10 Real Life ‘Harry Potter’ Destinations You Can Visit
If you love ‘Harry Potter,’ you just might be happier than a Muggle with a new wand after you go through this list. What better way to indulge your Potter fantasies than by visiting some of the actual places made famous by the films? Check out these spots and start planning your Harry Potter adventure today!
Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Universal Studios, Florida
Live out all of your wizard fantasies at Universal Studios Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Immerse yourself in magic, Harry Potter myth and lore, or practice some restraint and take a spin on a Potter-themed amusement park ride, like the Dragon Challenge rollercoaster. You can even buy all of your Hogwarts school supplies, and other knick-knacks in the many shops that inhabit this magically inspired world.
Alnwick Castle, Northumberland, England
Alnwick Castle is the location used for Hogwarts Castle in ‘Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone’ and ‘Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.’ It has been featured in other famous films as well, like ‘Elizabeth’ and ‘Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves.’ The castle is a lovely place for an afternoon stroll and offers wizardry and broomstick “flight” training, if you’re so inclined.
Glencoe is a famous glen in Scotland that was featured in ‘Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.’ Hagrid’s Hut and several other film sets were built in this beautiful valley, which offered up a spectacular backdrop to the adventures taking place onscreen. You can head on up to Glencoe on your own, or with your family, and trek around this magnificent natural space.
‘Harry Potter: The Exhibition,’ Various Locations
If you just can’t get enough Harry Potter (which we suspect is the case), you should check out the traveling Harry Potter exhibition that is currently making its way around the globe. The exhibition allows visitors an up-close look at the art, set decoration, props and costumes that went into making the Harry Potter movies. It’s a must-see for Potter fans and film buffs in general.
Glenfinnan Viaduct, Lochaber, Scotland
Every year Harry and his chums make their way to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. The Glenfinnan Viaduct in Scotland is the famous bridge and train line the Hogwarts Express travels along to get them there. The surrounding countryside makes for some wonderful hiking, and you can even take a ride on the “Jacobite” — the real steam train Potter traveled on.
Millennium Bridge, London, England
The Millennium Bridge is an actual, though quite futuristic, suspension bridge in London. This pedestrian walkway was torn to shreds in ‘Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince,’ but don’t worry — that was just some computer CGI wizardry, not the real stuff. The bridge is still very much standing, and you can check it out the next time you happen to be in London
King’s Cross and St Pancras Stations, London, England
Both of these London train stations, which happen to be side by side, served as shooting location for the Harry Potter films. St Pancras was used for the exterior shots, even though King’s Cross was the station where Potter and his friends caught their train for Hogwarts. If you venture into King’s Cross station and wander over to platforms 9-11, you’ll find a sign that reads “Platform 9 3/4.” You can try and walk through it if you want, but you’ll probably just bump your head.
London Zoo, London, England
If you caught ‘Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone,’ you know young Mr. Potter spent some time at the London Zoo, especially in the zoo’s Reptile House.While the snakes and reptiles that live there now might not be up for a chat, as they were in the film, you can still enjoy this spectacular collection of things that slither and crawl while you’re in London.
Leadenhall Market, London, England
Leadenhall Market is a covered market in London with a long history. It shows up in the ‘Harry Potter’ films as the exterior for Diagon Alley and the Leaky Cauldron. The market is a great place to grab a bite to eat, do a bit of shopping, or simply wander around. Spend a few hours here and you might feel like performing some magic spells, or having a sandwich (the second one’s easier).
Christ Church, Oxford, England
If you make your way to Christ Church in Oxford, you can take in the staircase the students at Hogwarts had to climb in order to get inside the Great Hall. Hogwarts Great Hall, as seen in the film, was actually modeled after the Great Hall at Christ Church. Take a tour around Oxford, and you’ll come across several other locations that ended up in the Harry Potter movies as well.