If you’ve watched the Harry Potter films, you’ve probably enjoyed seeing some of the spectacular landscapes, scenery, and properties on the screen. You might now be wondering where Harry Potter was filmed and if you can visit these sites in the UK.
Well, we’re here to help! We’ve visited many of the the real world Harry Potter filming locations in England and Scotland, as well as the actual filming studio where the other scenes were put together.
Based on our experiences, we wanted to share with you some of our favourite Harry Potter filming locations to help you plan your own magical experience.
Where was Harry Potter Filmed?
The Harry Potter films were primarily filmed in the United Kingdom, at a variety of locations across the country.
You’ll find the largest number of Harry Potter filming locations in England, including London, southern England, and Yorkshire. However, much of the scenery around Hogwarts for example was filmed in locations across Scotland.
There were also scenes filmed in Wales, including the Shell Cottage scene in Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows. Ireland also featured, with the Cliffs of Moher briefly appearing in Harry Potter & the Half-Blood Prince.
As well as the real-world locations, all eight of the Harry Potter films were also shot at a UK film studio. This was the Warner Brothers Studio in Leavesden, just outside of London, which can today be visited on a tour. This is a must-see attraction for fans!
The reason for shooting in the UK was primarily because this was where all the books were set. In addition, one of the stipulations that was attached to the film rights when J.K. Rowling sold them was that the primary cast members be British.
So with British locations and a British cast, naturally filming in the UK was the way to go!
Harry Potter Filming Locations in the UK
This list contains what we think are some of the more important and spectacular filming locations for Harry Potter in the UK.
There are of course many more locations than we have listed here, but we think that these are an excellent representation of the locations you can visit.
Leadenhall Market, London
On to London, which is home to many Harry Potter filming locations. So many in fact, that we put together a detailed guide to Harry Potter filming locations in London to help you plan your adventures here.
In this post though, we are going to share some of our favourite Harry Potter filming locations in the city, starting with Leadenhall Market.
Leadenhall market is a beautiful covered market, found in the centre of the City of London. It’s one of London’s oldest markets, and dates from the 14th century.
A highlight of a visit is definitely the ornate roof, which dates from the late 19th century. It also has wonderful old cobbled floors.
Of course, the real highlight for Harry Potter fans is knowing that this was the filming location for some of the Diagon Alley scenes. Specifically, the entrance to the Leaky Cauldron was filmed here in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. You’ll find this location in Bulls Head passage, and the Leaky Cauldron is in reality an opticians.
Leadenhall Market is a public place which you can visit for free. The main entrance is found on Gracechurch Street. You can also take a Harry Potter walking tour to see this location and many others from the movies.
Kings Cross Station, London
One of our favourite scenes in the films is when Harry first visits Platform 9 3/4 to board the Hogwarts Express.
In the books and films, this location is clearly stated as being at Kings Cross station, one of London’s major train stations which handles most trains heading north. This makes sense, as Hogwarts is described in the books as being in the north of the UK.
In the movie, Harry goes to the magical platform 9 3/4, which unfortunately can’t be visited by non-magical folk. However, if you want to visit the filming location, you’ll want to head to platforms 4 and 5, which was where the sequence in the first movie was actually shot.
There’s another bonus at Kings Cross train station – there’s a station luggage trolley, as found in the books, cunningly embedded in the wall as a photo opportunity. This was once a hidden gem, but those days are long gone, so now expect to queue for about 1 hour if you want your photo taken here.
Instead, our suggestion would be to head to the next stop on our tour of Harry Potter filming locations in the UK, where you can have the same photo opportunity but with much less of a wait.
Harry Potter Studio Tour, Leavesden
Without doubt, if you are only going to do one Harry Potter related activity when you visit the UK, we think you should make it this – a visit to the Harry Potter Studio.
This is where the majority of all eight of the Harry Potter movies were filmed. Following the shooting being completed, Warner Bros. decided to turn much of the property into an attraction that you can visit today.
Unlike the Wizarding World of Harry Potter theme parks in the USA and Japan though, this isn’t somewhere you come to take rides. This is more of an experience where you can learn all about what went into making the movies.
Expect to visit original sets, like the Great Hall, Diagon Alley, and the Forbidden Forest. You’ll learn all about the green screen technology and digital art that went into creating the Harry Potter world, as well as the models, costumes, and props that brought it all to life.
