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1 Day Harry Potter Train & The Scenic Highlands
Enjoy a day of stunning scenery and fresh Highland air, as we travel all the way around Loch Ness and along the idyllic West Coast. Watch the Jacobite Steam Train cross the Glenfinnan Viaduct before you hop aboard and experience it for yourself.
We depart Inverness at 8.00am and begin our journey along the world-famous Loch Ness, stopping for photos above the ruins of Urquhart Castle. We continue west, and visit the Commando Memorial which overlooks the Nevis Range; home to the UK’s highest mountain, Ben Nevis. Next, it’s time to set your sights upon the Jacobite Steam Train as it crosses the iconic arches on the Glenfinnan Viaduct, before we take the stunning ‘Road to the Isles’ towards our lunch stop. Enjoy fresh seafood in the fishing town of Mallaig, before boarding the steam train to Fort William, where your driver will be waiting for you.
The beautiful scenery continues into the evening with a stop in Fort Augustus to see the Caledonian Canal and Loch Ness up close. Finally, we visit the Falls of Foyers and Dores Beach on the banks of Loch Ness, arriving back into Inverness around 8.00pm.
*Our tours are conducted in English, by our Guides, however foreign language translations are available in German, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, French and Mandarin, with more languages to follow.
This business has confirmed that they have implemented, and will ensure ongoing compliance with, the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) Safe Travels protocols. The Safe Travels stamp is based on self-assessment and it is not a certification.
From £139 per adult
- W Wednesday
May — October
- +44 (0131) 5583738
- View tour details
- [email protected]
- Inverness City Centre
- Small coach
- Medium Group (17-30)
- Film and TV
Covid 19 Facilities
- COVID-19 risk assessment completed
- COVID-19 staff training completed
- Deep cleaning between visitors
- Regularly sanitised high-traffic areas
- Staff required to regularly wash hands
- Temperature checks for visitors
From £139 Per Adult £92 Per Child £136 Concession
Prices are subject to change depending on season
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The Magical Highlands Tour (Includes Steam Train Journey)
Home > Tours > The Magical Highlands Tour (Includes Steam Train Journey)
On this day tour from Edinburgh, you can see the Scottish Highlands, Glen Coe, Harry Potter film locations and take a journey on the Jacobite Steam Train over the famous Glenfinnan Viaduct. For Harry Potter fans, train enthusiasts and those who love Scotland, it's the perfect day out
Experience Scotland's spectacular scenery and see for yourself the filming locations of your favourite Harry Potter movies. • Rannoch Moor & Glen Coe - Enjoy the views of the awe-inspiring wilderness and spot the film locations. • Fort William & Mallaig - Board the Jacobite steam train (aka the Hogwarts Express) and travel like Harry did. • Glenfinnan Viaduct - Featuring in many Harry Potter films, journey across the viaduct, an experience and photo opportunity not to be missed. • Pitlochry - Stretch your legs before heading back to Edinburgh at this beautiful Victorian resort town.
• Jacobite Steam Train journey, single journey. • Guided tour with a fully trained and experienced driver/guide • Breakast bars/ snacks will be available on board (we regret that we cannot cater to individual dietary requirements)
Exclusions • Gratuities • Lunch • Hotel drop off service - We will drop you off at The Elephant House, where JK Rowling wrote the Potter books over coffee and cake in this relaxed writer/reader-friendly cafe
Please come prepared. Dress comfortable and for all weathers. This excursion is a long day to cover the distance and make the train departure time. There are toilet facilities on board the coach and a small packed breakfast will be provide but we regret we cannot cater to individual dietary requirements Please ensure you carry water and snacks. There are facilities on board the train and lunch options in Mallaig. This tour is subject to a 50% cancellation fee if cancelled within 3 weeks of the departure date Children under the age of 6 are not permitted to travel. Our driver guide does not join you on the train or during your time in Mallaig, this is free time to enjoy as you wish. PLEASE NOTE THAT ON OCCASSION THIS TOUR MAY OPERATE IN REVERSE OF THE ITINERARY WHERE YOU WILL BOARD THE AFTERNOON TRAIN FROM MALLIAG TO FORT WILLIAM Train tickets are allocated at random and every effort will be made to ensure you sit with your group but this may not always be possible Train tickets are allocated by the train company and we cannot choose any preferred seating or side
Not suitable for children under 6 years of age This tour is subject to a 50% cancellation fee if cancelled within 3 weeks of the departure date The Guide does not travel with you on the train
The Elephant House, 21 George IV Bridge, Edinburgh EH1 1EN at 6am promptly
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Harry Potter Magical Highlands Tour
Experience the journey to hogwarts on the harry potter magical highlands tour. relive some of the most scenic movie moments on this magical steam train adventure.
Scotland has played a huge role in the life of Harry Potter. Even though you may not have noticed it before, the country has helped to bring the character and story to life in more ways than one.
This tour sells out early! We strongly suggest that you book this tour well in advance (4+ months).
Coach , Jacobite Steam Train
- Harry Potter
- Public tour
From € 189 per person
- Meeting point: The Elephant House
- Rannoch Moor / Death Eaters boarding the Hogwarts Express
- Glencoe Pass / Hagrids Hut
- Fort William
- Glenfinnan Viaduct
- Glenfinnan Station
- Eilean na Moine / Dumbledore's Grave
- Glenfinnan Visitor Centre
Amendments to dates and tour changes are subject to a £5.00 administration fee
There are toilet facilities on board the coach and the train.
It is solely your responsibility to ensure you board the return coach from Mallaig to Fort William at the correct time.
Our driver guide does not join you on the train or during your time in Mallaig, this is free time to enjoy as you wish.
Please arrive 15 minutes before departure at The Elephant House , 21 George IV Bridge, Edinburgh EH1 1EN
Saturdays at 6:00 am (Apr – Sep)
The Elephant House at approx 8 pm
Live guide speaks
Gray Line Scotland
30 days or more before start: full refund less 5% booking fees. After that time or no-show: no refund .
Minimum age: 6 years Suitable for children Children must be accompanied by an adult Not wheelchair accessible
Small packed breakfast Professional driver/guide Jacobite Steam Train journey – single travel, Coach to and from the train
Food & Drink Gratuities (optional) Hotel pick-up Hotel drop-off
Lunch options in Mallaig
Things to bring
Appropriate clothing Comfortable shoes Bottle of water Packed lunch
This tour is independently operated by Gray Line Scotland. It is not endorsed or supported in any way by Warner Bros Entertainment Inc., the Harry Potter publishers, J.K. Rowling or her representatives.
1. meeting point: the elephant house.
Check in 10 minutes before departure at The Elephant House , 21 George IV Bridge, Edinburgh EH1 1EN
2. Rannoch Moor / Death Eaters boarding the Hogwarts Express
Driving over Rannoch Moor , one of the largest areas of wilderness in Scotland. This area of rugged wilderness was where the Death Eaters boarded the train in the Deathly Hallows Part 1 film.
3. Glencoe Pass / Hagrids Hut
Through the haunting pass of Glencoe which was used as the backdrop for several scenes from the third film onwards. This famous and dramatic volcanic glen features in several background shots from Prisoner of Azkaban , including the scene where Hermione punches Malfoy .
4. Fort William
Arriving to Fort William in time to board the Jacobite Steam Train for the greatest railway journey in the world, a great way to see some famous movie spots from the window – just at Harry and his friends did.
5. Glenfinnan Viaduct
Of course the most exciting part of the journey for most will be crossing the magnificent 21-arched Victoria Glenfinnan Viaduct . One of the most iconic images in the films is that of the Jacobite Steam Train known to us all as the Hogwarts Express travelling over the Glenfinnan Viaduct on its way to the school. Remember to look out for flying cars.
Whilst enjoying views of Loch Shiel (first seen in the Chamber of Secrets ) from your window, yet another key location in the films and time permitting, the train may pause on the viaduct allowing you to take in the magnificent view and imagine yourself in the movie Prisoner of Azkaban as Harry encounters a Dementor for the very first time when the Hogwarts Express stops on the bridge.
6. Glenfinnan Station
The train will stop in Glenfinnan station with time to stretch your legs and, if you wish, visit the West Highland Railway Museum located in the restored station building.
This gorgeous Loch near Glenfinnan was one of two lochs used as a stand-in for Hogwarts Lake in the Harry Potter films. It’s the place where Buckbeak dips a toe in the water in Prisoner of Azkaban . Harry and Hermione also look out across it from the Astronomy Tower in a particularly beautiful shot at the end of Half-Blood Prince . Also, Loch Shiel was transformed for some of the Triwizard Tournament scenes in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire .
7. Eilean na Moine / Dumbledore's Grave
The tiny island of Eilean na Moine was the island that held Dumbledore’s Grave and is framed by surrounding Loch Eilt used multiple times including the backdrop for the bridge into Hogwarts and for the location of Hagrid’s Hut .
On arrival to the fishing village of Mallaig with its ferry route to the Isle of Skye (which you will get views of on a clear day) you will have a rest from location spotting, enjoy the village and some lunch . From here you will join your coach that will leave in time to stop at Glenfinnan Visitor Centre.
9. Glenfinnan Visitor Centre
We stop at Glenfinnan Visitor Centre where you can use this opportunity to take pictures of the Steam Train travelling back over the Viaduct (this option will involve some walking).
After the Glenfinnan stop you will return to Edinburgh via Loch Laggan .
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Anyone in love with steam train rides and romantic landscapes must go on an Edinburgh Harry Potter train ride while visiting the city. This incredible experience is not reserved only for Harry Potter fans, everyone can enjoy beautiful scenery through the Highlands while having the unique experience of a ride on a Jacobite steam train .
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Table of contents
What is harry potter’s connection to edinburgh, it is an excellent trip for harry potter fans, you will see amazing scenery, you get the opportunity to ride on a steam train, it is an easy day trip from edinburgh, it is filled with film locations, 1. glenfinnan, fort william, and glencoe day tour from edinburgh, 2. isle of skye and hogwarts express 4-day trip from edinburgh, 3. 2-day highlands tour with hogwarts express from edinburgh, the west highland line, the royal scotsman, the caledonian sleeper, more scotland posts, pin harry potter train.
Somehow it is hard to avoid connecting Harry Potter to Edinburgh, even though it is not filmed there and there is not exactly a mention of Edinburgh in the books or a movie series. The connection comes primarily through its author, J.K. Rowling. While Rowling was living in Edinburgh, she wrote many of the early Harry Potter books, and the city played a significant role in inspiring various aspects of the series.
She began writing the first Harry Potter book in Edinburgh, while she was sitting in her favourite cafe The Elephant House. The city’s charming and historic streets, as well as its atmospheric and sometimes mysterious ambience, influenced the setting of the wizarding world. Elements of Edinburgh’s architecture and culture can be seen in the fictional locations of Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade.
