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Relive the Magic: Top 5 Harry Potter Locations to Visit

Image © Harry Potter via Facebook

Go behind the scenes and discover the slightly off-the-radar Potter locations across the country

Did you get your Hogwarts acceptance letter through the chimney this year? No, we didn’t either. Well, relive the magic of the films anyway, with these Harry Potter locations to visit. Once you’ve worn out the Studio Tours and taken more than enough pictures at Kings Cross’ Platform 9 ¾, hop on the Hogwarts Express and travel UK wide to enjoy some of the UK’s hot spots of Wizarding History. 

Image credit: Alnwick Castle via Facebook
Alnwick Castle 
This fortress-like castle dates back to the 12th century and is the seat of the Duke of Northumberland. It may be better known, however, as the Hogwarts Castle of The Philosopher’s Stone and The Chamber of Secrets. Used for both interior and exterior scenes, you can relive the first two films with a free, daily film tour (the castles also featured in Downton AbbeyBlackadder and Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves). The most iconic of these filming locations is from the scene where Harry and Ron first learn to ride broomsticks with Madam Hooch – you can even learn to ride a broom yourself on the castle’s lawn! 

Image credit: Pierre Jaquet via Flickr 
The University of Oxford
The opulent University of Oxford provided backdrop for multiple scenes across the Harry Potter film franchise. Hermione Granger could be found regularly in the university’s Bodleian Library, where the medieval reading room created the ideal library for The Philosopher’s Stone. The stunningly gothic Divinity Hall became the Hogwarts infirmary, where we all know Harry Potter spent plenty of his time throughout the series, and Ron Weasley could often be found devouring a feast in The Great Hall, which was based on the university’s Christ Church College

Image credit: Mario Sánchez Prada via Flickr
Freshwater Beach 
Many characters in the series were loved and lost… Sirius Black, Remus Lupin, Fred Weasley… but we think it’s fair to say that the saddest death of the series was that of Dobby the House Elf. Pay homage to this free elf at Freshwater Beach in Castlemartin. This wide sandy beach is the location for the (fictional) cottage in which the trio take refuge in The Deathly Hallows: Part II and is where Dobby was laid to rest at the end of Part I. It’s ok… you’re allowed to cry.

Image credit: Rob via Flickr
Goathland Station
North Yorkshire 
In the films third instalment, The Prisoner of Azkaban, we’re introduced to Hogsmeade, Hogwarts local village where students are allowed to visit…providing they’ve handed in their permission slip that is. The charming Victorian train station of the small village of Goathland is the filming location for Hogsmeade station and the landing point of the Hogwarts Express. The station is run by North Yorkshire Moors Railway volunteers, and you can follow the Rail Path a short distance to the Birch Hall Inn (Yorkshire's smallest pub). 

Image credit: Ian Kenn via Flickr 
Glenfinnan Viaduct
One of the most iconic scenes of the entire film series is the Glenfinnan Viaduct, a stunning 21-arched viaduct on the wonderful Highlands hills. The best way to enjoy this view is to board The Jacobite, a traditional steam train that’ll leave you feeling like you did receive that Hogwarts acceptance letter after all. The 84-mile round trip will give you a whistle stop tour of some of the most beautiful spots in the Scottish Highlands, and time permitting the train will stop to let you soak up the atmosphere atop the Glenfinnan Viaduct. For more info and some more beautiful railway journeys click here