Scotland is a country filled with breathtaking landscapes, rich history, and magical tales. While many people associate Harry Potter with England, real fans of the series know that Scotland served as the enchanting backdrop for filming many iconic scenes from the Harry Potter films.
From the majestic Highlands to ancient castles, this article will guide you through some must-see Harry Potter locations in Scotland that will transport you into the wizarding world and leave you spellbound. Whether you’re a die-hard fan or simply an admirer of stunning scenery, these destinations are sure to ignite your imagination and make your journey truly magical.
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The enchanting city of Edinburgh, where the magic of Harry Potter comes alive. As avid fans of J.K. Rowling’s beloved wizarding world know, this picturesque Scottish capital served as a significant inspiration for the iconic series. From its medieval architecture to its mysterious alleyways, Edinburgh is brimming with locations that transport visitors into the enchanting realm of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. So grab your broomstick and join us on an unforgettable journey through the Harry Potter locations hidden within this captivating city.
Read Also: Harry Potter Edinburgh Guide
The Elephant House
Located on the George IV Bridge near Edinburgh Castle, The Elephant House is known as the birthplace of Harry Potter. J.K. Rowling worked in many cafes around Edinburgh while creating the series, as she found working in cafes the most comforting. Rowling has also said that when she was writing the first book, she was a single mother caring for her young daughter. She would take her daughter on a walk in a stroller, let her fall asleep, and then slip inside a coffee shop to get some work done. One of those coffee shops was the Elephant House.
The table she supposedly favored was at the back with views out the window of Edinburgh Castle and Greyfriars Kirkyard.
Today, the interior of the Elephant House Cafe is adorned with Harry Potter memorabilia to commemorate the success of the series. The bathroom is covered with handwritten messages from fans who have made the pilgrimage to the cafe.
But don’t just look at the cafe, make sure you try some of their food and drink like a tea (much like Rowling would), or a traditional Scottish breakfast of eggs and haggis. But don’t worry, they have plenty of other lovely food if haggis isn’t your thing.
Greyfriars Kirkyard is a historic graveyard located in the heart of Edinburgh, Scotland. With its hauntingly beautiful atmosphere and rich history, it has become one of the city’s most popular tourist attractions.
Harry Potter fans will be delighted to know that there is a gravestone bearing the name “Thomas Riddell.” Although J.K. Rowling denies intentionally picking the names from the gravestones in Greyfriars Kirkyard, she has said may have subconsciously used them.
And also, in a 1999 interview with Barnes and Noble, Rowling said “And so far I have got names from saints, place names, war memorials, gravestones. I just collect them — I am so interested in names.”
There are other familiar names in found in the graveyard as well: Robert Potter, William McGonagall, Elizabeth Moodie, and Margaret Louisa Scrymgeour Wedderburn, so there seems to be a lot of coincidence with how many names resemble Harry Potter characters.
Other fascinating facts and stories about the graveyard are:
Greyfriars Kirkyard dates back to the late 16th century and holds immense historical significance. It was originally used as a burial ground for both Catholics and Protestants until it became exclusively Protestant in the 17th century.
One notable feature within Greyfriars Kirkyard is the Covenanters’ Prison, which served as a holding area for over 1,200 Scottish Presbyterians during the late 17th century. Many prisoners were held here before being executed or deported due to their resistance against religious persecution.
Perhaps one of the most famous legends associated with Greyfriars Kirkyard is that of the Mackenzie Poltergeist. It is said to haunt certain areas of the graveyard, particularly around Sir George Mackenzie’s mausoleum. Visitors have reported experiencing strange phenomena like sudden drops in temperature, unexplained injuries, and feelings of unease.
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Situated at No. 1 Princes Street right by the train station, The Balmoral Hotel is a luxurious hotel in the heart of Edinburgh. With its iconic clock tower soaring above the historic cityscape, this landmark hotel promises an unforgettable experience that seamlessly blends classic elegance with modern comforts. But the hotel is more than just a place to sleep for Harry Potter fans. It’s the place where J.K. Rowling lived for six months in room 552 while finishing Deathly Hallows.
Back in 2007, J.K. Rowling famously finished the final Harry Potter book when she was unable to concentrate at home. “[…] there came a day where the window cleaner came, the kids were at home, the dogs were barking and I could not work and this light bulb went on over my head and I thought, I can throw money at this problem. I can now solve this problem. […] I thought I can go to a quiet place so I came to this hotel because it’s a beautiful hotel, […] and I ended up finishing the last of the Harry Potter books in this hotel.”
