Harry Potter Locations to Visit in England and Scotland
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Discover where to go to find the real magic of Harry Potter in England and Scotland
Even though the last of the Harry Potter movies has already hit theaters, there are still plenty of fans, both children and adults, who can't seem to say goodbye to the young wizard and his friends. If you are still looking for Harry Potter's "castle" (aka Hogwarts), you will have to travel a bit. It is made up of pieces from castles, cathedrals and university cafes from all over Britain. Why not plan an itinerary through the Harry Potter movie locations in England and Scotland to immerse yourself in the magical world of Harry?
1. Travel to Hogwarts over the Glenfinnan Viaduct on the West Highlands Railway
Harry Potter traveled regularly through the dark and murky hills of the Western Highlands of Scotland on his way to Hogwarts. The 42-mile stretch of railway between Fort William and Mallaig cuts through much of the landscape seen in the movies, including Ben Nevis, Britain's highest mountain, Loch Shieland Glen Nevis, the setting for Quidditch scenes. The journey takes about an hour and twenty minutes and costs (in 2017 prices, if booked well in advance) £ 7 each way.
Of course, without movie special effects, it's a lot less threatening, but the area has its own dark history. It was from Glenfinnan, in the middle of the journey, that Bonnie Prince Charlie launched the ill-fated Jacobite Uprising in an attempt to put his father on the throne as James III. Few of the men who marched into London from here have returned.
The impressive Glenfinnan Viaduct you travel on this journey, traversing about 300 meters of the valley in 21 arches, reaching a height of about 30 meters, was the backdrop for the flying car sequence in "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets ".
How to get there: If you are traveling by train from Glasgow Queen Street to Mallaig, an advance ticket costs around £ 15.50 each way and the journey takes around five hours and twenty minutes. At the end of that, you won't find Hogwarts. Mallaig is lively fishing and ferry port, the gateway to Skye and the smaller islands. The best option is to first travel to Fort William, at the base of Ben Nevis, stay, and then begin again to enjoy the "Harry Potter" section of the trip.
2. Walk the Corridors of Hogwarts at Gloucester Cathedral
Gloucester Cathedral has some of the best cloisters in England, with fan vaults that rival many other churches. They represented hallways and other settings in "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone", "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets" and Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince ".
If you plan to join Harry Potter fans from around the world who have visited here, take some time to explore this magnificent cathedral. Some parts have been a place of worship for 1,300 years since it was founded as an Anglo-Saxon religious community in the 7th century. There is a gallery of whispers that the children will adore and Cathedral guides (available Monday to Saturday from 10 am): 45 at 15:15 and noon on Sunday at 14:30) can show where the different scenes were filmed.
How to get there: Great Western trains from London Paddington run regularly. The journey takes between two hours and two and a half hours and costs around £ 36 (in 2017) when booked well in advance as two one-way tickets. Most trips involve changing trains at Swindon Station.
3. Harry Potter at Oxford
Oxford, the oldest university in the English-speaking world and the second oldest university in the world, has the look that makes it a natural setting for Harry Potter and his friends. And indeed, a lot of Oxford locations were used in the film. Duke Humphrey's Library in the Radcliffe Chamber of the Bodleian Library was the Hogwarts Library and the English Gothic Room of the School of Theology, built in 1488 and the oldest teaching room in the University, it replaced the Hogwarts Sanitarium.
But the most famous setting of all, the Great Refectory at Christ Church College, was not actually used as a setting, instead, it was copied, line by line, into one of the most impressive sets in the film.
You can visit the true stage of the Great Hall during the WB Studio Tour, The Making of Harry Potter. But you can visit the fabulous hall that inspired you and wander the university grounds in search of more Harry Potter locations. One you don't want to miss is the impressive 16th-century staircase that leads to the Great Hall. It's where Professor McGonagall greeted Harry and the other freshmen when they arrived at Hogwarts. And the ladder was filmed for that scene.
Christ Church College is open to the public, although as a functioning academic institution and the Cathedral, hours are limited and some areas may be closed from time to time. The Great Hall is normally closed from noon to 2:30 pm. Expect to pay an admission fee of around £ 7 and stand in a long line.
4. Learn to Fly from Harry's Professors at Alnwick Castle
The second-largest inhabited castle in England (pronounced An-nick, by the way), it represented so many scenes from the Potter movies that you might as well call it Hogwarts. Home to the Percy family, the Dukes of Northumberland, for over 700 years, the castle has been open to the public between April and October. Look for scenes from "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets" and "Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone", both filmed here.
By the way, the special effects team went to town at this location, so you may have to strain your imagination a bit to see the "real" castle through your Muggle eyes.
How to get there: Almouth Train Station is 15 minutes away and has an hourly bus service. Taxis are also available at the train station.
5. Stalk a Villain at Hardwick Hall
The much-married Bess of Hardwick, who, after Queen Elizabeth I, was the greatest celebrity of the Elizabethan era, built herself a remarkable house in the Peak District. It has so many windows and so many extraordinary glasses that, right after its construction, the rhyme used to be said: "Hardwick Hall, more glass than wall." At night, with all the rooms lit by candles, it was said to look like a magic lantern on a hill.
But on winter mornings, surrounded by fog, the house takes on a decidedly more mysterious look; which is probably why it was chosen as the setting for considerably darker events for "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1. In the film, the exteriors of Hardwick Hall were the sinister stand-ins for the grim Malfoy Manor."
Owned by the National Trust, Hardwick Hall is considered the most complete Elizabethan house in Britain. It is open to the public and hosts a number of family-oriented events during the holidays and school holidays. While you're there, visit the Chamber of Magic and become Harry Potter or Hermione with the wands and capes of the wizards in the hall.
6. Go Behind the Scenes with the Harry Potter WB Studio Tour London
WB Studios Leavesden, about 20 miles northwest of London, is where many of the movies and most of the special effects were created. Since 2012, visitors have been able to explore the real settings.
A special attraction is the giant model of Hogwarts, Harry Potter's castle, which is used in the film. It's a model, so you can't walk around it, of course, but you can walk through these extraordinary sets:
- The great hall
- Dumbledore's office
- The stones of the Beco Diagonal with the facades of the wand shop Olivaras, Florescer e Borrões, Weasleys Magic Wheezing, Gringotes Magic Bank and Eeylops Owl Emporium.
- The Gryffindor common room
- Male bedroom
- Hagrid's cabin
- Potions classroom
- Professor Umbridge's office at the Ministry of Magic.
The tour reveals all the filmmakers' secrets behind the scenes on creating special effects and more. And unlike the Harry Potter theme park rides created elsewhere, this is the real McCoy: the actual sets from the movie, set up in the studios where the movies were made.
Family tickets £ 126 (in 2017) for four people (two adults and two children or one adult and three children). Individual and group tickets are also available. To book tickets and learn more, visit the website
How to get there: The nearest station is Watford Junction (20 minutes from London Euston or an hour from Birmingham New Street). A bus for ticket holders runs between the station and the studio.
We hope you enjoy watching this video about The Places you Must Visit if you're Harry Potter Fan
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