Greyfriars Kirkyard, a cemetery in Edinburgh, inspired the names of some Harry Potter characters, such as Tom Riddle and McGonagall. There’s also a headstone with the name Thomas Riddell, which might have influenced the creation of Voldemort’s real name. Also, Edinburgh Castle may have served as inspiration for aspects of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
J.K. Rowling has held book launches and events in Edinburgh, making it a significant location for Harry Potter fans. The city has hosted midnight book releases and other Harry Potter-related festivities. However, the really special place for all the fans is just outside of Edinburgh, and it is the Edinburgh Harry Potter train.
Why Should You Take the Edinburgh Harry Potter Train Ride?
The Edinburgh Harry Potter train ride, also known as the Jacobite Steam Train, is a popular and unique experience for Harry Potter fans. A trip via West Highland Railway is memorable because of the incredible scenery as well, so even if you are not a huge fan of the series you should consider this trip. Here are the main reasons to book this trip:
The train journey includes a ride over the Glenfinnan Viaduct, which was featured in the Harry Potter films as part of the Hogwarts Express route. It allows you to relive a piece of the magical world created by J.K. Rowling and ride over the spectacular Harry Potter Train Bridge.
The train ride takes you through the beautiful and dramatic landscapes of the Scottish Highlands. You’ll see mountains, lochs, forests, and other natural wonders, making it an excellent opportunity for photography and enjoying the splendour of Scotland’s wilderness.
The Jacobite Steam Train is a vintage steam locomotive that offers a nostalgic and historical travel experience. It’s a step back in time and a departure from modern train travel .
While the train ride is not located in Edinburgh itself, it’s relatively accessible as a day trip from the city. Many visitors to Edinburgh choose to make the journey to Fort William to embark on the Harry Potter train adventure.
Besides the viaduct, the train ride also passes by other locations that serve as film locations in various movies and TV shows, adding to the cinematic appeal.
What Tours Can You Take on the Harry Potter Train Scotland?
Read More: 7 Best Harry Potter Tours in Edinburgh
There are many Jacobite steam train tours from Edinburgh that you can take. You can organise an Edinburgh Harry Potter train ride yourself or go on a guided tour which you can pre-book in advance. Here we are bringing a couple of tours with great ratings that you can book today:
Explore the enchanting landscapes of Glencoe, Fort William, and the iconic Glenfinnan Viaduct with a guided day trip departing from Edinburgh. Immerse yourself in the magical world of Harry Potter as you visit the actual filming locations for numerous memorable scenes.
Marvel at the rugged beauty of Glencoe, where dramatic mountain ranges and valleys create a breathtaking backdrop. Discover the serene charm of Loch Shiel, a shimmering loch that played a role in the movies.
Embark on a captivating 4-day guided journey departing from Edinburgh, brimming with opportunities to immerse yourself in the wonders of nature, rich historical sites, and captivating tales. Hop aboard the iconic Jacobite Train for a scenic ride to Fort William, where you’ll be greeted by the charm of this Highland town.
Continue your adventure by venturing to the enchanting Isle of Skye, shrouded in mystical mists and showcasing breathtaking landscapes at every turn. Along the way, you’ll also have the chance to explore the Glen Coe Visitor Centre, delving into the intriguing history and natural beauty of this iconic Scottish glen.
Immerse yourself in the enchanting Scottish Highlands during a 2-day adventure, highlighted by a captivating journey aboard the Jacobite steam train, famously recognized as the Hogwarts Express from the Harry Potter series.
Delve into the intriguing history of the Jacobites, a significant chapter in Scottish history, as you traverse stunning landscapes and iconic locations. This immersive tour offers a unique blend of natural beauty, cinematic nostalgia, and historical insights, promising an unforgettable experience in the heart of the Highlands.
What Are the Alternatives to Hogwarts Express in Scotland?
Read More: The 7 Best Harry Potter Tours in Scotland To Add To Your Bucket List in 2023
If you’re looking for train journeys or experiences in Scotland that offer scenic beauty and a unique atmosphere similar to the Hogwarts Express but without the direct Harry Potter connection, there are several alternatives to consider:
This is the railway line that the Jacobite Steam Train operates on. You can take a regular ScotRail train on the West Highland Line between Fort William and Mallaig to enjoy the stunning Highland landscapes without the Harry Potter theme.
The Royal Scotsman is a luxury train that offers various itineraries throughout Scotland. While it may not have a Harry Potter theme, it provides a luxurious and scenic way to explore the Scottish countryside.
The Caledonian Sleeper is an overnight train service that connects Scotland with London. It offers a comfortable way to travel while enjoying the picturesque landscapes of Scotland. You can take this train to various destinations in Scotland, including Edinburgh, Inverness, and Aberdeen.
Harry Potter Train FAQs
Unfortunately, there is no Edinburgh Harry Potter Train. Also known as the Jacobite Steam Train, runs in the north of Scotland, several hours drive from Edinburgh. The train journey is famous for its scenic route through the Scottish Highlands, particularly the section that crosses the Glenfinnan Viaduct, which was featured in the Harry Potter films as the route taken by the Hogwarts Express.
Yes, you can go on the Harry Potter train experience in Scotland. The train that is often associated with the Harry Potter films is the Jacobite Steam Train, which runs between Fort William and Mallaig in the Scottish Highlands. Many Harry Potter fans and tourists take this train ride to experience a bit of the magic from the films.
The Jacobite Express is worth it if you’re a fan of breathtaking scenery, Harry Potter, or nostalgic steam train journeys. The train offers a picturesque ride through the Scottish Highlands, including the famous Glenfinnan Viaduct from the Harry Potter films.
The Harry Potter train ride on the Jacobite Express in Scotland is approximately a 2.5 to 3-hour journey each way. Keep in mind that the total duration of your trip may vary slightly based on the train’s schedule and any stops along the way.
The Edinburgh Harry Potter train operates in the Scottish Highlands, approximately 160 kilometres to the northwest of Edinburgh. You can travel to Fort William from Edinburgh by car, train, or bus, but it’s not a short journey, typically taking around 3 to 4 hours by train or car.
The Harry Potter train, also known as the Jacobite Steam Train, operates in the Scottish Highlands, not far from Fort William. The primary route of the Jacobite Steam Train runs from Fort William to Mallaig. This scenic train journey takes you through the beautiful landscapes of the Highlands, including the iconic Glenfinnan Viaduct, which was featured in the Harry Potter films as part of the route taken by the Hogwarts Express.
While some scenes from the Harry Potter film series were indeed filmed in various locations in Scotland, including Edinburgh, the majority of the filming took place at studios and on-location sites in England. However, Edinburgh did serve as an inspiration for J.K. Rowling, the author of the Harry Potter books, as she wrote much of the series while living in the city.
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2 Day Scotland Tour + Harry Potter Train
- No rating yet
- Free cancellation up to 14 days before
Discover the spectacular scenery of Scotland on board the iconic Jacobite Train , a historic steam locomotive that inspired the famous Hogwarts Express in the Harry Potter series.
We currently don’t have any scheduled dates for this activity.
Scotland Tour + Harry Potter Train
The platform is awash with suitcases. But this isn't just any train station. Owls, enchanted books that move of their own accord, wands and tunics are packed into the luggage. The journey to the world's most famous school of witchcraft and wizardry requires preparation. A young man with a strange scar on his forehead nervously awaits the Hogwarts Express , accompanied by a friendly red-headed family... What a shame that the magical world of Harry Potter only exists in our imaginations! Even so, muggles - non-magic folk - now have the opportunity to explore this fantastic universe on a bus tour of Scotland , including a trip on the very same steam train featured in the famous films. All aboard!
Day 1: Edinburgh – South Queensferry – Pitlochry – Inverness – Fort Augustus
Having met in the heart of Edinburgh on the Royal Mile at 9 am on the day of your tour, you'll begin your exciting tour of Scotland , setting off towards South Queensferry by bus. Admire the contrast of the picturesque village with the enormous cast-iron Forth Bridges. On the other side of the Firth of Forth , you'll continue on your way to the adorable Victorian village of Pitlochry . After enjoying the bucolic countryside surrounding the town, you'll make your way on to the capital of the Highlands : the historic city of Inverness .
You'll have free time in Inverness to have lunch (not included) and to explore the ancient monuments of the city, whose name means Mouth of the River Ness . In the afternoon, you'll continue your tour deep into the Scottish Highlands, where you'll visit the natural wonder of the Falls of Foyers . For the finishing touch on your day full of the beauty of urban and rural Scotland, you'll stop at Fort Augustus , a settlement on the south west bank of Loch Ness . Don't let the legend of the infamous monster stop you from sleeping, you'll need your rest for the magic of the next day of your tour...
Day 2: Fort Augustus – Jacobite Train between Fort William and Mallaig – Edinburgh
After spending the night in Fort Augustus, you'll be taken to the nearby Fort William . At the railway station located in this historic town, a very special steam train will be waiting for you. The Jacobite Train is best known for its starring role in the Harry Potter films as the iconic Hogwarts Express .
The Jacobite will take you on a journey on the West Highland Railway, offering you spectacular views over the countryside scenery enjoyed by Harry, Hermione and Ron on their journey to Hogwarts. Unfortunately, it is not permitted to cast spells while on board; however, you will travel alongside Loch Eil and cross over the Glenfinnan Viaduct , an instantly recognisable scene from the magical movies.
You'll stop at the railway terminus in Mallaig , a coastal village where you'll have free time to try some typical local dishes (not included). After eating, you'll hop back onto the return train to Fort William and relax while enjoying the views of the rolling Scottish hills that you may have missed on the way.
At Fort William, you'll board the bus for your journey back to Edinburgh, arriving back in the Scottish capital late at night.
This tour includes a one-night stay in Fort Augustus . When making your reservation, you can choose between the following accommodation options:
- Hotel : Richmond House Hotel or similar.
- Superior Bed & Breakfast : Beaufort House B&B or similar.
- Standard Bed & Breakfast : The Holt B&B or similar.
A one night stay in Fort Augustus includes breakfast. Otherwise, meals (lunches or dinners) are not included on this tour.
Each person may bring a single piece of luggage weighing no more than 33 lbs (15 kg) and no bigger than the following dimensions: 21.7 x 15.7 x 7.9 inches (55 x 40 x 20 cm). Both Edinburgh and Inverness train stations have luggage storage facilities.
- Please note that the prices indicated are per person staying in a double bedroom .
- Should reservations be made for under 12s, neither the price nor the category can be guaranteed.
The itinerary of this tour is subject to modification in the case of unfavourable weather conditions or other unforeseen events.
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Harry Potter Train Scotland: How to Ride the Hogwarts Express
By Chris P King
Sit back, relax and enjoy the journey as we show how you can ride Harry Potter’s Hogwarts Express.
Note: Seats for the 2023 season are available. The Harry Potter train is extremely popular and always sells out months in advance. Don’t delay, and book today!