To commemorate this momentous occasion, she left her mark on room 552 by signing a bust of Hermes in one corner of the room. Now known as the “J.K. Rowling Suite,” it attracts fans from all over the world who wish to step into the author’s shoes (or robes!) and experience where the magic happened.
The suite itself is has been updated since Rowling stayed and is beautifully decorated with elegant furnishings and nods to Harry Potter throughout, including an owl-shaped door knocker and a typewriter similar to the one used by J.K. Rowling during her stay. Stepping into this room feels like entering an enchanted space where creativity flourished.
I will say, the suite is extremely expensive at almost $3,000 per night. But even if you don’t manage to book yourself into “the” suite, there are still plenty of other aspects of The Balmoral Hotel that will make your inner wizard or witch rejoice such as the Michelin-starred restaurant, afternoon tea in the Palm Court, or the award-winning spa.
The charming, brightly-colored, and curved Victoria Street is a must-see for anyone visiting Edinburgh, but especially for Harry Potter fans who want a glimpse into a real-life Diagon Alley. While she denies it, it’s easy to see how Rowling might have taken some inspiration from this unique and whimsical street, even unconsciously.
Located in the heart of Edinburgh’s Old Town, Victoria Street curves down from George IV Bridge to Grassmarket, creating a stunning visual spectacle. The street is renowned for its distinctive design, with buildings that are tiered on either side, giving it a whimsical feel reminiscent of an old European town.
The remarkable architecture of Victoria Street dates back to the 19th century when it was built as part of a grand plan to connect the Royal Mile with Grassmarket. Its colorful facades house an array of independent boutiques, quirky gift shops, traditional Scottish stores, delightful cafes, and restaurants offering everything from local delicacies to international cuisine.
Some of the most notable shops are The Enchanted Galaxy and Museum Context: The Magic Department. You can also find wizarding-inspired restaurants like , The Mutt’s Nuts, and Bains Retro Sweets. (We’ll go into these shops more below).
After your visit to Victoria Street, head to Candlemaker Row. This small street also reminds many fans of Diagon Alley and has plenty of independent bookshops to step into for a browse.
As Seen In: The Chamber of Secrets, The Prisoner of Azkaban, The Goblet of Fire
The Glenfinnan Viaduct, located in the picturesque Scottish Highlands, is an iconic landmark that has captured the hearts and imaginations of both locals and tourists alike. By far, the bridge is most widely recognized as the Harry Potter Bridge.
Most people will remember the scene in the Chamber of Secrets when Harry and Ron are following the Hogwarts Express in the Ford Anglia, and Harry almost falls out of the car as they’re trying to get out of the way of the train. The viaduct is also seen in The Prisoner of Azkaban when the train breaks down and the dementors board the train, and the Goblet of Fire in a wide shot as the students head to school.
The Jacobite Steam Train, often referred to as “Hogwarts Express” due to its appearance in several of the movies, regularly passes over Glenfinnan Viaduct during its journey between Fort William and Mallaig.
Built between 1897 and 1898, the Glenfinnan Viaduct was designed by Sir Robert McAlpine & Sons, with the purpose of connecting Fort William and Mallaig on the West Highland Line. The primary function of this impressive structure is to carry trains across the steep-sided valley of Glen Finnan, providing a crucial passage for both passengers and freight.
One of the most striking features of this viaduct is its aesthetic appeal. With its 21 arches spanning over 1,000 feet (305 meters) in length and standing at a height of around 100 feet (30 meters), it cuts through the rugged landscape with remarkable grace.
The viaduct lies about 17 miles west of Fort William. Visitors can reach it by driving along the A830 road (also known as the Road to Isles) and then following signs towards Glenfinnan. There is parking available for cars and tour buses with restroom near the Glenfinnan Vistors Center.
