Scottish Highlands and Hebridean Islands tours from Inverness
'Harry Potter' in the Highlands...
Just past Fort William in Lochaber is the stunning Glenfinnan viaduct, now even more famous for its association with the 'Harry Potter' movies. The viaduct - built at the end of the 1800’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 viewpoint where this photo is taken from is just a short hike up to a small hill behind the car park. 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.
Highlights of Jacobite steam train crossing Glenfinnan viaduct
There is also a second link with the Harry Potter movies! 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 one – all you have to do is turnaround.