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Okay muggles, did you know that there are plenty of Scotland Harry Potter filming locations you can visit from the movies?
You can see where they filmed the backdrop for Hogwarts Castle and visit the waterfall behind the Quidditch Arena.
There’s also the location of Hagrid’s Hut, Dumbledore’s Grave, and an opportunity to ride on the Hogwarts Express!
It’s the perfect excuse to plan a Harry Potter road trip through the Scottish Highlands and experience some of the magic.
Here is a complete list of all the Scotland Harry Potter filming locations you can visit!
Was Harry Potter filmed in Scotland?
YES, in fact, you’ll see Scotland Harry Potter filming locations in every single Harry Potter movie that was made.
It features as the backdrop for Hogwarts Castle, the Hogwarts Lake, Black Lake, the Quidditch Tournaments, and when you see the Hogwarts Express too.
Scotland truly has some of the most evocative, dramatic, and spectacular scenery. It makes sense that the production team wanted to feature these incredible places in Harry Potter and the Wizarding World.
Magical Scotland Harry Potter filming locations you must visit
Okay, so I’ve been a bit naughty starting with this one as there are no Harry Potter filming locations in Edinburgh.
But, no Potterhead can truly visit Scotland without stopping at the Birthplace of Harry Potter!
If you didn’t know, J. K. Rowling lived in Edinburgh and she wrote some of the very first chapters of her books in the cafés here.
She also wrote Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows book in Room 552 of the Balmoral Hotel.
So, you’ll find plenty of magical places in this city that are thought to have inspired places and character names in her books!
Plus, there are many immersive experiences like walking tours, potion cocktail classes, escape rooms, and even sampling Butterbeer.
Make sure to check out these Harry Potter places on your visit to the Scottish capital:
- Victoria Street (Diagon Alley)
- Greyfriars Kirkyard (Tom Riddles Grave)
- Elephant House Café
- And many, many others – see my comprehensive guide below for more!
2. Rannoch Moor
So, the first Scotland Harry Potter filming location you’ll visit on your road trip to Fort William will be Rannoch Moor.
It is a vast, boggy landscape that sits elevated in the Highlands of Scotland in the Bridge of Orchy near Glen Coe.
The Great Moor of Rannoch is often referred to as ‘the last place of wilderness in Britain’. It’s 50-square miles of exposed moorland and has the largest area of blanket bog in the country as it’s made up of 82% water!
You’ll recognise this location briefly in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1. As the students make their way to Hogwarts on the Hogwarts Express, the Death Eaters appear and make the train stop mid-journey.
They board the train looking for Harry Potter and Neville then gets up and says ‘Hey losers, he isn’t here’.
Go Neville – honestly, he is one of the most underrated characters in the whole series!
It’s easiest to drive here in Glen Coe and you can stop at a Google Pin location called ‘Rannoch Moor Viewpoint’. Or use the postcode A82, Bridge of Orchy, PA36 4AG.
There is a tiny lay-by you can park in to hop out and grab a photo.
3. Loch Etive & Glen Etive
One of the must-visit Harry Potter filming locations in Glen Coe has to be Glen Etive which is famous for the ‘Skyfall road’ from James Bond.
But, it’s also a Scotland Harry Potter filming location. Loch Etive can be found deep within the glen.
Loch Etive features in The Order of the Phoenix when the Hogwarts Express travels through the Scottish Highlands to Hogwarts.
It’s also where the Golden Trio camp out whilst searching for Horcruxes during Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1.
Unfortunately, this is not a quick stop-off location as you will need to drive for around 40 minutes down a single-track road to the loch.
Use the postcode PH49 4JA to find the Loch Etive car park or the Glen Etive Estate Parking pin. It will be the same 40 minutes drive going back to the main road that runs through Glen Coe.
However, I would say it is worth it for Harry Potter fans. You can stop off here and go paddling, pull up a picnic or simply enjoy the spectacular views!