You could also cross the viaduct on the scenic train journey aboard the Jacobite Steam Train from Fort William or Mallaig. This famous steam locomotive ride will take you across the viaduct itself, offering breathtaking views along the way. (more info below)
Jacobite Steam Train
As Seen In: The Sorcerer’s Stone, The Chamber of Secrets, The Prisoner of Azkaban, The Goblet of Fire, The Order of the Phoenix, The Half-Blood Prince, The Deathly Hallows Part 1
The Jacobite Steam Train Experience offers a once-in-a-lifetime experience by boarding the train, famously known as “The Hogwarts Express” or Harry Potter train. Immerse yourself in nostalgia as you embark on a scenic journey across Glenfinnan Viaduct, reliving those magical moments from Harry Potter movies.
Noted as one of the greatest railway journeys in the world, the 84-mile round trip takes you past some of Scotland’s best views. Roundtrip from Fort William with a stop in Mallaig, you’ll start near Ben Nevis, the highest mountain in Britain, visiting Arisaig, the most westerly mainland railway station in Britain, passes by Loch Morar, the deepest freshwater loch in Britain, the River Morar, the shortest river in Britain, and the deepest seawater loch, Loch Nevis.
And perhaps most importantly for Harry Potter fans, the train crosses the 21-arched Glenfinnan Viaduct, the beautiful curved bridge shown in the movies. According to West Coast Railways, the train may pause on the viaduct to allow you to take photos and savor the beautiful view. Once stopped in Glenfinnan there will be time to stretch your legs and, if you wish, visit the West Highland Railway Museum located in the restored station building.
Read Also: Harry Potter Experiences Around the World
For the journey, you can choose from:
Standard Class Carriage: Standard class passengers travel in refurbished vintage Mark I or Mark II coaches and will be seated around tables for 4. Please note that no food or drinks are included in this class of travel. You will have access to the buffet carriage for the purchase of teas, coffees, and light snacks. Tickets cost: £57 for adult, £33 under 16.
Compartment Carriage: Compartment Class Carriage D the ‘HP’ Compartment Carriage (only available on the morning trip) is a vintage carriage with compartments that seat up to 6 passengers per compartment. These compartments have a door which leads onto a corridor that runs the full length of the carriage, much like the carriages seen in the Harry Potter films. Please note that no food or drinks are included in this class of travel. You will have access to the buffet carriage for the purchase of teas, coffees, and light snacks. Ticket cost: £385 per compartment (up to 6 passengers).
First Class Open Carriage: The traditionally furnished First Class carriages allow you to travel in style. First Class Carriages A & B are open carriages with private tables for 2 and tables for 4 at either side of the aisle. All tables include traditional table lamps and the upholstered seats are more luxurious with extra leg room. First Class passengers also receive a complimentary tea or coffee on each part of the journey. Ticket cost: £89 for adult, £63 under 16. Also £199 for a private table for 2.
All tickets have an additional £3.75 booking fee.
There are also add-ons like high tea, champagne, and souvenirs to make your experience even more unique and magical.
Read Also: Edinburgh Literary Guide
As Seen in The Prisoner of Azkaban, The Order of the Phoenix, The Half-Blood Prince
Glencoe, just south of Ben Nevis and Fort William, is a place of unparalleled natural beauty that captivates visitors from all around the world. With its majestic mountains, enchanting landscapes, and rich history, this stunning valley offers an unforgettable experience for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers alike.
For Harry Potter fans, Glen Coe has special meaning as the filming location of some of the most memorable places in the series. You’ll recognize the scenery near the bottom of Clachaig Gully as the background for Hagrid’s Hut and the Covered Bridge at Hogwarts Castle, most notably from scenes in the Prisoner of Azkaban. The location overlooks the Torren Lochan and the Signal Rock forest to the rugged hills of the glen.
Filming for Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban took place in this location in May and June 2003. While the site opposite Clachaig Inn has been used in subsequent Harry Potter films. Most recently, filming took place in October 2007 for Harry Potter and The Half-Blood Prince.
Although the sets no longer exist in this location, you can still visit sites for a bit of nature and to see the area where parts of the film came to life. The easiest way to get there is to park at the Clachaig Inn and walk to the area.
A number of well-known and very successful films have been shot in the glen, including Highlander, starring Sean Connery & Christopher Lambert, Monty Python and the Search for the Holy Grail, and Rob Roy, starring Liam Neeson.
