If you want to know whether Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 really was filmed in the Forest of Dean, and where in the Forest of Dean it was filmed, then look no further than this Forest of Dean Harry Potter location guide.
You’ll discover must-see Harry Potter filming locations in the Forest of Dean and other top things to do there and nearby.
We’ve even included a few random facts and stories about the Forest of Dean and Harry Potter franchise.
So, it’s time to grab your wand and Apparate with us to the Forest of Dean in Gloucestershire, England – Harry Potter and Hermione Granger style.
Forest of Dean Harry Potter Filming Facts & Stories
Before we get into the various Forest of Dean Harry Potter locations you must see, we wanted to share some facts and stories about this area related to the books and movies.
The Forest of Dean appears in the Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 movie multiple times. But it’s also referenced in the book and known as Hagrid’s birthplace.
From 1974 to 1983, J.K. Rowling lived in Tutshill, a village just to the edge of the Forest of Dean.
Most believe this is why the Forest of Dean appears in the books. After all, there are so many parts of Rowling’s life that inspired the franchise.
We now know that J.K. Rowling also secretly bought her childhood home, the rather quaint-looking Church Cottage in Tutshill.
Rowling even named a Quidditch team “The Tutshill Tornados”, which Cho Chang alluded to supporting within the books.
In other Forest of Dean and Harry Potter news, have you ever wondered how the frozen lake scene in the Forest of Dean was filmed when Harry followed Snape’s doe Patronus? Or why Snape hid Gryffindor’s sword in a frozen lake in the first place?
A set designer revealed that they created the “ice” using several sheets of Plexiglass. It was also apparently a set at Pinewood Studios where they’d also recreated part of the Forest of Dean. Alas, no visiting this particular lake in real life then.
As for why Snape hid the sword there, a popular theory (and one I also think makes sense) is that Harry had to retrieve the sword under dangerous circumstances.
In the book, Dumbledore’s portrait says to Snape: “Now, Severus, the sword! Do not forget that it must be taken under conditions of need and valour.”
Snape still dislikes Harry (because of his father), so while Snape could have probably chosen a kinder way of delivering the sword, the frozen lake starts to make much more sense now. Don’t you think?
But there are plenty more real Harry Potter Forest of Dean locations to discover. Let’s go!
Forest of Dean Harry Potter Locations
Coppett Hill Harry Potter Location
After Ron abandons Harry and Hermione during their search for Horcruxes, Hermione Apparates herself and Harry to a new location.
She explains they’re in the Forest of Dean where she often visited with her parents as a child.
This scene was filmed at Coppett Hill in the Forest of Dean. While the exact GPS location is unknown, we see an establishing shot of the River Wye before Harry comes out of the tent to ask Hermione where they are.
So, wandering from Coppett Hill and down to the river is your best bet to retrace the actors’ footsteps.
Symonds Yat Harry Potter Location
Close by, roughly an eight-minute drive away, can be found another Forest of Dean Harry Potter location; albeit a brief one.
In the movie, we see various montages of Harry, Ron and Hermione walking through the British countryside in their search for Horcruxes and to avoid getting captured by snatchers and death eaters.
One of these epic drone shots shows the trio walking along the River Wye near the “Horseshoe Bend”. You can also see it in the official trailer.
You can see this area in real life from the Symonds Yat Rock Viewpoint, which is also home to fabulous walks.
Scott and I actually struggled to find the viewpoint on our first visit. We’d parked near it, but we walked in the opposite direction, missing it entirely until we later realised where we were. Whoops!
More Forest of Dean Harry Potter Locations
Harry and Hermione camp in the Forest of Dean for a while. She even comments on how they should stay there and grow old together.
So, it should come as no surprise that a few other key scenes were also shot in the Forest of Dean.
We see Harry pull Gryffindor’s sword out of a frozen lake and later the trio are caught by snatchers.
While I’ve already mentioned that the frozen lake scene was filmed at Pinewood Studios, the snatcher chase scene was filmed in the Forest of Dean in real life.
It’s just the exact location that’s unknown.
Luckily, there are so many places in the Forest of Dean where you can see glades like the one we see in the movie. So, you can easily recreate this scene almost anywhere in the forest.
Other Must-Sees in the Forest of Dean & Nearby
Alongside finding all these Forest of Dean Harry Potter locations, there are lots of other Potter and non-Potter related things to do in the Forest of Dean and close by. Here’s our pick of the lot.
Dean Forest Railway
While you won’t see the real Harry Potter train at the Dean Forest Railway, you will see old fashioned steam trains that look very much like it. So this is a great shout for Harry Potter fans in the area!
How could you possibly visit the Forest of Dean without seeing J.K. Rowling’s childhood home? Wander around the tiny village of Tutshill and take a quick peek at the outside of Church Cottage while you’re there.
It’s been a few years since we did Go Ape in the Forest of Dean, but it was tremendous fun! A must for thrillseekers and daredevils.
It’s also one of the best ways to get up close and personal with the Forest of Dean trees like the ones you see in the movie.
Puzzlewood is like wandering through a fantasy. No wonder it was used within the latest Secret Garden movie and Star Wars!
It’s often thought that Puzzlewood is also a Harry Potter filming location, but I’ve found no proof of this on their website.
It’s also an easily recognisable location, so I also think Scott and I would have noticed had it been used in the films.
Still, Puzzlewood is an incredible place to visit and a must for movie buffs even if Harry Potter doesn’t seem to have been filmed there.
READ MORE: PUZZLEWOOD STAR WARS FILMING LOCATION
Near Puzzlewood, you’ll also find Clearwell Caves. They were once an iron ore mine and are now a popular tourist attraction and museum.
For an extra special visit, come here at Christmastime where fun Christmas light displays and markets pop up underground.
Roughly 17 miles from the Forest of Dean, Gloucester Cathedral in the City of Gloucester is a must for Harry Potter fans.
Some early Hogwarts scenes were filmed in the cloisters. It’s here where you’ll find the original door to the Gryffindor common room, as well as the corridor that once displayed the words: “The Chamber of Secrets has been opened! Enemies of the Heir beware!” and “Her skeleton will lie in the Chamber forever.”
Some of the troll scenes were also filmed at Gloucester Cathedral and we also see Harry overhearing a heated discussion between Snape and Draco Malfoy here in the sixth movie.
Lacock Abbey and Village
Lacock Abbey (particularly the cloisters) were used in various early Hogwarts scenes, including Snape’s classroom in the first movie (notice the large cauldron that’s permanently there) and the room where Harry discovered the Mirror of Erised.
There are also various corridor and courtyard scenes where Lacock Abbey made an appearance within the first two movies. Another must for Potterheads!
The nearby village of Lacock also appeared in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince where we see Harry and Dumbledore walking through the village after they met with Slughorn before the start of term.
The village was also a filming location for other popular franchises like Downton Abbey and The White Princess. Both of which are well worth watching!
When will you visit these Forest of Dean Harry Potter locations?
When you get the chance, we hope you enjoy visiting these Forest of Dean Harry Potter locations.
Don’t forget to check out our other suggestions of things to do in and around the Forest of Dean – both for Potterheads and non-Potterheads alike!
For more incredible Harry Potter filming locations and magical things to do in the UK, take a look at our detailed guide.
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