4. Clachaig Gulley aka Hagrid’s Hut
My favourite Scotland Harry Potter filming location has to be Clachaig Gulley where they filmed the scenes for Hagrid’s Hut!
The production team for Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban built Hagrid’s Hut on location at Clachaig Gully in Glen Coe. They also built the Sundial Garden and the Hogwarts Bridge sets here too.
We see Hagrid’s Hut when the Golden Trio visits Hagrid when Buckbeak is executed and then when Harry and Hermione use the time-turner to revisit the scene and save him.
Finally, we see Slughorn, Hagrid, and Harry say farewell to Aragog here in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.
Although the set won’t be there on your visit, you can still enjoy a walk up to the viewpoint and see the filming location for yourself. It will transport you straight into the world of Hogwarts.
You can park outside the Clachaig Inn and take a short walk up to the Torren Lochan viewpoint.
Use the postcode PH49 4HX for the Clachaig Inn. Or, there is a helpful Google Pin called ‘The Site Where Hagrid’s Hut was Filmed’ to follow.
5. Steall Falls in Glen Nevis
Steall Waterfall is Scotland’s second-highest waterfall with a single drop cascade of 120-metres or 390 feet!
It’s also one of the most popular things to do in Fort William and a Scotland Harry Potter filming location.
You will recognise this magical cascade in the backdrop of various Quidditch matches in five of the Harry Potter movies but most recognisably in the Triwizard Tournament during Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.
This is when Harry is being chased around Hogwarts grounds by the ferocious Hungarian Horntail for the Dragon Egg.
This waterfall is also in the background when Harry catches the Golden Snitch in the Philosopher’s Stone, battles it out with Draco in the Chamber of Secrets, and where Ron gets a little help from Hermione in the Quidditch Tryouts of Half-Blood Prince.
Millions of people around the world have probably already seen this waterfall in Scotland without knowing that it’s a real-life location you can visit.
You can easily hike to Steall Falls within Glen Nevis in around 30-40 minutes from the Upper Falls Car Park. The closest postcode is PH33 6SY but you will need to keep on driving through Glen Nevis until you reach the very top car park.
You will need to drive here to access the start of the walk. There is no bus but you can arrange a taxi from Fort William.
6. The Jacobite Steam Train aka Hogwarts Express
Did you know that it is totally possible to ride the Hogwarts Express on your visit to Scotland that features in the movies? The Jacobite Steam Train has services that run from April – October.
The whole experience will take you 84 miles from Fort William to Mallaig and will take approximately 2 hours.
On the way, you’ll see many Scotland Harry Potter filming locations from your window like Loch Eilt, Eilean Na Moine, Loch Shiel, Glenfinnan Viaduct, and Loch Morar!
There will even be a sweetie trolley where you will find Chocolate Frogs, Jelly Slugs, and Bertie Botts Every Flavour Beans. They even have a gift shop selling Harry Potter souvenirs and serve up Butterbeer cocktails.
If you’d rather, you can upgrade to first-class and add on a cream tea! It is pricey but, if you’re a die-hard Potter fan, I’d say the experience was priceless.
You can even book a First Class compartment carriages like Harry, Ron, and Hermione travel in.
I cannot stress this enough, it is one of the most popular train journeys in Scotland and you must book your tickets well in advance!
If you didn’t want to book an expensive train journey you can book a regular ScotRail train service from Fort William to Mallaig. It travels on the exact same train line but it’s a fraction of the cost.
7. Loch Shiel in Glenfinnan
If you’re heading to the Glenfinnan Viaduct you must head over to Loch Shiel that’s nearby the Glenfinnan Monument.
It’s a gorgeous Scotland Harry Potter filming location that was Hogwarts Lake and the Black Lake in five of the Harry Potter movies.
We first see this location in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone when the students arrive at Hogwarts by boat and again when they travel by carriage in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.
The Durmstrang Institute arrives by boat and the Beauxbatons arrive by flying carriage over this lake during Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. And there are many other scenes where we see this lake in the movies too!
You can get the best views of this lake from the Glenfinnan Viaduct Viewpoint (see below) and also if you’re on The Jacobite heading over the viaduct.
