Do you just love to follow along in the footsteps of your favorite movies? If you're like our family, you've planned entire TRIPS around books, movies, and their locations!
When we were in Scotland, we visited all three of the Scottish locations of the Harry Potter movies. I can see why they chose these areas - they are magical, full of natural charisma and beauty. Want to see for yourself? Much of the scenes of the grounds of Hogwarts school was filmed in the Scottish Highlands.
Ben Nevis, Scotland
Put your traveling shoes on - here are three specific areas in Scotland you can visit to get more of your Harry Potter fix:
Glenfinnan Viaduct and the West Highland Railway Line
You can see the railway line that was used for the train journey to Hogwarts. It runs about 42 miles, from Fort William to Mallaig, and crosses the Glenfinnan Valley on the Glenfinnan Viaduct. In the movies, you'll also see Ben Nevis and the spectacular countryside around Glen Nevis.
Glenfinnan Viaduct - this beautiful railroad track can be seen in the flying car scenes in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, and in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban and Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. It's located at Lochaber, in the highlands of Scotland. The railway is incredible - an enormous, arching bridge, 100 feet above the ground. There are 21 large arch supports holding the bridge up, over the 1,000 feet it crosses in the valley. It was built between 1897 and 1901. You can take a Harry Potter train (the Jacobite Steam Train) on this route - learn more here: westcoastrailways.co.uk/jacobite/Jacobite_Details.html
Glencoe (a spectacularly beautiful location in the western Highlands) is the location of Hagrid's hut, on the slopes of Ben Nevis. It was also the primary location for the outdoor shots in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.
You can actually stay near Loch Torren (as we did), and walk to see across the lake where it was filmed. Note - all sets are now down and the area is natural again. We highly recommend staying at the Glencoe Cottages - owner Victoria Sutherland is extremely friendly and knowledgeable, and the Cottages have won green awards in Scotland. You'll be right next to the River Tay, and enjoy natural beauty unsurpassed. And, you can walk each morning to view the location of Hagrid's Hut - it's only a few hundreds yards from the cottages! Your kids will thank you (ours does). We heart Glencoe Cottages!
Loch Torren, Glencoe. See the sloping hill, with a flat spot right in the middle? That is where Hagrid's Hut was filmed
If you'd like to read more of our literary adventures with Harry Potter in Scotland, click the link above and follow US! You, too, can take journeys as Harry, Hermione, Ron, and fellow HP characters did - and I have a feeling that you, too, will find Scotland filled with Magic.