Top 10 Harry Potter filming locations
I’m a member of the Harry Potter generation. I have had the stories in my life longer than I didn’t and I have found solace and companionship through the community. The books came into my life first, but the movies added another level of immersion to the stories that had become a part of my life.
Scattered throughout the United Kingdom are magical locations where you can experience where the films took place. Walk in the footsteps of your favourite characters, get on the train to Hogwarts and visit the Great Hall. Check out my top locations below!
ONE. Warner Bros. Studios – Leavesden, England
The Making of Harry Potter at the Warner Bros. Studio Tour London is the first stop on our Harry Potter tour. Take this award-winning tour of some breathtaking sets, authentic props, and original costumes. Wander through the Great Hall and the Forbidden Forest and get lost in Diagon Alley. Check out the costumes worn during filming, including Quidditch uniforms, Yule Ball dress robes, and school uniforms. Check out the website for more information.
TWO. King’s Cross Station – London
There’s no better way to really start your tour than by a visit to Platform 9 and 3 quarters at King’s Cross Station. Platforms 9 and 10 are actually separated by track not a wall – the arched wall used in the films is actually located between platforms 4 and 5. Not what you’re after? Head to the concourse where you’ll find a luggage trolley disappearing into the wall below a sign declaring Platform 9 3/4! Here you can take photos with the trolley – it doesn’t cost anything to take your own photo but there are professional photographers around who will take your photo with your house scarf billowing behind you as you rush through the barrier! You can view and purchase these photos in the Harry Potter shop next door! For more information, check out their website.
THREE: Leadenhall Market – London
This picturesque Victorian covered market is where you’ll find the store that doubled as the entrance to The Leaky Cauldron. The store is an optician but the whole Market is worth a wander through – it’s said the beautiful centre inspired Diagon Alley too! For more information on Leadenhall Market, check out their website.
FOUR: Piccadilly Circus – London
This bustling public square is home to the iconic Piccadilly screens and Statue of Eros and has something for everyone within walking distance – shopping, history, and culture. What’s so special about this location in our tour? It’s where Harry, Ron, and Hermione narrowly missed being run over by a bus when they escaped the wedding in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2.
FIVE: Lacock Abbey, Wiltshire
This historic abbey boasts not just one, but three magical filming locations. The Warming Room was the site of Professor Quirrel’s Defence Against the Dark Arts classroom, Professor Snape’s Potions Class was held in the Sacristy. Visit the Chapter House to see where Harry discovered the Mirror of Erised. If there’s a little too much fictional magic for you, make sure to visit the South Gallery – where William Henry Fox Talbot took the world’s first photograph! Check out the Abbey’s website for more information.
SIX: Christ Church College and the Bodleian Libraries – Oxford
The magnificent Great Hall of Christ Church College was the inspiration for the Hogwarts Great Hall that was built in Leavesden Studios. If you have time at this stop, and you’re travelling during student break times, you can even organise an overnight stay in a dorm and have breakfast in the Great Hall – you can’t get much closer to the magic than that! This college houses many more filming locations, including some of the cloisters and quadrangles. Don’t forget the Bodley staircase, where the first years are met by Professor McGonagall before being led into the Great Hall. For more information on the College, visit their website.
The Bodleian Libraries at Oxford University has lent its halls to multiple films. The Old Library doubled as the Hogwarts Library. The beautiful, vaulted Divinity School became the Hogwarts Infirmary where students were treated for everything, from minor scraps to boneless arms! For more information on the libraries, check out their website.
SEVEN: Gloucester Cathedral – Gloucester
The spectacular cloisters of this cathedral doubled as some of the hallways at Hogwarts, notably the hallways leading to the Gryffindor Common Room and where Harry and Ron followed the troll to the girl’s bathroom in their first year! For more information on visiting the Cathedral, check out their website.
EIGHT: Goathland Station – Goathland
This quaint station doubled as Hogsmeade Station in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. Hop on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway and take a ride through the picturesque countryside and you’ll get to stop in at this beautiful station and pretend you’re getting off the train to Hogwarts! For information about the station and the North Yorkshire Moors Railway, check out their website.
NINE: Durham Cathedral – Durham
This historic cathedral has been used for multiple scenes throughout the Harry Potter movies. The Cloister was used as hallways between classes. The Chapter House was used for Professor McGonagall’s Transfiguration classroom. The Cloister Garth (the square grassed area in the middle of the Cloister) was dusted with fake snow to set the wintery scene when Harry released Hedwig for a fly around the grounds in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. It was also the location where Ron’s ‘eat slugs’ curse backfired! For more information on visiting the Cathedral, visit their website.
TEN: Alnwick Castle – Northumberland
Alnwick Castle was used for multiple scenes in the Harry Potter films. The Outer Bailey was used for Harry’s first flying lesson and where Harry learned the rules of Quidditch with Oliver Wood. You can now follow in Harry’s footsteps and learn broomstick skills too! The courtyards and baileys were used to film students and staff going about their daily activities. The Inner Bailey was where Harry and Ron crashed the flying Ford Anglia. The Lion Arch was a way in and out of Hogwarts towards Hagrid’s Hut and the Forbidden Forest. For more information on visiting Alnwick Castle and broomstick lessons, visit their website.
BONUS: The Hogwarts Express!
The real-life Hogwarts Express, the Jacobite steam train is described as the greatest railway journey in the world. Feel like you’re on your way to Hogwarts as you travel the picturesque British countryside. Check out their website for more information on the Jacobite.