A Potterhead’s Guide To Harry Potter Filming Locations

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A Potterhead’s Guide To Harry Potter Filming Locations

Harry Potter 20th Anniversary Special

If you are not feeling old yet, let us remind you that it has been 20 years since the first film of Harry Potter hit the big screen. After you are done questioning the passage of time, you can move on to celebrating, and there is no better way of doing that than visiting a few of the films’ famed locations. We have listed out 10 of the most iconic places that have been close to our hearts for the past 20 years.

With restrictions being placed across England due to the new Covid variant, please continue to follow the government’s guidance and remember to plan and check attraction websites before travelling.

1. Durham Cathedral, Durham City

Durham Cathedral, Durham City

Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry came to life in various locations, one of them including the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Durham Cathedral’s ancient cloisters. Explore the Norman cathedral’s cloisters which became the snow-covered quadrangle where Harry set Hedwig the owl flying in the first film- Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, it is also where Ron fell victim to his own slug vomiting curse in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, orwalk in the footsteps of Harry, Ron and Hermoine in The Chapter House, where Professor McGonagall taught the young wizards to turn animals into water goblets.

2. Alnwick Castle, Northumberland

Alnwick Castle, Northumberland

Explore the Outer Bailey of the ancient Alnwick Castle, where Madame Hooch’s broomstick flying lessons, seen in the first film, takes place and the Inner Bailey is where Harry and Ron crash-landed the Weasley’s family flying car. The castle was also starred as Hogwarts School on The Philosopher’s Stone and in the Chamber of Secrets. Owned by the Duke and Duchess of Northumberland, the castle now offers “broomstick training” to its visitors, or watch some wizardly magic shows.

3. Gloucester Cathedral, Gloucestershire

Gloucester Cathedral, Gloucestershire

This historic castle’s cloisters were transformed into the corridors of Hogwarts for the first two films. In the first film, the troll who smashed the girls’ toilets, trapping Hermione, is seen walking through the Cathedral’s cloisters while Harry and Ron hid in the Lavatorium. The cathedral makes a second appearance in the second film when its North Walk features the words written in blood that announce that the Chamber of Secrets has been opened. It is worth getting a tour guide to reveal fascinating ways the cathedral had to be altered for filming.

4. Lacock Abbey, Wiltshire

Lacock Abbey, Wiltshire

The village of Lacock in Wiltshire has become famous as the “Harry Potter village” over the years as it was used numerous times a shooting location for the films. Multiple scenes from the Philosopher’s Stone, the Half-Blood Prince and most recently Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald were all filmed here. The quaint village’s Warming Room-which has a giant cauldron- was Professor’s Quirrell’s Defense against the Dark Arts classroom, while Professor Snape’s Potions Class was held in the Sacristy. It was in the abbey’s Chapter House where Harry found the Mirror of Erised, which shows the heart’s deepest desire.

5. King’s Cross Station, London

King’s Cross Station, London

The Hogwarts Express departs from Platform 9¾ at King’s Cross Station, which is in the arched wall between platforms 4 and 5. If you want a more magical experience, head towards the entrance to platforms 9,10 and 11 on the west side of the station where you will find a trolley disappearing into the magical realm through a wall marked ‘Platform 9¾’. There is also a  shop selling fun accessories from round Harry Potter glasses to Hufflepuff hair scrunchies.

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6. Christ Church College, Oxford

Christ Church College, Oxford

The cloisters and quadrangles of the Christ Church College are starred in many of the Hogwarts scenes of the first film. You can book a college room at Christ College and enjoy breakfast in The Great Hall, which was replicated in the film studios to create the infamous and grand Hogwarts Hall. You can also see the staircase where we were first introduced to Hogwarts with Harry and the other first-year wizards ascending the 16th century stone staircase and are greeted by Professor McGonagall.

7. The Warner Bros. Studios, Leavesden

The Warner Bros. Studios, Leavesden

At the Warner Bros Studio Tour just outside London, wizards, squibs and even muggles can discover the magic of Harry Potter. You can find a model version of Hogwarts and get a studio tour around the 1:24 scale construction, which was used for filming the exterior and aerial shots of the school. Many of the fantastic props, mythical items and iconic sets were saved. Take a journey through the famous sets, pose in your favourite scenes and taste some delicious Butterbeer- a delicious non-alcoholic drink which tastes of shortbread and butterscotch.

8. Glenfinnan Viaduct, Scottish Highlands

Glenfinnan Viaduct, Scottish Highlands

This viaduct, 100 ft above ground, in the Lochaber area of the Highlands of Scotland saw the Hogwarts Express travel over it in several Harry Potter films en route to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. You can journey through this magical landscape aboard the Jacobite steam train used as the Hogwarts Express in the movie. See if you can spot the place where Arthur’s Weasley’s baby blue flying Ford Anglia lands on the viaduct in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.

9. Leadenhall Market, London

Leadenhall Market, London

Explore the Leadenhall Market, a covered Victorian market in London. Sharp-eyed fans will recognise the blue door of The Leaky Cauldron -which in real life is an optician’s clinic in Bull’s Head Passage of the market. Behind the store is where the glittering Diagon Alley shopping street was imagined selling spell books and potions that were so enticing that Harry wished he had eight eyes to see.

10. Piccadilly Circus, London

Piccadilly Circus, London

The Piccadilly Circus is one of London’s most popular tours. It is through this iconic location that they run during Deathly Hallows: Part 1 when they flee the wedding of Ron’s older brother after learning that the Death Eaters are on their tails. Marvel at the bright lights and bustling atmosphere of the Circus where Harry, Hermoine and Ron materialise and have to jump out of the way to narrowly miss being hit by a London bus.

Harry Potter 20th anniversary reunion special: In what’s sure to be a spellbinding reunion, cast members from all eight Harry Potter films will reconvene to recount the making of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone two decades after its theatrical release. The special, titled Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts, will feature “in-depth interviews and cast conversations” about one of the most beloved pop culture franchises, according to Warner Media.

Where to watch?

Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts will premiere Jan. 1 on HBO Max, right as the clock strikes midnight and the new year begins. To watch it, you’ll need an HBO Max subscription.

Amazon Prime Video in India announced that the Harry Potter reunion special, ‘Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts,’ will stream exclusively on its OTT platform from 2:30 pm on January 1.

The special will also air on Cartoon Network in spring 2022, just before the theatrical release of Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore.

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