Visit Harry Potter filming locations
Britain is bursting with spell-binding spots from Harry Potter films that makes it magical for Potterheads everywhere. From King’s Cross station’s Platform 9¾ with its disappearing luggage, to York’s own wonky timber-framed version of Diagon Alley, and the giant cauldron located in a Wiltshire abbey. Creep around the cloisters of Gloustershire Cathedral, or check out Oxford, the city of spires, with the famous Bodleian Library doubling up as Hogwart’s library, and the vaulted Divinity School next door which became Hogwart’s Hospital admitting students with broomstick injuries and back-firing spells. Immerse yourself into a film set tour and check out original sets, animatronic creatures and impressive special effects.
Top Six Harry Potter locations in London
King’s Cross Station
The Hogwarts Express departs from Platform 9¾ at King’s Cross station. On the western concourse, you’ll find a baggage trolley disappearing into the magical realm through a wall.
Reptile House, London Zoo
The Reptile House at ZSL London Zoo is where Harry first discovers his gift for talking with snakes in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. Chat to snakes, lizards, frogs and crocodiles.
Leadenhall Market in the City district was used as Diagon Alley. The entrance to wizard’s pub, the Leaky Cauldron, is an optician in Bull’s Head Passage.
Scenes for Gringotts Wizarding Bank (the only known bank of the wizarding world) were filmed in the grand interior of Australia House on the Strand.
It’s on Lambeth Bridge that the Knight Bus has to squeeze between two oncoming double-decker buses in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince opens with a dramatic sequence of the Millennium footbridge collapsing. The bridge links Bankside with the City and St Paul’s Cathedral.
Everything you need to know before visiting Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter
What is it?
Next-door to the working film studios where all eight Harry Potter films were made, the Studio Tour offers visitors the unique opportunity to explore two sound-stages and a backlot filled with original sets, animatronic creatures and breathtaking special effects.
Where is it?
The Studio Tour is located 20 miles north-west of London and less than three miles from the M1 and M25 motorways. Post-code for sat-nav is WD257LR.
What sets can I explore?
Step onto iconic sets including the Great Hall, the Forbidden Forest, Platform 9¾ and Diagon Alley.
What props will I see?
In Professor Dumbledore’s office, you’ll find 900 memory vials. There’s over 950 filled potion jars lining the walls of the Potions Classroom. In Professor Dolores Umbridge’s pink office, you’ll find her collection of plates featuring various moving kittens.
What about the costumes?
Everything from Quidditch uniforms to a more formal style of wizard wear - created for the Yule Ball, held to celebrate Christmas and the Triwizard Tournament, are on display.
Treat yourself to a tankard of Butterbeer – this delicious non-alcoholic drink tastes of shortbread and butterscotch. And marvel at a model version of the whole of Hogwarts. The 1:24 scale construction was used for filming the exterior and aerial shots of the school.
How much are tickets?
Studio Tour tickets start from £49.95 and can be purchased from the Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter website.
Harry Potter film locations around Britain
Freshwater West, Pembrokeshire, Wales
This stretch of golden sand was the location for Bill Weasley and Fleur Delacour‘s Shell Cottage in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. When Harry found himself inside the whimsical cottage he could hear nothing but the ebb and flow of the sea. Although the cottage was taken down after filming, you can still visit the beach and watch surfers riding some of Wales’ best waves.
Glenfinnan Viaduct, Lochaber, Scotland
Located on the West Highland line between Fort William and Mallaig, the Glenfinnan Viaduct is a familiar sight for wizards travelling on the Hogwarts Express. Ron’s flying Ford Anglia even lands on it during Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. To cross the viaduct in a Hogwarts-style steam locomotive, West Coast Railways runs the Jacobite Steam Train twice a day.
Alnwick Castle, Northumberland, England
Madame Hooch’s broomstick flying lesson, from Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, takes place in the Outer Bailey of medieval Alnwick Castle in Northumberland.
Harry also learns the rules of Quidditch here, while the inner courtyards and baileys were used to film Hogwarts students and staff going about their daily activities. Broomstick training for visitors still occurs at Alnwick Castle, along with wizardry magic shows and costumed tours.
Gloucester Cathedral, Gloucestershire, England
Watch out for Nearly Headless Nick or Moaning Myrtle and see where Harry and Ron hid from the giant troll in the spooky cloisters, under the fan vaulted roof of the 1,300-year-old Gloucester Cathedral. The cathedral was transformed into the corridors of Hogwarts for the first, second and sixth Harry Potter films.
Bodleian Library, Oxford, England
The oldest reading room in Oxford University’s magnificent Bodleian Library doubled as the Hogwarts library in three Harry Potter films. The next-door vaulted Divinity School became Hogwarts hospital, admitting students for broomstick injuries, curses and back-firing spells.
Nearby Christ Church College is where we were first introduced to Hogwarts, with Harry and the other first-year wizards ascending the 16th-century stone staircase to the Great Hall.
Durham Cathedral, Durham, England
Durham Cathedral’s Chapter House was where Professor McGonagall taught the young wizards to turn animals into water goblets. The cathedral’s elegant cloisters saw Ron Weasley fall victim to his own slug-vomiting curse, in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. They were also the setting for the snow-covered quadrangle where Harry first set Hedwig flying in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.
Lacock Abbey, Wiltshire, England
Lacock Abbey’s Warming Room – which contains a giant cauldron – was Professor Quirrell’s Defence Against the Dark Arts classroom, while Professor Snape’s Potions Class was held in the Sacristy. It was in the abbey’s Chapter House that Harry stumbled upon the Mirror of Erised, which shows the heart’s deepest desire.