Arts & Culture

Unveiling the magic of Harry Potter

I don’t think there’s an office in the world that hasn’t, at some point, had the ‘which Hogwarts house are you?’ discussion (I’m Gryffindor, by the way!). The success of Harry Potter is so monumental that all of us have been touched by it at one point or another, whether you’re a big fan of the series or just wanted to make a loved one smile.

If you’re a huge Hogwarts nerd and just visiting the UK for the first time, you’re bound to be excited at the prospect of exploring the birthplace of the series. And you’re in luck – there’s so much here to immerse yourself in that you’re going to struggle to fit it all in one trip. That’s precisely why we’ve put together this short guide to getting the most out of your sojourn on the Potter trail.

Let’s take a look at the key locations to visit on your tour. Unveiling the magic of Harry Potter

The Warner Brothers Studio tour

This is the big one – an unmissable exploration of the very place that the Harry Potter movies were shot. This epic three-and-a-half-hour exploration of the Warner Brothers lot will put you up close and personal with sets, props, costumes, creature effects and all of the magic that went into making the Harry Potter movies. You’ll get to see the unbelievable miniatures of the Hogwarts school, explore key locations like the Forbidden Forest and Platform Nine and Three Quarters, as well as learn how some of the movies most memorable scenes were made. Beware of the gift shop, though! Last time I visited I spent an embarrassingly large amount of money of HP merch (*cough* only £400 *cough*)!

Click here to book your tickets for the ultimate Harry Potter fan experience.

The London Harry Potter tour

Die-hard fans will know that the Warner Brothers lot wasn’t the only place the Harry Potter movies were filmed. London has several key locations of its own to explore, all of which feature in our Harry Potter Film Locations tour. This half-day walking tour will show you all the real-life locations the city has to offer, from the entrance to the Leaky Cauldron to the street that inspired Diagon Alley. You’ll also have commentary from our magical Potter experts, though they aren’t permitted to teach you any spells!


Discovering Hogwarts

Hogwarts is, without a doubt, the most important filming location in the franchise. If you want to explore every nook and cranny of its stunning hallways, you’ll have to travel a little further afield than London. That’s because many Hogwarts scenes were shot in locations all across the UK. To see them all, you’ll need to visit:

– Durham Cathedral; Hogwarts cloisters and outdoor scenes.
– Alnwick Castle, Quidditch fields and exterior Hogwarts scenes.
– New College, Oxford; Hogwarts interior scenes
– Lacock Abbey; Professor Snape’s potions classroom
– The Glenfinnan Viaduct; The iconic bridge crossed by the Hogwarts Express

For the full list of Hogwarts filming locations check out the Visit Britain website.

The birthplace of the books

For those who want to visit the true inspiration for Hogwarts and the Harry Potter series as a whole, there’s only one place to visit – Edinburgh. This is the city where J.K. Rowling wrote Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone; a place that’s built into the very DNA of the novels. On your trip to Scotland’s capital, we highly recommend checking out the free Potter Trail that takes you around all the key locations, from the cafe that Rowling wrote at to the grave where the real Lord Voldemort is buried. It’s a fantastic way to see the city.

For an easy way to visit Edinburgh, take a look at our tours from London. We hope you have a wonder-filled time exploring the magic of Harry Potter.