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Harry Potter Filming Locations & Magical Things To Do

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You’ve read the books countless times. You’ve watched the movies as soon as they’ve hit the cinemas (and then on the TV every Christmas).

And now you want to scout out all the most exciting Harry Potter filming locations in the UK and discover all of the best, most magical Harry Potter things to do.

Well, you’ve clearly taken a sip of Felix Felicis as you’re in luck. This guide will show you all of that and more. Accio Harry Potter filming locations!

Harry Potter Filming Locations Around the UK

1. Durham Cathedral, County Durham

Which films?

  • Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone
  • Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Look out for:

The cloisters, which overlook the courtyard where Harry sets Hedwig flying in the first movie and where Ron vomits slugs in the second movie. Various other exterior and interior shots were used within the first two movies as well.

How to visit:

Durham Cathedral is open year-round, and is technically free to enter, although they do suggest a £3 donation if you’re able to afford it.


Durham Cathedral, The College, Durham, DH1 3EH

Other things to do in Durham:

2. Alnwick Castle, Northumberland

Alnwick Castle

Which films?

  • Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone
  • Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Look out for:

The Outer Bailey, which is instantly recognisable as the scene where Harry and his classmates learned to fly broomsticks for the first time.

The Lion Arch was also used as a way in and out of Hogwarts, which led the students to Hagrid’s cabin and the Forbidden Forest.

How to visit:

Alnwick Castle is open every day from the end of March to the end of October, with adult ticket prices costing £16 on the door.

You can save 10% when booking online more than 24 hours before your visit, and buying just one ticket allows you to visit again (and again… and again) for free within the 12 months after your first visit.

NB: You’ll need to get your tickets validated on your first visit in order to use them again.


Alnwick Castle, Alnwick, Northumberland, NE66 1NQ

Other things to do near Alnwick Castle:

  • Visit the stunning Alnwick Garden
  • Head out to the Northumberland coast
  • Get your hiking boots on and head out to Hulne Park

3. Gloucester Cathedral, Gloucestershire

Which films?

  • Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone
  • Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
  • Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Look out for:

The cloisters, which were used as various Hogwarts corridors in the films. (You’ll recognise them from the intricate ceilings)!

Also look out for the lavatorium where Harry overhears Draco and Snape talking about the unbreakable vow in the sixth movie.

How to visit:

Gloucester Cathedral is open year-round and is free to enter.

And on selected days of the year, you can embark on a guided tour to see all the Harry Potter filming locations in the cathedral, or you can try to find them yourself.


Gloucester Cathedral, 12 College Green, Gloucester, GL1 2LX

Other things to do in Gloucester:

Read more about Gloucester Cathedral as a Harry Potter filming location >>> 

4. Lacock Abbey, Wiltshire

Which films?

  • Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone
  • Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
  • Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Look out for:

The cloisters, which acted as some corridors in the school, as well as Snape’s classroom (you’ll recognise it thanks to the large cauldron found here).

The courtyard also made a brief appearance in the films and one of the rooms adjacent to the cloisters was used as the room containing the Mirror of Erised.

How to visit:

Lacock Abbey is owned and run by the National Trust, so you’ll get a free visit with an NT membership.

Otherwise, it costs £13.40 per adult (without Gift Aid), and there are specific opening hours for each part of the abbey.


Lacock Abbey, Lacock, Wiltshire, SN15 2LG

Other things to do in Lacock:

5. University of Oxford, Oxfordshire

Which films?

  • Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone
  • Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Look out for:

Bodleian Library, which served as several Harry Potter filming locations, such as the Hogwarts infirmary in the first movie and the restricted section in the library where Harry tries to borrow a book after hours.

The New College cloisters were where Malfoy is turned into a ferret by Mad-Eye Moody in the fourth movie.

And Christ Church College was used throughout so many of the movies. For instance, this was where Professor McGonagall met the students for the first time, and where Hermione showed the Quidditch trophy that has Harry’s father’s name on it.

How to visit:

So that you can see as many of these filming locations as you can, you’re best embarking on a Harry Potter walking tour.


University of Oxford, Oxford, OX1 2JD

Other things to do in Oxford:

6. Glenfinnan Viaduct, Scotland

Glenfinnan Viaduct

Which films?

  • Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
  • Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Look out for:

The Harry Potter train (aka Jacobite Steam Train), which runs throughout the summer months and part of Autumn, and of course, the viaduct itself which you will instantly recognise from the second film where Harry and Ron are looking for (and find) the Hogwarts Express.

