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The Real-life Film Locations in the ‘Harry Potter’ Franchise

Charlotte Bond
(Photo Credit: Warner Bros. / MovieStillsDB)

Even 24 years after the first Harry Potter books were published and 20 years since a bespectacled Daniel Radcliffe stepped onto our screens, the popularity of the Wizarding World continues unabated.

For those wanting a little extra connection with the fandom, it’s possible to visit some of the locations where the Harry Potter movies were filmed.

Kings Cross, London

Kings Cross (Photo Credit: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images & Warner Bros. / MovieStillsDB)

Kings Cross (Photo Credit: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images & Warner Bros. / MovieStillsDB)

This location appears as itself in virtually all of the films. As a working railway station in England’s capital, it’s open to all, and you can go in search of Platform 9 ¾, which was added once the books became such a hit.

There is also a shop filled with Harry Potter merchandise. Outside, a luggage trolley has been artistically embedded into one of the walls, making it possible to have a photo taken to look like you’re on the way to Platform 9 ¾ itself.

The Jacobite – Hogwarts Express

The Jacobite (Photo Credit: Elaine Webber, CC BY-SA 2.0 & Warner Bros. / MovieStillsDB)

The Jacobite (Photo Credit: Elaine Webber, CC BY-SA 2.0 & Warner Bros. / MovieStillsDB)

Want to feel the excitement that Harry, Ron, and Hermione felt as they set off for their first term at Hogwarts? Then you should book a journey on the Jacobite railway line in Scotland. Running from Fort William to Mallaig, passengers get to pass over the iconic curved bridge (Glenfinnan Viaduct) that was seen in so many of the movies.

Alnwick Castle – exterior of Hogwarts

Alnwick Castle (Photo Credit: James West from UK – Alnwick Castle – staterooms, CC BY-SA 2.0 & Warner Bros. / MovieStillsDB)

Alnwick Castle (Photo Credit: James West from UK – Alnwick Castle – staterooms, CC BY-SA 2.0 & Warner Bros. / MovieStillsDB)

One of the first places to pose as Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry was Alnwick Castle in Northumberland, England. The Outer Bailey of this 11th-century castle was where Harry’s first broomstick lesson took place and where he learned the rules of Quidditch in The Sorcerer’s Stone. Ron Weasley crashed the family’s flying car in the Outer Bailey in the second movie.

If you want to practice flying right where Harry did, then Alnwick Castle offers regular “broomstick lessons” to visitors.

Durham Cathedral – interior of Hogwarts

Durham Cathedral (Photo Credit: Greenwell, William, 1820-1918 – Durham Cathedral (1913), Public Domain & Warner Bros. / MovieStillsDB)

Durham Cathedral (Photo Credit: Greenwell, William, 1820-1918 – Durham Cathedral (1913), Public Domain & Warner Bros. / MovieStillsDB)

If you want to know what it was like in one of the classrooms, then you might want to visit Durham Cathedral. The Chapter House was where Professor McGonagall’s transfiguration classes took place.

The cloisters are also used as corridors at Hogwarts in various scenes.

Lacock Abbey – exterior and interior of Hogwarts

(Photo Credit: Diliff – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0 & Warner Bros. / MovieStillsDB)

(Photo Credit: Diliff – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0 & Warner Bros. / MovieStillsDB)

If you’d like to imagine yourself in Professor Snape’s potions class, then the Warming Room at Lacock Abbey in Wiltshire is where you want to go. Some of the exterior shots of Hogwarts were filmed here too.

In fact, the village of Lacock has become known as “Harry Potter village” because it was used for various locations, including Horace Slughorn’s house.

Harrow School – Professor Flitwick’s Charms class

(Photo Credit: Ocohen – Own work by the original uploader, Public Domain & Warner Bros. / MovieStillsDB)

(Photo Credit: Ocohen – Own work by the original uploader, Public Domain & Warner Bros. / MovieStillsDB)

Another location to be used as a classroom was the Fourth Form Room at Harrow School. This was used as the setting for Professor Flitwick’s Charms class, where the first years try to levitate a feather.

Bodleian Library – Hogwarts library and infirmary

The Bodleian Library (Photo Credit: Diliff – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0 & Warner Bros. / MovieStillsDB)

The Bodleian Library (Photo Credit: Diliff – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0 & Warner Bros. / MovieStillsDB)

The Bodleian Library in Oxford has done duty as two separate rooms inside Hogwarts. Part of it was used as the infirmary, while the section known as Duke Humfrey’s Library (the oldest reading room of the Bodleian Library) was the location for Hogwarts’s own library.

