13 Of The Most Magical Harry Potter Film Locations In Scotland

Written By:
Cazzy Magennis
/
Last Updated:
April 19, 2021
A Harry Potter fan? Us too! Check out these awesome Harry Potter filming locations Scotland has to offer. Enter the wizarding world of magic today...
harry potter film locations scotland
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Bradley and I are BIG Harry Potter fans.

We’ve both seen the movies way too many times (we watch them yearly), I’ve read all the books (more than once), and we both take up an opportunity to join a Harry Potter-themed activity.

So, when we knew that Scotland was filled with some pretty cool Harry Potter filming locations, we had to visit. 

If you’re a fan too, then sit back, relax and take note of all these awesome Harry Potter film locations Scotland has to offer. 

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Map of the Harry Potter Filming locations in Scotland 

To give you a visual representation of where everything is, I’ve created this map to pinpoint the following filming locations we will chat about below!

harry potter filming locations scotland map

13 Awesome Harry Potter Film Locations In Scotland

1. Glenfinnan Viaduct

glenfinnan viaduct

This is probably the most famous Harry Potter filming location in Scotland and it’s thanks to the Hogwarts Express.

The Glenfinnan Viaduct is the setting for the Hogwarts Express heading to Hogwarts, and it shows up in movies, 1, 2 and 3. 

It’s particularly notable in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets because when Harry and Ron can’t board the Hogwarts Express, they take the flying car, and the flying car meets the train on the Glenfinnan Viaduct. 

Speaking of Harry Potter trains though….did you know that West Coast Railways in Scotland actually created the train that is used as the Hogwarts Express and you can ride a similar train to your very own Hogwarts destination! 

This is known as the Jacobite and Bradley and I rode in 1st class and it was awesome.

It’s definitely a cool experience for Harry Potter fans, and you get to drive over and next to some pretty cool Harry Potter film locations, including the place in which Dumbledore is buried. 

Book your Jacobite Harry Potter ride right here

The Jacobite Express even has “Harry Potter” style compartments in 1st Class so you can feel like you’re sitting with Harry, Ron and Hermonie! 

I actually did a whole post on riding the Jacobite that you can check out too. 

If you want to see the famous train pass the Glenfinnan Viaduct then this can be achieved by walking to one of the viewing platforms at the Viaduct and waiting for the train.

It passes by twice a day, (4 times in peak season) and the train runs from April to September. 

The train purposely slows down over the bridge to let the audience of spectators take photos and you’ll hear it blow the horn on approach! 

  • The morning service leaves Fort William at 10:15 and usually passes over the Viaduct at around 10:45-11:00.
  • The next service leaves Fort William at 14:40 and usually passes over at around 15:10-15:25.
  • The morning service leaves Mallaig at 12:10 and usually passes over the Viaduct at around 15:15-15:30
  • The afternoon service leaves Mallaig at 18:40 and usually passes over the Viaduct at around 19:45-20:00
READ MORE: How To Visit The Glenfinnan Viaduct

2. Eilean na Moine 

 Eilean na Moine 

This is one of the spots you drive past on the Jacobite train ride, but you can always drive to it as well.

We visited as part of our wider Scotland road trip, and it’s definitely worth visiting because it’s such a beautiful area of Scotland. 

Eilean Na Monie is a tiny little island that’s located on the wider Loch Eilt (which we will chat about next!)

Dumbledore's grave is digitally placed here, and it’s a really cool spot to visit. 

If you walk across the grassy area to get close to the actual island, just be careful...Brad slipped in the mud, which was hilarious. 

3. Loch Eilt 

Loch eilt harry pottter

So this is the setting where the above island is located, but tones of scenes are filmed passing by here, notably Goblet of Fire. 

When watching these back we actually notice that, at the point where Harry sends Hedwig off with a note to Sirius, they pass by this?

harry potter film spots
Here!

Do you recognize it? That’s right, it's the same island that Dumbledore gets buried on haha!

We camped right next to this Loch, so it was really cool being so close to something related to Harry Potter, and one of my favourite Harry Potter filming locations in Scotland. 

This is also the lake where Hagrid skims stones when he learns Buckbeak will be killed. 

So a lot of stars have been at this lake!

READ: The Best Wild Camping Spots In Scotland
scotland harry potter film spots
So beautiful!

4. Loch Arkaig

Interestingly, this loch was digitally added to Loch Eilt (mentioned above) to make the loch seem much more vast than it actually was in reality.

This was used at the beginning of Deathly Hallows part 2. 

The thing about lochs in Scotland too, is that they’re all bloody beautiful, and you could easily look at them all and think “oh, this looks like it could have been used in Harry Potter!”.

5. Rannoch Moor

rannoch moor

Rannoch Moor is a rugged, raw area of Scotland, so it makes for perfect use in a Harry Potter movie.

You’ll get lots of beautiful views of Rannoch Moor if you board the Jacobite Express and this spot was famous for its use in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (part 1) when the Death Eaters halt and board the train.

6. Glen Coe

glen coe

Glen Coe is such a beautiful area of Scotland, so even if you’re not visiting for the Harry Potter vibes, you’ll still fall in love with this Scottish beauty. 

It's also home to some of Scotland most romantic places to stay.

But, Glen Coe was also the backdrop for many scenes in Harry Potter.

Most notably Hagrids hut was built here.

It was built in the field opposite a pub beside Torren Lochan in Clachaig Gull and the scene where Hermione punches Malfoy in the Prisoner of Azkaban (awesome scene!). 