Harry Potter’s Hogwarts Express Train
- Book Direct with Departures from Fort William and Mallaig
Hogwarts Express Train Tours
- Harry Potter’s Hogwarts Express: Movie Locations on Route
Train and Travel Tips: Get the Most Out of Your Trip
Hogwarts express at warner brothers: the making of harry potter, london.
The Hogwarts Express train makes its first appearance in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone and appears in all the films. The train forms a central part of the story, as it’s the transport to Hogwarts, where Harry meets many characters, including Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley.
To experience the enchanting Hogwarts Express experience, you must travel on the Harry Potter train in Scotland. Not only will you follow in the footsteps – or rather train tracks – of Harry and his friends on their journey to Hogwarts, but you’ll also see some of the movie’s locations.
You can eat chocolate frogs and sit in Harry Potter-style compartments on the train itself. And for all passengers – Harry Potter fans or not – it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to revel in a classic British steam train trip from yesteryear.
Ride the Harry Potter train in Scotland and cross the Glenfinnan Viaduct’ Bridge to Hogwarts’ featured in the flying Ford Anglia scene from Chamber of Secrets
Memorable scenes featuring the Hogwarts Express
One of the most famous scenes from the series – in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets – features Harry and Ron Weasley in the flying Ford Anglia crossing the bridge to Hogwarts. Realising the Hogwarts Express is right behind them, Ron swerves off the bridge, and Harry tumbles out of the car. Then Ron skilfully navigates the flying Ford Anglia between the bridge’s arches before saving Harry.
The bridge from that scene is one of Scotland’s most famous landmarks, the Glenfinnan Viaduct, which you will go over along the way. As well as the bridge to Hogwarts, you’ll also see the loch used to film Hogwarts Great Lake and the island containing Dumbledore’s Grave.
We think the best Hogwarts Express experience is riding the train in Scotland, but we would say that at the Train Hacker. However, you can see the steam locomotive and carriages used for filming outside London at Warner Bros: Making of Harry Potter .
For the experience of a lifetime, Potter fans, here’s how to relive your Hogwarts Express fantasy and ride Harry Potter’s train.
The Jacobite steam train crossing the Glenfinnan Viaduct is one of the highlights of the journey from Fort William to Mallaig
How to Ride Harry Potter’s Hogwarts Express Train in Scotland and What to Expect
In the Muggle world, the Hogwarts Express is a steam train known as The Jacobite, which runs on the West Highland Line between Fort William and Mallaig in Scotland.
Travelling along the West Highland Line is a breathtaking experience with stunning scenery of kaleidoscopic-coloured moors, snow-capped mountains, shimmering lochs and rugged coast. Taking the Jacobite steam train along the ‘iron road to the Isles’ conjures a unique kind of magic for Harry Potter fans and railway enthusiasts.
Described as the ‘greatest railway journey in the world’, the 84 miles (135 km) round trip outward bound leg starts at Fort William, near Britain’s highest mountain, Ben Nevis.
Around 40 minutes into the journey, the train slows down – and may pause – as it crosses the Glenfinnan Viaduct. While looking around for Harry and Ron in the flying Ford Anglia to appear, you cannot miss the spectacular view of Loch Shiel and the surrounding mountains to your left.
Loch Shiel (used for filming Hogwarts Lake in the Harry Potter movies) and scenic Highlands landscape – I took the photo while onboard the Jacobite steam train on the Glenfinnan Viaduct – image: © The Train Hacker Images/Chris P King
Loch Shiel from the Glenfinnan Viaduct is a picture-postcard classic view of the Scottish Highlands, and Potter fans may recognise it as it’s one of two locations used to film Hogwarts Great Lake. After the viaduct, the train doesn’t go onto Hogwarts, but you’ll be far from disappointed about the rest of the trip.
After the viaduct, the train stops at Glenfinnan before continuing its journey. Around 3 miles (5 km) after the station, on the right-hand side, you’ll start to run alongside Loch Eilt.
Towards the end of Loch Eilt – around 3 miles (5 km) later – you’ll be on the part of the track used for filming the Hogwarts Express in the movies and near the island of Dumbledore’s grave.
The Jacobite continues through stunning Highlands countryside and coastal scenery before finishing at the busy fishing port of Mallaig. Most passengers will spend a short time here before returning to Fort William; however, for others, Mallaig is the jumping-off point for ferries to the Isle of Skye.
The Jacobite steam train at Mallaig after the outbound leg from Fort William on the West Highland Line – image: © The Train Hacker Images/Chris P King
The Jacobite: Book Direct with Departures from Fort William and Mallaig
The Jacobite steam train between Fort William and Mallaig runs between early April and October 2023. Seats book up extremely fast; you must book early in the season.
The operators of The Jacobite – West Coast Railways – provided the Hogwarts Express steam engine and carriages for the Harry Potter films. Some of the first-class carriages in The Jacobite are similar to those in the movies.
The Jacobite: 2023 Dates and times
The Jacobite has a morning round-trip service from Fort William between 3 April and 27 October 2023, plus an afternoon service between 1 May and 29 September 2023. In both cases, trains run seven days a week.
Sunday to Friday service
Saturday service, the jacobite: 2023 fares.
The Jacobite offers First and Standard Class Day Return fares.
Why not combine your trip with a tour of the Scottish Highlands?
Harry Potter fans can choose seats in First Class enclosed compartments like those from the films, and snacks and drinks from the Harry Potter-style menu are available for all passengers – image: © The Train Hacker Images/Chris P King
Harry Potter-style compartments
Harry Potter-style first-class compartments are open to book on morning services only. These enclosed compartments seat six people with a door that leads to a corridor running the entire length of the carriage.
Food and drink
Jacobite high tea, an artisan cheese selection, chocolates and champagne are available when booking. And on the day, there are more snacks and beverages.
Potter fans can buy chocolate frogs, liquorice wands and brews, and other Harry Potter souvenirs.
Booking The Jacobite
We recommend you book your Jacobite trip as early as possible . It sells out months in advance, and there’s only limited availability the rest of the time.
If you cannot book a seat directly, Scottish Highlands tours from Edinburgh and Inverness include riding Harry Potter’s Hogwarts Express.
The Jacobite crossing the Glenfinnan Viaduct – photo was taken by Chris from the Train Hacker while travelling in autumn – image: © The Train Hacker / Chris P King
While riding the Harry Potter train is a magical experience, I highly recommend seeing more of the Scottish Highlands. For a Scotland adventure, combine a trip on the Hogwarts Express with a Highlands tour.
And with direct bookings on The Jacobite selling out so fast, it may be the only way to take the train. We recommend these 2023 Hogwarts Express train tours, which include the Scottish Highlands and Islands.
Tours of the Scottish Highlands, which include riding the Jacobite steam train, are popular. You must book as soon as possible, early in the season.
1-Day Harry Potter Train & Scottish Highlands from Edinburgh
A perfect way to experience the Jacobite steam train and the Scottish Highlands is on a round-trip day out from Edinburgh.
- Ride Harry Potter’s Hogwarts Express steam train
- See locations from the Harry Potter films and gorgeous Highlands scenery
- Enjoy lunch in the picturesque seaside town of Mallaig
- Explore Glencoe and see the vast wilderness of Rannoch Moor
- Get insider Highlands knowledge from your local guide
- Nearly sold out in 2023
Book 1-Day Hogwarts Express from Edinburgh Tour >>
1-Day Jacobite Steam Train & Highlands Tour from Inverness
Discover the beauty of the Scottish Highlands and ride the Jacobite steam train on a round-trip day out from Inverness.
- Jacobite – Harry Potter Hogwarts Express – steam train ride
- Enjoy lunch in the scenic fishing town of Mallaig
- Enjoy Highland classics like Loch Ness, Urquhart Castle, Ben Nevis and the Caledonian Canal
- Learn about the history and culture of the region from a Scottish guide
- The tour starts and finishes at Inverness
- September and October 2023 availability only
Book 1-Day Hogwarts Express from Inverness Tour >>
2-Day Hogwarts Express & Scottish Highlands from Edinburgh
Combine a ride on the Harry Potter train with a tour of famous Jacobite sights in Scotland. History buffs will love this tour with Jacobite history tales while soaking up the stunning Scottish Highlands scenery.
- Visit famous Jacobite history sights like the Culloden Moor battlefield and Fort August
- Savour the best Scottish seafood at the west coast port town of Mallaig
- Enjoy classic Scottish Highland scenery at Dunkeld, Glencoe and Rannoch Moor
- The tour starts and finishes at Edinburgh
- August, September and October 2023 availability only
Book 2-Day Hogwarts Express & Highlands Tour >>
3-Day Isle of Skye and Scottish Highlands Tour from Edinburgh, including Hogwarts Express Ride
Head into the Scottish Highlands, follow Harry Potter’s footsteps and jump on board the Hogwarts Express for an unforgettable journey.
- Ride the Jacobite steam train ride (the Hogwarts Express) from Fort William to Mallaig
- Scottish Highlands highlights: The Great Glen, Eileen Dolan Castle, Loch Ness, Glencoe and Rannoch Moor
- The Isle of Skye highlights: Quiraing, the Old Man of Storr, the cascading waterfalls of Kilt Rock and Dunvegan Castle
- Two nights of 3-star B&B accommodation with full Scottish breakfasts
- October 2023 availability only
Book 3-Day Hogwarts Express & Highlands Tour >>
4-Day Isle of Skye, Highlands and Hogwarts Express Tour
Combine a Hogwarts Express trip with the Isle of Skye and the best of the Scottish Highlands on this remarkable journey. From stunning landscapes to colourful seascapes, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience not to be missed.
- Ride the Hogwarts Express — Jacobite steam train — from Mallaig to Fort William
- Enjoy the spectacular Isle of Skye scenery and main attractions for two days
- Visit Loch Ness, Fort Augustus, Pitlochry and drive through the Cairngorms National Park
- Marvel at the beauty of Glencoe and the unspoilt wilderness of Rannoch Moor
- Discover the Isle of Skye and the Scottish Highland’s culture and history
- This tour starts and finishes in Edinburgh
- July, August, September and October 2023 availability only
4-Day Hogwarts Express, Isle of Skye & Highlands Tour >>
5-Day Isle of Skye, Highlands and the Jacobite Steam Train from Edinburgh
Tour the best of Scotland’s Highlands and Islands and ride the Harry Potter train. You’ll experience Scotland’s finest scenery, national parks, history and cities.