As Seen In: The Sorcerer’s Stone, The Chamber of Secrets, The Prisoner of Azkaban, The Goblet of Fire, The Half-Blood Prince
Loch Shiel is a hidden gem, located west of Fort William and just south of the Glenfinnan Viaduct, that captivates visitors with its awe-inspiring beauty and rich historical significance. Known for its pristine waters, dramatic landscapes, and fictional fame as part of the Black Lake near Hogwarts Castle in the Harry Potter films, Loch Shiel offers an unforgettable experience for nature enthusiasts, history buffs, and fans of magical tales alike. Join us as we dive into this magnificent destination that has enchanted travelers for centuries.
Loch Shiel was used for countless outdoor shots across the film series, but the most notable appearances on screen are when Harry flies over the water while riding Buckbeak in The Prisoner of Azkaban when Durmstrang arrives by boat and Beauxbatons arrive by flying carriage in the Goblet of Fire when the students first arrive at Hogwarts and cross the Black Lake in The Sorcerer’s Stone and as a background for some scenes in Camber of Secrets.
You can get the best views of the loch from the Glenfinnan Viaduct Viewpoint or the Loch Shiel Viewpoint. If coming by car you can park in either the National Trust Glenfinnan car park. Bring cash for possible parking fees. Or take the train to Glenfinnan from Fort Williams.
Steall Falls-Glen Nevis
As Seen In: The Sorcerer’s Stone, The Chamber of Secrets, The Prisoner of Azkaban, The Goblet of Fire, The Half-Blood Prince
Within the Nevis Gorge of Glen Nevis, Steall Falls is a breathtaking waterfall that enchants visitors with its beauty and raw power. With a drop of over 120 meters (394 feet), Steall Falls is one of Scotland’s tallest waterfalls. But Steall Falls isn’t only known as a wonderful natural phenomenon, but also as a backdrop for many scenes in the Harry Potter movies.
Most of the scenes were not actually filmed here with actors on location, but instead, the background was added in later after being filmed mostly on a sound stage. That’s because it was primarily used as a background for Quidditch scenes like during Harry’s first game in The Sorcerer’s Stone, when Harry and Malfoy battle in The Chamber of Secrets, and when Hermione helps Ron during his Keeper tryouts in The Half-Blood Prince.
But the most well-known scene that has the best shots of the falls is during the Triwizard Tournament in The Goblet of Fire when Harry is chased by the Hungarian Horntail after it gets loose during the first task. You can see it perfectly off in the distance when Harry manages to beat the Horntail and makes his way back to the dragon enclosure.
You can see the falls yourself with a hike through the picturesque landscapes of Glen Nevis.
You can either use the Upper Falls Car Park, which is the closest to the falls but is a very small, single-lane road with limited parking, or the Lower Falls Car Park, which is larger and has a larger road to accommodate campers or larger vehicles but will add time to your hike to the falls.
The hike to the falls from the Upper Falls Car Park is 3.5 kilometers roundtrip or about 1.5 hours start to finish, and takes you to a nice vantage point for taking photos. The trail itself is fairly easy, there are some inclines and rocky terrain that might make it difficult for some.
If you really want to get close to the falls, you’ll have to cross the river by either the rope bridge, or by tiptoing across the rocks (it’s not a very large river). From the Lower Falls Car Park it’s probably a 2 hour hike, but if you’re prepared and want to experience the beauty of Glen Nevis this is an excellent way.
As Seen In: The Half-Blood Prince, The Deathly Hallows Part 1
Rannoch Moor, a vast expanse of untouched wilderness in Scotland, is one of the largest areas of uninhabited land in Britain. With its dramatic landscapes, ancient history, and unique flora and fauna, Rannoch Moor offers an unparalleled experience for nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers.
But for Harry Potter movie fans, Rannoch Moor is also a memorable location that features briefly in two of the films. The moor is used as a background as the Hogwarts Express speeds north toward Hogwarts in The Half-Blood Prince and, more notably, is where the Death Eaters stop the train to look for Harry in Deathly Hallows Part 1.
The easiest way to see the moor for yourself is also, thankfully, the place you’ll recognize from the movies at the Rannoch Moor viewpoint. This is an easy drive from Fort William and is simply a roadside stop on the A82. In fact, it’s really just a gravel pull-off spot about two car lengths, so you may miss it. If you’re coming from Fort William and Glencoe, it will be on your left, but if you’re coming from Edinburgh or Glasgow, you’ll have to make a little U-turn to get across the road. You can pull over, snap some photos, and head to the next Harry Potter location on our tour.
