Filming Harry Potter in the Highlands
Updated: Feb 23
The Harry Potter series is probably the most famous book series to come out of Scotland, from its writing in Edinburgh to its filming locations over the country. Some of the most memorable scenes of the films were shot in the Highlands, from Hagrid’s abode to the Hogwarts Express – mostly nearby Fort William.
You may not know the Glenfinnan Viaduct by name or even where it is you would definitely know it if you saw it. The site of the famous flying car scene, the Glenfinnan Viaduct is know for being the track of the Hogwarts Express. It is possible to travel over the viaduct like Harry, Ron and Hermione on the Jacobite Express with West Coast Railways – but hurry! Its only open part of the year and it is a very popular journey!
Although most of Hogwarts was filmed via CGI, other parts of Hogwarts were shot in the beautiful locations of the Highlands. A memorable location of course would be Hagrid’s Hut, a place where Harry & co. found refuge. Hagrid’s Hut was put together in the landscape of Glen Coe, centring Hagrid’s Hut in the wild natural landscape.
Super fans of Harry Potter would recognise Rannoch Moor as the location where Death Eaters board the Hogwarts Express in The Deathly Hallows, Part One.
The great lake that Hogwarts is surrounded by was filmed at two different lochs, one being Loch Shiel. However, Loch Shiel was used for Buckbeak’s flight and as the lake that the astronomy tower looked out over. With beautiful views, which is probably why the film team chose this Loch!
This islet on Loch Eilt is meant to be Dumbledore’s final resting place, where he is buried from the Elder Wand. Of course, this means that this is also where Voldemort takes the Elder Wand from Dumbledore. The popularity of Scottish Lochs for filming locations shows the magic of Scotland that might have inspired J. K. Rowling.