- Jacobite – Harry Potter Hogwarts Express – the steam train ride from Fort William to Mallaig
- Enjoy classic Scottish history sights, towns and cities, including Oban, Stirling, Eilean Dolan Castle, Inverness, Dunkeld and Culloden Battlefield
- Enjoy the stunning Isle of Skye and Highlands landscapes at Rannoch Moor, Glencoe, Loch Ness and the Cairngorms
- Visit the Highland Folk Museum and a local whisky distillery at Inverness
- Choice of accommodation options from bed and breakfast (guest house) or hotel
Book 5-Day Hogwarts Express, Isle of Skye & Highlands Tour >>
More Scottish Highlands and Hogwarts Express train tours
Get Your Guide has an excellent and comprehensive list of Scottish Highlands and Hogwarts Express train tours that include:
- Longer 6-day and above tours of the Scottish Highlands and Islands
- Day trips that include viewing the Harry Potter train and the iconic Glenfinnan viaduct
- New tours that combine the Scottish Highlands and Islands and Hogwarts Express trips
Hogwarts Express Train Tours >>
Edinburgh is one of Britain’s most magnificent cities with plenty of things to do for tourists. However, Scotland is full of beautiful places. Why not take a day trip from Edinburgh by train and visit cosmopolitan Glasgow, historical Stirling, seaside North Berwick, Pitlochry’s whisky distilleries, the ‘home of golf’ at St Andrews or Falkirk’s Kelpies?
Harry Potter Film Locations to Look Out for on Route
On the journey from Fort William to Mallaig, look out for these locations used in the Harry Potter movies.
The Glenfinnan Viaduct is featured as the Hogwarts Express bridge in the Chamber of Secrets, Prisoner of Azkaban and the Goblet of Fire. Crossing the Glenfinnan Viaduct is impossible to miss, and the Jacobite will go very slowly and may even pause.
Here are some clips featuring the Glenfinnan Viaduct from the Harry Potter films:
- Harry and Ron cross the bridge in their flying Ford Anglia in the Chamber of Secrets. See clip 47 secs .
- Dementor attacks the train while on the viaduct in the Prisoner of Azkaban. See clip 53 secs .
- Crossing the viaduct on the way to Hogwarts in the Goblet of Fire. See clip 1 min 17 secs .
Loch Shiel in real life compared to scenes from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire: Triwizard tournament (top) and crossing the bridge on the way to Hogwarts (bottom) – images: Lee Maynard (top left) & Dallas Epperson (bottom left)
Loch Shiel was one of two locations used as Hogwarts Great Lake (alternatively known as the Black Lake) and featured in the Prisoner of Azkaban, Goblet of Fire and the Half-Blood Prince. Look left while you’re on the Glenfinnan Viaduct for a marvellous view of Loch Shiel.
Here are some clips featuring Loch Shiel from the Harry Potter films:
- Buckbeat dips his toe in the water in the Prisoner of Azkaban. See clip 2 mins, 35 secs .
- The second task of the Triwizard Tournament in the Goblet of Fire. See clip 41 secs .
- Hogwarts and the loch are in the background when crossing the viaduct. See clip 1 min, 20 secs .
- Harry and Hermione are looking out across the loch in the final scene of Half-Blood Prince. See the beginning of the clip .
Loch Eilt and island – Eilean na Moine – in real life and scenes from Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (top right) and Goblet of Fire (bottom) – image: Colin Kinnear (top left)
Loch Elit featured in shots of Hogwarts grounds, and an island on the loch – called Eilean na Moine – was used as the place of Dumbledore’s grave. They appeared in the Chamber of Secrets, the Prisoner of Azkaban, the Goblet of Fire, and the Deathly Hallows Parts 1 and 2.
Around 3 miles (5 km) after the stop at Glenfinnan, Loch Eilt will come into sight on the right side of the train. About the same distance again, just before the loch goes out of view, you will see Eilean na Moine lying a short distance from the shore.
Here are some clips featuring Loch Eilt and the island Eilean na Moine from the Harry Potter films:
- Harry and Ron fly over the Hogwarts Express and Loch Eilt in the Chamber of Secrets. See clip 1 min 58 secs .
- Harry, Hermione, and Ron discover Buckbeat’s fate from Hagrid as he skims stones in the Prisoner of Azkaban. See the beginning of the clip . Eilean na Moine is the island to the right of Hagrid.
- Shot of the train and the loch before the Dementor attack on the bridge in Prisoner of Azkaban. See the opening 12 secs of the clip .
- Hogwarts Express travels alongside the loch, and Harry releases Hedwig, his pet Snowy Owl in the Goblet of Fire. See clip 1 min 11 secs . From the same clip at 1 min 17 secs , Eilean na Moine is the island to the left of the flying white owl.
- Voldemort stealing the elder wand from Dumbledore’s grave, filmed on Eilean na Moine (although the island is superimposed onto another loch, Loch Arkaig). End of Deathly Hallows – Part 1. See the beginning of the clip . It is repeated in the opening scene of Deathly Hallows – Part 2. See the beginning of the clip .
I’ve done this trip myself and highly recommend spending some time at both ends of the railway at Fort William and the Isle of Skye (via a ferry from Mallaig). Here are my tips to get the most out of your trip.
1. Photography on the train
Bring your best camera as you’ll get some beautiful photos. Harry Potter aside, Scotland’s west coast has breathtaking scenery yearly.
For the best scenic shots, shoot your photos from the doors at the end of the carriages. The Jacobite train has traditional British carriages with sliding windows, so you don’t have to worry about shooting through dirty windows or reflections.
Don’t be greedy and hog the space around the carriage doors. Be courteous to other passengers who may want to take photos from there, especially when going over the Glenfinnan Viaduct.
2. Glasgow and Edinburgh to Fort William by train
Train travel lovers and rail pass holders will love the Glasgow Queen Street to Fort William leg of the West Highland Line. Of course, if you’re starting your Jacobite steam train journey from Mallaig, you can travel in the other direction.
The journey between Glasgow Queen Street – on the West Highland Line – to Fort William takes around 3 hours and 45 minutes. The journey takes under 5 hours from Edinburgh, changing once at Glasgow Queen Street.
Save money on your train fare with discounted Railcards . Tickets for this journey are available from ScotRail .
Enjoy the UK’s outdoor capital with stunning views like this of Fort William, Loch Linnhe, Loch Eil and surrounding mountains from the Nevis Range – image: © The Train Hacker Images/Chris P King
3. Fort William travel
Fort William is known as ‘the outdoor capital of the UK’ and lives up to its reputation. We did some walking and sightseeing at Glencoe, Glenfinnan (and got up close to the viaduct) and took a gondola to the Nevis Range.
To get straight into the heart of the action, the Caledonian Sleeper train from London to Fort William will whisk you up to the Highlands. Known as ‘The Deerstalker’, it’s another of Britain’s most excellent rail trips. You’ll wake up to see the Scottish Highlands in all their glory during the spring and summer months.
We hired a car for a few days to explore the area from Fort William, and our hire company conveniently delivered our vehicle to Fort William Station.
Fort William has a diverse and high-quality range of hotels and guest houses near the station. Take your pick from these places to stay .
4. Isle of Skye travel
Rail travellers who are going to the Isle of Skye (and you really should as it’s incredible!), can pick up the train again at Kyle of Lochalsh. You can travel east along the beautiful Kyle Line to Inverness from there.
Skye Car Hire – who we used – can deliver a car to you at Armdale, the island ferry port connected to Mallaig. Spend some time on the Isle of Skye and drop the car off later at Kyle of Lochalsh.
We stayed at the wonderful and highly recommended Hallaig Guest House in a remote area near Trotternish Ridge. It’s an ideal place for exploring Isle of Skye’s favourites – the Quiraing and the Old Man of Storr. Our hospitable hosts cooked the most delicious seafood meals, including fresh salmon from the river next to the guest house.
We also spent two nights at the Marmalade Hotel in Portree , an ideal base for visiting other parts of the island while soaking up the evening atmosphere of the island’s capital.
The Platform 9 3⁄4 set at Warner Brothers: The Making of Harry Potter is the next best thing if you can’t ride Scotland’s Hogwarts Express. Situated just outside London, Platform 9 3/4 is more than a recreated film set.
At Warner Brothers: The Making of Harry Potter, you’ll see:
- ‘Orton Hall’ British steam no. 5972, the steam locomotive used throughout the Harry Potter series of films
- Interior carriage set for shots filmed inside the train (complete with unique windows that the visual effects artists used to create iconic train scenes from the movies, such as the escape of Harry’s first Chocolate Frog and the Dementor attack)
- Platform 9 3/4 luggage trolley as it disappears into the yellow brick wall
- A selection of prop luggage used in the films
Warner Brothers: The Making of Harry Potter has much more to experience, including the Great Hall, Forbidden Forest, Diagon Alley, props, costumes and a showcase of special and visual effects.
Tickets for Warner Brothers: The Making of Harry Potter
Like the Hogwarts Express in Scotland, The Making of Harry Potter sells fast. Buy tickets as soon as possible to avoid disappointment, especially during the summer school holidays.
Here are some Warner Brothers: The Making of Harry Potter tours from London, including transfers . Check the tour dates for each, as each shows different availability.
Hopefully, you’ve found this helpful in planning a 2023 trip to see Harry Potter’s Hogwarts Express train in Scotland. Enjoy the ride!
See our romance on the rails article and Cornwall by rail for more fabulous train journeys in Britain. Top off your trip and stay at one of Britain’s finest railway hotels .
If you’re planning a trip on the Continent, our scenic train journeys in Europe are just the ticket. And save money on European rail passes with Interrail and Eurail .
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Best Harry Potter Tours in Edinburgh! (2023)
Edinburgh was the home of J.K. Rowling when she wrote the majority of the Harry Potter books, making it one of the best locations to explore more into the world of Harry Potter.
The secret of Scotland being an amazing vacation spot is getting out! The country literally has so many amazing things to do. Of the main cities, Edinburgh is the top destination and best launching point to other “must sees” like the Scottish Highlands .
One of the many reasons that this city needs to be on your bucket list is because it is special place for Harry Potter fans!
Edinburgh was the home of J.K. Rowling when she drew inspiration and wrote most of the Harry Potter series. When walking around the city it really does feel like Harry Potter.
You can find and see spots that are directly out of the books/movies. In fact, you can visit the exact shop where J.K. Rowling wrote the series!
To help fans hit all the top spots there are a number of tours available, or you can read on to get find out what you can explore on your own.
1. Harry Potter Magical Guided Walking Tour
2. take a hogwarts express train ride from edinburgh (aka glenfinnan viaduct), 3. 3-day isle of skye & scottish highlands tour (hogwarts express train ride), the harry potter cafe edinburgh (elephant house), diagon alley edinburgh, greyfriars kirkyard (harry potter graveyard edinburgh), nicolsons cafe, the balmoral hotel, other famous harry potter sites in edinburgh:, stay in harry potter edinburgh accommodation, best edinburgh harry potter tours.
The Edinburgh Old Town is a magical place. This is the neighborhood that just screams Harry Potter! I think the best way to explore it is with a guided Harry Potter walking tour. On this tour you will discover where Harry was born.
- Tour Length: 2 hours
- Free Cancellation: Yes!
- What’s Included: Walking tour, Guide
- Where to Book: Getyourguide.com
This Harry Potter themed excursion leaves from Edinburgh and takes you into the magical Scottish Highlands (and back).
You will ride on the famous Jacobite Steam Train (aka the Hogwarts Express) and travel along the Glenfinnan Viaduct. The Glenfinnan Viaduct is the exact bridge you see in the movies!
