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Visit Highland Harry Potter filming locations before watching new Fantastic Beasts film

harry potter filming location fantastic beasts

Those eagerly anticipating the premiere of Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore can transport themselves into the famous magical world by visiting stunning Harry Potter filming locations in the Highlands.

As any fan of the Harry Potter films will know, Hogwarts is located in Scottish Highlands, so it’s not surprising that many of the most memorable scenes were shot in the north of Scotland.

Here, we look at the top five filming locations you can visit before you book your tickets to see Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore which premieres on Friday April 8.

1. The Jacobite Steam Train as Hogwarts Express

Operating since 1984, The Jacobite Steam Train is now famous as the Hogwarts Express.

The scenic train route between Fort William and Mallaig or parts of the train were shown in all eight Harry Potter films, with the most iconic scene being the train going over the Glenfinnan Viaduct.

In Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, the train stops at the Glenfinnan Viaduct by dementors searching for Sirius Black.

The steam train, which will once again start operating from Monday April 4, will run seven days a week until Friday September 30. Click here for more information and to book tickets.

harry potter fantastic beasts filming locations
The Jacobite Steam Train is now famous as the Hogwarts Express. Photo by Sandy McCook.

2. Loch Shiel

Located near the Glenfinnan Viaduct and the Glenfinnan Monument, Loch Shiel is also featured in Harry Potter films.

The fourth longest loch in Scotland can be seen in the background during Hogwarts Express as well as when Harry flies over it when riding Buckbeak the hippogriff in the third film.

The freshwater loch is also the setting of the second (underwater) challenge in the Triwizard Tournament in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.

Click here if you wish to book a Loch Shiel cruise.

3. Fantastic Beasts fans can visit Steall Falls in Glen Nevis

Steall Falls, Scotland’s second highest waterfall, is located at Nevis Gorge within Glen Nevis, near Fort William.

Often featuring as a backdrop to flying scenes as well as some of the Quidditch matches, the waterfall was also seen during the Triwizard Tournament in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Fans of the film can remember it from the scene where Harry battles the Hungarian Horntail dragon.

The two-mile walk through the dramatic Nevis Gorge will certainly provide an amazing visual experience for Harry Potter fans.

A spectacular two-mile hike through Nevis Gorge to see Steall Falls. Check out Harry Potter filming locations before seeing Fantastic Beasts in your local cinema.

4. Rannoch Moor features in Harry Potter

Covering about 50 square miles, it’s a boggy moor area to the west of Loch Rannoch which is notable for its wildlife.

Rannoch Moor features in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 when the Death Eaters board the train in search of Harry.

In addition, the moor was also used as a filming location for the popular TV series Outlander.

harry potter fantastic beasts filming location
Whooper Swans fly over Rannoch Moor. Photo by Shutterstock.

5. Glen Coe

Glen Coe – popular hiking and tourist destination – was transformed into magical locations in few Harry Potter films and it also featured in Braveheart as well as Skyfall (James Bond).

In Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Glen Coe was the location of Hagrid’s hut. The filming team built the set including a surrounding pumpkin patch where Buckbeak wass chained up.

Glen Coe is about a 30-minute drive from Fort William – make sure you add it to your list of sights to see if you decide to plan a trip to see stunning Harry Potter filming locations in the north of Scotland.

Book references to Scottish locations

Not only were many famous Harry Potter scenes filmed in Scotland, author J. K. Rowling also name-checked a few Scottish towns in her famous books.

For instance, Hermione Granger mentioned that Hogsmeade – which is described as the only all-wizarding village in Britain – is close to Dufftown (in Moray).

And Severus Snape made a reference to another Scottish town in the second book – when Harry Potter and Ron Weasley stole Arthur Weasley’s car to get to Hogwarts.

He said in the book: “You were seen. Two Muggles in London, convinced they saw an old car flying over the Post Office tower… Mr Angus Fleet, of Peebles, reported to police… Six or seven Muggles in all.”

Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore premieres on Friday April 8.


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