It’s hard to believe little Harry Potter is now over 20 years old (the first novel, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, was published in 1997). And while Scotland has a pretty unshakeable claim as the birthplace of Harry Potter, it is England where the lion’s share of filming took place. Below are 14 must-see Harry Potter Filming locations in England for the serious Harry Potter fan. We have a number of England vacations that include many of these spots on the itinerary or let us create a custom Harry Potter itinerary just for you.
Harry Potter Locations: Little Whinging and London
Picket Post Close, Bracknell
4 Privet Drive, Little Whinging, home to the Dursleys is where the Harry Potter saga begins. The house from the movies is an actual house in Berkshire, located at 12 Picket Post Close, Bracknell. The home was bought in late 2016 for £650,000 – nearly £200,000 more than the asking price of £475,000.
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 was used for many of the exterior shots of Diagon Alley and the Leaky Cauldron. The market actually dates back to the 14th century and its location is what would have been the center of Roman London. Originally a meat market, today Leadenhall Market houses a variety of shops, restaurants and bars. Make sure to check out the ornate roof.
Australia House in London provided the interior shots of Gringotts Wizarding Bank, the magical bank run by goblins. Australia House is Australia’s oldest diplomatic mission and it is London’ longest continuously occupied foreign mission. King George V laid the first foundation stone in 1913, but the building was not completed until 1918. Labor and materials shortages resulting from World War I caused the delay.
Harry Potter Location: Hogwarts
Goathland Train Station
Goathland Train Station was used for the Hogsmeade train station where students disembark the Hogwarts Express. Goathland Station is a working train station on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway, serving the town of Goathland in the North York Moors National Park. The station is maintained by the all-volunteer Goathland Station Group.
Alnwick Castle was used for several exterior shots of Hogwarts, though most fans will know it best for the outer bailey where Madame Hooch held flying lessons. Fans will also recognize the inner bailey, where Harry and Ron crashed the Weasleys’ flying Ford Anglia. Alnwick Castle is the second largest inhabited castle in England (only Windsor is larger) and has been in the Percy family for over 700 years. Visitors should make sure to check out the state rooms and the lost cellars.
Durham Cathedral was used for a number of Hogwarts interior and exterior shots, but is probably 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 also a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the finest examples of Norman architecture in the world. When visiting, be sure to 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 are believed to be the earliest example of fan vaulting in England.
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 a number of interior shots, most notably Professor Snape’s Potions class. The hallway where Harry first hears the basilisk is here as well. Ela, Countess of Salisbury, founded Lacock in the early 13th century as an Augustinian nunnery. The nunnery prospered until Catholicism was outlawed, then was sold, the church demolished and the abbey converted into a country home. Today the abbey is a quirky house sporting a variety of architectural styles.
The oldest part of the Bodleian Library, the Duke Humphries Library, was used to film the Hogwarts Library. The Bodleian Library is one of the oldest libraries in Europe; it has been open to scholars since 1602 though its roots stretch back to the 15th century. It is also the second largest library in Britain (the British Library is largest) with over 12 million printed items. The Radcliffe Camera, built between 1737 and 1748, was incorporated into the Bodleian Library in 1860.
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 one of several lakes used for Hogwarts Lake. It is actually the surface of the lake that will be most familiar to fans, as this was the lake where Harry rode the hippogriff. The lake is actually a manmade lake, created in the 18th century under the direction of William Augustus, Duke of Cumberland. There are a number of interesting features to see at the lake, including the Leptis Magna ruin and a totem pole that was a gift to the Queen from Canada.
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 was filmed in Ashridge Wood. The forest is within the North Wessex Down Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). It is a surviving section of a once-larger ancient coppiced woodland. It is especially noted for its flowering woodland plants, particularly the Spiked Star of Bethlehem.
And there are so many other sites to see. The London Zoo, where Harry accidently traps his cousin, Dursley, in the snake pit. Claremont Square, also known as 12 Grimmauld Square, or Sirius Black’s house. Then there is the lovely Hardwick Hall, home to the Malfoys. And the fourth form classroom at Harrow School where Professor Flitwick taught his charms class.