Aside from spotting the site of the movie scenes you will also see the stunning screnery of the Glencoe area. Seriously, you don’t have to be a Harry Potter fan to enjoy this one.
Read more about Scottish Highlands and Hogwarts Express Tour here. The Harry Potter train in Scotland is a top attraction for a reason!
- Tour Length: 13 hours 30 minutes (approx.)
- What’s Included: Air-conditioned vehicle, WiFi on board, Jacobite Steam Train one-way ticket (Mallaig to Fort William)
- Where to Book: Viator.com
This is most expensive tour on the list, but also the best option if you want to visit the Scottish Highlands while in Edinburgh.
It includes 3 days and 2 nights in the Isle of Sky and it leaves directly from Edinburgh! As well as a ride on the famous Hogwarts Express train!
The Isle of Sky has once in a lifetime beauty! Check out this page for more details.
What you will see:
- See the legendary scenery including the Old Man of Storr
- Cuillin Mountains
- Ride the famous Hogwarts Express train (as seen in the Harry Potter films) from Mallaig to Fort William
- Your choice of B&B or hotel accommodation
Read more about 3-Day Isle of Skye and Scottish Highlands Tour Including “Hogwarts Express” Ride.
- Tour Length: 3 days
- What’s Included: 2 nights accommodation in 3-star B&B or hotels, Steam Train from Mallaig to Fort William, Breakfast daily
Best Harry Potter Sites in Edinburgh for a Self-Guided Tour
Don’t want to pay for a tour? No problem, simply get a map and hit the highlights described below. They are some of the popular Harry Potter sites around Edinburgh.
The Elephant House is a super popular tea and coffee house in Edinburgh. That is probably why J.K. Rowling wrote part of the Harry Potter books here. While this wasn’t the exact cafe where the idea of Harry Potter came to fruition, it was definitely a site where the series was developed.
Address : 21 George IV Bridge, Edinburgh, EH1 1EN
Is Diagon Alley really in Edinburgh? Technically no. It is a made-up place, but, Victoria Street in Edinburgh looks very Diagon Alley-esque. It is easy to see why everyone sites it as the inspiration for the movies. What do you think?
While you’re on Victoria Street, make sure to make a stop at the Harry Potter themed shops! My favorite are The Great Wizard (formerly The Boy Wizard) and Museum Context. These shops are a lot of fun to explore and something that is harder to find in other cities.
The Witchery Pub (Tolbooth Kirk in the background)
Looking for a Harry Potter graveyard in Edinburgh?
As fans know parts of the Harry Potter books are spooky. Greyfriars Kirkyard (in Scotland they use the word Kirkyard to mean churchyard or graveyard. This graveyard is fairly close to some of the cafes that J.K.Rowling hung out in.
There are a number of characters that pay homage to headstones here. One of the most famous is for Thomas Riddell. Obviously this is something the hard core fans will want to see.
FYI – If you are interested in Ghost Tours there are a number of them that will take you to the Greyfriars Kirkyard graveyard after dark .
Check them out here.
General Information: Greyfriars Kirkyard Harry Potter Edinburgh
- Address: 26A Candlemaker Row, Edinburgh EH1 2QQ
- Hours: Monday through Friday – 10:30 am to 4:30 pm | Saturday 12 pm to 4 pm | Sunday – Closed
- Website: https://greyfriarskirk.com/
Nicolson’s Cafe is often cited as the Best Harry Potter Cafe in Edinburgh! J.K. Rowling talks about how she wrote an entire chapter here without having to edit a word later on.
She said that she liked Nicolson’s because there were a lot of tables so she didn’t feel guilty sitting and writing for long periods of time. It helped her feel comfortable because her brother-in-law was one of the owners.
She said she used to joke with them and say, “well you know when it gets published I’ll try and get you loads of publicity.” At the time no-one could have ever dreamed that would prove to be so true!
Read more about Nicolson’s Cafe here.
Balmoral Hotel – This 5-star hotel is where J.K. Rowling wrapped up the writing of the entire series. You can tell that she was moving up in the world by then because she was staying at a hotel as nice as this!
Specifically, she finished writing Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows in room 552 on January 11, 2007. That series was such a big part of my life that it’s crazy to think of the place it was all completed.
Would you want to stay there? I’m sure the hotel gets swamped with requests to stay in the same room. Check it out here.
Address: 1 Princes St, Edinburgh EH2 2EQ
- National Museum of Scotland – This is another location that is often said to have inspired various parts of the series. Supposedly Rowling drew inspiration from The Lewis Chessmen, The Queen Mary Harp.
- Address : Chambers Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1JF
West Bow – Magical Harry Potter-Inspired Flat near Edinburgh Castle – Are you a super nerd? If so you may want to stay in this Harry Potter inspired apartment near Edinburgh Castle!
It is basically located in the city center; the location couldn’t get any better than this! You are right in the heart of the city.
Find your own accommodation in Edinburgh to easily access the Edinburgh Harry Potter sites by searching below!
READ MORE ON SCOTLAND:
Traveling to Scotland was a dream come true. These are my most popular blog posts on Scotland to help you plan your trip.
- 21 Romantic Things to do in Edinburgh for Couples – I’m sure your not surprised that I had trouble cutting down this list because there are SO many romantic things to do in Edinburgh.
5 Edinburgh Ghost Tours (That Are Truly Worth it)
- Best Harry Potter Tours in Edinburgh! – These tours will not disappoint Harry Potter fans
- Best Castles in Scotland : You can’t go to Scotland and not add these epic castles to your itinerary.
- Top 10 Things to do in Scotland: My absolute favorite places included in this guide!
- 6 Best Edinburgh Food Tours
- Where to see the Heather in Scotland: Must see guide!
- Best Things to do in Stirling Scotland : One of my favorite small towns just outside of Edinburgh.
- 10 Unique Things to Know About Scotland’s Culture
- Edinburgh or Glasgow, Which City in Scotland Should You Visit? – A guide to the two main Scottish Cities – Edinburgh or Glasgow?
- 28 Mind Blowing Photos Of Scotland
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7 of the Best Harry Potter Tours in Edinburgh 2023
Have you been wondering about the best harry potter tours in edinburgh i’ve got you covered.
I’ve been to Edinburgh a few times, and I always enjoy taking Harry Potter Tours when I’m there. The tours are an incredible way to experience the city, as you get to explore many of the locations that were used in the films.
Plus, you get an insider’s look at the city from a knowledgeable guide who can tell you all about its fascinating history and culture. Not only do you get to see some of the most iconic Harry Potter film locations, but you also get learn more about Scotland from locals who have lived in Edinburgh for years.
This means that you’re not just getting a tour from people who are reading off a script, but rather people who truly understand and appreciate the city. If you’re planning on travelling to Edinburgh and want to make sure that your experience is as authentic as possible, then I highly recommend taking one of these Harry Potter Tours. You won’t regret it!
Table of Contents
My Top 3 Picks: Best Harry Potter Tours in Edinburgh
Harry Potter And Horrible Histories
- Local guide
- Max of 8 people
The Potter Trail Private Tour
- Private tour
- Great for kids
JK Rowling’s Edinburgh & The Writing Of Harry Potter
- 4 hours 15 mins
- 5km of walking
7 of the Best Harry Potter Tours in Edinburgh
1. harry potter and horrible histories walking tour in edinburgh.
⭐️ RATING: 5/5 | ⏳ LENGTH: 2 hours | ✅ Book it!
Embark on a one-of-a-kind Harry Potter walking tour that seamlessly blends the enchanting world of wizardry, dark histories, and the delightful flavours of Scottish cuisine, all infused with a dose of laughter.
On this unique walking tour, you will engage in a Harry Potter experience Edinburgh as you uncover the layers of J.K. Rowling’s life, traverse the shadows of Edinburgh’s dark history marked by executions and grave robbers, relive the heartwarming legend of the city’s cherished dog, and tread the paths once wandered by the iconic Charles Darwin himself.
After witnessing the history and wizardry, you will experience an array of authentic Scottish delicacies, from the traditional allure of haggis to the surprisingly delectable deep-fried Mars bar.
“I would say JUST DO IT! ✔️ This was our first tour in Edinburgh and it was well worth it. Rob is a friendly guy and an excellent guide with good knowledge of the city and its history. He walked us around, giving a tour of some of the city’s prime spots and told us how they inspired events in the Harry Potter universe. This tour covered both the gruesome history of Edinburgh as well as its connection to Harry Potter, thus making it a best of both worlds. “ – Arjun_T
This walking tour is perfect for a devoted Potter fan, history enthusiast, or someone captivated by the essence of Edinburgh; this journey will undoubtedly fulfil your expectations.
The first spot would be in Victoria Street, where you would learn how and what inspired J.K Rowling to write Harry Potter. Before heading to Edinburgh Castle, you will first witness the area where public executions occurred.
Throughout the tour, you will discover various inspirations for J.K. Rowling, like Heriot’s School and gravestones. Lastly, you’ll visit The Elephant House, which is a cafe that Rowling used to wrote in before.
This has been a big part of her journey in writing. You will end the tour at Royal Mile to try their unusual Deep-fried Mars bars.
- Start Time (and location): Start at your chosen time at the National Library of Scotland
- Duration: 2 hours
- Includes: Professional guide, all fees and taxes
🤩 Check Prices and Availability!
2. The Potter Trail Private Tour
⭐️ RATING: 5/5 | ⏳ LENGTH: 1 hour and 30 minutes | ✅ Book it!
Edinburgh is famously known as the birthplace of the beloved boy wizard, Harry Potter. Avoid the rushed pacing of extensive group tours in this private walking tour that promises a truly immersive and customisable experience.
Wander the maze-like streets of Edinburgh with a seasoned guide who’ll navigate the city, ensuring you get all the captivating details.
You can customise the private tour experience to align with your interests, allowing you to delve deeper into your preferred aspects. Engage in conversations with your guides who are entertaining and well-versed in all things Potter, ready to satisfy your curiosity.
During this Harry Potter magical guided walking tour, you can ask your guide queries to enhance your Potter knowledge. You can bring your own wand for a more engaged experience.
“The guide was very knowledgeable and fun. We learned a lot. Fantastic experience. Highly recommend this tour.” – Scott_W
You will meet your guide at Greyfriars Bobby’s grave, and here, your tour guide can be easily distinguished by their black cloak.
You will start the potter trail Edinburgh tour at Greyfriars Kirkyard, reliving the moments when JK Rowling spent a lot of time writing the books and getting inspiration. Here, you’ll see several names on gravestones that inspired characters in the series, including William McGonagall and Thomas Riddell.
Afterwards, you will then visit Potterrow, which is an area of the city where Rowling wrote most of the first part of the book. This tour also includes a visit to the National Museum of Scotland.
Before finishing the private tour, you will drop by The Elephant House, the “birthplace” of Harry Potter. You will end the trip at Victoria Street, enjoying one of Edinburgh’s most iconic areas.
