Scotland has a plethora of diverse landscapes so it’s no wonder that one of the greatest book and movie series of all times – Harry Potter – was born here. If you’re a fan, here is a guide to places in Scotland that inspired Harry Potter. Whilst no movie scenes were filmed here, there are some key sights where outdoor footage was captured. Plus – some places which are said to have created JK Rowling’s world of witchcraft and wizardry. 

Glen Coe 

Glen Coe

Glen Coe is a beautiful village located in the Scottish Highlands. With its grassy lands and mountainous backdrop, Glen Coe set the scene for the grounds of Hagrid’s hut.  

Glenfinnan Viaduct 

Glenfinnan Viaduct

With its 21 arches standing at approximately 30 metres high, the Glenfinnan Viaduct is an iconic site in Scotland. It is most recognised for the scene in the Chamber of Secrets when Harry and Ron are following the Hogwarts Express train in a flying Ford Anglia. The viaduct is also featured in the Prisoner of Azkaban when the Hogwarts Express unexpectedly stops and dementors board the train. 

During your Scotland travels, you may want to jump onboard the Jacobite Steam Train. It travels between Fort William and Mallaig, including a picturesque journey across the viaduct itself.  


As the capital of Scotland, and where JK Rowling lives, there are several places in Edinburgh that are said to have inspired her on her writing journey.  

Fans say that Elephant House Cafe is the birthplace of Harry Potter. This is where JK Rowling spent countless hours conjuring up visions and ideas for her novels. The charming cafe overlooks Edinburgh Castle and Greyfriars Kirkyard, both of which are significant places of interest (and inspiration)!  

In fact, Greyfriars Kirkyard has grave sites for people like Thomas Riddell and William McGonagall – two last names which are associated with main characters in Harry Potter. 

Victoria Street, Edinburgh
Photo by Jacob Fryer on Unsplash

With its tall, narrow buildings and curved cobblestone street, Victoria Street has a certain charm to it that lends itself to the Harry Potter series. It is said to have inspired Diagon Alley, the magical wizarding street where whimsical shops are found. 

Glasgow University 

University of Glasgow

While not a filming location, one step on the grounds of Glasgow University and you feel like you’ve been transported to Hogwarts! The university features Gothic architecture, towers and courtyards – very reminiscent of the wizarding world’s school.  

Once you’ve travelled to Scotland, it’s easy to find inspiration for Harry Potter here. Check out a Globus or Cosmos tour to this incredible country. 

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