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13 Magical Harry Potter Places to Visit in the UK

Are you looking for the best Harry Potter places to visit in the UK? I’ve got you covered!

I love Harry Potter! I’ve both read the books and watched the movies multiple times and I’ve spent months in the UK during which time I had the chance to visit quite a few Harry Potter locations.

The absolute best place to visit for all Harry Potter fans is the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Warner Bros Studios. I’ve visited three times so far and every visit was magical. There’s no other place you can actually walk down Diagonal Alley which looks just like in the movies.

Thee next best places to visit are London and Oxford because there are so many different Harry Potter locations in each of those cities and you don’t need to go out of your way to see just one location.

Best Harry Potter places to visit UK

1. Harry Potter Places in London

Entrance to a market with a roof over it; Leadenhall Market in London
Leadenhall Market is one of the many Harry Potter filming locations in London

London is full of Harry Potter locations just waiting to be discovered! From the iconic Platform 9 3/4 at King’s Cross Station to the famous Piccadilly Circus, there are so many places in London that will transport you straight into the world of Harry Potter.

You can visit the Leaky Cauldron in Leadenhall Market, stroll along the Millennium Bridge from the Half-Blood Prince, and even take a Harry Potter walking tour to see all the best locations with an expert guide.

And don’t forget to grab a Butterbeer at one of the many Harry Potter-themed souvenir shops around the city!

Or you can even have a full Harry Potter afternoon tea in London, one of the amazing Harry Potter activities in London.

To find a detailed description of the locations, check out my article about the best London Harry Potter locations. Here I’m just gonna list the locations you can visit in London:

  • Kings Cross and St. Pancras – King’s Cross Station
  • Leadenhall Market – The Leaky Cauldron 
  • Millennium Bridge – Death eaters destroy the bridge
  • Schottland Yard – Ministry of Magic
  • Westminster Station – Mr Weasly struggles with muggle money
  • Borough Market – The Leaky Cauldron 
  • Piccadilly Circus – Harry, Ron and Hermione apparate there
  • Shaftesbury Avenue – Harry, Ron and Hermione try to hide
  • Trafalgar Square – Death eaters fly past
  • House of Parliament & Tower Bridge – Characters fly past
  • Lambeth Bridge – Knight Bus squeezes through two buses
  • St Paul’s Cathedral – Stairwell to Divination Tower 
  • Claremont Square – 12 Grimmauld Place
  • Australia House – Gringotts Wizarding Bank 
  • London City Hall – Office building
  • Reptile House London Zoo – Reptile House

2. Warner Bros Studio in Watford

Inside of Gringotts, a must-see Harry Potter location in London
Inside Gringotts at the Warner Bros Studios

The Warner Bros Studio is home to the sets, costumes, and props from the Harry Potter movies, giving you a behind-the-scenes look at how the magic was made.

You can explore the Great Hall, see the Hogwarts Express up close, and even walk through Diagon Alley. Plus, there are plenty of interactive exhibits and activities, like learning wand choreography or trying your hand at Quidditch.

And the best part? You can take a train from London to the Warner Bros Studios and take as long as you like to explore the studio, so you can really take your time and soak up all the Harry Potter goodness.

So if you’re planning a trip to the UK and want to experience the ultimate Harry Potter location, be sure to add the Warner Bros Studio in Watford to your itinerary!

3. Harry Potter places in Oxford

Inside the Divinity School in Oxford, a Gothic hall which was used as a Harry Potter
The Divinity School was used as the Hogwarts infirmary

Oxford, the historic university town, is home to some of the most iconic Harry Potter locations, including the Bodleian Library, which served as the inspiration for the Hogwarts library in the movies.

You can also visit the Divinity School, which was used as the infirmary in the films, and explore the stunning Christ Church College, which was used as the inspiration for Hogwarts’ Great Hall.

I recommend spending at least one day in this historic town but you can also do a day trip from London to Oxford.

4. Harry Potter places in Edinburgh

Sign on the window of a coffee shop saying "The Elephant House - Birthplace of Harry Potter" in Edinburgh
Behind the café is a cemetery with many familiar names from the Harry Potter books

Edinburgh is home to some of the most iconic locations which inspired J.K. Rowling in writing the Harry Potter books. The city is also one of the best cities to visit in the United Kingdom.

You can visit the Elephant House café, where J.K. Rowling wrote much of the first Harry Potter book, or take a stroll down Victoria Street, which inspired the winding streets of Diagon Alley.

The stunning Edinburgh Castle, which should be on every Edinburgh itinerary, served as the inspiration for Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

Those unique Harry Potter locations make Edinburgh a perfect destination for all Harry Potter fans.

Even without all the great Harry Potter-related attractions, Edinburgh is one of the best places to visit in Scotland. You can stroll through the beautiful old town, admire the stunning architecture, explore the castle or relax in the picturesque botanical garden.

5. Glenfinnan Viaduct in Scotland

A steam train going over a Viaduct, this is one of the Harry Potter locations to visit UK
The Hogwarts Express is off to Hogwarts

At the Glenfinnan Viaduct, the iconic Harry Potter scene was filmed where Harry and Ron try to catch up with the Hogwarts Express in the Chamber of Secrets film.

You can either go for a ride in the Jacobite Steam Train or wait until the steam train passes the viaduct to get the perfect Harry Potter shot.