- Start Time (and location): Start at your chosen time at Greyfriars Bobby’s grave
- Duration: 1 hour and 30 minutes
- Includes: Professional guide
3. JK Rowling’s Edinburgh & The Writing Of Harry Potter 4¼Hrs
⭐️ RATING: 5/5 | ⏳ LENGTH: 4 hours and 15 minutes | ✅ Book it!
Embark on an enchanting journey through Edinburgh Harry Potter locations that delves deep into the origins of the iconic series penned by J.K. Rowling.
Immerse yourself in the locales that shaped Dementors and the Ministry of Magic as your passionate guide, a true Harry Potter enthusiast, unveils the connections between Edinburgh and the wizarding world.
Not only is this tour one of the best Harry Potter tours in Scotland, but this tour also celebrates Scottish literature. Engage yourself in the legacy of Scottish writers at Makars’ Court, a homage to literary brilliance.
“Very beautiful and detailed tour. I joined the tour with my friend. We felt we were visiting all the city. We enjoyed our guide, discovering more about Harry Potter and Rowling’s life. The guide had funny hats and accessories and we took wonderful pictures. We were afraid the tour was too long but we finished it before we realized. I recommend it. :-)” – Valeria_T
You will begin at the iconic Balmoral, where Harry’s journey ended. You will also visit EH8 9DH to witness the maternity ward where his fictional life began.
Along the way, you will be able to see the various places that Rowling took inspiration from for her series. These include Greyfriars Kirkyard and George Heriot’s School. You can also treat yourself to the most Scottish ice cream in the world at Over Langshaw Farmhouse Ice Cream.
You get to continue the Harry Potter walking tour Edinburgh at a wizarding street to have a moment to check out a bunch of Harry Potter shops for your souvenirs. To end the tour, you will visit the iconic place of Rowling’s Handprints.
- Start Time (and location): Start at your chosen time and meeting point
- Duration: 4 hours and 15 minutes
- Includes: Professional guide, All day parking, Escort back to Edinburghs ‘Harry Potter Street’ at the end of the tour
4. Original Harry Potter Locations Tour – Edinburgh
This tour is perfect if you’re looking for family-friendly Harry Potter tours in Scotland. Guided by your Potter-passionate expert, traverse the enchanting winding streets and secretive alleys that ignited J.K. Rowling’s imagination, giving birth to the beloved wizarding realm.
This family-friendly adventure unveils the Harry Potter filming locations Edinburgh as showcased in the movies.
As you travel through the historic city, you’ll uncover the places that sparked the creation of the magical novels. This immersive experience goes beyond the wizarding world as you visit famous Edinburgh landmarks, from the majestic Edinburgh Castle to the bustling thoroughfare of Princes Street.
This 2-hour Harry Potter tour promises an unforgettable encounter with the wizarding universe and Edinburgh’s captivating charm.
“Great experience and tour with Alex who knew so many things about HP and the inspiration sources of JK R in the city of Edinburgh. A true experience for true Potterheads!” – Martijn_P
Your magical journey begins at the gates of William Chambers Monument, located in the heart of Edinburgh’s Old Town. Here, you’ll meet your guide and step into the magical wizarding realm of Harry Potter.
As you wander through the historic streets of Edinburgh, you will learn fascinating Harry Potter trivia, insider tales, and insights into what fueled J.K. Rowling’s creation of one of literature’s most beloved franchises.
At Castlehill, you’ll encounter the resting place of ‘He Who Shall Not Be Named’ and witness the original facade of Diagon Alley. Your route will lead you down the Royal Mile through the bustling Princes Street, where you can shop. Your tour ends on the iconic Edinburgh’s Royal Mile, near the Castle.
- Start Time (and location): Start at your chosen time at William Chambers Monument
5. JK Rowling’ S Harry Potter Walking Tour In Edinburgh
⭐️ RATING: 5/5 | ⏳ LENGTH: 2 hours | ✅ Book it!
If you’re okay with large group tours, this tour is perfect for you. Step into the enchanting world of ‘Harry Potter’ through this captivating walking tour in Edinburgh. Walk through the areas that inspired the creation of places like Diagon Alley.
Delve into the history of J.K. Rowling’s journey and witness how Edinburgh’s charm is intricately intertwined with her storytelling.
As you stroll through the city, you’ll gain insights into ‘Harry Potter’ and savour the city’s sights up close, adding a dynamic twist to your vacation.
This ‘Harry Potter’ walking tour offers a seamless experience, with a convenient meeting point that’s easy to find. Join this adventure to unearth the inspiration behind the wizarding world, connect with Edinburgh’s magic, and add an active and immersive experience to your vacation.
“This tour was an amazing experience. The tour guide, Australian David, was highly entertaining and informative. I also really liked all the trivia questions he gave us. It was so cool to see and walk around beautiful Edinburgh and I definitely recommend this tour for anyone who has an interest in the Harry Potter series.” – Myra_S
You can pass by the Royal Mile at the beginning of your tour. This is where you’ll meet your guide for the day. Afterwards, you will head to the day’s first destination — Edinburgh Old Town, where you will visit the various Edinburgh Harry Potter locations.
At Edinburgh Old Town, you’ll discover the sites that J.K. Rowling took as inspiration for Hogwarts and the characters in the iconic series. See where Diagon Alley came to life and witness Lord Voldemort’s burial place.
This is also where the cafes and hotel J.K Rowling wrote her famous book Harry Potter, and the place where the Quidditch inspiration came from.
All these you can enjoy and digest during the walking tour. You’ll also gain a lot of information about Harry Potter and J.K. Rowling from your guide. So, if you’re a Potterhead, this tour is a must-try!
- Start Time (and location): The tours starts at your chosen time at 130 High Street (The Royal Mile)
- Includes: Professional guide
6. Edinburgh’s Amazing Harry Potter Walking Tour Kids Free
⭐️ RATING: 4.5/5 | ⏳ LENGTH: 2 hours | ✅ Book it!
If you’re visiting Edinburgh with kids, this child-friendly tour is best for you. On this Harry Potter walking tour, you will see some of the significant places in Edinburgh connected with the origin of Harry Potter.
Besides visiting iconic Harry Potter places like Victoria Street, Greyfriars Kirkyard, and The Elephant Cafe, you will also be immersed in Edinburgh’s factual history.
You can do the tour in small groups of 15 or fewer to embark on this adventure. Walk through Edinburgh’s centre like a local, guided by experts who bring the stories and history you might otherwise miss if you tour without a guide.
“What a great tour this was,thank you. We loved the small group, really knowledgable,friendly guide who once auditioned to be in the films themselves. Couldn’t recommend this tour enough.” – Jennifer_J
This tour starts at the historical Waverley Train Station to cater to the kid’s enjoyment. The reason is that trains are an iconic part of the start of a wizard’s journey. So, like them, you can start your journey by passing by the famous Train Station.
Continuing your journey, you will visit Edinburgh Old Town, where most of the iconic Harry Potter-related spots are. This includes Edinburgh University Old College, Edinburgh Castle and Greyfriars Kirkyard.
During the tour, you will also see Victoria Street, which inspired the iconic Diagon Alley, and see and witness the various cafes and areas around the city where Rowling herself wrote about the magical wizarding world of Harry Potter.
This 2-hour fun and informative Harry Potter walking tour should be experienced by Potter fans, especially the young ones with their families.
- Start Time (and location): Start at your preferred time at Tron Kirk (The Royal Mile Market)
7. Harry Potter Guided Tour In Edinburgh – In French
⭐️ RATING: 5/5 | ⏳ LENGTH: 2 hours | ✅ Book it!
Head on a unique tour led by dedicated Harry Potter enthusiasts and city connoisseurs eager to share their profound passion. This exceptional experience is conducted entirely in French, a rarity in Edinburgh and perfect for French speakers.
This tour promises an extraordinary journey that seamlessly merges the magic of the wizarding world with the charm and history of Edinburgh.
You will visit Edinbugh’s old town to discover the places that became an inspiration and a place for J.K. Rowling to write the fantastic series.
“A fantastic experience with our guide Marie, who portrayed herself as a proud Hufflepuff student. She led us through every corner of the city for 2 hours, immersing us in the ambiance of J.K. Rowling and Harry Potter. Beyond her in-depth knowledge of the wizarding world, Marie also shared her favorite spots and insights about the city’s history. In short, both our children and we were captivated!” – Celine_T
On this Harry Potter walking tour Edinburgh, you’ll explore the roots of the enchanted world of Harry Potter at the Old Town of Edinburgh. You will have the opportunity to unravel the locations that ignited J.K. Rowling’s imagination, setting the stage for creating her iconic characters and settings.
Follow the path paved by Rowling herself as this guided tour leads you through the charming streets of Edinburgh.
This immersive experience offers more than a mere tour; it’s an opportunity to experience and immerse into the enchantment that birthed Harry Potter.
- Start Time (and location): Start at your chosen time at Scotland Edinburgh iCentre Royal Mile
FAQs About harry potter tour edinburgh
What is the best harry potter tour in edinburgh.
The best Harry Potter tour in Edinburgh is undoubtedly the Warner Brother’s Studio Tour, which takes you behind the scenes of the movies!
On this tour, you’ll get to walk through the Great Hall, explore Diagon Alley and visit Hagrid’s Hut.
You’ll learn about the special effects used to create the magical effects and see actual props and costumes from the films. It’s a great chance to experience a bit of Hogwarts magic!
is harry potter filmed in edinburgh
Harry Potter was indeed filmed in Edinburgh. In fact, many of the movie’s iconic locations were shot there, such as Diagon Alley and The Hogwarts Express.
From the cobbled streets of the Royal Mile to the underground chambers of Edinburgh Castle, these places were used to create a magical cinematic experience. In addition, other nearby towns and cities such as Glasgow and Dundee were also used for filming.
what part of harry potter was filmed in edinburgh
Edinburgh was used as a filming location for several scenes throughout the Harry Potter movie franchise.
The most iconic being the Hogwarts Express departing from Edinburgh’s King’s Cross Station in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.
Other memorable moments filmed in Edinburgh include exteriors of Hagrid’s hut, Hagrid and Harry flying over Arthur’s Seat, and Hagrid walking through the city with Norbert the dragon.
Final Thoughts: edinburgh harry potter tours
Travellers who love Harry Potter can experience the magic of J.K Rowling’s creation and journey through the actual locations featured in her novels with a Harry Potter tour in Edinburgh.
Not only will they get to explore the iconic settings, but they will also be able to learn about the rich history and culture of this storybook city.
So don’t miss out on these incredible experiences! Book a Harry Potter tour while in Edinburgh today for an unforgettable adventure!
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Sam is an endlessly curious and adventurous traveler, having lived in four different continents and explored over 49 countries.
Her love of travel has made her a world-renowned expert on all things related to travel planning.
A decade ago, her personal blog, Travelling King, took off as readers sought out her insider tips and knowledge.
