The famous village of Glenfinnan is found in the stunning Scottish Highlands, just west of Fort William, and only an hour and a half drive from our town, Oban.

This area is known for many things – its history with the Jacobites, stunning views, and breathtaking architecture. However, what most people will know this small rural village for is its appearances in some of the most popular movies in the world.

They may not know the name, but they’ll definitely recognise the Glenfinnan Viaduct. Millions of people will have the incredible railway bridge etched into their minds… but where from?

In this article, we’ll look at the various movies and TV shows that have been shot in Glenfinnan. From the magical to royalty, this small area of the world has had a great impact on the entertainment business.

Harry Potter x4

The Glenfinnan Viaduct has appeared in not only one Harry Potter movie but four! Here they are in chronological order:

  • Chamber of Secrets (2002)
  • Prisoner of Azkaban (2004)
  • Goblet of Fire (2005)
  • Half-Blood Prince (2009)

If you’ve ever watched any of the above Harry Potter movies, you’ll instantly recognise the bridge as the railway that brings the children to Hogwarts, or when Harry and Ron drive over, under, and along the Viaduct in the (stolen) Weasley’s car, in the Chamber of Secrets.

It’s estimated that around 500,000 people visit the Glenfinnan Viaduct every year, with many of them being dedicated Harry Potter fans from around the world.

If you’re keen, you can actually ride the vintage Jacobite steam-powered train over the Viaduct. However, due to its popularity, you are required to book months in advance.

The Crown (2016 – 2023)

The Crown is a historical drama that follows the British Royal Family, focusing much of its attention on the late Queen Elizabeth’s reign. It’s a very popular programme with six series, and Netflix confirmed that, as of 2020, over 73 million households tuned in to watch.

The Glenfinnan Viaduct is featured in the final episode of series three, named ‘Cri De Coeur’. The bridge can be seen for only a few moments but is instantly recognisable.

Unfortunately, there are no clips of the scene online. However, if you’re interested, you can see the Crown’s inclusion of the Glenfinnan Viaduct at the 13:21 mark of the episode, found on Netflix.

Highlander (1986)

Released before the Viaduct was made popular by Harry Potter, the 1986 movie ‘Highlander’ starring Sean Connery and Christopher Lambert used Glenfinnan as a filming location. The movie follows an immortal Scottish warrior in his journey to defeat his opponents.

The film doesn’t feature the railway bridge, but it does include a scene from Glenfinnan’s stunning Loch Sheil. You can watch the full clip below:

Bonnie Prince Charlie (1948)

Travelling way back, almost 80 years ago, Glenfinnan was featured in the movie ‘Bonnie Prince Charlie’, a historical depiction of the Jacobite Risings, which actually occurred in Glenfinnan, back in 1745. The scene showcases the stunning landscape of the area, with Loch Sheil dominating the picture.

The area is proud of its history with the Jacobites, so Glenfinnan’s appearance in the film is very fitting. You can watch the dramatic scene below:

Ring of Bright Water (1969)

The movie ‘Ring of Bright Water’ is another vintage classic featuring Glenfinnan’s Viaduct. It follows the main character, Graham Merrill, who leaves his dead-end job, adopts an otter, and moves to a small village in the Scottish Highlands.

This movie is unique among this list, as it also features the home of our hotel, Oban! You can see both locations featured in the clips below.

Glenfinnan Viaduct (19:31 – 19:38)

Oban (1:08:50 – 1:12:18)

Charlotte Gray (2001)

The romantic thriller ‘Charlotte Gray’ is another movie to feature the Glenfinnan Viaduct. Charlotte Gray is about a young Scottish woman who leaves the country for France to join the revolution, during World War 2.

Glenfinnan is actually the opening scene of the movie, showing a gorgeous drone-like shot of the train passing the bridge with the beautiful landscape in full force.

You can watch the scene below:

Monarch of the Glen (2000-2005)

The TV series ‘Monarch of the Glen’ is about a man who’s called back to his home in Scotland, where he’s enlisted with the title of Laird. It was a romantic comedy, aired on BBC One, that ran for seven series from 2000 to 2005, releasing 64 episodes over its lifespan.

The Glenfinnan Viaduct and Monument make an appearance on the show; specifically in Series 1, Episode 7 at the 11:23 mark. We’re unable to show a clip, but we’ll include a button below linked to the episode on BBC iPlayer.

Stone of Destiny (2008)

The 2008 film ‘Stone of Destiny’ is about a Scottish nationalist, named Ian Hamilton, who travels to England to retrieve the Stone of Scone. The movie is set in the 1950s and stars the actor, Charlie Cox.

Similar to Charlotte Gray’s scene of the Viaduct, it shows an aerial shot of the train crossing the bridge with the landscape in the background. Like many on this list, the Viaduct is only shown for a brief moment, but it is still a powerful image.

Charlie Und Louise Das Doppelte Lottchen (1994)

The final film to feature Glenfinnan is ‘Charlie Und Louise Das Doppelte Lottchen’ a German movie released in 1994. It’s thought to be the only foreign movie to include the Viaduct. 

The movie follows German twins who were separated at birth, only to meet each other while at boarding school in Scotland. You may recognise the plot, as the wildly popular movie ‘Parent Trap’, which shot Lindsay Lohan to fame, is the English adaptation of Charlie Und Louise.

The Glenfinnan Viaduct is seen at the 6:24 mark of the film, and is actually a key plot point, as one of the twins pulls the emergency brake, causing the famous steam train to come to a stop.


As you can see, Glenfinnan and its Viaduct have been featured in numerous movies and TV shows over the years. Most people would only recognise the structure as being part of Harry Potter, but there have been many more inclusions, even before Harry Potter’s release!

If you’re on the West Coast of Scotland, we highly recommend making the journey to Glenfinnan, even just for the day. While here, you should consider staying at our luxury, seaside hotel in Oban, where there is even more to do!

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