Loch Etive & Glen Etive
As Seen In: The Order of the Phoenix, The Deathly Hallows Part 1
Loch Etive in Glencoe is a hidden gem with its deep blue waters surrounded by towering mountains and lush green landscapes, Loch Etive offers visitors a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
Loch Etive can be seen in The Order of the Phoenix as the Hogwarts Express passes through the highlands, while it is more memorable as a place where Ron, Harry, and Hermione camp while hunting Horcruxes. This is the location that Ron chooses to leave the group and where Hermione ties her scarf to a tree as she and Harry depart.
To be honest, getting to Loch Etive is a bit of a hike (by that, I mean drive), but if you’re in Scotland and serious Harry Potter nerds, it’s definitely worth it. You can park at the Glen Etive Estate Parking and walk the few feet to the shores of the Loch for photos. It’s about an hour and 15 minutes away from Fort Williams, but 45 of those are down the single lane road to the loch. If you’re looking for an extra magical stay, you can stay at the Gualachulain Bothy, a guest house just near the car park for the overlook.
Black Rock Gorge
As Seen In: The Goblet of Fire
Black Rock Gorge in Northern Scotland near Inverness is formed by the River Glass cutting through layers of ancient volcanic rock over millions of years. The result is an awe-inspiring natural wonder with towering basalt columns, deep chasms, and steep cliffs that create a mesmerizing visual spectacle.
The gorge can be seen during the Triwizard tournament’s first task in The Goblet of Fire when Harry is being chased by the Hungarian Horntail. While this location is another one that was only used for background and the cast didn’t actually visit, it’s a cool location and a must-visit for those who love the outdoors or find themselves near Inverness.
Possibly the furthest drive for a Harry Potter filming location on our list, but it’s still worth a drive if you’re trying to cross off all Harry Potter Scotland locations.
To see for yourself, you’ll need to find parking in Evanton. This car park near the Cornerstone Bakery is probably the best bet. From there, you’ll make your way up Chapel Road toward the Old Evanton Chapel and head off to the right, where there’s a trailhead into Evanton Community Wood and the Black Rock Gorge.
From there, you’ll follow a pretty unmarked path until you reach a tourist information board, along with a playground and an empty cabin. From here, follow the sign for Black Rock Gorge (it might be a wooden sign nailed to a tree, so keep your eyes open). Keep following the signs for the gorge, and eventually, after a kilometer or so, you’ll reach the gorge.
As Seen in: The Chamber of Secrets, The Prisoner of Azkaban, The Goblet of Fire, The Deathly Hallows Part 1
Not far from the Glenfinnan Viaduct is Loch Eilt, a beautiful lake surrounded by hills and dotted with tiny islands. If you only have time for a few Harry Potter locations in Scotland, definitely put Loch Eilt on your list right after Glenfinnan Viaduct- and luckily, they’re right next to each other.
Loch Eilt was used as a background for many of the films, including The Chamber of Secrets and The Goblet of Fire as the Black Lake near Hogwarts and in The Prisoner of Azkaban when Hagrid is skipping rocks after Buckbeak has been sentenced to death.
Most Harry Potter fans will instantly recognize the island of Eilean na Moine, found on the western end of the loch, as Dumbledore’s final resting place. However, you might notice the terrain surrounding the island looks different than in the film. And that’s because the island of Eilean na Moine was placed within Loch Arkaig (we learn about that below) using CGI because the director David Yates thought Loch Eilt was too small for these scenes.
To visit the loch, particularly to see Dumbledore’s grave, head west from Glenfinnan on the A830. There’s a very small pull-off right near the loch and island that’s big enough for about 2 or 3 cars. You can park and walk down a short dirt path to get photos of the island and admire the entire lake. If you reach Arienskill, you’ve gone too far.
You can also see Loch Eilt and Eilean na Moine from the Jacobite Steam Train. It’s on your right as you’re heading to Mallaig and on the left for the return journey to Fort Williams.
As Seen In: Most Films in the Series
Just north of Loch Eilt is Loch Morar. As one of the largest lakes in Scotland and the deepest freshwater lake in Britain, it’s no wonder they chose Loch Morar as one of the primary locations for the Black Lake at Hogwarts. However, it is hard to point out any specific scenes or defining features of the lake, as many of its appearances were used as close-up shots throughout the series.
