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castles and ruins

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North Carolina
posts: 31
reviews: 6
castles and ruins

Our family of 12, including eight grndchildren ages 10 to 22 will travel to Scotland and England in July, Our theme is Harry Potter. We have read the books and seen the movies together since their beginning. I know, HP is a fictional character, but the movie sites have established a pleasant itinerary. We'll fly into Glascow, stay to Fort william 2 nights for the steam train to Maillag and a hike to Steall Falls, then travel to Edinburg for 2 nights, with an overnight somewhere (suggestions?) en route. Then to London. We will travel in a hired minibus with a driver.

In addition to HP we are interested in Medieval history and would like to see as many castles/ruins as possible without spending long days driving out of the way. Is there a route between Glasgow and Fort William where we could see castles? Not necessarily restored castles for touring, but on a hillside or byway to establish the history of the area? How about on the drive to Edinburg? We'll include Blair Castle for the Blairs in our family and Edinburgh Castle. Any others along the route? Thanks so much for your expertise and willingness to share your experiences.

Edinburgh, United...
posts: 613
reviews: 4
1. Re: castles and ruins

Not a castle but on the way down from Blair Atholl, Falkland Palace is worth a visit.

www.nts.org.uk/learn/virtual_falkland.php

I've always had a soft spot for Loch Leven Castle but you will need to use the boat (although I have walked out one winter in the 80s)

undiscoveredscotland.co.uk/kinross/lochleven…

Bingley, United...
Destination Expert
for Edinburgh
posts: 26,229
2. Re: castles and ruins

Glascow = Glasgow

Edinburg = Edinburgh

Amsterdam, The...
Destination Expert
for Amsterdam
posts: 23,090
reviews: 73
3. Re: castles and ruins

Doune Castle, Stirling Castle

Edinburgh, United...
posts: 392
reviews: 11
4. Re: castles and ruins

Not a big Harry Potter expert but I believe Alnwick Castle was a location for the films. Alnwick is a lovely town between Edinburgh and Newcastle.

North Carolina
posts: 31
reviews: 6
5. Re: castles and ruins

Thanks so much for your suggestions. EmbraChap tip led me to the list of castles on undiscoveredscotland.com and I can now locate all these you've mentioned. It's just a matter of trying to calculate distances and timing. Alnwick was on our original itinerary bur takes an entire day from Edinburg to and from. I'd love to hear someone's impression of how important Alnwick is. It is helpful to communicate with people who have actually visited the sites..

Glasgow, United...
Destination Expert
for South Ayrshire, Glasgow
posts: 13,912
reviews: 232
6. Re: castles and ruins

Alnwick is a delightful place and featured in a number of scenes in the HP movies. If you are staying in Glasgow for a night during your trip then you could do worse than to head to Glasgow University, which is said to be the inspiration for Hogwarts School due to its abundance of stone turrets and atmospheric halls, quad and undercroft. It also has a really cool museum which is free to enter. There is also a student led walking tour of the University buildings, though you are free to wander some parts.

Here is one person's teasing take on the much rumoured Harry Potter Connection:

…wordpress.com/2009/07/01/hogwarts/

Edited: 3:03 pm, December 06, 2012
Edinburgh, United...
posts: 392
reviews: 11
7. Re: castles and ruins

Are you driving to London from Edinburgh? If so, you will pass Alnwick on one of the main routes south. These people mention Durham as a film location and that also is on the A1, and well worth visiting in its own right:

empireonline.com/features/…2.asp

Bingley, United...
Destination Expert
for Edinburgh
posts: 26,229
8. Re: castles and ruins

< If you are staying in Glasgow for a night during your trip then you could do worse than to head to Glasgow University, which is said to be the inspiration for Hogwarts School due to its abundance of stone turrets and atmospheric halls, quad and undercroft. >

George Heriot's in Edinburgh (just round the corner from many of the cafes JK wrote the first HP in) was the inspiration for Hogwarts

Liverpool, United...
Destination Expert
for Liverpool
posts: 7,291
reviews: 64
9. Re: castles and ruins

Castle Stalker is on the A828 half way in between Fort William and Oban.

I remember driving past it many years ago.

http://www.castlestalker.com/wp/

There's also the ruins if Dunollie Castle in Oban.

www.darkisle.com/d/dunollie/dunollie.html

Edinburgh...
Destination Expert
for Edinburgh
posts: 4,391
reviews: 75
10. Re: castles and ruins

Quite a bit of HP was filmed in Glencoe ... Hagrid's Cottage. Worth going there for other reasons as well, because there sure ain't any Hagrid traces left on the hillside ...