After the Hogwarts’ Express has departed platform 9 ¾ , it can be seen chuffing its way through beautiful landscape and over an incredible viaduct, delivering the next term’s influx of wizards. The train, viaduct and landscape can be found in the wonderful Highlands of Scotland. Let the moorlands and lochs cast their unique spell over you…
Here are just a handful of Harry Potter film locations for you to visit in this magical country, and we’ve even strayed from the Highlands, too.
Glencoe, look out for the big man!
As the location of Hagrid’s Hut, as well as the bridge leading to the entrance of Hogwarts, Glencoe can be found in 4 of the Harry Potter films.
It’s a great place for those who like outdoor pursuits with golf, mountain-biking, adventure activities and a host of winter sports once the snow arrives. And when the sun sets, make your way to Clachaig Inn – which is just across the road from the site of Hagrid’s Hut – for some live music sessions and a good craic.
Want to experience one of the greatest railway journeys in the world? Well hop on the Jacobite Steam Train at Fort William and take in some wonderful scenery as well as crossing the same viaduct as Harry Potter, every time he returned to Hogwarts.
The Glenfinnan viaduct is 31 metres high and has 21 arches overlooking Loch Shiel and the Jacobite monument. If the train has time, it will stop to let you take in the fantastic views. But the 84-mile round trip takes in much more starting at Britain’s highest mountain, Ben Nevis, going via the most westerly mainland railway station, Arisaig and visiting Mallaig fishing village and ferry port to the isle of Skye.
There is a winter special timetable in December, so you can Christmas in Potter style.
Need a new wand? Diagon Alley’s the place…
Well, Victoria Street in Edinburgh actually, though there aren’t many wands either. This narrow street of tall buildings with pointed roofs curves up towards the café in which JKR sat down to write Harry Potter.
Victoria Street was the inspiration for Diagon Alley and if you let your mind wander you can just imagine the entrance to Ollivander’s, where your wand will choose you.
Where better to base your Scottish Harry Potter explorations from than CLC Duchally Country Estate. Set in 27 acres of parkland, where the increasingly rare red squirrels can be spotted running among the treetops, the country house hotel and lodges offer a warm welcome and fabulous accommodation.
For more Scottish Harry Potter places, including where JK Rowling penned the first books, take a look at this article.