If you’re visiting by car, there is the National Trust Glenfinnan car park or the ‘Wee Harry Potter Bridge Project’ car park. Use the postcode PH37 4LT.
There is also a direct train to Glenfinnan from Fort William via the West Highland Railway if you wanted to head here by public transport.
8. Glenfinnan Viaduct
Another one of my favourite Scotland Harry Potter filming locations has to be the Glenfinnan Viaduct.
It’s the most recognisable and popular location to visit in Scotland and it featured in three of the Harry Potter movies.
You’ll remember it most when Harry and Ron miss the Hogwarts Express in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. So, they try to catch up with the train in Ron’s flying Ford Anglia and nearly get hit!
We also see it again during Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban when the Dementors stop the Hogwarts Express and briefly in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.
You can park up in Glenfinnan near the Glenfinnan Monument and walk over to see this location from the Glenfinnan Viaduct Viewpoint.
Make sure to plan your trip at the right time to see The Jacobite aka The Hogwarts Express make its way over the Harry Potter train bridge!
9. Loch Eilt
Loch Eilt is a couple of miles drive down the road from Glenfinnan Viaduct and another location you will see on The Jacobite steam train.
It featured in both Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban and Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.
You’ll see this when Harry and Lupin discuss Dementors and when Hagrid skips stones after Buckbeak has been sentenced during the Prisoner of Azkaban.
We only see this loch very briefly on the Hogwarts Express journey during Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.
The thing that Potterheads will instantly recognise when they see Loch Eilt is the little island called Eilean Na Moine where Dumbledore is buried.
10. Eilean Na Moine aka Dumbledore’s Grave
Another one of my favourite Scotland Harry Potter filming locations has to be the small island found on Loch Eilt called Eilean Na Moine.
This is where Dumbledore is buried after his death in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.
We also see it again during Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 when Voldemort steals the Elder Wand.
You may notice that the loch where this island is in the movies looks different in person. That’s because they superimposed this island onto Loch Arkaig (see below) using CGI as David Yates thought Loch Eilt wasn’t big enough.
You can see this filming location easily on The Jacobite or the ScotRail journey from Fort William to Mallaig. The line runs right beside the loch and so you can easily see it from the window.
If you wanted to visit yourself, it’s best to drive to Loch Eilt from Fort William/Glenfinnan and there is a small off-road parking spot where you can park up to walk over to the island. You can use the closest postcode of PH38 4LZ.
I will warn you now that the ground here can get seriously boggy and wet so take some good shoes to protect your feet! I didn’t get the memo and completely ruined my trainers (worth it though).
11. Loch Morar
You will catch a glimpse of Loch Morar on The Jacobite or the West Highland Railway line when you’re heading up towards Mallaig.
This is the deepest freshwater loch in the British Isles and is one of the largest lochs in all of Scotland.
It is featured as part of Hogwarts Lake in most of the Harry Potter movies. Although you can’t really pinpoint any specific scenes this loch was used for. It was supposedly used for closeups.
If you wanted to visit yourself, you can do this on a short drive from Mallaig to Morar. Use postcode PH40 4PB to park up at Our Lady of Perpetual Succour. Or, stop at Morar train station and access the loch on a short walk.
Nearby is the famous Silver Sands of Morar featured in the movie Highlander. It’s a great place to plan a day trip from Fort William.
On a sunny day, the white sands and crystal blue water make it look like you’re in the Caribbean!
12. Loch Arkaig
The last loch on this list that is featured in Harry Potter is Loch Arkaig which is to the north of Fort William and is a 12-mile-long freshwater loch.
You will instantly recognise this as the location where Eilean Na Moine is in the Harry Potter movies.
David Yates took the island on Loch Eilt and blended it with the backdrop of Loch Arkaig to create Hogwarts lake.
You’ll see the Loch Arkaig and Eilean Na Moine mash-up in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Parts 1 for Dumbledore’s grave scenes.