The Shambles – Diagon Alley

The Shambles (Photo Credit: David Oxtaby – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0 & Warner Bros. / MovieStillsDB)

The Shambles (Photo Credit: David Oxtaby – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0 & Warner Bros. / MovieStillsDB)

Perhaps one of the most memorable streets in England, The Shambles in York has a distinctive style thanks to its overhanging timber-framed buildings.

Virtually all the buildings in this narrow street are listed buildings, and its unusual appearance made it the perfect choice for Diagon Alley.

Leadenhall Market – Diagon Alley, including The Leaky Cauldron

Leadenhall Market (Photo Credit: Diliff – File: Leadenhall Market In London – Feb 2006.jpg, CC BY 2.5 & Warner Bros. / MovieStillsDB)

Leadenhall Market (Photo Credit: Diliff – File: Leadenhall Market In London – Feb 2006.jpg, CC BY 2.5 & Warner Bros. / MovieStillsDB)

This beautiful Victorian market in London was also used for some Diagon Alley scenes. In particular, it’s in this street you can find the shop used as the entrance to The Leaky Cauldron pub in the first film.

Black Park – Forbidden Forest

Black Park (Photo Credit: Stefan Czapski, CC BY-SA 2.0 & Warner Bros. / MovieStillsDB)

Black Park (Photo Credit: Stefan Czapski, CC BY-SA 2.0 & Warner Bros. / MovieStillsDB)

One location to appear at least once in every film is Black Park in England. Its tall trees give it a very spooky atmosphere, making it perfect for the Forbidden Forest. In the first two movies, it’s used as the location for Hagrid’s Hut as well.

Loch Shiel – Hogwarts Lake

 Loch Shiel (Photo Credit: Gil Cavalcanti – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0 & Warner Bros. / MovieStillsDB)

 Loch Shiel (Photo Credit: Gil Cavalcanti – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0 & Warner Bros. / MovieStillsDB)

When a large and impressive body of water was called for, Loch Shiel in Scotland was held to be the perfect place. This is the location of the Black Lake in The Prisoner of Azkaban and The Half-Blood Prince, and it’s also the site of one of the challenges in the Triwizard Tournament from The Goblet of Fire.

Christ Church – Hogwarts Dining Hall

Dining hall (Photo Credit: By chensiyuan, CC BY-SA 4.0 & Warner Bros. / MovieStillsDB)

Dining hall (Photo Credit: By chensiyuan, CC BY-SA 4.0 & Warner Bros. / MovieStillsDB)

Remember when Harry and his friends sat down to those fantastic feasts and plentiful breakfasts? They were sitting in the Great Hall at Christ Church College, Oxford.

Don’t worry – you don’t need to get accepted for a degree at Oxford University to see this location. The college runs tours via its website.

12 Picket Post Close – 4 Privet Drive

Privet Drive (Photo Credit: Marek69 –  Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0 & Warner Bros. / MovieStillsDB)

Privet Drive (Photo Credit: Marek69 –  Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0 & Warner Bros. / MovieStillsDB)

The home of Harry’s unpleasant relatives in the book is 4 Privet Drive, Little Whinging, Surrey. Since this house is as fictional as Hogwarts, the location scouts chose 12 Picket Post Close in Martins Heron, Berkshire, as the residence of the Dursleys.

De Vere House – Harry Potter’s childhood home

home

Godric’s Hollow (Photo Credit: Nick Ansell/PA Images via Getty Images & Warner Bros. / MovieStillsDB)

Of course, before he moved to Privet Drive, Harry lived with his parents in Godric’s Hollow. While the choice for Privet Drive was a modern-looking house, Harry’s first home has a more vintage feel to it.

De Vere House is in Lavenham, Suffolk, which is considered the best-preserved medieval village in England. The house is currently being used as an Airbnb.

More from us: Incredible Real-Life Inspirations Behind the World of Harry Potter

Malham Cove – Harry and Hermione’s travels

Rocks

Malham Cove (Photo Credit: Lupin at the English-language Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0 & Warner Bros. / MovieStillsDB)

In The Deathly Hallows Part 1, Harry and Hermione end up splitting up from Ron and continuing their journey alone. One place the two of them visit soon after is the very distinctive limestone pavement that sits above Malham Cove.