I felt it right to write an updated post all about the other sites here in Scotland. Considering my job is a full time Harry Potter tour guide I wanted to share some of my knowledge.
Harry Potter Tourism is huge these days, which is great for me but what I love about it is that even 12 years after the series concluded the books and movies are still just as exciting.
I'm going to start off in Edinburgh, simply because this is where J.K. Rowling lived whilst writing the books, she moved to the city in 1993 and continued to write all 7 of the books here. She still resides in Edinburgh today, but I am fairly certain you won't catch her walking up the Royal Mile.
This beautiful picturesque street is famous for being the real inspiration for Diagon Alley. Wandering down this street you will begin to see why, it has a book shop, a joke shop and two Harry Potter Merchandise shops - Museum Context and Boy Wizard. Both of these shops sell all sorts of memorabilia, but my personal favourite is Museum Context. Firstly, it's an independent shop and it has 3 floors of HP goodness! Make sure to check out the top floor for the "Chamber of Secrets".
The buildings are brightly painted and the cobblestones all the way down are very charming. Victoria Street can be accessed from just off the Lawnmarket section of the Royal Mile and runs down to the Grassmarket.
Edinburgh Walking Tour
Of course I am gonna do some self promotion here. I run Harry Potter Walking tours throughout the Old Town. I prefer small tours, and I will accommodate private tours too.
We'll discover the streets and secret alleyways of the Old Town area of Edinburgh, starting at Edinburgh Castle, then we'll wander down to "Diagon Alley" and find the gravestones of "Voldemort" and some other well known names in the Harry Potter series. We'll also spot "Hogwarts School" of Wizardry and find where the writer found her inspiration from. Following onto the famous and not so famous cafes that J.K. Rowling began her writing career and finish in the realms of luxury with the Balmoral Hotel.
The tour will last approx 1 hour, depending on group size, photo opportunities and question time. I also offer extended version tours on request.
If you have read this far, you will receive 10% off - just mention "TravelKat Blog" ;)
Tours can be booked here
Harry Potter Themed Apartment
Edinburgh's Wizarding world can be extended to specially themed apartments. I have chosen this particular apartment not only because of the glowing reviews, but also because of the location. This apartment is located on Rose Street which is an excellent location in the heart of the city and you'll be staying in a traditional 1700's dwelling. The ultimate way to be immersed into the history!
The home is styled tastefully, but if you're a Potter head then you will appreciate the floating Harry Potter Shelves and potion bottles. The host is a clear fan of the series and throughout the apartment you will spot many other nods to the books.
To make a reservation click here
Instagram of the apartment click here
The Highlands of Scotland
Further afield from Edinburgh head North into the Scottish Highlands. The best way to explore this region is by car, but don't be put off this area can be reached by public transport as well as some commercial tours.
Glenfinnan Viaduct ,Lochaber.
Photo: West Coast Railway
Thousands of visitors arrive at the Glenfinnan Viaduct every year, and for good reason... the "Hogwarts Express" train operates on the railway line above. The viaduct has 21 towering arches and overlooks Loch Shiel and the famous Jacobite monument.
The second and third Harry Potter films (Chamber of Secrets and Prisoner of Azkaban) are filmed in this area, the landscape shots can be seen in the movies.
You can take a seat on the train and watch the scenery roll by, or you can park up and glimpse the train from afar. Plans are in place to expand a nearby car park to accommodate the amount of visitors.
For non Potter fans the steam train is actually called "The Jacobite". The train runs from Fort William to Mallaig, stopping on route at the village of Glenfinnan in the summer months.
The Jacobite runs from Monday 22nd April to Friday 25th October 2019 (Monday to Friday). Saturday and Sunday from Saturday 4th May to Sunday 29th September 2019.
The trip runs from Monday 13th May to Friday 13th September 2019 (Monday to Friday). Saturday and Sunday from Saturday 15th June to Sunday 1st September 2019.
First class tickets cost (adult) £59.95 return
Standard class tickets cost (adult) £37.75 return.
Book your train tickets early to avoid disappointment here
Photo: Daily Record
Loch Shiel , Lochaber.
Loch Shiel also features in the movies, such as close up shots of the "Hogwarts Lake" and in particular the scene where Buckbeak dips his toes into the water in the Prisoner of Azkaban is filmed there.
The Loch is also featured when Harry and Hermione are looking out across the lake from the Astronomy tower in the Half-Blood Prince.
Photo: Visit Scotland
This area of wilderness in the west coast of Scotland is featured in the Deathly Hallows Part 1 where the evil Death Eaters stop and board the train. Even if you are not a huge Potter fan this area is still a must see, the landscape is raw and beautiful.
Rannoch Moor can be accessed via the A9 road and is 150 miles north of Glasgow. If you board "The Jacobite" train you will journey past here.
Photo: Visit Scotland
This beautiful mountainous Glen was used to film multiple scenes. The backdrop was used for the scene where Hermione punched Malfoy in the face in the third movie. Glencoe was also used for the setting of Hagrid's Hut. This region is hauntingly beautiful and a must see for Harry Potter fans. During the summer months this area is set up for a drive through cinema showing Harry Potter movies. The backdrop of the Glen is spectacular and if you want to stay overnight then the Glencoe Cottages offer accommodation near the shores of Loch Leven and are on a self catering basis.
Photo: Daily Mail
Loch Eilt, Eilean Na Moine.
This location was used for one of the more sombre scenes in Harry Potter. It was used as the location for Dumbledore's final resting place. The same setting was also used for when Voldemort stole Dumbledore's powerful Elder wand in the Deathly Hallows Part 1.
Earlier on in the series it was also used in the scene where Hagrid is skimming stones over the loch after the trial of his beloved Buckbeak in the Prisoner of Azkaban.
I hope you've enjoyed this blog and I have intentions of following this one with an England edition guide.