The Hebridean Explorer Blog

Harry Potter in the Highlands...

Just west of Fort William in Lochaber is the stunning Glenfinnan viaduct, now even more famous for its association with the 'Harry Potter' movies. The viaduct - built in the late 1890’s - is a magnificent feat of Victorian engineering with its 21 concrete arches spanning over 1000ft in length and over 100ft at its highest point. It is over this viaduct that the Hogwarts Express travels in The Chamber of Secrets on the way to Hogwarts. Harry and Ron miss the train and fly to Hogwarts in a car that zooms around and through some of the viaduct's arches.

The Jacobite Steam Train crossing the Glenfinnan Viaduct

The viaduct is part of the West Highland Railway Line – regularly voted as one of the best train journeys in the world – and it enabled the steam trains to continue west towards Mallaig. Nowadays while there is a regular daily train service between Fort William and Mallaig, there is still a steam train running in the summer months called The Jacobite Steam Train.

There is also a second link with Harry Potter. Glenfinnan looks out across the beautiful Loch Shiel which is the setting for the fictional Hogwarts lake in the Harry Potter movies. Historically, Glenfinnan has always played and important part in Highland history as it was here in 1745 where 'Bonnie' Prince Charlie raised the Standard in his ill-fated attempt to return the Stuarts to the throne of Scotland and England. Today the Jacobite monument stands looking out across the waters of Loch Shiel. The photo below is taken from the same spot as the viaduct video clip – all you have to do is turnaround.

Glenfinnan Jacobite Monument and Glen Shiel, Scottish Highlands

The Glenfinnan viaduct is about a two hour drive from Inverness, heading south along the Great Glen - the ancient fault line that cuts through the Scottish Highlands - to Fort William and then west along the road to the Isles.

For a private tour from Inverness to the Glenfinnan viaduct - Highland Glens Tour inc. Glenfinnan Viaduct

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