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Top 5 Harry Potter Locations to Visit in Scotland

Top 5 Harry Potter Locations to Visit in Scotland, Erin Smith, Travel Advisor, travel agent, Cultivating Connections Travel Planners. empty nester, group travel
Top 5 Harry Potter Locations to Visit in Scotland

Were your children magic-obsessed Harry Potter fans as kids? Did you discover the Boy Who Lived on your own and are now sharing the magic with your own children? The opportunity to share a beloved book series with your loved ones is truly something special. 

If you want to bring the magic of J.K. Rowling's iconic series to life, visit these 5 amazing Potter-esque locations in Scotland. 

1. The Hogwarts Express - Fort William

Any Harry Potter fan will instantly recognize the iconic scene of the scarlet red Hogwarts Express crossing the Glenfinnan Viaduct. But did you know that the train actually exists in real life? 

Called "The Jacobite Steam Train" by us Muggles in the non-magical world, the locomotive travels an 84-mile, round-trip journey that's regarded as one of the most beautiful train journeys in the world. 

Guests aboard the Jacobite can sit in a special Harry Potter-themed car while enjoying stunning views of the English and Scottish countryside. Although there's no witch offering cauldron cakes from the snack trolley (that we know of…), we'd recommend bringing your own Potter-themed treats onboard to create a more authentic experience. 

Tickets book up months in advance, so if this experience is on your bucket list, let your Travel Advisor know! 

2. Greyfriars Kirkyard - Edinburgh 

This large graveyard surrounds Greyfriars Kirk, a Church of Scotland church built in 1620. Here, J.K. Rowling found inspiration for many of her uniquely-named characters, including persnickety Professor Minerva McGonagall, believed to be named after Scottish poet William McGonagall.

McGonagall has the unfortunate honor of being regarded as "Scotland's Worst Poet." His short poem about Edinburgh reads: 

I will tell the world boldly without dismay

You have the biggest college in the world at the present day. 

Potter fans will also find the graves of "Robert Potter" (no explanation required,) Mrs. Elizabeth Moodie (said to be the inspiration for Mad-Eye Moody), and Thomas Riddell, who died in 1802, never knowing he would one day be the inspiration for naming one of English literature's great villains, Lord Voldemort. 

3.  Edinburgh City Chambers - Edinburgh 

Edinburgh's primary municipal building, the Edinburgh City Chambers is home to J.K. Rowling's handprints set in stone on a flagstone at the front of the building. The Harry Potter author was awarded the Edinburgh Award, a prestigious annual award honoring an outstanding individual who has impacted the city. 

4.  Museum Context - Edinburgh 

If you're on a mission to find magical merchandise on your trip to Scotland, stop by Museum Context on Victoria Street (rumored to be the inspiration for Diagon Alley). The quirky shop, also known as "Diagon House," sells licensed Harry Potter merchandise, including wand replicas, quidditch sweaters, wizard chess sets, and more.  

Visitors have commented that the building housing Museum Context has a definite "Ollivanders Emporium" vibe with its creaky, winding staircase and eccentric inventory. Potter fans are sure to love searching Museum Context's shelves for wizarding treasures to take home with them. 

5.  Department of Magic - Edinburgh 

If simply viewing famous Harry Potter locations isn't enough magical inspiration for you, immerse yourself in a Potter-themed escape room game at Department of Magic. 

This delightfully themed escape room challenges guests to solve immersive puzzles in two separate games. 

In the first, “Prophecies Quest,” visitors are informed that the Dark Lord has risen again and has stolen four precious prophecies that predict the Magical World's future. The prophecies are locked in different chambers that have been placed under enchantments designed to thwart anyone who comes searching. 

For those who prefer a Dark Arts approach, “Dark Lord Resurrection” challenges witches and wizards from the dark side to discover the magical incantation that will bring Lord Voldemort back from the dead. 

Are You a Potterhead Ready to Plan Your Own Magical Experience? 

At Cultivating Connections Travel Planners, we help our clients follow their passions wherever in the world they may go. If you'd love to visit these Harry Potter locations in real life, contact us today for a complimentary travel consultation! 

To find out more check out my home page here.

Or you can just give me a call at 405.310.7588

Erin Smith, Travel Advisor, travel agent, Cultivating Connections Travel Planners, empty nester

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Top 10 Trips to Supercharge Your High Schoolers' Essays & Life Skills!, Erin Smith, Cultivating Connections Travel Planners, travel agent, empty nester
Top 10 Trips to Supercharge Your High Schoolers' Essays & Life Skills!

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