Also, when the Golden Trio escapes Bellatrix Lestrange’s Vault in Gringotts on a dragon in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Parts 2.
There is no way to get here by public transport so you will absolutely need your own mode of transportation to visit this Scotland Harry Potter filming location. You could book a taxi from Fort William if you really wanted to.
I’m going to say that this is a location solely for the dedicated Harry Potter fan as the drive here is, in a word, horrific.
It’s in a remote location that is only accessible on a single-lane loch road, which is bumpy and windy. It will take you a solid 1 hour solid to get here from Fort William one way.
You’ll be heading past Murlaggan to a ‘Parking Place’ pin on an unnamed road in Spean Bridge. Click here for a Google Pin.
As there are barely any houses on this loch, the closest postcode for SatNavs is PH34 4EL. But, you will be driving a lot further than this until you reach the ‘Parking Place’.
The road felt endless but I had gone too far to turn back in the end so I persevered and finally got to a random viewpoint and took my photos.
I actually never reached the ‘proper’ parking place as it started to get dark and I had had enough by that point. The road was so bumpy and uneven that I was getting car sick.
Was it worth it as a Harry Potter fan? Debatable. Would I do it again? Immediately no, I’ve seen what I needed to see, and no.
13. Black Rock Gorge, Evanton
As there was heavy rain in Fort William and no visibility whatsoever, I decided to take a wee road trip up to Evanton to Black Rock Gorge near Inverness.
This majestic gorge waterfall in a woodland featured in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire when Harry was being chased by the Hungarian Horntail Dragon!
If you remember, the first task in the Triwizard Tournament is to get take the golden egg from a dragon that the participants select at random.
Harry chooses the worst and most ferocious dragon of the lot which results in a chaotic and turbulent chase around the arena.
The Horntail eventually breaks loose out of his chains and then chases Harry around Hogwarts Castle grounds. That’s where Black Rock Gorge features in the film.
The production team visited Black Rock Gorge in April 2004 and ten days of filming took place in this area for just one tiny scene! The cast didn’t visit but it’s worth seeing for serious Potterheads.
You can take a short walk in Evanton Community Wood to see this location for yourself. I have written a detailed walking guide on how to find it.
Use the postcode Evanton, Dingwall IV16 9UN for the free car park, and then head into the woodland!
Save this Scotland Harry Potter locations map
Click this link or the image below to find an interactive Scotland Harry Potter filming locations map to help you find them all!
Bonus Scotland Harry Potter location – Glasgow
Many Potterheads ask ‘was Harry Potter filmed in Glasgow?’. I’m sorry to say but the answer is no.
There were no Harry Potter movies filmed in Glasgow but that really doesn’t stop fans from finding some magical locations in the city.
The University of Glasgow is often referred to as a real-life Hogwarts as they have some magical cloisters and the whole building is a doppelgänger for the Wizarding School.
It is an academic building but it’s open for visitors and so you can come dressed in your Hogwarts robes if you really wanted to.
It’s the fourth-oldest university in the English-speaking world and was founded in 1451. So, you can get lost in their Gothic grounds.
Bonus Day Trip from Edinburgh – Alnwick Castle
As you’re in the city, you can easily drive to another Harry Potter filming location near the Scottish Borders in Northumberland.
Alnwick Castle was another location used to portray Hogwarts in the movies. It’s here that the students had their first flying lesson and poor Neville got stuck on the tower!
You can chase all the filming locations here as well as attend your very own Broomstick flying lesson in the courtyard. Make sure to capture a photo of yourself ‘flying’.
They even have a massive gift shop with oodles of Harry Potter merchandise and a fairytale treehouse restaurant that looks like the Weasley’s Burrow.
If you cannot drive, why not book this tour to Alnwick Castle from Edinburgh?
How to travel to each Scotland Harry Potter filming location
I’m going to be honest, it is easiest if you have a car to visit the Scotland Harry Potter filming locations on this list.
Some of the locations in Glen Coe are in remote places plus Glen Nevis doesn’t have a regular bus service.