If you’d like to visit the lake yourself, you can make the short drive from Mallaig to Morar and park at Our Lady of Perpetual Succour, which is directly on the lake, or if coming by train, the Morar train station is about a half mile walk to the loch. You can also see Loch Morar on the Jacobite Steam train.
As Seen In: The Half-Blood Prince, The Deathly Hallows Part 1, The Deathly Hallows Part 2
The final body of water on our list is Loch Arkaig, located north of Fort William and east of Loch Morar.
There are two notable uses of Loch Arkaig in the Harry Potter franchise. The first is as the backdrop for Dumbledore’s grave in The Half-Blood Prince and The Deathly Hallows Part 1. As I mentioned above in the section on Loch Eilt, Eilean na Moine, the island found in the western portion of Loch Eilt, was added to Loch Arkaig with CGI to give Dumbledore’s grave the look that director David Yates thought better suited the scene.
Loch Arkaig can also be seen in the Deathly Hallows Part 2 after Harry, Ron, and Hermione escape Gringotts on the back of the dragon. The trio jumps from the dragon into Loch Arkaig and changes clothes on its banks before heading to Hogwarts.
The Loch itself isn’t very far from Fort William, but to get to a viewing spot, you’ll have to drive about an hour and 15 minutes from For William, almost to the very opposite end of the lake. Here, there is a car park where you can park and walk down to the lake. Most of the drive is a bit of a treacherous one-lane road, so if you’re not fussed about getting the perfect shot, by all means, you can stop the car almost anywhere to admire the view before moving on to another Harry Potter spot.
Bonus: Alnwick Castle
As Seen in: Sorcerer’s Stone, The Chamber of Secrets
While this is a list of Harry Potter locations in Scotland, I’m including Alnwick Castle because it’s only a two-hour drive south of Edinburgh and, honestly, much closer to Scotland than many of the Harry Potter England locations.
Alnwick Castle is one of the UK’s largest inhabited castles. It featured heavily in the early Harry Potter movies and regularly hosts events in connection with the series.
Mainly, Alnwick Castle was used for outside shots like the student’s first quidditch lesson in The Sorcerer’s Stone when Neville breaks his arm and Harry catches the Remembrall after Malfoy stole it, when Hagrid drags the giant Christmas trees into the Castle, and when the trio head to Hagrid’s hut. The exterior is also used in various scenes in The Chamber of Secrets, most notably when Harry and Ron run into the Whomping Willow in Mr. Weasley’s car.
Getting to Alnwick is an easy 2-hour drive on the A1 from Edinburgh. Or, you can try a day tour from Edinburgh so you don’t have to deal with the motorways.
Parking is £3, and tickets inside are £18.50 for adults and £9.74 for kids.
Read Also: Harry Potter Locations in England
Best Way to Get to Harry Potter Filming Locations in Scotland
Are you a die-hard Harry Potter fan dreaming of exploring the enchanting filming locations in Scotland? Look no further! From the majestic Highlands to the bustling streets of Edinburgh, this article will guide you through the best ways to transport yourself into the magical world of Harry Potter.
Car: By far the easiest way to get to the Harry Potter location in Scotland is by car. A car will give you the freedom to get to these somewhat remote locations without worrying about public transport timetables or the possibility of long walks or using taxis/ubers when public transport services end.
Train: Because so many of our Scotland Harry Potter locations are out in nature, it can be a little tricky to get there by train or other public transport. If you do want to use the train, I definitely recommend the Jacobite Steam Train. You’ll be able to cross off quite a few Harry Potter locations while remaining comfortable.
Read Also: Harry Potter Scotland Itinerary
Tours to Harry Potter Locations in Scotland
Are you a die-hard Harry Potter fan who dreams of stepping into the enchanting world of wizards and magic? Look no further! Embark on an incredible journey through the iconic film locations of the beloved Harry Potter series. For help getting to each of the locations, check out these Harry Potter tours around Scotland.
- Original Harry Potter Locations Tour-Edinburgh
- Glenfinnan, Glencoe, and Fort William Full Day Tour from Edinburgh
- Tour to Alnwick Castle from Edinburgh
Where to Stay When Exploring Harry Potter Sites
If you’re a fan of the magical world of Harry Potter, then embarking on a journey to explore the various film locations and attractions is an absolute must. From the enchanting streets of Diagon Alley to the iconic Hogwarts Castle, there are numerous sites that will transport you into J.K. Rowling’s wizarding universe.
