Accio Suitcase! Top 10 Harry Potter Filming Locations In London & Scotland

9 Dec 2019

Apparate to the UK and follow in your favourite wizard's footsteps

If you’re anything like us, you’ll be spellbound by all things Potter. On a trip to the UK, you can see where the movie magic happened for yourself. From touring the Warner Bros. Studios to riding the real Hogwarts Express, these charmed locations will leave you happier than Hagrid in a field full of Hippogriffs.

Jump on your broomstick and check out our top picks:

1. Go behind the scenes on a Warner Bros. Studio tour

About an hour outside London you’ll find the place 'reel' dreams are made of. The Warner Bros. Studios are where much of the Potter magic was brought to life. You'll come across many familiar backdrops as you discover the film sets, props and costumes used in the movie series. Wander down Diagon Alley, snoop in Hagrid’s hut and explore Dumbledore’s office before grabbing a butterbeer or two alongside the Knight Bus.

Booking a day tour to the Studios through Klook conjures up round-trip bus transport from London – no floo powder required!

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2. Relive Harry’s adventures on a London walking tour

The capital is packed with filming spots and the easiest way to get up-close to them is on a guided Harry Potter walking tour. Head over to the location used for the Ministry of Magic and look out for any aurors hanging around. Later, stop for an Instagram moment by The Leaky Cauldron’s door. You can even inspect the ticket barriers that left Arthur Weasley wondering in the Order of the Phoenix. You'll also see other famous London sights including St Paul’s Cathedral, the Millennium Bridge and the Tate Modern. Perfect if you’ve only flown in on your Firebolt for a day or two!

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3. Ride the real Hogwarts Express

Good Potter students know that every school year begins with a ride on the Hogwarts Express. Well, hold on to your Sorting Hat – you can now board this iconic train yourself! Retrace Harry’s journey as you speed across the movies' instantly recognisable Glenfinnan Viaduct bridge. The trip also takes you past some of the Scottish Highlands scenery used throughout the films.

A couple of clicks of your 'wand' and it's all aboard for a day tour from Edinburgh. This early-starter includes breakfast on the way. Just close your eyes and pretend you're feasting on chocolate frogs and pumpkin pasties.

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4. Talk to London Zoo's serpents like Harry

Right at the start of the movie series, Harry speaks a secret serpent language and accidentally sets a python on his cousin Dudley – oh, Merlin's beard! This strangely satisfying scene was actually filmed on location at London Zoo’s Reptile House. In the real world, a feisty black mamba snake lives in the enclosure that was used in the movies. We don't recommend trying to talk her out of it!

Wannabe Slytherins can seek out this sneaky spot with a ticket for London Zoo. Among lions, penguins and tons of other animals, it's truly 'fantastic beasts and where to find them'!

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5. Make a flying visit to Hogwarts at Alnwick Castle

We all dream of going to Hogwarts – aside from lessons with Snape, of course! Now you can pretend you got that green-inked letter and head to 11th-century Alnwick Castle. Tucked away close to the UK’s northeast coast, this stately filming spot is where Harry had his first flying lesson. It's also where Ron crashed the Weasley's flying family car in the second movie.

Grab your camera and explore Alnwick and Lindisfarne castles on a day tour from Edinburgh.

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6. Geek out like Hermione at the Bodleian Library

Hogwarts' cleverest witch is the ultimate bookworm, and we’re sure she’d approve of Oxford’s ancient book haven. Dating back to the 14th century, the Bodleian Library actually doubles as Hogwarts' infirmary in the Potter films. This iconic carved stone building holds a whopping 13 million printed items, including rare books and manuscripts.

Book a half-day guided tour from London to see Oxford's historical highlights. Stops include the Bodleian and the Ashmolean Museum, home to the world-famous university’s art and archaeology collection.

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7. Board at Platform 9¾ on a London bus tour

Posing with the famous hidden entrance is a rite of passage for Potter fans. Skip over to King's Cross Station and have a go at pushing the trolley that sticks out of the wall there. Better yet, why not see several of London’s Harry Potter filming locations in one go? You can hop on a guided bus tour which takes you to wizarding landmarks like Gringotts Bank. The tour ends at King's Cross, so you won't need a Time-Turner to get those all-important Instagram shots.

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8. Goggle at Godric’s Hollow in Lacock

Keen to see where James and Lily Potter lived? Then you’d better take a day trip to this quaint village in South West England, which doubled as Godric’s Hollow in the Philosopher's Stone. While you’re here, be sure to swing by Lacock Abbey too. Thanks to some movie magic, the inside defied geography to transform into parts of Hogwarts in the first two films.

Klook a Bath, Avebury and Lacock village tour for a full day's exploring from London.

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9. Discover how 'He Who Must Not Be Named' got his in Edinburgh

Hardcore fans won’t want to miss a solid piece of Potter history. Greyfriars Kirkyard is a cemetery that reportedly inspired several names in the Potter books. Wander around the tombstones and you’ll find familiar titles such as McGonagall and a certain Thomas Riddell. JK Rowling says the stone may have contributed to Voldemort's naming. Chilling!

Muggles can use a hop-on, hop-off bus pass to explore Edinburgh the easy way. Don't miss the castle, which looms above the city so large you won't need to be on the Knight Bus' third floor to see it!

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10. See where it all began at the Elephant House café

When JK Rowling started writing the Harry Potter books, she was an unemployed single mother who used cafés to keep warm while she scribbled down ideas. Edinburgh’s Elephant House is one such magical place – and it makes the ideal end to a Harry Potter walking tour of the city. You'll have a true Potterhead as a guide to show you the places that inspired the story. See the street that sparked Diagon Alley and the turreted George Heriot's School, said to be the thinking behind Hogwarts.

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