The journey times to some of the remote lochs are quite lengthy and no trains or buses service these locations.
By public transport, you can visit many of the Harry Potter locations from Fort William. There is a direct bus to Glenfinnan.
Or, you can catch The Jacobite steam train from Fort William. A normal ScotRail train service from Mallaig from Fort William covers the same journey as it takes the same railway line.
On this train journey, you’ll see Loch Shiel, Glenfinnan Viaduct, Loch Eilt, Eilean Na Moine, and Loch Morar.
The walk to Steall Falls is a little harder to get to in Glen Nevis as there is no bus. The easiest thing to do is arrange a taxi to the Upper Falls Car Park.
Scotland Harry Potter tours
Most of these Scotland Harry Potter filming locations you can visit self-guided and for FREE. You just need a car or use public transport.
But, if you didn’t drive and wanted to book a guided tour. There are many that can take you to some of these Harry Potter filming locations.
Browse some of the Scotland Harry Potter tours below;
How long do you need for a Scotland Harry Potter road trip?
I would plan at least 4-5 nights for your Scotland Harry Potter road trip. That’s 1-2 nights in Edinburgh then 2-3 nights in Fort William.
If you skip Edinburgh, you could probably see most of these locations within 2-3 days if you didn’t mind a lot of driving!
The most important thing to consider is The Jacobite Steam Train tickets. Book these first before you plan the rest of your trip.
It’s good to mention that you do get to see the majority of Scotland’s Harry Potter filming locations on this train journey. So, although expensive it actually saves a lot of time.
My top tips for planning a Scotland Harry Potter tour
- Plan your train ticket first – The Jacobite train tickets need to be booked way in advance! So book these train tickets first then plan the rest of your journey around that.
- Prepare for long driving times – Many of these locations are set far apart and some require driving long distances to get to in the Highlands. Pack some snacks and the Harry Potter soundtrack for some distraction!
- Bring a SatNav – Phone signal can be non-existent in places so don’t rely on Google Maps alone. Bring a SatNav and prepare postcodes for locations before you go.
- Prepare for the weather – this is Scotland and it is partial to some ‘liquid sunshine’ all year round. Bring layers, a good pair of walking shoes/boots, and waterproofs.
- Petrol – I would make sure you top up your petrol tank in Fort William each day as petrol stations are few and far between in the Highlands. Also, petrol prices hike up massively in remoter locations.
- Midges – the Highland Midge is a pest that can be quite annoying in ‘midge season’ from April – September and they will bite. They are not poisonous or harmful but they give you red and itchy blotches. Make sure to pack a midge repellent like Smidge before you go!
Where to stay in Scotland for a Harry Potter tour
Personally, I would plan to spend 1-2 nights in Edinburgh and then 2-3 nights in Fort William for your Scotland Harry Potter road trip.
The majority of the filming locations are easily accessible from Fort William with the exception of Black Rock Gorge which is in Evanton near Inverness. This can easily be added to an NC500 itinerary if this is your plan.
In Edinburgh, I would recommend staying at The Balmoral Hotel where J. K. Rowling wrote the last book Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
But, there are plenty of hotels to choose from. In the summer, most of the universities open their rooms as hotels and they make great budget accommodation.
In Fort William, there are lots of hotels to choose from as it’s the Capital of the Highlands. Here are a small selection of the top recommended hotels;
- The Garrison – Are you a dark wizard? Then you may want to spend a night in Azkaban! Set in an old jail you can spend a quirky few nights ‘in the clink’! Now, hear me out. It may sound creepy but the rooms look so cosy and plush inside and they have won Tripadvisor Rewards. Click here for dates and rates.
- Cruachan Hotel – Set in a building that looks like Hogwarts, the Cruachan has been established for many years and has affordable rooms for the night. Click here to book.
- Inverlochy Castle – This beautiful 19th-century castle next to a loch has been transformed into a 5-star hotel. It’s a little further out of Fort William but it’s a peaceful retreat of pure luxury. Click here to check rates.