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Have you ever wondered, where was Harry Potter filmed? If so, you’ve come to the right place!
Published in the June of 1997, J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone took the literary scene by storm, capturing the hearts and minds of adults and children alike. The six books and film franchise contributed further to our love of the series and the magical world.
The dedication and enduring appeal of Rowling’s wizarding universe is still evident by the popularity of these incredible filming locations. Fans from all over the world come to visit these filming locations to relive the magic in real life!
Keep reading to discover 14 Harry Potter filming locations below…
1. Lacock Abbey, Chippenham
2. Gloucester Cathedral, Gloucester
3. Bodleian Library, Oxford
4. Lavenham, Suffolk
5. Hardwick Hall, Chesterfield
6. Malham Cove, Skipton
7. Goathland Station, Whitby
8. Durham Cathedral, Durham
9. Alnwick Castle, Alnwick
10. Clachaig Gully, Glencoe
11. The Jacobite, Fort William
12. Glenfinnan Viaduct, Glenfinnan
13. Eilean na Moine, Loch Eilt
14. Cliffs of Moher, Liscannor
Our first Harry Potter filming location is the Thirteenth-Century Augustinian Abbey-turned-home, Lacock Abbey. It is clearly a popular location for filmmakers, with it also featuring in many period dramas, including The Other Boleyn Girl to BBC’s Wolf Hall.
Spot the Hogwarts interior in the earlier Harry Potter films, including the scenes with the Mirror of Erised, as well as Professors Snape and Quirrel’s classrooms. Lacock Abbey’s cloisters also feature in some scenes as Hogwarts’ corridors.
Built over 900 years ago, the magnificent Cathedral is a beautiful place to explore for the average muggle. However, for fans of the Harry Potter films, it holds a lot more value as Gloucester Cathedral is the location for a number of key Hogwarts interior scenes.
Remember the troll from Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone? He stormed along the North Cloisters as Harry and Ron hid in the Lavatorium. What about the scene in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets when the three friends stumble upon the fateful words; “The Chamber of Secrets has been opened” written in blood on one of the corridor walls? This occurred on the Cathedral’s East wall at the end of the North Walk.
The world-famous library has played host to several television and film productions from X-Men: First Class to ITV’s Endeavour. The Duke of Humphrey’s Library and the Divinity School also appears in a number of Harry Potter films. The former appears as the school’s library, which you’ll recognise from the scene in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone when Harry sneaks into the Restricted Section.
The Divinity School was used as the setting for the Hospital Wing after Harry wakes up after his dramatic confrontation with Lord Voldemort.
You are able to tour many parts of Oxford University, but it is worth booking ahead. You can find more information and tour schedules here.
This picturesque medieval village has long been known for its quaint fifteenth-century church and traditional timbered cottages. However, in recent years it has grown in popularity due to featuring as Godric’s Hollow in the film production of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1. The beautiful De Vere House on Water Street was used in a number of shots, with its doorway subsequently becoming the second most photographed in Britain.
Other parts of the historical village were also filmed with their appearance edited through CGI. Godric’s Hollow is a popular wizarding settlement with many prominent wizarding families, such as the Dumbledores, the Bagshotts and the Potters having resided there. Hermione recites from A History of Magic:
“Most celebrated of these half-magical dwelling places is, perhaps, Godric’s Hollow, the West Country village where the great wizard Godric Gryffindor was born, and where Bowman Wright, wizarding smith, forged the first Golden Snitch…” (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows p.259)
Next on our list of Harry Potter filming locations is one of the best UK filming spots. The hall dates back to the 1590s by Elizabeth, Dowager Countess of Shrewsbury, a powerful and formidable woman more commonly known as Bess of Hardwick. Hardwick Hall was an architectural marvel in its era due to the high amount of glass windows – glass being a luxury at the time.
It was the high ratio of window to masonry that inspired the filmmakers to use the hall as the basis for Malfoy Manor in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Parts 1 & 2, due to the mysterious and threatening quality they have when the property is dark. In the final exterior shots, pitched roofs and spires are added to make the Manor seem even more menacing.
This regal manor is a staple of beauty in the Peak District and has also been used as a filming location for Mary, Queen of Scots in 2019.
