Harry Potter in the Highlands
Updated: Feb 23
The Harry Potter series is probably the most famous to come out of Scotland, from its origins 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 journeys on the Hogwarts Express. We have create a little visual guide to help you explore all our neighbouring landmarks for the true Harry Potter super fans out there!
In fact, Harry Potter features the Glenfinnan Viaduct near Fort William, most notably in the Chamber of Secrets when Harry and Ron are flying their car over it! And you can follow in tracks of the Hogwarts Express via the Jacobite Express with West Coast Railways. But hurry and do your research! It is only open for a short duration each year and gets fully booked so plan your journey in advance. And for goodness sake – don’t miss the train!
Although most of Hogwarts was filmed via CGI, certain locations in the most famous wizarding school were shot in the beautiful wild of the Highlands. Hagrid’s Hut, where Harry, Ron and Hermoine often found refuge, was filmed in Glen Coe. The beautiful wilderness suited Hagrid and his home to his half giant bone. However, there is no neighbouring Forbidden Forest in Glen Coe!
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. Don’t be too hard on yourself if you can’t though! Whilst the Death Eaters bring a sense of gloom and literal darkness to the surroundings, you won’t normally find Rannoch Moor in that state. Strikingly beautiful, it is the perfect place to spend a day meandering through the moor or having a quick picnic.
Hogwarts’ Great Lake is a memorable feature from the grounds. From the Giant Squid throughout the books, the merpeople in the Goblet of Fire or simply the sweeping views of the Loch from the Astronomy Tower, it is worth also seeing in real life. The film used two different lochs to create the vast lake, one being Loch Shiel. Loch Shiel was used for Buckbeak’s flight in particular and can be seen again when panned to from the astronomy tower. It is a beautiful Highland Loch in itself and it’s surroundings, which is probably why the film team chose this Loch!
Eilean na Moine and Loch Eilt
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.