There’s no reason to limit your love of Harry Potter to the pages of a book or the scenes in a movie. Especially when those movies were filmed in beautiful spots across the U.K., just begging for a Hogwarts-themed jaunt across the pond.
Luckily for us Potterheads, the British Tourist Board put together a comprehensive map of the best places to visit in Britain and Scotland that were actual filming locations for the Harry Potter movies.
Let’s check out some of the most notable.
1. King’s Cross Station, London
One of the most recognizable shots around, King’s Cross has been seen every time Harry returns to Hogwarts. Platform 9 3/4 is intact, ready for an Instagram shot as you head to whatever real platform your journey requires.
“For filming, platforms 4 and 5 were renumbered 9 and 10,” write the experts at Visit Britain. “At the station today, you’ll find the hidden access to platform 9 3/4, complete with half a luggage cart disappearing into the wall!” It delights Muggles and royals alike.
2. London Zoo
One of the most important scenes from the first movie was filmed at the London Zoo’s Reptile House. Harry inadvertently let a Burmese python free, and realized he and the snake could understand each other. You’ll see a Harry Potter plaque at the tank in question.
According to Visit Britain, the snake that calls the particular tank home is actually a black mamba.
3. Durham Cathedral
J.K. Rowling has said she always imagined Hogwarts would exist in Scotland, on a loch, in the beautiful scenery. England’s historic Durham Cathedral, though, served as a stand-in for many Hogwarts scenes, including both exteriors and interiors. According to the cathedral’s website, its Chapter House “features in the Harry Potter films as Professor McGonagall’s classroom.”
4. Ashridge Wood
One of many beautiful outdoor filming locations, Ashridge Wood was the location of the Quidditch World Cup that Harry attended in the fourth movie.
5. Glen Coe
Several scenes around Hogwarts were filmed at Glen Coe, 90 miles from Glasgow. According to Visit Britain, “it is the location of Hagrid’s Hut, the bridge leading to the entrance of Hogwarts, and some scenes were also filmed at the nearby lake.”
6. Glenfinnan Viaduct
Visit Britain writes, “The Glenfinnan Viaduct is the ‘bridge to Hogwarts’, where the Hogwarts Express makes its journey.” You can take the Jacobite Steam Train through Glenfinnan, on the route from Glasgow to Fort William.
Bonus: The Elephant House, Edinburgh
This famous tea and coffee shop can’t actually be seen in any of the movies. But, if all the sights make you inspired to pen your own fantasy novel, try heading to Edinburgh. Potter fans know J.K. Rowling penned some early parts of her epic series in coffee shops, including the now-famous Elephant House. Snap a selfie, grab a mug and open up your notebook!
Close To Home
Don’t forget, if a flight to the U.K. isn’t in the cards, you can see film-worthy renditions of Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade by visiting Universal Studios in Florida (and Hogsmeade at Universal Studios Hollywood). Bonus: they offer Butterbeer!