Reaching roughly 260ft high, the limestone cliff face of Malham Cove is an impressive sight to behold. The rock formation is curved into a dramatic amphitheatre and offers visitors fantastic views from its summit. From the top, witness breath-taking views of a rural site covered in a curious form of a rock formation called Limestone Pavements.
The Limestone Pavements of Malham Cove should be recognisable to fans of the Harry Potter films. The fractured surface is the backdrop for one memorable scene in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Parts 1. The scene is when Harry and Hermione notice the symbol of the Deathly Hallows in Hermione’s copy of The Tales of Beedle the Bard whilst camping.
Goathland Railway Station lies in the North York Moors National Park, with heritage steam and diesel engines running to the seaside resort of Whitby. The station may be recognisable to older generations due to featuring in the ITV television series Heartbeat. However, in recent years it has become synonymous with Hogsmeade Station, the railway station serving Hogwarts and the village of Hogsmeade.
Witness this location in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone in which the students disembark the Hogwarts Express, as well as Harry and Hagrid’s heart-warming goodbyes at the end.
Built in 1093, Durham Cathedral is a spectacular example of Romanesque architecture situated within Durham’s UNESCO World Heritage Site. The cathedral is seen during interior and exterior scenes of Hogwarts within the first and second films.
The cloisters featuring within Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, as well as the snow-covered quadrangle, as Harry releases his owl Hedwig into the outdoors. It also appears in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, when Professor McGonagall is teaching students how to transfigure animals into water goblets.
The seat of the Percy family for 700 years, Alnwick Castle is a Norman fortress and stately home located in Northumberland. The magnificent structure has been used in a number of period dramas, including ITV’s Downton Abbey and BBC’s The Hollow Crown.
The Outer Bailey will be recognisable from the memorable scene in which Madam Hooch teaches the students to fly broomsticks and where Harry later learns the rules of Quidditch from Oliver Wood in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. The castle now offers visitors the chance to take part in Broomstick lessons at this same spot.
Glencoe is one of the most picturesque valleys in the Scottish Highlands, with dramatic mountains, ancient forests and beautiful lochs; it is no wonder that it is a popular backdrop for filmmakers. Visitors will recognise this scenic spot as a James Bond filming location, as well as a number of the outdoor shots within some of the later Harry Potter films.
The covered bridge is seen on the Pensieve scene in Harry Potter and the Order of the Pheonix. You can also spot the outside of Hagrid’s hut in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, which is set partway down Clachaig Gully, overlooking Signal Rock Forest and the beautiful Torren Lochan.
Have you ever wanted to ride the Hogwarts Express? Well, you can get as close as possible to the real thing by taking a trip on The Jacobite. The steam train operates along the West Highland Railway Line where the Hogwarts Express runs.
Board the train at Fort William and take in the impressive views all the way to Mallaig. You might not hear any calls of “Anything from the trolley?” but, you can treat yourself to an indulgent high tea or glass of champagne.
Scotland is known for its impressive landscapes and has been used as filming locations for Outlander, alongside many more. The Glenfinnan Viaduct is the first and longest mass concrete viaduct built in England or Scotland in 1901. It’s a popular photo-stop for visitors to the area thanks to the beautiful surroundings and the nearby Loch Shiel.
Fans of the films will recognise Glenfinnan Aqueduct from both Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets and Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, more specifically from a certain scene including two young wizards, a flying blue Ford Anglia and a fast-moving steam train.
The island of Eilean na Moine sits just off the shore of the evocative Loch Eilt in the Scottish Highlands. Visible from the West Highland Railway line, the loch is a short drive from the village of Glenfinnan.
Loch Eilt features in a number of shots as the grounds of Hogwarts – more specifically The Black Lake – throughout the earlier films, and in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 as the location of Albus Dumbledore’s grave.
Last on the list of Harry Potter filming locations is the Cliffs of Moher on Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way, an iconic backdrop for any filming location.
The rugged cliffs are located in County Clare and stretch along the coast for 8 miles. The cliffs feature as Harry and Dumbledore apparate to a cave hiding one of Voldemort’s Horcruxes in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. They truly are a remarkable sight and offer a thrilling experience in person.
If we’ve got you in the mood to explore the wizarding world, follow in the footsteps of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Or, browse our travel guide where you’ll find ideas and information as you enjoy a trip to these Harry Potter filming locations.
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