In Chapter Six of Philosopher's Stone we have the following statement:

"Yeh'll get yer firs' sight o' Hogwarts in a sec," Hagrid called over his shoulder, "jus' round this bend here."

This takes place after they have already detrained and walked a bit. This implies that the students could not have seen Hogwarts at any point during the train journey itself.

However, in Chapter Ten of Order of the Phoenix we find the following:

Harry was sitting with his forehead pressed against the train window, trying to get a first glimpse of Hogwarts, but it was a moonless night and the rain-streaked window was grimy.

This implies that if not for the specific conditions present then, Hogwarts could be seen from the train.

So which is it? Is there a point during the train ride where you can catch a glimpse of Hogwarts, or isn't there?

2 Answers 2


This is a sketch of a map originally drawn by JK Rowling herself and this is an artist's rendition based on that sketch.

As you can see, trees are blocking the view from on the castle from the station. Moreover, the last part of the railway seems to run along the outskirts of the forbidden forest. So probably the view from the railway is blocked by trees for the last part of the journey, unless there is a clear sky where you can see part of the roof or towers above the treetops, if you have visited Hogwarts before and know where to look. I guess that first year students are unaware of this.

  • Based on that map, you can certainly see Hogwarts from the train - only the Forbidden Forest, perhaps, but that's still part of Hogwarts. Hagrid, on the other hand, was clearly talking about Hogwarts Castle, which you can't see until after you're nearly at the lake. Good find! Commented May 2, 2019 at 11:24

In the First Book(Sorcerer's Stone) Hagrid means to say that the first sight of Hogwarts while walking through the roads that the first years take. Not as a whole. Presumably they have already seen Hogwarts and have gushed and be awed earlier in the train itself.

They will now have their first proper look at it(not a glimpse) while walking on the road.

  • 1
    Welcome to SciFi.SE! Do you have any evidence that Hogwarts can be seen from the train, or is this just a random assumption of yours?
    – F1Krazy
    Commented May 2, 2019 at 7:00

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