Where is Harry Potter Filmed?

March 11, 2023

where is harry potter filmed

JK Rowling's magical wizarding world continues to fascinate moviegoers two decades after the first movie was released. Harry Potter's adventures are a rite of passage for young fans across the globe.

As you'd expect, many parts of the magical school of magic were filmed at places in England. Oxford University's Bodleian Library was used to stand in for Hogwarts, while Christ Church College's 16th-century stone staircase is recognizable as the one that greets students in The Philosopher's Stone.

Kings Cross Station

The station is one of the main hubs of the British railway network. It serves trains from Leeds, Newcastle, Edinburgh, Cambridge and many other major cities in the UK.

Its name comes from a monument to King George IV that was erected on the site in 1830. It's an iconic London location that attracts architecture lovers, shoppers, families on a day out, and those just passing through.

Platform 9 3/4 is a must-see for any Harry Potter fan. It’s a great photo opportunity, though be prepared for long queues to get in.

If you’re a big Harry Potter fan, you can find plenty of locations that were used for filming across the United Kingdom. From York’s wonky timber-framed version of Diagon Alley to the giant cauldron found in a Wiltshire abbey, there are so many places to explore!

It’s also worth visiting Oxford University, where the Bodleian Library and Duke Humfrey’s Library acted as Hogwarts’ libraries. For a more memorable experience, book a tour to see these iconic spots.

Lacock Abbey

If you want to see where the Harry Potter films were filmed, head to the beautiful Wiltshire village of Lacock. It's a quintessential English village that has been used for filming many period dramas, including Downton Abbey and Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice.

You can also visit the Lacock Abbey, a 13th century abbey that was converted into a house in 1539. Its cloisters and sweeping lawns have been used to film a number of Harry Potter scenes, including Professor Snape's Potions class in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Professor Quirrell's Defense Against the Dark Arts classroom in Chamber of Secrets, and Horace Slughorn's hideaway in Half Blood Prince.

The abbey is surrounded by lovely grounds that you can explore as a National Trust member for free. It's worth a visit just for the lovely scenery and views. The abbey is also home to the Fox Talbot Museum, where you can learn about William Henry Fox Talbot who was a pioneer in photography.

Gloucester Cathedral

Gloucester Cathedral is home to some incredible medieval architecture and is a popular filming location for film makers. The cloisters are particularly famous, especially for their fan vaulted ceilings.

When filming the first two Harry Potter films, JK Rowlings decided to recreate the Gryffindor Common Room at Gloucester Cathedral. The long corridors and old windows were perfect for the communal scenes.

For these scenes, all modern signs, locks and electrics were disguised under panels painted to look like stone walls. And even the haloes in the stained glass figures had to be covered by plastic filter paper.

But the real magic happened inside the cloisters, where film makers recreated the corridor scene in the Chamber of Secrets where Harry Potter and Ron go to check on Ginny Weasley. It was also where the "Chamber of Secrets has opened" scene was filmed.

The Dursley Family Home

One of the most iconic locations in the Harry Potter series is The Dursley Family Home, where harry potter spends his childhood. The house is based on JK Rowling’s own childhood home in Winterbourne, near Bristol.

In the book, Harry’s aunt and uncle take him in after his parents are killed by Voldemort, but his presence is largely greeted with contempt. He lives in a cupboard under the stairs, but he soon starts receiving letters addressed to him directly.

The Dursleys were a cruel family who treated Harry like an unwanted guest. They were the kind of people who would never even consider letting him leave their house, and they all had a dislike for anything magical.

They lived at 4 Privet Drive, which is a play on the word “privet”, a shrub only found in suburbs and countryside. It’s a reference to how the Dursleys want their home to be a private place, where they don’t want people pricking into their life.

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