There is so much to see here it is quite overwhelming. Thankfully there’s also butterbeer (non-alcoholic so perfect for kids as well) available for purchase to calm you down.
The tour is, for the most part, self-guided, and it will last you in the region of 3 – 4 hours to see everything.
In terms of the practicalities of visiting, the Harry Potter Studio Tour is found in Leavesden, just to the north of London. You can get here by public transport, or you can take a guided tour like this which includes transport.
If you choose to make your own way out to the Studios, be aware that you have to buy a ticket in advance from the official website. Tickets are not available on site, and they have limited numbers for each day so as to not to overcrowd it. It’s a hugely popular attraction, so if you do want to visit, please book far in advance to guarantee you get a ticket.
If you struggle to get tickets, a guided tour is another option, as these have a separate allocation. We suggest one of the following tours:
- A fully guided tour experience which include return transport from London, entry, and a guided tour through the studios
- A tour which includes your visit to the WB Studio as well as a walking tour of the key London filming locations
- A tour which includes private transfers from London to and from the studio
We’d suggest reading through our detailed guide to the Harry Potter Studio Tour for more information and to make the most of your trip.
Oxford University, Oxford
Oxford is one of our favourite small cities in the UK. It’s an easy place to visit as a day trip from London, or you could spend a few days exploring the many sights on offer.
Some of those sites are, of course, Harry Potter filming locations. The majority of these locations are within the various Oxford university buildings, and some of these are open to the public.
One of our favourite Harry Potter filming location in Oxford is the Divinity School, which is a part of the University of Oxford.
The Divinity School was used as the location of the Hogwarts Infirmary, which featured in a number of scenes in the movies, including when Harry recuperates in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.
The Divinity School was also where Ron has a wonderful dance lesson with Professor McGonagall, much to his dismay, in Harry Potter in the Goblet of Fire. It was a shame he never really got to put the lesson to good use!
The Divinity School has a really lovely medieval interior, and it’s not hard to see why it was chosen as a filming location. It dates from 1427, and the ceiling is particularly stunning, as hopefully our photos make clear.
The Divinity School is open to the public, but it can only be visited on a guided tour, for which there is a fee. Tours run year round with some exceptions for public holiday, from 9am – 5pm Mon – Sat, and 11am – 5pm on Sundays.
You can book a tour through the Bodleian library itself here. Alternatively, you can take a Harry Potter walking tour of Oxford like this, which includes a visit to the Divinity School as well as a number of other locations that feature in the movies.
As already mentioned, Oxford was home to a number of Harry Potter filming locations. These include Duke Humfrey’s Library, New College, and parts of Christ Church College.
Duke Humfrey’s Library appeared as the actual Hogwarts Library in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, and was the first place he used his Cloak of Invisibility. This can be visited as part of the Divinity Library Tour.
New College, which despite the name is actually one of the oldest colleges in Oxford, was featured in a number of scenes.
The Cloisters of New College were used for some of the hallways in Hogwarts. As you’ll notice throughout this post, there were a lot of locations used to shoot hallway scenes, and a common theme is that they tend to be fairly old medieval looking buildings.
The New College Cloisters were specifically used for the hallways in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. There’s a scene where Harry pushes through many of his fellow students who have turned against him, and are wearing “Potter Stinks” badges. This was filmed in the New College cloisters.
Another scene filmed in New College was also in Harry Potter in the Goblet of Fire, where Harry give Cedric a tip about the foe they’ll be facing in their first task. This was filmed in the New College Courtyard.
New College can be visited, there’s a small fee for doing so, which you must pay at the entry. It’s a self-guided tour. Note that colleges occasionally close for exams or other reasons.
You can see more on visiting New College and opening hours on the official visitor information page here.
Finally, Christ Church College was also a filming location for the movies. First, the cloisters were used for, you guessed it, some Hogwarts corridor scenes. Specifically, in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, the scene where Harry looks at the quidditch trophy won by his father was filmed here.
The stunning Bodley Tower staircase in Christ Church College was also used as a filming location in the first two movies, including the scene where Harry first arrives at Hogwarts.
Finally, whilst no filming actually took place in the Christ Church dining hall, it is often cited as the film makers inspiration for the look of the Great Hall. With the long tables, high ceiling, and raised area for faculty members, it’s certainly not hard to see why.
