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Harry Potter Destinations by House
Do you have Harry Potter movie marathons and re-read the series often? Do you celebrate Harry Potter’s birthday every year? Do you have all the memorabilia from your Hogwarts house? Then a Harry Potter-themed trip to the UK is a perfect adventure for you!
This is a guide to get you started on what destinations might fit your personality best—there’s no reason why, as a Harry Potter fan, you can’t visit all of these sites! But no matter what Harry Potter sites you end up visiting on your trip, they are all well worth your time. Here are the best Harry Potter sites to visit in the UK based on your Harry Potter house.
This castle is in the northernmost part of England, and it’s the perfect place for an interactive Harry Potter experience. This was the filming location for many scenes in the first and second films, and it is most commonly recognized as the site where the first years’ flying lesson was held. Not only are tours of the castle available but you can also sign up for an introductory flying lesson!
King’s Cross Station
Have you always wanted to feel the thrill of catching the Hogwarts Express? Head to King’s Cross Station in London and see where Harry catches the Hogwarts express on September 1st every school year. There are great souvenir shops and—most importantly—the opportunity for you to take a picture running through the barrier at platform 9¾ with a prop trolley.
You may not find magic shops along the streets of Leadenhall Market, but you may feel some magic at the original filming location for the entrance of the Leaky Cauldron. This market was one of J.K. Rowling’s inspirations for Diagon Alley. The arching roof and cobbled streets feel just like the Wizarding World!
House of MinaLima
MinaLima is the official graphic design entity of the Wizarding World franchise. They have worked on the Harry Potter films as well as the Fantastic Beasts films. Their store is located in London, and it’s a great place for any Harry Potter lover to shop with friends. Here you can find unique art, books, posters, and other Harry Potter merchandise.
Warner Bros. Studio Tour
Located in Leavesden, just outside of London, the studio tour is one of the most all-encompassing experiences any Harry Potter fan can have. This is where most of the movies were filmed. The tour includes sets from the movies (e.g., the Great Hall, the Forbidden Forest, Dumbledore’s office) as well as original props and costumes from all the films. There are many opportunities to explore and learn all about how the films were made.
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
This two-part play is currently at the Palace Theater in London. You can see the eighth Harry Potter story performed live! The play features all the characters you love from the original series. The acting is phenomenal, and the special effects will leave you wondering if they really did use magic!
Many areas of Oxford were featured in different parts of the films. Here you can visit Oxford’s Divinity School, which acts as the Hogwarts infirmary; the Bodleian Library, seen in the films as the Restricted Section; and New College, which was used as Hogwarts’ hallways in many scenes. Many of these areas are open to the public but do require a small fee and a reservation.
Lacock Abbey, as well as the small town of Lacock, features prominently in a few of the films. The town was used as the setting for Professor Slughorn’s muggle home in the sixth film. The abbey includes several key settings from the first few films, including Professor Snape’s dungeon classroom, Professor Quirrell’s classroom, and the home of the Mirror of Erised.
Here you can see the scenes of the Heir of Slytherin’s crimes. The halls of this cathedral include the wall where the Heir of Slytherin had Ginny write the bloody message and the location where Moaning Myrtle flooded the bathroom. Along with these scenes from the second film, the cathedral also acted as a filming location for the Gryffindor Common Room entrance and the fight with the troll.