Today the site helps thousands of travelers prepare for the perfect getaway by crafting tailor-made itineraries, tour guides, hotel guides and more to ensure that visitors have a seamless and enjoyable journey from start to finish.
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Sam is a travel expert in the following: Luxury Travel, Fast Travel (seeing as many places as possible in a short time - but still getting the most out of each destination), hotels and destination guides and of course Odin - the dog.
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Scotland Tours from Edinburgh, Glasgow, Inverness and London
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Jacobite Steam Train Experience - 1 day tour
Jacobite Steam Train Experience One day tour
Tour through Highland Perthshire, the breathtaking Cairngorms National Park and the beautiful Western Highlands to see some of the key filming locations used in the Harry Potter movies. The highlight of this wonderful tour is our trip on the Jacobite Steam Train, the real Hogwarts Express. This unforgettable trip includes a crossing of the famous Glenfinnan Viaduct, just like Harry and his chums!
Mallaig - explore this fishing village and savour the lovely views over to the Isle of Skye
Jacobite Steam Train - experience this vintage steam train journey, one of the greatest in the world!
Glenfinnan Viaduct - cross this 21-arched masterpiece of engineering
Loch Shiel - enjoy heart-stopping views of this loch and the Bonnie Prince Charlie memorial
Glen Coe - visit this romantic glen which was the site of the most infamous massacre in Scottish history
Rannoch Moor - tour through this atmospheric area of wild beauty, surrounded by mountains and lochs
Movie locations – Harry Potter series, Skyfall and Trainspotting
Full Tour Itinerary
Our coach leaves bright and early from Edinburgh heading first over the Firth of Forth then onwards through ancient Fife. We enter Highland Perthshire and make a comfort stop in the Victorian resort of Pitlochry before travelling through the Grampian Mountains to reach the picturesque Cairngorms National Park .
As we tour through Glen Spean look out for Ardverikie House, which recently played the part of Balmoral Castle in the latest series of “The Crown”.
A drive along the scenic “ Road to the Isles ” brings us to the historic fishing port of Mallaig, where there are fantastic views of the Isle of Skye across the Sound of Sleat.
After free time to relax and, maybe enjoy a tasty treat from the famous Fish and Chip shop, it’s time to head to the station to join one of the world’s most incredible railway journeys aboard the Jacobite Steam Train .
The journey starts with superb coastal views as the train puffs its way past the silver sands of Morar to reach Arisaig, sitting by the sheltered shores of Loch nan Ceall.
Further on, we pass the tiny islet of Eilean na Moine, the location of Dumbledore’s final resting place. The small island is surrounded by Loch Eilt, used as the setting for Hagrid’s hut, and for the scene in Deathly Hallows part 1 where Voldemort steals the Elder Wand.
The highlight of the journey is crossing the breathtaking 21-arched Glenfinnan Viaduct , one of the most iconic images from the Harry Potter films as the train, now forever known as the Hogwarts Express, passes over the viaduct to Hogwarts School.
If time allows, the train might stop on the viaduct, as it did in Prisoner of Azkaban when Harry had his first run-in with a Dementor, allowing us some time to take in the stunning views of beautiful Loch Shiel , one of two lochs that stood in for Hogwarts Lake in the films. It’s where Buckbeak dips his toe in the water in Prisoner of Azkaban, and it’s seen to great effect in a lovely shot at the end of Half-Blood Prince when Hermione and Harry look out towards it from the Astronomy Tower.
The end of the line is Fort William, which sits on the banks of Loch Linnhe and in the shadow of Ben Nevis, Britain’s tallest mountain. On our homeward journey, we will see some of the locations used in several of the Harry Potter films.
If time permits there will be a short stop in dramatic Glen Coe , where several scenes from the series were filmed, notably the part in Prisoner of Azkaban where Hermione punches Draco Malfoy.
Further on, we pass the bleak wilderness of Rannoch Moor, we’re at the place where the Death Eaters halted and boarded the train in the Deathly Hallows Part 1.
There will be a short refreshment break in Tyndrum, before making for Stirling and the final part of our magical journey back into Edinburgh.
Frequently Asked Questions
What can i expect on this signature day tour.
Travelling on a Signature one-day tour is a great way to discover the best of Scotland from your city centre base of Edinburgh, Glasgow or Inverness.
During your day of discovery weâ€™ll introduce you to many aspects of our country: spectacular scenery, history, folklore, nature and much, much more.
Luxury travel is provided by air-conditioned mini or midi coaches and each tour is led by an experienced driver/guide who will provide a live commentary in English.
There are stops planned at the key sights as well as for meals and comfort breaks.
What is the journey on the Jacobite Steam Train like?
Described as one of the great railway journeys of the world this memorable trip will take you past a list of impressive extremes.
Starting near the highest mountain in Britain, Ben Nevis, it visits Britainâ€™s most westerly mainland railway station, Arisaig; passes close by the deepest freshwater loch in Britain, Loch Morar and the shortest river in Britain, River Morar, finally arriving next to the deepest seawater loch in Europe, Loch Nevis!
The train will cross the 21-arched Glenfinnan viaduct (a location made famous in the Harry Potter films) which overlooks Loch Shiel and the Jacobite monument. The train may pause on the viaduct, time permitting, to allow you to take in the magnificent view.
Standard class tickets are included in the cost of the tour. Unfortunately, itâ€™s not possible to upgrade these tickets to First Class.
Can I book seats on the coach?
The seating on the coach is not allocated so you are free to sit in any vacant seat.
We recommend that you and your party arrive at the boarding point together so that you can be seated in the same part of the coach.
Iâ€™ve missed my tour because I was late, can I get a refund?
Weâ€™re sorry but refunds or credits wonâ€™t be issued if you miss your tour because you are not at the departure point on time.
In fairness to all our passengers coaches will not wait if you are late.
Will there be a tour commentary?
Each tour is led by an experienced driver/guide who will provide an informative and entertaining commentary in English.
Youâ€™ll hear tales of the Clans, bloody battles and the famous characters that have shaped the history of Scotland. You will learn too of the landscape that surrounds you and of the nature that makes Scotland so special.
Be ready to have a laugh as well - youâ€™re bound to be told some really corny jokes!
View all Frequently Asked Questions...
- Transportation by luxury air-conditioned coach
- Live commentary in English
- One-way Jacobite Steam Train trip on the West Highland Railway Line
- Services of an experienced driver/guide
- Service charges and taxes
- Admission charges
- Meals, snacks or items of a personal nature
- Gratuity to your driver/guide
60 High Street Edinburgh EH1 1TB
Check-in: 07:00 hrs Tour Departs: 07:15 hrs Tour Returns: 20:30 hrs
Concession discounts apply to adults aged 60 years and above; students and children aged 5 to 16 years inclusive. We’re really sorry but children aged under 5 years cannot travel on this tour.
Photo-ID may be requested to confirm discount entitlement.
Book Assured Book by paying a 20% deposit. Make date changes or get a full refund with 48 hours notice before travel. Click here for more information .
Jacobite Steam Train A one-way journey on the Jacobite Steam Train is included in the price of this tour.
FAQs Please see the FAQ section for more information on this tour.
Product code HET 02906
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Customer Reviews Overall Rating:
Awesome, great commentary, music and the scenery, A+.
A very long day but the tour guides were amazing, very knowledgeable and helpful
Loved our tour driver Steve. He was great and loved the music he played in the bus. He was very informative about land marks and movies that were filmed in Scotland. You have a beautiful country and canâ€™t wait to visit again.
3 day tour from Â£ 530.00
2 day tour from Â£ 325.00
Harry Potter Tour From Edinburgh
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Most Harry Potter tours last around two hours while the train tour lasts upwards of 12 hours. The train tour starts with a 4-hour coach ride and is then followed by a 2-hour train ride before taking the bus back to Edinburgh.
Audio tours last around 40 minutes but you can take your time and listen to the audio at your own pace.
Alnwick Castle As Featured In Harry Potter And Scottish Borders Day Trip From Edinburgh
Another excellent Harry Potter Edinburgh tour is this day trip to Alnwick Castle ! Its a full-day trip, and the tour is about 9.5 hours total, including transportation time. If you are visiting Edinburgh and want to visit Harry Potter spots in another location, this is definitely the one for you!
The tour includes an air-conditioned vehicle with wifi and a local guide. Entrance fees to Alnwick Castle are not included, so you will have to pay your entrance fee to get in and purchase your own food and drinks throughout the day.
The tour begins at around 8:15, when the tour departs! Then, the first stop is at Bamburgh Castle for an hour, which dates back to the 5th century. After, youll spend about 3 hours exploring Alnwick Castle, which looks an awful lot like Hogwarts! End the day at Coldstream for thirty minutes, a small town in Scotland .
Harry Potter In Scotland
Its no secret that J.K Rowling has fallen in love with Scotland since moving here in 1993, and we cannae blame her! The Harry Potter books were dreamt and written in Scotland, taking inspiration from Edinburghs enchanting streets, architecture and our stunning Scottish scenery.
One of the most instantly recognisable locations from the films is the Glenfinnan Viaduct, known to Potterheads around the world as the Harry Potter Bridge. The only way to travel across the iconic arches is, of course, on the Hogwarts Express! Enter into your own wee world of wizardry with a ride on the classic Jacobite Steam Train voted one of the most scenic railway journeys in the world. It won’t take you to Hogwarts, but we can take you on a magical journey to some of the film’s top locations such as Glencoe, which was used as the backdrop for the gatehouse – and also Hagrids Hut.
Are you even a fan if you dont experience these Harry Potter filming locations for yourself?
Check out the tours below for a chance to ride the Hogwarts Express or visit Alnwick Castle and learn to fly a broom on our 1-day castles and broomsticks tour…
Also Check: How Does Harry Potter Come Back To Life
The Lewis Chess Pieces
In the first book of the series, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone Ron introduces Harry to the magical game of Wizard Chess a slightly more violent version of the classic game, where pieces are enchanted and defeat often results in being smashed to bits.
Did JK Rowling get her inspiration for the style of the characters from the Lewis Chess Pieces on display in the National Museum of Scotland?
Dating from the late 12th early 13th century, the 11 pieces on display were part of a large hoard buried on Lewis and discovered in 1831. Remarkable in their carved detail, each piece is different and they remain one of the most intriguing items in the museum.
Harry Potter Tour Of Edinburgh
Jump aboard our vintage double-decker London bus for a truly spellbinding bus tour of Edinburgh and take in all of the most spellbinding sights that the city of Edinburgh has to offer, including those that inspired the tales the famous boy wizard.
Our Harry Potter bus tour will travel to many of the locations in Edinburgh which inspired J.K. Rowling to write the Harry Potter series. This includes Greyfriars Cemetery where J.K.Rowling found inspiration for some character names such as Voldemort, aka Tom Riddle , Spoon Cafe where she was a regular and wrote some of the first book, George Heriots School which was believed to be the inspiration for the architecture of Hogwarts plus many more locations to spy some wizards!
