Experience the magic of Harry Potter
Step into the magical world of Harry Potter and discover the locations that brought Hogwarts to life
Location: Christ Church College, Oxford, England
We’re first introduced to Hogwarts with Harry and the other first-year wizards ascending Christ Church College’s 16th-century stone staircase to the Great Hall. You might not see the floating candles and moving portraits that were in the movie, but this grand dining hall with its soaring vaulted roof is still a sight to behold.
Location: Bodleian Library, Oxford, England
The magnificent Bodleian Library, that dates from 1602 and is part of the historical heart of Oxford University, was a fitting location for Hogwarts’ library. It was specifically Duke Humfrey’s Library – the Bodleian’s oldest reading room, with medieval architecture – that was used for filming. Next door, the elaborately vaulted, big-windowed Divinity School doubled up as Hogwarts’ infirmary where both Harry and Ron were treated at different times.
Location: Alnwick Castle, Northumberland, England
Madame Hooch’s broomstick flying lesson, seen in the first film, takes place in the Outer Bailey of medieval Alnwick Castle. Have a go yourself with broomstick training included in the entrance fee. You can also see wizardry magic shows or join a tour with a costumed guide regaling behind-the-scenes stories from when the Harry Potter crew were filming.
Location: Gloucester Cathedral, Gloucester, Gloucestershire
Look out for Nearly Headless Nick or Moaning Myrtle and see where Harry and Ron hid from the troll in the spooky corridors of 1,300-year-old Gloucester Cathedral. An ancient wooden door leads down to the old crypt, said to be haunted by monks from the old Gloucester monastery.
Location: Durham Cathedral, Durham, County Durham
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Norman architecture of Durham Cathedral set the scene for Hogwarts. The Chapterhouse was the venue for Professor McGonagall’s classroom where the young wizards learnt how to turn animals into water goblets. The cathedral’s cloisters became the snow-covered quadrangle where Harry sets Hedwig the owl flying in the first film and is also the scene of Ron’s slug vomiting in the Chamber of Secrets.
Location: Lacock Abbey, Wiltshire, England
Lacock Abbey's Warming Room – which contains a genuine giant cauldron – was Professor Quirrell’s Defence Against the Dark Arts classroom, the Sacristy held Professor Snape’s Potions Class; and it’s in the abbey’s Chapter House that Harry stumbles upon the Mirror of Erised. Wander the cloisters – dating all the way back to 1232 – and you might think you glimpsed Argus Filch and his cat creeping along.
Location: Glencoe, Scotland
The rugged mountains of Scotland’s Glencoe and Glen Nevis formed the stunning landscape where Hogwarts is set and where many a Quidditch tournament flew through. As you stride along the hills, keep a look-out for flying broomsticks…
Location: Warner Bros Studios, Leavesden, England
Last but by no means least, at the Warner Bros Studios Tour just outside London, you can see Hogwarts in its entirety… well – the 1:24 scale construction that is used for filming the exterior and aerial shots of the school. You can walk all the way round this impressively realistic model – look out for the miniature versions of the courtyards from Alnwick Castle and Durham Cathedral that the artists constructed after scenes were filmed there.