Iconic locations such as King’s Cross Station, Piccadilly Circus, and Leadenhall Market are some of the most well-known Harry Potter filming locations in London, but the wizarding world extends far beyond the capital. In honor of the “Nineteen Years Later” epilogue, which would take place in 2017, we’ve rounded up a list of memorable Harry Potter filming destinations across England, Scotland, and Wales that you should visit.
Hogwarts Express: Glenfinnan Viaduct, Lochaber, Scotland
This viaduct, 100 feet above ground, is captured in several Harry Potter films on the route to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. You can journey through this magical landscape just as Harry and his friends did, aboard the Jacobite steam train used as the Hogwarts Express in the movies.
Shell Cottage: Freshwater West, Pembrokeshire, Wales
This stretch of golden sand was the location for Bill Weasley and Fleur Delacour’s Shell Cottage in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. When Harry found himself inside the whimsical cottage he could hear nothing but the ebb and flow of the sea. Although the cottage was taken down after filming, the beach is still an incredibly beautiful and atmospheric place to imagine following in the footsteps of Harry and friends.
Hogwarts Library and Infirmary: Bodleian Library, Oxford, England
Oxford University’s magnificent Bodleian Library, dating back to 1602, starred in three Harry Potter films. The medieval Duke Humfrey's Library, part of the hallowed institution, was used as the Hogwarts library, whilst the elaborately vaulted Divinity School next door became Hogwarts’ infirmary.
Hogwarts Great Hall Staircase: Christ Church College, Oxford, England
At Christ Church College, a 10-minute walk away from Bodleian Library, you can see where we were first introduced to Hogwarts with Harry and the other first-year wizards ascending the 16th-century stone staircase to the Great Hall. The Hall at Christ Church College served as the inspiration for Hogwarts’ Great Hall, with the filmmakers replicating it at the film studios.
Durham Cathedral, Durham, England
Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry was realized on film through a bewildering number of locations throughout Great Britain. One of the most spectacular is Durham Cathedral, one of Great Britain’s finest Norman buildings. Durham’s elegant cloisters became the snow-covered quadrangle, where Harry sets Hedwig flying in the first film, and is also the setting for Ron’s slug vomiting in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. The cathedral chapter house is the venue for Professor McGonagall’s class teaching the young wizards to turn animals into water goblets.
Gloucester Cathedral, Gloucester, England
Look out for Nearly Headless Nick or Moaning Myrtle and see where Harry and Ron hid from the troll in the spooky corridors of 1,300-year-old Gloucester Cathedral – one of five locations used for Hogwarts.
It’s worth getting a tour guide to reveal some of the fascinating ways the cathedral had to be altered for filming. Electrical points were disguised under panels painted to look like the stone walls, whilst anything that would reveal the set as a church was concealed. For instance, halos on the stained-glass figures in the cloister windows were covered with colored plastic filter paper to blend in with the glass around it.
For signs of the cathedral’s ancient past, you can enter a wooden door that leads down to the old crypt, said to be haunted by monks from the old Gloucester monastery.
Posted in Entertainment
Cover Photo: Durham Cathedral Cloisters