Arrive at the bus and you will be sorted into your house where you will be greeted with a drink. Non-alcoholic and alcoholic options will be available.
To eat, you will be able to choose between our Italian Antipasti & Wine or Pizza & Prosecco options:
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About The Edinburgh Harry Potter Tour
You might already know that J.K. Rowling wrote much of Harry Potter here in Edinburgh, but you might not know how much Edinburgh inspired the books. Join your expert local guide – and true Harry Potter fan – for a 2-hour walking tour through the magical world of Harry Potter.
Your Harry Potter walking tour begins on 130 High Street , on the corner with Stevenlaw’s Close.
Where Harry Potter characters were born
Your expert local guide and Harry Potter aficionado will help you to discover where multiple characters came to life. See where Lord Voldemort is buried, and find the inspiration for Hogwarts Professors like McGonagall.
Find the inspiration for famous Harry Potter locations
Once you know where to look in Edinburgh, its easy to find where J.K. Rowlings inspiration for Harry Potter locations came from. Spot the real-life school that gave life to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, and even see the street that inspired Diagon Alley! Moreover, if youve joined the Edinburgh Dark Side tour , youll completely understand how Edinburghs own dark history is reflected in the magical world of Harry Potter.
Learn more about J.K. Rowling and her life in Edinburgh
Harry Potter Walking Tour
Enter the magical wizarding world with a guided walking tour through the streets of Edinburgh to visit the places that inspired the most famous books in the world. J.K. Rowling moved to Edinburgh with a few notes in hand, but the ambiance of Edinburgh is what brought her stories to life.
Walk through cobbled streets and Greyfriars Kirkyard to see the locations that breathed life into her fantastical books. Pass by the café where she spent her time writing in a dark corner and see her golden handprints outside the city chambers. You will hear anecdotes about the books and learn about the symbolism and meaning behind some of the names and places in the stories.
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How Much Do Harry Potter Tours In Edinburgh Cost
Most Harry Potter walking tours in Edinburgh cost between 15 and 20 per person while a private tour is around 100 per person. For a budget-friendly option, you can book an audio tour for around 8.
The Harry Potter Train Tour is 180 per person but is a much longer experience than the tours in the city.
Where Do Harry Potter Tours In Edinburgh Start
Most Harry Potter tours in Edinburgh start at the William Chambers Monument on Chambers street while others gather on the Royal Mile of High Street.
The train tour also gathers on High Street where a coach will be waiting.
The audio tour gives you the most freedom and you can start the tour when and where you like.
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Edinburgh: Greyfriars Kirkyard Walking Tour
First up on this list is an Edinburgh Harry Potter walking tour that focuses on Greyfriars Kirkyard ! This graveyard is said to be a place that J.K. Rowling often frequented while living in Edinburgh and writing Harry Potter , so youll be able to see where she got a lot of her character inspiration from throughout this tour.
The tour is about one hour long and includes a guide in costume. During the tour, youll learn all about the church that dates back to the 16th century, as well as the lives that those buried in the cemetery live.
Plus, you will probably even recognize some of the names throughout the graveyard!
Jk Rowlings Edinburgh And The Writing Of Harry Potter
This next Harry Potter Edinburgh tour is only four hours long but includes tons of great stops throughout the city! It includes stops at The Balmoral, McEwan Hall, George Heriots School, the Elephant House, Lothian Chambers, and more!
The tour guide makes it very clear that this tour, in particular, does include spoilers, so make sure youve read all of the Harry Potter books or at least watched the movies. This tour is incredibly detailed, and because there are so many spots along the way, it is pretty fast-paced.
What makes this tour different from others is that it seeks to tell the story of Rowling from rags to riches and does include some dark aspects of her story. So, while kids can technically go on the tour, its better suited for older audiences.
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Harry Potter Tour Edinburgh
This post is a free, self-guided tour of Harry Potter sights in Edinburgh, along with a map and route, put together by Free Tours by Foot’s resident Muggle, Margaret.
You can expect to walk nearly 2.2 miles or just over 3.6 kilometres.
You could also elect to take this as a GPS-led audio tour .
The tour will last, on average, just under 90 minutes. Although this may change depending on your walking pace or stops you wish to make along the way.
You can use the map or this to get the written directions.
You might also be interested in a free Harry Potter tour with a live guide.
It takes place most days of the week at 13:30 , except for the month of August when it runs only on weekends.
GPS-Enabled Audio Tour
We also offer an audio tour of Harry Potter sights in Edinburgh, researched, written, and recorded by one of our own tour guides.
Heres a sample.
Be sure to check out our other self-guided tours and free guided tours of Edinburgh .
We also offer Harry Potter tours, both guided and self-guided in London and Porto .
The Rowling Parking Meter
Sorry, folks, one thing we can be certain of is that Rowling did not utilise the services of a parking meter when she was writing the Deathly Hallows.
This may be one of the more comical landmarks attributed to the Potter series. And, although a tour was overheard purporting that Rowling used an Edinburgh parking meter, she has confirmed that she cannot drive!
My favourite bit of utter nonsense about Potter landmarks is still this one. I cant drive. J.K. Rowling May 21, 2020
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Edinburgh: Harry Potter Magical Guided Walking Tour
Last but not least is the Harry Potter Magical Guided Walking Tour ! This tour is just two hours, making it perfect if youre visiting Edinburgh in a day . Along the way, there are also fun Harry Potter trivia questions to keep you on your toes.
The tour includes stops at Tom Riddles grave in Greyfriars Kirkyard, the handprints J.K. Rowling left by City Chambers, and more. The tour is also usually capped at a small number, so it will feel private without the private tour price.
Even though the tour is about Harry Potter locations, it also includes lots of history about Edinburgh! Youll leave the tour having learned a lot about the city and Rowlings relationship with it.
Check out current rates and availability for the Harry Potter Magical Guided Walking Tour here!
The Bank Of Scotland Headquarters
This grand building at the top of The Mound is home to the Bank of Scotland. Its domed roof and imposing facade will remind you of Gringotts Bank. I dont think any of the tellers would be too happy to be called goblins, though!
While youre here, visit the Museum on the Mound , which is located under the headquarters. Amongst lots of historical artefacts, youll be able to see a million pounds in real life!
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Priority Access More Time To Explore
Long line? We’ll show you how to skip it. Packed out sights? Follow us to the secret quiet spots. On Originals tours, you can explore in ways that others can’t.
Harry Potter Tours In Edinburgh
Harry Potter fandom has ensured that Edinburgh has been put on the map and Potterheads flock to this charming city to walk in the footsteps of the seriess creator. Book a Harry Potter tour in Edinburgh to see where J.K Rowling found inspiration for the wizarding world.
Walk past castles and graveyards, down cobbled streets and to the places where she put pen to paper and brought her masterpiece to life.
You will find below all you need to know about Harry Potter tour, one of the most fun sightseeing tours in Edinburgh .
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Free Harry Potter Tour
Edinburgh is the birthplace of Harry Potter and its magical world. Or is it so magical? Come along to our Free Harry Potter Tour and let us show you the real places where J.K. Rowling got the inspiration to write her impressive series!
Can you imagine seeing Diagon Alley in real life? Are you ready to stand in front of the gates of the most famous school of wizardry? Do you want to hear the story of the real Sorting Hat? Do you want to see where Lord Voldemort is buried?
If the anwer to all of these questions is absolutely yes, then you are in the right place!
Edinburgh is a city of fantasy, full of mysterious stories and legends. A city of magical hidden places, secret alleyways, and enchanted spots. J.K. Rowling had a strong connection to Edinburgh, making it the perfect place to provide her inspiration for this young wizard, who became a hero, and won the hearts of millions of fans, all over the world.
Come along to our Free Harry Potter Tour, to experience a fascinating walk through a city where reality and fiction come together, led by our expert guides, who will bring the magic of this best-selling series of novels come to life in front of you!
*Disclaimer: The Harry Potter Free Tour has been designed by fans of the series, to show the magical world of Harry Potter in Edinburgh. Our tour is not an official tour and is not endorsed by or affiliated with Warner Bros. Pictures Inc., J.K. Rowling, or any other officially associated party.
Jk Rowling’s Handprints At The City Chambers
Just off the Royal Mile you can find the famous author’s handprints reproduced on a flagstone in the quadrangle in front of Edinburgh City Chambers. The prints were produced when JK Rowling was awarded the Edinburgh Award in 2008.
Awarded to honour a person who has made a positive impact on the city and gained national and international recognition for Edinburgh, a wander around the courtyard reveals the handprints of other reward recipients including author Sir Ian Rankin, cyclist Sir Chris Hoy, artist Dame Elizabeth Blackadder and former rugby union player, Doddie Weir OBE.
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Love Where You’re Going Guaranteed
With a GetYourGuide Originals tour, you can enjoy complimentary rescheduling if youre late or plans change, and a full refund if youre not completely satisfied after taking your tour.
Harry Potter Train From Edinburgh
Want to experience the journey to Hogwarts for yourself? Take this one-day tour to experience some of Scotlands stunning scenery, visit the sites in the Highlands that inspired Rowling and take the Hogwarts Express from Fort William!The tour leaves very early in the morning from Edinburgh and the price includes the train ride from Fort William to Mallaig over the Glenfinnan Viaduct.The train itself is a smoking Jacobite Train! History and Harry Potter rolled into one.
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Private 5 Hour Harry Potter Tour
This longer Harry Potter tour is a great way to explore all of the Edinburgh Harry Potter locations fully! The tour covers spots like the Museum of Scotland, Old Parliament Hall, the Royal Bank of Scotland HQ, and more!
Start the tour right at Edinburgh Waverley Station, where you can catch the train to go all over Scotland . Instead of taking the train, though, youll be looking out for your tour guide in a red robe wearing Spectrespecs!
The tour is excellent for Edinburgh visitors of all ages, especially children who love the Harry Potter franchise. The tour guide truly gets really into the tour and is so passionate, so you will for sure leave with a huge smile on your face.
De Stad Van Jk Rowlings Harry Potter
Iedereen weet dat je in de hoofdstad van het Verenigd Koninkrijk verschillende tours kunt doen langs bekende Harry Potter locaties. Daarentegen kunnen de fans van Rowlings beroemde boekenreeks ook hun hart ophalen in Edinburgh . Bezoek bijvoorbeeld de Greyfriars Kirk en Kirkyard , Ã©Ã©n van de vermeende inspiratiebronnen van Rowlings geesteskindje. Of wandel door het charmante Victoria Street, de straat die als inspiratie werd gebruikt voor de tovenaarswinkelstraat Diagon Alley.
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Victoria Street Candlemaker Row Or Cockburn Street
Diagon Alley is a must on this route. These are some of the streets that most visually relate to the place where wizards buy their books and school supplies. It is true that Rowling was fond of walking in the area, but she has neither confirmed nor denied that the alley was inspired by these streets. In any case, it is a charming walk.
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