Highlands & Islands

Muggles of the Glen: Where Potter fans gather in their hundreds

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Media captionWhere Potter fans gather in their hundreds

Harry Potter fans are arriving in their hundreds at a Highlands location for two of the films adapted from JK Rowling's books about the boy wizard.

Filming of 2002's Harry Potter and the Chambers of Secrets and Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, released in 2004, took place at Glenfinnan.

Here, fans gather on a hillside near the Glenfinnan Viaduct to catch a glimpse of the "Hogwarts Express".

In real-life, the Express is the Jacobite steam train.

The steam train crosses the railway viaduct on its journeys along the West Highland Line.

Hundreds of railway enthusiasts and tourists on holiday in the Highlands also visit the site each year to witness the spectacle.

Image copyright BBC/Tom Hayward
Image caption JK Rolwing's creation continues to draw large crowds to Glenfinnan
Image caption Some fans are prepared to wait hours for the "Hogwarts Express"
Image caption The viaduct is a hotspot for the taking of selfies and group photographs

The train and the viaduct appear in a famous scene featuring Harry Potter, friend Ron Weasley and a flying car.

So many Potter enthusiasts are now turning up in Glenfinnan, home to a village of the same name, that the local community is seeking funding for a new car park to cater for the visitors.

There are just 50 parking spaces available at the moment, and people are parking on side roads and along the verges of the busy A830.

Image caption Hundreds of people gather almost daily in the glen
Image caption Excitement mounts as the steam train comes into view

Some of the many visitors have been arriving to wait four hours to catch a glimpse of the Hogwarts Express.

Fiona Gibson, of Glenfinnan Community Council, told BBC Scotland: "It's only a matter of time before someone is seriously hurt.

"Kids are walking on the road and, because people are on their holidays, they are not really thinking about which side of the road they should be walking on."

She added: "We've had bumps and scrapes, but fortunately no fatalities."

The community hopes its planned new car park will be a wizard solution to the current parking problems.

Image caption The "Hogwarts Express" in all its glory

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