However, finding the perfect place to stay during your adventure can be just as important as visiting these magical spots. Whether you prefer a cozy inn steeped in history or a luxurious hotel with all the modern amenities, this article will guide you through some of the best accommodation options near Harry Potter sites, ensuring that your trip is as spellbinding as possible.
If you want to base yourself in Edinburgh you’ll have a bit of a drive out to the highlands but if you just want to see one or two Harry Potter locations while focusing on a city break, here are a few great ideas for places to stay in Edinburgh.
- The Library Suite- The Witchery by the Castle
- The Place Hotel
- ibis Edinburgh Centre Royal Mile- Hunter Square,
- Holiday Inn Express Edinburgh City Centre,
My first recommendation for a Harry Potter tour of Scotland is to stay in Fort Williams. Many of the filming locations around the country are within a few miles of the town, making it the perfect base camp for your wizarding adventures.
A few hotel recommendations include:
- Alexandra Hotel
- Glen Nevis View Homestay
- Westwind Pod Studio Apartment
- Clachaig Inn- Glencoe
- Gualachulain Bothy– Glen Etive
- West Highland Hotel- Mallaig
- The Prince’s House Hotel- Glenfinnan
- AC Hotel by Marriott Inverness
Harry Potter Scotland FAQs
Got questions about Harry Potter locations in Scotland? Let’s get into them!
Was Harry Potter FIlmed in Edinburgh?
Despite what many people may think, no scenes from the Harry Potter movies were filmed in Edinburgh. However, many scenes and outside footage were captured in Scotland, as you’ve seen from this post.
How Should I get to the Harry Potter Filming Locations in Scotland?
By far the easiest way to get around is by car. Some of these lochs aren’t on main roads or aren’t available near towns to make it convenient to walk to. If you can’t, or don’t want to, rent a car, a good alternative would be a tour that hits most of these spots, or taking the Jacobite Steam train that will allow you to experience some Harry Potter magic while seeing a few locations and not having to worry about driving or getting lost.
Scotland offers a magical and enchanting experience for Harry Potter fans. From the breathtaking landscapes of the Scottish Highlands to the historic sites in Edinburgh, there are numerous must-see locations that bring J.K. Rowling’s wizarding world to life. Whether you’re exploring Hogwarts at Glenfinnan Viaduct or strolling through Diagon Alley on Victoria Street, these iconic spots will transport you straight into the pages of the beloved series. So grab your wand and embark on a journey to discover the real-life magic of Scotland’s Harry Potter locations – an adventure that is sure to delight fans young and old alike.
Are you ready for The U.K.?
- Book Your Flights– To find the cheapest flights, flexibility is a must. Some great options are Google Flights for the calendars to find the cheapest options, Skiplagged, and Skyscanner. For more options, see our resources page. Heathrow and Gatwick (London) are the main entry points for long-haul flights but Manchester and Birmingham are options for those coming from Europe. Belfast in Northern Ireland is also an option.
- Find Transportation- If you’re driving, look into Rentalcars.com before arriving to find the best rates. Rail and bus services are frequent and easy. A BritRail pass can help save you money. For convenience, choose a train, for low-price choose buses.
- Book Your Accommodation– Look at Booking.com, Hotels.com, or Expedia for hotels in the U.K. You can also look at AirBnB or VRBO as we’ve had great luck finding inexpensive, large, and clean homes to rent.
- Book Tours and Experiences- Check Viator or Klook for some of the best tours and attractions for a great price for experiences like the Tower of London, Stonehenge, Edinburgh Castle, or Warner Bros Studio Tour.
- Stay Connected– If your phone’s data plan is going to be expensive, order an eSIM card before you go, or just head to an airport kiosk upon arrival or a store like Tesco or Boots.
- Buy Travel Insurance- I always recommend World Nomads for insurance. It’s better to protect yourself in case of mishaps. Learn more about World Nomads in this FAQ post.
- Pack Your Bags– Check out my packing lists, or my favorite travel gear to help you remember all of the essentials.
- Learn About the U.K.- Learn about the U.K. with guidebooks like Lonely Planet, or, novels and books about the country, or, shameless plug, search around my site for more info.
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