View of Glenfinnan Viaduct (Harry Potter Bridge)


I am a big Potterhead and I’ve read all seven books many many times over, devouring every single page. I also watch the movies and yearn to be part of that world. Each time I watched Harry Potter and his friends pull away on the Hogwarts Express on the silver screen, I wistfully looked on, wishing that I am on my way to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Imagine my surprise when I learned that the Hogwarts Express is real and it’s actually called the Jacobite Express!  This iconic steam engine train runs a twice a day on the 84-mile stretch from Fort William to Mallaig.



You can choose to ride the train (while pretending you’re on your way to Hogwarts) or if you’re like me, you’ll probably want to find the perfect spot to take a photo of the train as it crosses the bridge.  This iconic scene was featured in the second and third Harry Potter movie and forever ingrained in my mind. After Googling “Harry Potter Bridge” I found out that the scene was filmed at the Glenfinnan Viaduct in Scotland. 2017-10-04 21-23-42-100



Where to Go?

To get to the best viewing point, you can park at the small free car park right across from the Glenfinnan House Hotel.  In case the lot is full, you can drive a little further to the Visitor’s Center.  Once you’ve parked, follow the footpath along the beautiful stream until you reach the viaduct. The weathered bridge is massive up close, looming over the stunning Highland landscape. Continue on under the bridge until you reach a path leading to a gate.  Passing through the gate, climb further up the hill where you’ll have the perfect vantage of the train coming in from Fort William. You’ll also see a few photographers there armed with cameras.



In the morning the train leaves Fort William at about 10:25, and it should get to the bridge between 10:45 and 10:51 am. Before you head out, make sure you double-check the train schedule because it changes from season to season. The walk from the free parking lot to the top of the hill takes about 10 minutes. Plan to arrive at Glenfinnan at least 20 minutes earlier to give yourself enough time to park your car, walk up to the viewpoint and stake out your spot.  Don’t cut it too close because you don’t want to miss the train by minutes!



Even though it was raining, we stood around waiting patiently for the train.  After about 30 minutes, we saw the plume of smoke over the far hill as the train approached the bridge.  Seeing this iconic scene in person gave me chills and made me feel like I was a part of the Harry Potter world. We waved to the people in the train as it passed by leaving a cloud of white steam behind.


After you catch the train, make sure to visit St. Mary’s & St. Finnan Catholic Church on your way back into town. This beautiful church can be found a few hundred meters west of the Glenfinnan Monument on the south-side of the road.


9 thoughts on “View of Glenfinnan Viaduct (Harry Potter Bridge)

  1. You have some great shots here! I’m not a HP fan but went on the normal train last year on the same route as part of my round UK trip. Iikes it how the driver slows down just before we approach the viaduct so passengers can get a great view of it

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah it was so exciting when the train came around. We didn’t have enough time to ride the train and take the pictures from the hill, so we had to choose one. Next time I’ll have to try riding it.


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  4. Oh my goodness, I am so excited to ready this post. We are headed to Scotland this summer and will be staying at Glenfinnan House Hotel for one night. We will definitely be walking to check out the steam train as well as the beautiful Glenfinnan Church. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

      • We are doing a bit of a whirlwind trip. 2 nights in Edinburgh, 1 night in Dalwhinnie, 1 night in the Culloden area and a short hop over to Inverness for 1 night, 3 nights in Skye, 1 night in Glenfinnan, and our last night in South Queensferry. We want to see so much more than we have time for, so it is a pretty packed trip.

        I will be having fun reading through your Scotland posts until then! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Oh my gosh, yes, I plan really far in advance (out of sheer desperation to think about and do anything planning-related to our trips) and I am so thankful we did for this trip. I have noticed that several of the places we booked a while back are filling up now. We have a couple more dinner and distillery reservations to make, but otherwise I think (hope!) we are mostly set. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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