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The world of Harry Potter

Muggles and wizards

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Journey to the magical world of Harry Potter

You’ve read the books and seen the films. Now it’s time to experience the magical locations from the films for yourself. From the untamed Scottish Highlands where Hagrid’s Hut was located, to the London market that served as the backdrop for Diagon Alley, the United Kingdom is a paradise for the true Harry Potter fan.

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Leadenhall Market

Diagon Alley and the Leaky Cauldron

Without a doubt, one of the most fascinating places in the Harry Potter films is Diagon Alley, where Harry and his classmates do their back-to-school shopping each year. The real-life version is Leadenhall Market, which served as the filming location for a number of exterior shots of Diagon Alley. Built in 1881, Leadenhall is unquestionably the most beautiful Victorian market in all of London. In Bull’s Head Passage, you’ll find The Glass House: this optician’s blue shopfront was used as the entrance to the Leaky Cauldron in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.

Movie: Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone and Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

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King's Cross Station

Through the wall on Platform 9 ¾

Choo chooo… the train to Hogwarts is leaving. King’s Cross Station is one of the few locations in the film series to appear as itself: simply King’s Cross Station. This is the station where, each year, all Hogwarts students leave the Muggle world behind for the wizarding world. Near the gates to platforms 9, 10 and 11, there is a small plaque that reads ‘Platform 9 ¾’ and a baggage cart disappearing into the wall. You can have your picture taken here and visit a special Harry Potter gift shop. Unfortunately, however, you will need a valid train ticket to access the real platform 9.

Movie: Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

When making the films, platforms 4 and 5 at King’s Cross were renumbered as 9 and 10.

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Millennium Bridge

Hold tight, here come the Death Eaters

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince opens with a spectacular scene in which the Millennium Bridge across the Thames collapses. The Death Eaters attack London and cause the iconic bridge to plummet into the river below – Muggles and all. Luckily, this steel pedestrian bridge is still intact and ready to be admired. You will find it in front of the majestic St Paul’s Cathedral. And while the Death Eaters themselves are fictional, of course, it might be a good idea to hold on to the railing – just in case. 

Movie: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

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Oxford

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Oxford

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Christ Church College

The Great Hall

From London, you can take the train to Oxford. Many of the scenes taking place at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry were filmed in this university town. Your first stop, no doubt, will be the Great Hall of Christ Church College. The makers of the films took this dining and assembly hall as their inspiration in building the set for the Great Hall of Hogwarts. Fun fact: the staircase you ascend to reach the (real) Great Hall is the place where Professor McGonagall welcomes Harry and his friends to Hogwarts.

Movie: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

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New College

Centuries-old tree

Yet there are many other filming locations to be found in Oxford as well. Do you remember the scene in which Draco Malfoy and Harry are standing under a tree, and Mad-Eye Moody turns the bullying Draco into a ferret? This scene in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire was filmed in the courtyard of New College in Oxford. The large tree is still there today. New College was founded in 1379 and is well worth a visit, even without the link to Harry Potter.

Movie: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

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England

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England

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Goathland Station

Hogsmeade Station

It should come as no surprise that the many castles, cathedrals and dramatic landscapes in the north of England served as inspiration for numerous locations in the 8 films. 
Have you always wanted to disembark at Hogsmeade Station, the final stop on the Hogwarts Express? In that case, journey to Goathland: the train station in this little hamlet provided the set for Hogsmeade Station.

Movie: Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

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Gloucester Cathedral

Watch out for Moaning Myrtle

And if you like ghost stories, be sure to pay a visit to Gloucester Cathedral. This house of worship has been in use for 1,300 years. While you won’t find Moaning Myrtle or Nearly-Headless Nick on the premises, legend holds that monks from the old monastery still haunt the crypt. The corridors of Gloucester Cathedral stood in as filming locations for various Hogwarts interiors. One of the best-known scenes filmed here is from Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, when Harry and Ron hide from the escaped troll.

Movie: Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets and Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

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Durham Cathedral

The ultimate Hogwarts experience

Who could forget the fantastic scene in the very first film, when Harry and his owl, Hedwig, cross the snow-covered courtyard of Hogwarts? In reality, the vaulted colonnades edging the yard belong to Durham Cathedral, one of the most beautiful Norman cathedrals in the United Kingdom. This location is also used in the scene in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets when Ron spits up slugs. The chapter house of the cathedral served as the set for one of Professor McGonagall’s lessons, when she teaches the young wizards and witches to turn animals into water goblets. 

All the films 

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Scotland

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Glenfinnan viaduct

All aboard the Hogwarts Express

For a true Harry Potter experience, a ride on the Jacobite steam train in Scotland is simply a must. The train chugs past picturesque villages and the rugged scenery of the Scottish Highlands. The true highlight, however, is of course the Glenfinnan Viaduct, made world-famous thanks to the films. Although the viaduct is featured in multiple films, the scene in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, in which Ron and Harry race ahead of the Hogwarts Express in the Flying Ford Anglia, is undoubtedly the most spectacular.

Movie: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

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Be sure to plan your rail journey carefully, as the ‘Hogwarts Express’ departs twice a day and operates from May to October only.

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Glen Coe

Hagrid’s Hut

Travel further into the Scottish Highlands to brave the rugged landscapes of Glen Coe. These dramatic mountain ranges and rushing rivers served as the scenery that surrounds the Hogwarts estate. The Quidditch matches in the first two films, for instance, were filmed here against the backdrop of Glen Nevis. This is also the setting for Hagrid’s Hut, as well as the bridge leading to the entrance of Hogwarts.

All the films

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