How to visit:

The viaduct itself is free to see, however, if you want to park at the Glenfinnan Visitor Centre (recommended) then you’ll need to pay a £2 parking fee (unless you’re a National Trust member).

Find out more about seeing the Harry Potter train for free here >>>


Glenfinnan Monument, Glenfinnan, Scotland, PH37 4LT

Other things to do in Glenfinnan:

7. Glencoe, Scotland

Glencoe in Scotland

Which films?

  • Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Look out for:

The forest and lakeside views near Clachaig Inn that acted as a stunning backdrop to Hagrid’s cabin in the third movie. Learn more here >>>

How to visit:

As this is simply a Harry Potter filming location set in nature, there’s no charge to see it. Recommendations would be to visit nearby Clachaig Inn and explore Glencoe (and the filming location) on a walk from there.


Clachaig Inn, Glencoe, Argyll, Scotland, PH49 4HX

Other things to do in Glenfinnan:

8. Millennium Bridge, London

Millennium Bridge

Which films?

  • Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Look out for:

The Millenium Bridge can be seen collapsing during the dramatic opening scenes of the sixth Harry Potter film. In real life, it’s a popular footbridge connecting the City of London to Bankside.

How to visit:

The bridge is, of course, free to visit and photograph at any time.


Millennium Bridge, Thames Embankment, London, SE1 9JE

Other things to do in London:

Are you looking for more Harry Potter things to do in London? Check out our special weekend guide! >>> 

9. Hardwick Hall, Derbyshire

Hardwick Hall

Which films?

  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1

Look out for:

Hardwick Hall was used as the exterior filming location for Malfoy Manor in the seventh movie. It will be instantly recognisable from the long row of high hedges you can walk through (just like Snape did).

How to visit:

The Hardwick estate is managed by the National Trust, so members will be able to visit this filming location for free. Otherwise, non-Gift Aid admission is £7 per adult.


Hardwick Hall, Doe Lea, Chesterfield, S44 5QJ

Other things to do near Hardwick:

10. Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire

Forest of Dean

Which films?

  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1

Look out for:

The Forest of Dean features predominantly in the seventh Harry Potter movie so there are a few sights for you to look out for.

Coppett Hill near Goodrich was where Hermione tells Harry that they’re in the Forest of Dean.

And within the same movie, there is an aerial shot of Harry, Ron and Hermione walking along the River Wye near Horseshoe Bend, which can be seen from the Symonds Yat Rock viewpoint.

READ MORE: Must-See Harry Potter Locations in the Forest of Dean, England

How to visit:

Many places in the Forest of Dean are a public right of way so you won’t need to pay to see everything.

If you’re visiting any tourist attractions though, then those will come with their own entry fees.

Address (for Symonds Yat Rock viewpoint):

Symonds Yat Rock, Coleford, GL16 7NZ

Other things to do in the Forest of Dean:

Bonus: Magical Harry Potter Things To Do

For the true Potterheads among you, visiting all of these Harry Potter filming locations is unlikely to be enough.

So, here are 10 more bonus Harry Potter things to do around the UK that you’ll just love!

1. Visit Leavesden Studios for The Making of Harry Potter tour

Swinging Pendulum Clock - Harry Potter Studio Tour

An absolute must for all Harry Potter fans is a trip to Leavesden Studios in Watford for The Making of Harry Potter tour.

This is your chance to see some of the major film sets including Privet Drive, Diagon Alley, the Knight Bus and the Hogwarts Express, as well as props and Hogwarts classrooms.

You can even buy some butterbeer from the on-site cafe!

Read this blog to find out what you can expect during a magical day at the Harry Potter tour! >>>

2. Make your own butterbeer at home

If you want to bring a little bit of the Harry Potter world into your home, then the best way to do that is through the sweet smells and tastes of some homemade butterbeer.

Here’s an adapted recipe from The Food Network (with measurements in the metric system):


  • 236g brown sugar
  • 29g water
  • 88g butter
  • 2g salt
  • 2ml cider vinegar
  • 177ml heavy cream
  • 2ml rum extract
  • 4x 340ml bottles of cream soda


  1. Combine the brown sugar and water in a small saucepan; bring to a gentle boil and cook, stirring often until it reads 115℃ on a sugar thermometer.
  2. Stir in the butter, salt, vinegar and 59ml of heavy cream; set aside to cool to room temperature.
  3. Once it’s cool, stir in the rum extract.
  4. Combine 2 tablespoons of the sugar mixture and the remainder of the heavy cream; beat with an electric mixer for 2-3 minutes until just thickened but not completely whipped.
  5. To serve, divide the brown sugar mixture between 4 tall glasses or flagons.
  6. Add 59ml of cream soda to each glass, stirring to combine.
  7. Fill each glass nearly to the top with the additional soda.
  8. Spoon whipped topping over each Butterbeer.
  9. Sit back and enjoy!

