Harry Potter And The Tour Of Britain

Harry Potter And The Tour Of Britain 1The Great Hall in Harry Potter films – Photo Courtesy: Sarah Ackerman

 

How many of us go to bed dreaming of exploring J. K. Rowling’s magical made-up world?

Of course a lot of the iconic sights were created behind studio doors but much of Harry’s world exists for real. You just have to know where to look. Get ready to embark on this exciting journey!

 

London

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Platform 9 3/4 at King’s Cross Station – Photo Courtesy: Lauren Manning

Many sights and sounds from the Harry Potter movies can be found in and around London. Your journey to Hogwarts starts at King’s Cross St. Pancras, just like Harry’s. The arched wall which he passes through in The Philosopher’s Stone, and crashes into in The Chamber Of Secrets, is rather disappointingly found between platforms 4 and 5.

Luckily the lovely folk at King’s Cross have added a bit of magic of their own. Between platforms 9 and 10 you’ll find a sign for the legendary platform 9 ¾ with a trolley disappearing into the wizarding world.

 

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Millennium Bridge – from Tate Modern to St. Paul Cathedral by walk. Photo Courtesy: Stefano Brivio

Next, head down to the Millennium Bridge which links the City with Bankside. You’ll recognize it as the footbridge that is dramatically destroyed by the Death Eaters in the Half-Blood Prince.

If you’re in need of a new wand, head to Leadenhall Market, which was the setting for Diagon Alley in the Philosopher’s Stone. To be honest, even those who have no interest at all in the Harry Potter films will enjoy exploring the covered Victorian market.

 

Rest of England

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Swinley Forest – Photo Courtesy: Matt Brittaine



There are plenty of places to visit outside of London as well, like Swinley Forest in Berkshire. You’ll recognize it from the Deathly Hallows parts one and two. Harry, Ron and Hermione spend a lot of time in these woods and it’s where they’re eventually captured by the Snatchers that take them to Malfoy Manor.

 

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The cloisters of Durham Cathedral. If you watch the first Harry Potter carefully, you’ll see that this is where Harry sends Hedwig off on a snowy day. – Photo Courtesy: diverstonefly

A lot of the scenes from the early films in the Harry Potter franchise were filmed across England in real locations. At Durham Cathedral, you’ll see the cloisters where Harry releases Hedwig in the Philosopher’s Stone and where Ron begins to throw up slugs before he’s taken to Hagrid’s Hut.

Sticking with the Cathedral theme, head to Gloucester where a lot of the first two movies were filmed. Sights to see include the door to the Gryffindor Common Room and the Lavatorium where Harry and Ron hide from Quirell’s cave troll.

 

Scotland

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Harry Potter And The Tour Of Britain 6Glenfinnan Viaduct – Photo Courtesy: 96tommy

You might just be surprised at the number of Scottish landmarks that feature in Harry Potter. Glenfinnan Viaduct features in three of the films. It’s where Harry and Ron land the Ford Anglia in Chamber of Secrets.

Glencoe featured heavily in Braveheart and Highlander II, but it’s now an important part of the wizarding world. The quidditch matches in the first two films were set at Glen Nevis, and Stella Falls can be seen in the Goblet of Fire.

 

Wales

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Freshwater West – Photo Courtesy: David Harris

I can’t finish without talking about Freshwater West in Wales. It’s a beautiful place to visit and you’ll instantly recognize it as the setting for Shell Cottage in the Deathly Hallows. It’s also one of the best beaches for surfing in the whole of the UK so if you decide to visit, make sure you pack a wetsuit.

 

When he’s not strolling down Diagon Alley, Mark Peters immerses himself in the magical world of novelty gifts for Find Me A Gift – www.find-me-a-gift.co.uk.

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