops up in “The Thirty-nine Steps” and the “Elizabethan Express”.

If you’re a Harry Potter fan you could just drive to the station but a trip on a steam train (which could easily be the Hogwarts express if you nab a first-class carriage), is definitely the best way to find it.

The stations are shown as they would have looked in their hey-day and the volunteers are suitably attired too, so a day out here can be a completely emersive experience.

These features plus the artifacts and design will definitely inspire you if you’re writing anything based in this time period.

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Have you ever been on the Watercress Line – or on Hogwarts Express itself? Let me know in the comments.

Related reads

Christ Church College, Oxford – From Lewis Carroll to Harry Potter

Harry Potter and the Divinity School

Following Harry Potter – A Visit to Lacock Abbey

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