Christ Church College can also be visited. There’s a fee for visiting, but you get access to all of the above locations as well as other parts of the college. See more on prices and times for visiting here.
As mentioned, you can visit all the above sites individually by purchasing tickets. Alternatively, you can take a guided walking tour like this, which includes your admission to the Divinity School as well as some of the other filming locations.
If you are in London, you can also take a tour that includes filming locations in Oxford. Some options we suggest are:
- This full day tour which includes time in Oxford as well as the WB Studio Tour
- This full day private tour which includes the Harry Potter filming locations in London and Oxford
- This full day private tour from London which includes Oxford and Lacock Abbey
Gloucester Cathedral, Gloucester
Gloucester, found in the west of England around 2 hours train ride from London, is home to the stunning Gloucester Cathedral. This has been a place of worship since 678, although the present cathedral was built from 1089 onwards.
The Cathedral is particularly known for its incredible Cloister. This has a stunning fan vaulted design which dates from the end of the 14th century. It was also here that many of the Harry Potter scenes were filmed.
In fact, three Harry Potter movies had films shot at Gloucester Cathedral. These were Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, and Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince.
In the first movie, when the troll rampages through Hogwarts, part of his path actually takes him through the north side of the Gloucester cathedral cloisters.
In the same movie, the south side of the cloisters featured as a Gryffindor corridor, whilst the door at the west end of the cloisters was the door to the Gryffindor common room. There’s no painting of a lady asking for a password here any more, so sadly the door doesn’t lead anywhere magical.
In the second movie, one of the pivotal moments is when the words “The Chamber of Secrets has been opened” appears on a Hogwarts wall, written rather dramatically in blood. This was shot at the east end of the north walk in the cathedral. Just nearby is the location where Moaning Myrtle flooded the toilets.
Finally, scenes from Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince were also shot at the cathedral. Near the cathedral’s coffee shop is a ledge, which Harry and Ron stood on for one of the scenes. In addition, the Lavatorium is where Harry was hiding when he heard Snape talking about the Unbreakable Vow.
Gloucester Cathedral was used for a number of other shots in the above three movies, largely for Hogwarts corridors.
Gloucester Cathedral is open every day of the year. It is free to visit, but they do suggest a donation of £5 towards cathedral upkeep per visitor, which we think is a price well worth paying.
You can visit Gloucester Cathedral yourself. Gloucester is around a 2 hour train journey from central London, and is also close to Bath and Bristol. Another option is to take a full day guided tour like this from London.
Lacock Abbey, Lacock
Lacock is a small village in the Cotswolds, one of the more beautiful regions of England.
Here you’ll find countless picturesque small villages that look like something straight out of the 14th century, and which for many, are how they imagine England to look like.
Such postcard perfection naturally draws both visitors and filmmakers, and the town of Lacock is no stranger to film makers. This is because the village has been magnificently preserved over the centuries, and even today, the trappings of modernity like electricity poles and satellite dishes are noticeably absent.
As you would imagine, this makes Lacock a magnet for period dramas, and a number of these have been shot in the village, including Cranford, Downton Abbey and Pride and Prejudice.
But what you really care about of course is Harry Potter. Lacock itself appeared briefly in both Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone and Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince.
It was used as both the location for Lily and James Potter’s House in Godric’s Hollow and also as the setting for Budleigh Babberton where Professor Slughorn lived.
The real highlight of a visit to Lacock for Harry Potter fans though is Lacock Abbey.
This building, which was originally a nunnery when built in the 13th century, was converted to a private residence in the 16th century.
The cloisters of Lacock Abbey were used for a number of scenes in the films, particularly in the first two films, where they were (you guessed it) used as Hogwarts corridors in the films.
The cloisters served another purpose though – that of classrooms in the early movies. In particular, Snape’s potions classroom in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone was filmed in the Sacristy room. In the same movie, the Warming Room at Lacock Abbey is used as Professor Quirrell’s Classroom.
The Warming Room even has a giant cauldron that looks exactly like it might be a left over prop from the films. It did feature in the films, but it wasn’t a prop – this is a genuine 16th century cooking that belongs to the Abbey!
Finally, the Chapter House at Lacock Abbey was also used as a filming location. It was here where Harry finds the Mirror of Erised in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, and spends a great deal of time staring into it.