The best way to visit the Glenfinnan Viaduct is to incorporate it into your UK road trip itinerary.

6. Alnwick Castle in Northumberland

A castle with statues on top and canons in front, this was a Harry Potter filming location in the UK
Do the statues on the roof remind you of something?

Alnwick Castle in Northumberland was used as a filming location for both Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.

You can explore the Outer Bailey, where Harry and his classmates learned to fly broomsticks and play Quidditch, or take a broomstick training lesson yourself!

And if you’re feeling brave, you can even take a tour of the castle’s dungeons, which were used as the location for the Forbidden Forest in the movies. 

7. The Shambles in York

Narrow shopping street in York
I felt like walking down Diagon Alley

The Shambles in York is a historic street, with overhanging timber-framed buildings. It wasn’t actually a filming location but it served as the inspiration for Diagon Alley in the Harry Potter movies.

Even though some Diagon Alley scenes were shot in London, to me walking down the Shambles felt like the only place that comes close to a real-life version of Diagon Alley.

You can explore the winding streets and quirky, magical shops in York, just like Harry and his friends did on their first trip to Diagon Alley.

And if you’re looking for a magical souvenir, you can even visit The Shop That Must Not Be Named, a Harry Potter-themed store that’s sure to delight any fan.

8. Gloucester Cathedral in Gloucester

View of the cloister of  Gloucester Cathedral
The cloisters at Gloucester Cathedral are the halls of Hogwarts

Gloucester Cathedral was used as a filming location for several scenes in the Harry Potter movies, including the famous scene where Harry eavesdrops on Snape and Malfoy talking about the unbreakable vow in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.

You can explore the beautiful cloisters, which served as the location for several Hogwarts classrooms and corridors. 

9. Lacock Abbey in Lacock

A room inside an old abbey
With much imagination you can see the Hogwarts classroom; photo credit to World Heritage Sites Net

Lacock Abbey in Lacock was used as a filming location for several scenes in the Harry Potter films.

You can explore the stunning cloisters, which served as the location for several Hogwarts classrooms. Inside the abbey, you can also find the locations for Quirrell’s Defense Against the Dark Arts classroom and Snape’s Potions classroom.

Another movie scene which was filmed at Lacock is the scene from the first Harry Potter film with the troll in the girl’s bathroom. And the washbasins are still in the room today!

You can also find the house of Harry’s parents and the house where Horace Slughorn hid from the death eaters in Lacock. Both are normal houses but you can find them on Google Maps.

10. Malham Cove in North Yorkshire

Malham Cove in North Yorkshire was used as a filming location for the scene where Harry and Hermione camp on a cliff while searching for Horcruxes.

You can explore the dramatic cliff made of limestone rock, which served as the location for this iconic scene, and take in the stunning views of the surrounding countryside.

11. Goathland Train Station in Yorkshire

View underneath a pedestrian bridge over a railway, in the back you can see the railway station
Get ready to visit Goathland to board the Hogwarts Express

Goathland Train Station in Yorkshire is the location of Hogsmeade Station, where Harry says goodbye at the end of the first movie next to the Hogwarts Express.

You can explore the charming station, which is still in use today, and imagine yourself boarding the Hogwarts Express for a magical journey to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

And if you’re looking for a magical souvenir, you can even visit the nearby shops and pubs in the charming village of Goathland.

12. Durham Cathedral in Durham

View of a cathedral from the inner courtyard
Many scenes were filmed in this cloister; picture credit to Conversant Traveller

Durham Castle was the filming location for multiple scenes of the Hogwarts halls and the inner courtyard.

In the courtyard, Hedwig takes off to fly around Hogwarts on a winter day in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone and in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets Ron pukes slugs after his spell backfires.

Interesting side note, Harry Potter is not the only blockbuster which was filmed in Durham Castle. It’s also the filming location for some scenes of Avengers: Endgame.

13. Glencoe in Scottish Highlands

Green hills
The hills at Glencoe were the backdrop of Hagrid’s hut; photo credit to Explore Your Bucket List

Glencoe in the Scottish Highlands is the filming location for Hagrid’s Hut in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.

You can explore the breathtaking landscape, which served as the location for the Forbidden Forest and the stunning backdrop for Hagrid’s Hut.

14. Freshwater West Beach in Pembrokeshire Coast, Wales

A pile of rocks on a beach, with a cross and socks
You can even visit Dobby’s grave at Freshwater West Beach

Freshwater West Beach in Pembrokeshire Coast is the location of Shell Cottage, the home of Bill and Fleur, in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

It’s also the last resting place of Dobby in the movies and you can actually find a grave dedicated to Dobby there!

Final thoughts: Harry Potter places to visit UK

All in all the UK is the absolute best country to visit for all fans of the Harry Potter films and books. You can create your own personal itinerary visiting the magical locations which sound most interesting to you.

If you do have time to do a bigger Harry Potter-themed holiday in the UK, I highly recommend visiting York. Even though none of the films were actually filmed there, the Shambles is the closest version of Diagon Alley you’ll find in real life.

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A picture of the inside of Gringotts wizarding bank and a picture of a Gothic hall; text over it reads: "13 magical UK Harry Potter Locations"
Visit the 13 Best Harry Potter Locations in the UK

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