While Scotland is known as the birthplace and setting for Harry Potter, most of the filming took place in England. Even if you are not a Harry Potter fan, the locations are intriguing, beautiful, and legendary. Below are must-see Harry Potter movie locations.
Harry Potter Locations: Little Whinging and London
Picket Post Close, Bracknell
4 Privet Drive, Little Whinging is home of the Dursleys where the saga begins. This is an actual home in Berkshire, located at 12 Picket Post Close, Bracknell. Fame brought fortune to the owners of the home—it was sold in 2016 for £650,000, 1/3 more than the asking price. The platform from which the Hogwarts Express leaves from London is Platform 9 ¾, King’s Cross Station. Opened in 1852 for the East Coast Rail Line, King’s Cross is one of the busiest stations; it is the southern terminus for trains from Northern England and Scotland.
King’s Cross Station
Platform 9 ¾, the platform from which the Hogwarts Express departs London, is at King’s Cross Station. The station was opened in 1852 to accommodate the East Coast Rail Line. Today King’s Cross is an incredibly busy station, being the southern terminus for trains from northern England and Scotland.
If Platform 9 ¾ seems out of place, that’s because it is. J. K. Rowling was in Manchester when she wrote the first train scene and had to describe the station from memory. Unfortunately, she was remembering Euston Station, not King’s Cross Station, when she wrote the description!
Harry Potter Location: Diagon Alley
Leadenhall Market is the setting for many of the exterior shots of Diagon Alley and Leaky Cauldron. This market dates back to the 14th century, and it is a beauty. Originally a meat market, under its ornate roof today there are beautiful shops, restaurants, arts, and bars.
London’s Australia House provided the interior shots of Gringotts Wizarding Bank, a magical place run by goblins. London’s longest continuously occupied foreign mission, King George V laid the first foundation stone in 1913.
Harry Potter Location: Hogwarts
Goathland Train Station
Goathland Train Station stands in for Hogsmeade train station where students get off the Hogwarts Express. In the North Yorkshire Moors Railway, it serves the town of Goathland in the North York Moors National Park.
Alnwick Castle was used for several exterior shots of Hogwarts, though most fans know it as the outer bailey where Madame Hooch held flying lessons. It is the second largest inhabited castle in England, only Windsor is larger, and has been in the Percy family for over 700 years. Check out the state rooms and the lost cellars!
Durham Cathedral was used for a number of Hogwarts interior and exterior shots, but is most easily recognized as the Hogwarts quadrangle. Durham Cathedral is an Anglican church, the shrine of St. Cuthbert and the seat of the Bishop of Durham. The cathedral is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and one of the finest examples of Norman architecture in the world. When visiting, see the new Open Treasure visitor experience as well as the LEGO Durham Cathedral in the Undercroft Foyer.
The Gloucester Cathedral’s Cloisters are used for multiple interior shots of Hogwarts. The troll from the first movie, as well as the corridor in Gryffindor, were filmed here. Formally known as the Cathedral Church of St. Peter and the Holy and Indivisible Trinity, the Cathedral was founded in 678 by Osric of the Hwicce. The Cloisters were built in the late 14th and early 15th centuries, and they are believed to be the earliest example of fan vaulting in England. Lacock Abbey was used for many interior shots, most notably Professor Snape’s Potions class. The hallway is where Harry first hears the basilisk. Lacock was founded in the early 13th century as an Augustinian nunnery. Today the abbey is a quirky house with a variety of architectural styles.
Christ Church was used for a number of interior shots across several Harry Potter movies. The staircase was where Harry, Ron and Hermione first met Professor McGonagall. The Tudor Great Dining Hall was the inspiration for Hogwarts Dining Hall. And the hallways were used to film scenes between Harry and Hermione. Christ Church is one of the larger colleges at Oxford, and the second wealthiest after St. John’s. Christ Church has about 175 acres and a number of historically significant buildings.
Lacock Abbey was used for many interior shots, most notably Professor Snape’s Potions class. The hallway is where Harry first hears the basilisk. Lacock was founded in the early 13th century as an Augustinian nunnery. Today the abbey is a quirky house with a variety of architectural styles.
The oldest part of the Bodleian Library, the Duke Humphries Library, is filmed as the Hogwarts Library. One of the oldest libraries in Europe, it has been open to scholars since 1602. With over 12 million printed items, it is the second largest library in Britain. Also at Bodleian, the medieval Divinity School served as the Hogwarts infirmary. It was built between 1427 – 1483 and is the oldest purpose-built building at Oxford University. Look up at the ceiling; there are 455 intricately carved ribs. Gorgeous.
Divinity School at Bodleian Library
Also at the Bodleian Library, the Divinity School served as the Hogwarts infirmary The Divinity School is a medieval building constructed in the perpendicular style. It was built between 1427 and 1483 and is the oldest surviving purpose-built building at Oxford University. The biggest draw at the Divinity School is the ceiling. It has incredibly elaborate lierne vaulting, meaning there are tertiary ribs in the vaulting that span two other ribs rather than originating at the central boss. And there are 455 bosses in the ceiling.
The Lake at Virginia Water was used for several locations. The surface is where Harry rode the hippogriff. This is a manmade lake, created in the 18th century by the Duke of Cumberland. There are a number of unique features at the lake, including the Leptis Magna ruin and a totem pole that was a gift to the Queen from Canada.
Ashridge Wood is the spot that The Quidditch World Cup camp attacked, by Lord Voldemort and the Death Eaters, from the opening scenes in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. The forest is within the North Wessex Down Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.