Sadly, we aren’t wizards like Harry Potter and the golden trio, but we can always pretend! Who doesn’t want to relive their childhood by visiting the many different places where this famous franchise was filmed. Grab your wands and broomsticks and make a vacation out of it. Let’s start our trip off in London, that’s where the magic begins!
Kings Cross Station
Kings Cross station plays a big role in all of the Harry Potter movies. You may have a hard time getting to the Hogwarts Express, but you can find Platform 9 ¾. After the movies’ and books’ rising popularity, They created a Platform 9 ¾ at the Kings Cross, with a cart sticking out of it, just like the movie! It’s a great photo opportunity, plus there’s a Harry Potter gift shop right next to it where you can buy all the wands and chocolate frogs that your heart desires. The St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel sits right outside of Kings Cross too, and is shown in some of the movies as well!
The Australia House is also in London, so you won’t have to travel too far. The interior shots of Gringotts, the wizard bank run by Goblins, were filmed here. Unfortunately, the building is not open to the public (probably to hide the Goblins from Muggles), so you can only view it from the outside. It’s a gorgeous building, nonetheless!
As all of you hard-core Harry Potter fans may know, the headquarters of the Order of the Phoenix is Grimmauld Place. While there is no real Grimmauld Place, the exterior shots of the secret home were filmed at Claremont Square. You can see the row of houses in both the fifth Harry Potter movie and the seventh. The buildings do have an odd shape to them, making them look pretty magical.
Leadenhall Market was built in 1881 and is a beautiful Victorian market in London. It also just happens to be where the exterior shots of the Leaky Cauldron and Diagon Alley were filmed in the first movie. While you’re exploring it, be sure to watch out for Hagrid!
Moving your way out of London, be sure to take a stop at Durham Cathedral, where various exterior shots of Hogwarts were filmed for both the first and second films. The ancient cathedral was first founded in 1093, which means it’s probably even older than Hogwarts. You can either pay a small price for a guided tour, or you can explore the areas of the church that are free to the public. Either way, you can’t miss this one.
This stunning castle has been used for exterior shots of Hogwarts in the first two movies as well. You may recognize it from when the kids learn how to fly on a broom in the first movie, or maybe from when Harry and Ron crash their flying car in the second movie. You can pay to explore both the castle and the garden if you want, just park your flying car first.
Lacock Abbey has most notably been used for the hallways outside of the menacing professor Snape’s class. That means you can walk through and pretend you’re a student at Hogwarts all you want! The building also has an interesting history, as it was built during the reign of Henry III. There you go, you’ll get a little history lesson AND some Harry Potter.
This one you’ll definitely recognize, as a lot of scenes took place here during the first and second movies, and even the sixth. The Cathedral’s large hallway was used for scenes like the ones in Chamber of Secrets, where words had been written in blood on the walls. There’s no blood now of course, but a great travel experience is most definitely expected.
The Jacobite Steam Train
Last but not least, we have the Hogwarts Express, also known as the Jacobite Steam Train. The train goes over the iconic bridge that you see in the movies and will no doubt, bring you back in time to your childhood. Keep in mind, the train only runs from May to late October, so plan your trip accordingly.
Have a magical trip exploring all your favorite wizarding destinations!