The same room in the Chapter House was also used in the Chamber of Secrets movie as the location for revision.
Lacock Abbey, along with the majority of Lacock, is managed by the National Trust. It’s free to visit the village itself, but entry to Lacock Abbey requires a ticket. It’s free for members of the National Trust.
It’s also possible to visit Lacock as part of a tour. There are a number of tours departing from London which include Lacock, usually as part of a day trip that includes Stonehenge. However, many of these tours only include a short photo stop of the village rather than time to explore the Abbey.
Another option is this private tour from London which includes both Oxford and Lacock Abbey.
Malham Cove, North Yorkshire
Malham Cove is a massive limestone formation near to the village of Malham in North Yorkshire. It was formed over 12,000 years ago at the end of the ice age, and is in fact what is left of a massive waterfall.
It’s a very picturesque location that is popular with walkers, and the large area at the top of what was the waterfall will be very familiar to Harry Potter fans.
This area was used in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1, when Harry and Hermione are travelling together in an effort to destroy the Horcruxes. The top of Malham Cove is where they camp for the night after being abandoned by Ron.
Malham Cove is free to visit, and the walking trail from Malham Village to the foot of the cove is around a mile each way. You can also climb to the top from a footpath at the base, which is quite steep. There are around 400 steps to conquer so we only recommended this if you are relatively fit!
If you have time, there are lots more natural attractions to see in the area and plenty of walking trails. You can see more on visiting as well as tips for walks, on this community website.
Goathland Train Station, Yorkshire
Another filming location for Harry Potter in Yorkshire was Goathland train station. Found in the North York Moors in the village of Goathland (near the town of Whitby), this was the filming location of the Hogwarts train station, Hogsmeade.
The station appeared in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. When the train pulls into the station, we can see Hogwarts in the distance (computer generated unfortunately!). It’s here that Hagrid welcomes the first years and takes them to the boats which they cross to the school.
It also features at the end of the same movie, when the students head home after the end of their first year of adventures at Hogwarts.
Goathland train station is a part of the North Yorkshire Moors railway, and is an active station, with services running to Whitby. It’s free to visit, and there’s a fee to park if you park on site. You can even stay on site, in the “camping” train.
There are also a variety of experiences on offer, including the chance to ride a steam train or take a ride on a classic Pullman dining train.
If you want to do an activity like this, we recommend you book in advance as they do not run every day or year round.
Durham Cathedral, Durham
Dating from 1093, Durham Cathedral is one of the oldest cathedrals in the UK, and is a spectacular building to visit. As the name suggests, it’s found in the city of Durham, around 10 minutes by train from Newcastle Upon Tyne.
The cathedral has a commanding hilltop position, and is a highlight of the Durham skyline.
Durham Cathedral appeared as a major location in two of the Harry Potter movies, The Philosopher’s Stone and The Chamber of Secrets.
With its medieval look, the cathedral was the perfect location for filming various moments from Hogwarts.
In the first Harry Potter movie, the cathedral’s cloister is the location where Harry releases Hedwig during the snowy winter scene. He stands by the stone basin in the middle of the cloister (this is a former monks washing area), and releases Hedwig, with the cloister visible in the background.
In the Chamber of Secrets, the cloister is also used, this time when Ron’s spell spectacular backfires, and he ends up vomiting slugs.
The Cathedral’s Chapter House also appeared in this movie, as the location for Professor McGonagall’s lesson on animal transmogrification. This room isn’t open to the public, but you can peer through the keyhole for a glimpse of what’s inside!
Durham Cathedral is free to visit, with a suggested donation of £3. There’s a fee for climbing the north tower and for any special exhibitions. The cathedral is open year round, and you can see opening times and other information to help you plan your visit here.
You can get to Durham easily by train as it’s on the mainline between London and Edinburgh. Newcastle is 10 minutes away by train, and York is around 50 minutes away.
You can also take tours that visit Durham cathedral. For example, this full day Harry Potter themed tour from York includes a visit to Durham Cathedral as well as Goathland train station. There’s also this private tour from York of Durham.
Alnwick Castle, Alnwick
Found in the north of England, in the county of Northumberland, Alnwick Castle is no stranger to the world of film and television. Everything from Downton Abbey to Transformers to Robin Hood has been filmed here in fact.
So naturally it will not come as a surprise to learn that this castle, which dates from the 11th century and is the family home of the Duke of Northumberland, has also featured as a Harry Potter filming location.
