Popular Harry Potter Locations in Scotland

The Harry Potter franchise has a strong connection to Scotland with many sites said to have inspired places and characters in the novels as well as landmark sites featuring in the films.

After the release of the first novel, Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone, the books have become known around the world and, with the help of the films, have become one of the most popular book series in history!

If you’re a fan of Harry Potter check out some top wizardry locations throughout Scotland to visit.

1. Elephant House Cafe, Edinburgh

The Elephant House Cafe is said to have been where J.K Rowling first started writing Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone and has become known as the ‘Birthplace of Harry Potter’. From where she sat in the cafe, J.K Rowling overlooked the 17th century old George Heriot’s School which proved to be inspiration for Hogwarts. You can also visit nearby Greyfriars Kirkyard and visit the gravestone of Tom Riddle. 

2. Victoria St, Edinburgh

Victoria St is Edinburgh’s Diagon Alley. With its mixture of multicoloured shop fronts, the curved shape or the street and its unique two-story street it’s easy to understand why many people think that this street was the inspiration for Diagon Alley. If you’re looking for some Harry Potter inspired gifts you’ll find a few Potter inspired stores down here also.

Discount: While you’re in the area be sure to head up to Edinburgh Castle. From the promenade you’ll get a fantastic view over the city and also get a birds eye view of George Heriot’s School, Victoria St, Candlemaker Row and Greyfriars Kirk, all said to have inspired elements of Harry Potter. Get £1 entry when you show your Young Scot card at the ticket office. 

3. Glenfinnan Viaduct, West Highlands

Probably one of the most recognisable landmarks from the Harry Potter film series is the Glenfinnan Viaduct, the arched bridge that the Hogwarts Express, otherwise known as the Jacobite Steam Train, crosses. Glenfinnan attracts thousands of visitors a year to see this famous site. 

Discount: If you want the full Hogwarts experience why not make a weekend of it and take a ride on the train from Fort William to Mallaig. Book accommodation with Hostelling Scotland and get 15% off room rates with your Young Scot card. 

4. University of Glasgow, Glasgow

While Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone was actually filmed on location in North East England, you’d be forgiven for mistaking Glasgow University as Hogwarts. Near Kelvingrove Park, the gothic style of the main building of the university has an uncanny resemblance to Hogwarts, and the courtyard inside looks a lot like where Harry first learnt to fly his broomstick.

Discount: Wanting to visit the University of Glasgow? Check out Citylink buses to get you there? They offer a great range of bus routes to Glasgow. Save 20% on fares when you show your Young Scot card. 

There are so many spots around Scotland that either inspired the books or were filming locations in the blockbuster movies. If you want to discover even more why not check out HAGGiS Adventures Castles and Broomsticks one day tour. You can save 10% off the tour with your Young Scot card. 

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