My Harry Potter trips

Three Sisters of Glencoe
me in front of the three sisters of Glencoe

Hello sunshine!

OK let's start with the most obvious fact: I am a HUGE Harry Potter fan! *tada*
Honestly I had no idea that some parts of the Harry Potter movies were made in Scotland until I saw a flyer from an organization offering trips to the Glenfinnan Viaduct and the Alnwick Castle. But from that moment on I couldn't wait to get there and see everything!

So I booked exactly these tours and they were the best trips ever! I would recommend them a hundred times if you are such a potterhead as I am. And today I want to share my story about these trips with you and show you all the pictures I made (ok not all because I took like 10 000 - but the most beautiful ones)

Glenfinnan Viaduct

Harry Potter Tour
Loch Lomond
This was my first trip I ever made in Scotland and it was so good! We started at 7am on a Sunday morning in Paisley and drove in the direction of Fort Williams. I thought that I could get some sleep in the bus because I am NOT a morning person but after 45min the tour-guide told us that we arrived at our first stop. In the middle of nowhere we stopped at a cute cafe to see Loch Lomond. Unfortunately, it was raining but it was so beautiful!

As I had no idea where we had been and what to expect, I felt like I landed in Neverland. The powdery clouds and the slightly blinking sun were so magical and the perfect introduction for a Harry Potter tour!
After the necessary errands - toilet, coffee and cookies - we drove on along Loch Lomond. Even if it was raining the whole time, it was an amazing few!

Our second stop was very spontaneous. Thanks to our driver we stopped at a cute waterfall and got a unique feeling of Scotland: very windy, raining as you are in the shower and more beautiful than you can ever imagine!

The next time we went out of the bus, we were at Glencoe in front of the three sisters of Glencoe. And I know that I am repeating, but it was so beautiful!
The tour-guide hiked with us a few meters down into the valley and we took hundreds and thousands of pictures. Unfortunately, my camera was angry at me to turn it on and of in the rain and it decided to strike for the rest of the day. But if you want to see more pictures you should check out my Instagram @glitterisblack .

Harry Potter Tour
the black lake ~  Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

When we finally arrived at Glenfinnan the rain had stopped and we had time to explore the lake or as a Scot would say: the Loch. It was the filming location for a part of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire - the scene at the black lake. Imagine yourself standing in front of a lake where Harry Potter was fighting against mermen.
To be honest I just prepared the following sketch in my Bullet Journal for this trip but the tour-guide gave us all the photos of the Harry Potter scenes! Because of him I was able to make such stunning pictures.

Glenfinnan Viaduct
Glenfinnan Viaduct
The actual viaduct - the rail to Hogwarts - was our last destination. The hike up the hill was exhausting but that goes without saying. You can decide on your own how high you want to hike. For me the one and only possible view was the highest I could get to get the best angle for all the photos and videos. We were waiting on the hill for at least 30min to see the train crossing the bridge as it was in the Harry Potter movie.
Stupidly it restarted raining exactly when the train was out of our field of view and we had to hike up to the top to walk down on the other side of the hill. We ended up sodden and muddy at the train station where the train started (at platform 9 3/4 for Hogwarts? :D )
On the way back home we watched Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. It was the first time for me watching a Harry Potter movie in English and it was so funny, because I am used to the German voices!

Alnwick Castle

Starting again on another Sunday morning at 7am with a bus from Paisley, but this time in the direction of Edinburgh. Luckily we had a bit more time to wake up or nap a little bit before we stopped at the first location. After a 1.5 hours' drive we stopped in Dunbar and it was the first time I saw the North Sea from the "other side". It was so pretty!
Harry Potter Tour
me in front of the North Sea
It was not the classic sandy beach, more some stones with algae on it. I think it was ebb and that's why we had the chance to go that far. Our second mission in Dunbar was to get some coffee and breakfast (or second breakfast). It was more difficult than expected because on a Sunday morning at 8:30am no cafe shop is open. And there was only one supermarket which actually had not the best range but for an energy drink and some cookies it was enough.

The next destination was already Alnwick Caste and to get there we drove along the cost. It was an amazing drive and I couldn't get enough of watching the skyline. We were so lucky with the weather! All week it was cloudy and stormy but on Sunday morning we started together with the sun. It was toasty and without rain at all.

Alnwick Castle
Outer bailey for Madam Hooch's Broomstick lessons

Arrived in Alnwick I felt like I came to Hogwarts. Despite the bagpipe music, it was a magical place! From the very first second I took so many photos and tried to find all the places I had seen in the Harry Potter movies before.
The castle is divided in an inner and outer bailey. And I think each Harry Potter Fan would recognize the outer bailey as the "classroom" for the broomstick lessons with Madam Hooch! It is just a walled meadow with a great view but with the movie in your mind you expect Nevile flying around or Hagrid crossing your way.

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone
Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone

The inner bailey is more famous even if you would not suppose so. It was used for the scene with Hagrid carrying the Christmas tree in the great hall but more important it was the filming location for the scene when Harry and Ron arrived at Hogwarts in the flying car and landed in the Whomping Willow.
The crazy thing is: there is no tree! And there has never been one. It was all computer-animated but if you really know the scene you can recognize where the flying car left the castle.

Alnwick Castle
broomstick lessons
Moreover, the inner bailey is used for broomstick lessons for children and for me it was the perfect chance to take a picture of my flying on a broomstick. It was so funny!
And it is the entrance to the real castle. The Duke of Northumberland is still living in there with his family and that's why the castle is closed during the winter months and you are not allowed to take pictures inside the building.
Alnwick Castle
Hogwarts ~ Alnwick Castle
Even if I skipped lunch for taking some more pictures, I was so happy that I got the most out of my time there. After less than 3 hours we had to leave the castle behind us and drove back home.
What I didn't know until then was that there is a surprise-stop on each tour they make! So when we drove back home we took a "wrong" junction and ended up at the Bamburgh Castle!
For me it looked like Kings Landing from Game of Thrones, but obviously it is not - unfortunately! But it was so beautiful to see a real sandy beach and get some more sea air.

Both trips were amazing and as I said I would recommend them again and again! For me the best part was taking pictures of places I always dreamed about and enjoying every second!

If you know some other good places I really have to see, feel free to share them in the comments below. I would appreciate every suggestion!

See you next time!♥


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