More specifically, Alnwick Castle featured in the first two Harry Potter movies.
I’d say that the most recognisable scene was from the first movie, where Harry et. al learn to fly a broomstick. These scenes were shot at the Outer Bailey part of the castle.
In the second movie, following their run-in with the Hogwarts Express in their flying car, Harry and Ron crash landed their flying car at Hogwarts. This scene was filmed in the Inner Bailey.
Finally, in the first two movies, the Lion Arch, or main gate of the castle, also appeared as an exit and entry to Hogwarts. Harry and friends can be seen using this doorway when visiting Hagrid’s Hut.
Other general scenes of students moving around Hogwarts corridors were also filmed here.
Alnwick Castle is a very popular visitor attraction. It’s open from late March to late October from 10am – 5.30pm (last entry is at 3.45pm). Note that different parts of the castle may have slightly different opening times.
As well as touring the castle and grounds yourself and seeing the various Harry Potter filming locations, the castle also offers a number of interactive experiences, including broomstick flying lessons. We did this, and had a great time!
Tickets can be purchased on site, but it is cheaper if you book them online in advance, which you can do here.
If you would prefer to take a tour, we’ve taken this guided tour from Edinburgh which included plenty of time at Alnwick Castle, as well as a a few other sites in the Scottish Borders and Northumberland. We’ve done it and thought it was excellent value, and a great tour.
Glenfinnan Viaduct, Scottish Highlands
One of the most iconic scenes in Harry Potter is Harry’s train journey to Hogwarts. This is a journey that is portrayed in a number of movies, but it is perhaps most memorable from the first two movies.
The first movie has Harry taking the train for the first time, and is where we first see such locations as Platform 9 3/4. We also learn about chocolate frogs!
In the second movie, Harry and Ron miss the train due to the mischievous efforts of Dobby. Instead, they “borrow” a flying car, and try to catch the train.
I would argue that the highlight of both of these parts of the movie is when we see the Hogwarts Express in full steam, barrelling through gorgeous countryside and across a stunning curved viaduct.
Even better, the viaduct can be visited in real life! In the real world, this is the Glenfinnan Viaduct, which can be found in the north west Scottish highlands, around a half hours drive from the town of Fort William.
From the parking area, it’s around a 5 – 10 minute walk up the valley to where you can see the viaduct.
But that’s not all. You’ll be pleased to hear that the train used in the Harry Potter movies, known as the Hogwarts Express, is also a real train. It’s called the Jacobite, and it runs from Fort William to Mallaig.
Services vary, depending on the time of year, but there’s at least one train a day from May through to September.
So you have two choices. You can time your visit to the Glenfinnan Viaduct so as to see the train crossing. Usually it arrives at the viaduct around 30 minutes after leaving Fort William. Alternatively, you can actually ride the train yourself.
For the former, the best views of the train crossing are from the slopes just up and past the viaduct. Just follow the walking path from the parking area, which will take you under and up to the left of the viaduct.
From here, you’ll see the full curve of the viaduct and the train crossing. Don’t be tempted to try and get close to the train or the tracks, as obviously this is dangerous, not to mention illegal!
If you want to actually ride the train, you will need to book online in advance. You can do this here. Note that the Jacobite train is very popular and seats book out months in advance.
If you can’t find a ticket, another option is to book a tour such as this one, which includes your train ticket, return transport from Edinburgh, and a number of other Harry Potter filming locations in Scotland.
This is another two day tour which includes the Jacobite Express.
If you just want to take a tour which visits Glenfinnan Viaduct but doesn’t include the train journey we suggest this private full day tour from Edinburgh. This includes a number of Harry Potter sites in Scotland, including Glenfinnan Viaduct, Loch Shiel, Loch Eilt and Glen Coe!
However you choose to experience Glenfinnan Viaduct and the Jacobite steam train, we are sure you will love the experience.
Glencoe, Scottish Highlands
One of our other favourite locations in Scotland where Harry Potter was filmed is Glencoe. This is one of Scotland’s most picturesque and well known valleys, with dramatic mountains and scenery, and is a popular place to visit regardless of your interest in Harry Potter.
However, as you are reading this post, you likely are interested in knowing which scenes Glencoe was used for in Harry Potter.
Well, the answer is, quite a few!