3. Get tickets to see Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (if you can)

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

Showing at the Palace Theatre in London (and a number of other locations around the world), Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is an original theatre production co-written by J.K. Rowling herself.

Tickets for the show go on sale every few months, but it’s really tough to get tickets. Keep trying though as it will be so worth it when you do!

4. Head out on various Harry Potter walking tours around the UK

Throughout cities that have a strong connection to Harry Potter, such as London, Oxford, Exeter and Edinburgh, there are a number of Harry Potter walking tours on offer.

Just do a quick search in Google and you’re bound to find one in the city you’re visiting!

5. Grab a photo at Platform 9 ¾ at King’s Cross Station

Platform 9 3/4

As you’ve likely seen plastered across Instagram, it’s possible to get a photo underneath a Platform 9 ¾ sign at King’s Cross Station itself.

You can even look like you’re running through the barrier (just like Harry) complete with a trolley full of trunks.

It can get quite busy here though so the VIP Photo Pass Lanyard is a valuable purchase for £15 as it allows you to skip the queue and get a free photo!

6. Stay in a Harry Potter inspired hotel

Georgian House Hotel

Although the Georgian House Hotel in London is not an official Harry Potter hotel, it is heavily inspired by Hogwarts inside.

The Wizard Chamber is hidden behind a bookcase door and has a large four-poster bed and stained glass windows with cauldrons, antique leather trunks and velvet curtains as the piece-de-resistance.

A must for Potterheads! 

Read more to find out how to make the most of your Harry Potter weekend in London >>> 

7. Walk through Leadenhall Market (the inspiration for Diagon Alley)

Leadenhall Market

It’s believed that Leadenhall Market in London served as some strong inspiration for Diagon Alley, and was partly filmed there, including the entrance to the Leaky Cauldron which is actually an opticians in real life.

For Potterheads, you should definitely take a slow ramble through the market – you may even find some magical products to buy!

8. Spend a weekend in Edinburgh (where some of Harry Potter was written)

Edinburgh Castle

Edinburgh has always had a strong connection to the world of Harry Potter as J.K. Rowling lived here for many years (including when writing the first Harry Potter novels).

Today, you can visit The Elephant House, which is where, once upon a time, Rowling could actually be found sipping tea while writing the novels.

Other notable sights in Edinburgh for Potter fans include Greyfriars Kirkyard where you can find tombstones with names on like Thomas Riddell Esq and William McGonagall, The Writers’ Museum where an exhibit about J.K. Rowling herself can be seen and a stay in The Balmoral Hotel including staying in one of the rooms where Rowling herself stayed and… yep, you guessed it… penned some of the novels!

9. Discover all the inspiration behind Harry Potter in Exeter

10 Cathedral Close, Exeter

Exeter is another city that is famed for being a great source of inspiration to Rowling and her Harry Potter world.

Having lived and studied at University here, you can now see just how much inspiration Rowling got from her earlier surroundings.

You will instantly see the resemblance of Gandy Street and The Vaults bar to that of Diagon Alley and Gringotts, and a random door at 10 Cathedral Close, which looks a lot like the door leading to the Room of Requirement.


10. Head to a Harry Potter drive-in at Glencoe in Scotland

During the summer months, there is a Harry Potter themed drive-in at Glencoe in Scotland.

It’s quite popular so booking months in advance is necessary, but what could possibly get you closer to Harry Potter than watching one of the movies in the depths of Scotland… near to one of the Harry Potter filming locations!?

There you have it — your guide to famous Harry Potter filming locations and magical Harry Potter things to do. What do you think you’ll see and do first? Feel free to jot a few notes down in the comments below…

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Justine Jenkins

Justine is one half of the married couple behind the Wanderers of the World travel blog. She lives in Bristol, UK and has travelled extensively within Europe and beyond since 2013. After her trips, she shares detailed travel itineraries, helpful travel guides and inspiring blog posts about the places she's been to. When she's not travelling overseas, you'll find her joining her husband, Scott on various day trips, weekend getaways and walks within the UK, which she also writes about on Wanderers of the World. Aside from travelling and writing, she also loves reading, crafting and learning about nature.

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