But, I really wish they kept up the props for Hagrids house, because how cool would that be to actually visit!

As you drive through Glen Coe, you’ll just be able to see how the landscapes and Harry Potter filming is intertwined throughout. 

glen coe harry potter filming
Our campervan!

7. Steall Falls

Steall Falls harry potter filming location
source

Steall Falls is located not far from Ben Nevis (the highest mountain in the UK) in the town of Fort William, and this Harry Potter filming location is based on the Goblet Of Fire.

This is the scene in which Harry fights the dragon!

This is also the second-highest waterfall in Britain and is featured in a fair few iconic Harry Potter scenes, but it’s the waterfall’s role as the backdrop during the Quidditch matches in the movies. 

8. Loch Morar

Fun fact this lake is the 5th largest loch in Scotland and the deepest in the British Isles! 

It’s also a Harry Potter filming location!

This loch was used for close up shots of Hogwarts Lake throughout the movies, but it particularly noted in Prisoner of Azkaban. 

9. Loch Etive

Loch etive harry potter

This beautiful loch is located in Argyll and Bute, Scotland and stretches 30 km.

This is such a scenic spot so it’s no surprise that it’s a popular Harry Potter filming location in Scotland. 

It was used as the Loch that Hermonie, Harry and Ron fly over after escaping from Gringotts bank on the dragon, which they then jump into in Deathly Hallows! 

And when they are camping in Deathly Hallows, much of their trip is filmed around this lake (even deleted scenes of skimming stones in the water)

10. Edinburgh 

victoria street in edinburugh
Victoria street- inspo for Diagon Alley!

So Edinburgh isn’t technically a Harry Potter filming location as it was directly used in the movie, but it’s where the books were written, so it oozes inspiration and HP charm. 

When Bradley and I visited Scotland, a lockdown was announced in the country and we were unable to visit Edinburgh this time.

This was super disappointing because it’s been a city high on my bucket list for years.

Not only for its castle, cobblestone streets and cute shops but because of its connection to Harry Potter! 

  • Elephant House is where JK Rowling wrote most of Harry Potter and The Philosopher’s Stone, so it's a perfect location to grab a coffee and see if you feel inspired! 
  • The Balmoral Hotel in Edinburgh also has links to Harry Potter because it’s the hotel in which JK Rowling shut herself away to write the final instalment of Harry Potter, and if you wish, you can even stay there in the JK Rowling Suite, which is pretty darn cool! 
  • Victoria Street in Edinburgh is also thought to be the inspiration for Diagon Alley, and it’s no surprise why really. J.K Rowling lived in Edinburgh as she wrote all the Harry Potter books, so as you walk around the city, you’ll find sources and indications of inspiration on every corner. 

11. Scottish Owl Centre 

This is something we didn’t visit, but I definitely think it’s worth mentioning.

How would you like to meet the real-life sister of Ron’s clumsy owl, Errol? Well, here you can!

You’ll get to meet Oulu, a 15-year-old Great Grey Owl who is the real-life sister of the owl used in the Harry Potter movies. Plus you’ll get to learn a bunch of other great stuff about owls! 

12. Black Rock Gorge

Black Rock Gorge was the area for the dragon scene of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.

Close to Evanton in Scotland, the Gorge is a very narrow box-canyon, 36 metres (120 feet) deep.

You can gain amazing views of this spot by a 3-mile round-trip hike.

You’ll start in the quaint village of Evanton (which is about 30 minutes from Inverness), and from there you can take this easy walk.

Watch out for dragons!

READ: 1 Day In Inverness: An Itinerary

13. Loch Shiel

loch shiel

This loch is located next to the Glenfinnan Viaduct that we mentioned earlier, and it's the setting for where Harry encounters a Dementor for the very first time in the Prisoner of Azkaban, when the Hogwarts Express comes to a halt on the bridge.

The best way to see all the Harry Potter filming locations in Scotland 

driving around scotland in campervan
We LOVED road tripping in our van!
  • By campervan - Definitely the best way to get around Scotland and the all the famous Harry Potter sites. Why? Well, as you'll see below, it's actually possible to wild camp at a few of them! We road tripped Scotland in our own campervan that we converted. But to hire one, check out our guide on the best campervan rentals Scotland has to offer.
  • By car - This is the second best way to make your way around the best Harry Potter filming locations Scotland has to offer.  You can turn it into your very own Harry Potter style road trip, and you’ll see all the beauty Scotland has to offer on the way! Rent your car in Edinburgh and a round trip from there. Check Rentalcars for great deals on car rental in Scotland. 
  • Train: Scotland has a very established train network and if you start in Edinburgh, you can take the train to Fort William and experience views of Rannoch Moor and other Harry Potter filming locations. Afterwards, you can hop on the Jacobite Express train and see some of the most iconic filming locations including, the Glenfinnan Viaduct and Dumbledore's Rest Place. 

So if you can’t drive, or just simply enjoy train rides (I do!), then a train is a good option to see some of the best Harry Potter filming locations in Scotland. 

Psst, beware the Jacobite only runs from April to September time. 

So there you have it, our guide to the best Harry Potter filming locations Scotland has to offer. 

There are tons of great Harry Potter filming locations all over the UK, notably a few great ones in England such as Alnwick castle which was used as Hogwarts Castle in the first movie. 

If you’ve got any questions, or you know of any other Harry Potter filming spots in Scotland that we have missed, then drop us a comment below. 

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