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9 Places Every Harry Potter Fan Needs to Visit

Leadenhall Market in London (photo: Pierre Blaché, Pixabay)
Leadenhall Market in London (photo: Pierre Blaché)

It's hard to believe that the UK's favorite wizard, Harry Potter, has been with us for over twenty years.

Whether you're a massive fan of the series or are just starting to read the books or watch the movies, there are plenty of Harry Potter-themed places to visit in the UK.

Whether you're a wizard or a muggle, here are the best places to feed your Potter addiction.

1. Join a tour for Muggles in London

Start your journey in London on foot, with the popular walking Tour for Muggles.

It's a two-and-a-half-hour long tour led by actors who are all huge Harry Potter fans, and they'll even perform magic tricks for you as you explore.

You'll see a mixture of filming locations from the movies like Leadenhall Market, the site of the entrance to the Leaky Cauldron.

And you'll learn more about the history and places that inspired JK Rowlings, like the real Diagon Alley.

2. Platform 9 ¾

If you're in London, then it's worth heading to King's Cross Station to see Platform 9 ¾.

The station has been rebuilt in the past few years with an impressive million-dollar renovation, but platform 9 ¾ is still around.

Unfortunately, you won't be able to get on the Hogwarts Express for real.

Still, the trolley disappearing into the wall makes for a fantastic photo opportunity.

And there's a fun, well-stocked Harry Potter shop next door that's perfect for getting all the wizarding souvenirs you didn't know you wanted.

Christ Church College's Great Hall (photo: Waldo Miguez, Pixabay)
Christ Church College's Great Hall (photo: Waldo Miguez)

3. Stay at Oxford University

If you're looking for a day trip or a weekend away from London, Oxford should be your first stop.

The university was used for several filming locations in the Harry Potter movies.

You can see Christ Church College's Great Hall and staircase from Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone and the Bodleian Library, which was depicted as the library and infirmary at Hogwarts.

For an even more exciting and unique experience, you can book a stay in the university itself during the summer. 

A room in Christ Church is just $72 (£56) per night. Stay the night and you'll be able to eat breakfast in the Great Hall as though you're at Hogwarts.

4. Take a Warner Bros. Studio Tour

This one is essential if you live in the UK or you're visiting England and love Harry Potter.

Located near Watford in Leavesden, it's just twenty minutes from London Euston on the train, or you can book a guided tour with a pick-up option from the city.

These unique and unforgettable Harry Potter studios allow you to step into the magical wizarding world for real.

Walk around the sets including Diagon Alley, the Great Hall, the Gryffindor common room, and Dumbledore's office.

Catch the Hogwarts Express and check out how the special effects were done, before checking out original props and costumes.

Alnwick Castle (photo: nickfrom, Pixabay)
Alnwick Castle (photo: nickfrom)

5. Fly a Broomstick at Alnwick Castle

Do you think that you'd be excellent at Quidditch? Well, you can try out your skills at Alnwick Castle, in Northumberland.

You might recognize it from the Harry Potter movies. It was used as a set for outdoor scenes like Quidditch matches and broomstick flying lessons.

This 700-year-old castle is the place to be if you want to learn how to play the famous game.

They offer Quidditch lessons for the whole family, along with dragon and knight quests and spooky cellar tours.

Glenfinnan Viaduct (photo: Andreas Senftleben, Pixabay)
Glenfinnan Viaduct (photo: Andreas Senftleben)

6. Catch the Hogwarts Express

If you're itching to get on the magical train to Hogwarts, the closest you're going to get is up in the Scottish Highlands.

During the summer, catch the Jacobite steam train, which looks a lot like the Hogwarts Express, and travel along the West Highland Line, which was used in the Harry Potter movies.

It travels over the stunning Glenfinnan Viaduct, which you'll remember from the scene with the Weasley's flying car from Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.

In 2009, readers of Wanderlust travel magazine voted it the greatest railway journey in the world.

7. The Cloisters at Durham Cathedral

The spectacular cathedral in Durhan was also used as a filming location for the Harry Potter movies.

Set next to Durham Castle on a rock above the medieval city, this Norman cathedral and UNESCO World Heritage Site is well worth the visit.

The cloisters here became the quadrangle where Harry sets the owl flying during the first Harry Potter film, and later, the scene of Ron's slug vomiting in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.

You might recognize the cathedral chapter house from Professor McGonagall's class.

See also: 5 Harry Potter Magic Items We Wish Existed

Gloucester Cathedral (photo: Michael Schwinge, Pixabay)
Gloucester Cathedral (photo: Michael Schwinge)

8. Visit Gloucester Cathedral

The remarkable cathedral at Gloucester has been a place of worship for over one thousand years, and its Anglo-Saxon past has made it a place of great history and heritage.

But today, it's a pilgrimage for Harry Potter enthusiasts, who make the journey to Gloucester to see the cloisters that were used for scenes like the troll trapping Hermione and Moaning Myrtle flooding the bathroom.

It's also where the bloody words “the chamber of secrets has been opened” appeared. And what's even better, is that entry is entirely free!

9. Elephant House

Finally, the Elephant House in Edinburgh is definitely worth a visit.

It's where the entire world of Harry Potter was imagined and brought to life in words by JK Rowling.

If you're not familiar with the famous writer's story, she began writing Harry Potter as a single mother struggling financially.

The Elephant House Cafe has some seriously emotional connotations as the birthplace of the wizarding world that's become so important to so many people.

If you're a fan of Harry Potter, there are tons of locations in the UK that you'll love, whether you want to see filming locations, buy souvenirs, or learn about how the magical wizarding world was brought to life.


This story is brought to you in partnership with Evan Evans Tours.

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