Glencoe was used for a number of filming locations in the Harry Potter movies. Most famously perhaps, it was the filming location for Hagrid’s Hut in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.
It was here that Hagrid’s hut was created, and the outdoor scenes here of Hagrid’s pumpkin patch where Buckbeak was chained up were shot here. Many other moments from this film were also shot here, with the specific real world location being Clachaig Gully, just across from the Clachaig Inn.
Glencoe is a very popular location to visit. It can be reached by car from Edinburgh in around 2.5 hours, from Glasgow in around 2 hours, and from Inverness in around 2.5 hours.
If you don’t have a car there are a number of tours from Edinburgh and Glasgow which visit Glencoe, both day trips and multi-day tours.
Map of Harry Potter Filming Locations in the UK
We’ve put all these filming locations together onto a map, which you can see in the image below, or on Google Maps here.
What Harry Potter Sites can I visit from London?
London makes a great base for visiting Harry Potter sites. There are a number of filming locations in the city itself, plus there are a number you can visit on easy day trips from the city. These include:
- Leadenhall Market (Diagon Alley)
- Kings Cross Station (Platform 9 3/4)
- The Harry Potter Studio
- Oxford University (multiple scenes and locations)
- Gloucester Cathedral (multiple scenes and locations)
- Lacock Abbey (multiple scenes and locations)
What Harry Potter Sites can I visit from York?
Whilst York wasn’t a filming location for Harry Potter, it does make a good base for a number of Harry Potter locations which you can visit on a day trip. These include:
- Malham Cove
- Goathland train station (Hogsmeade)
- Durham Cathedral (multiple scenes and locations)
What Harry Potter Sites can I visit from Edinburgh?
There’s a popular misconception that Edinburgh was a Harry Potter filming location.
Edinburgh does have a strong Harry Potter connection, as it was (and still is) the home of J.K. Rowling. However, none of the Harry Potter films were filmed in Edinburgh.
That said, Rowling wrote the majority of the books in Edinburgh, and many locations in the city are believed to have served as inspiration for places and even characters in the books.
However, as already mentioned, none of the films were actually shot in Edinburgh.
From Edinburgh though, you can take day trips to many of the actual Harry Potter filming locations. These include Glenfinnan Viaduct, Alnwick Castle, Loch Shiel, Loch Etive, and many more.
Sample Itinerary for Seeing the Top Harry Potter Sites in UK
If you want to plan a trip to the UK specifically to see Harry Potter related sites, we’ve put together a couple of options for you.
One of these is a self-drive itinerary which requires you to rent a car, and the other uses a combination of public transport and day tours to get to the major locations. We hope you find them useful in your planning.
1 Week Harry Potter UK Itinerary By Car
If you have access to a car, then a driving itinerary will let you see a good many Harry Potter filming locations in the UK. Here’s a quick itinerary.
Day 1 – London
Spend a day exploring all the Harry Potter sights in London. You can do this either on your own or on a walking tour. We’d advise doing this by public transport rather than using your car, as driving in London is slow, parking is expensive, and you have to pay a congestion charge.
Overnight in London.
Day 2 – Oxford
From London, drive up to the Harry Potter Studio Tour (around an hours drive away). Expect to spend 3 – 4 hours here. Then drive for another hour across to Oxford where you will spend the rest of your day exploring the Harry Potter filming locations here.
Overnight in Oxford.
Day 3 – Gloucester
Finish any sights you missed in Oxford on the previous day, then drive to Lacock Abbey (around a 90 minute drive). Explore Lacock and Lacock Abbey for 2 – 4 hours.
From Lacock, head north to Gloucester (around an hours drive). Explore the beautiful cathedral (1 -2 hours).
Day 4 – Durham
From Gloucester, head up to Malham, around a 4 hour drive. Stretch your legs on the hike out to the cove (around a ninety minute walk). Then drive up to Durham, which is another couple of hours drive.
Day 5 – Edinburgh
Explore Durham Cathedral in the morning for an hour or two. After finishing in Durham, head north to Alnwick Castle, which is an hours drive away. Explore the Castle for a few hours, then drive up to Edinburgh, which will take you just under two hours.
Day 6 – Edinburgh
We’d suggest spending a full day in Edinburgh exploring all the sights in the city, including the locations that inspired Harry Potter. It will also give you a break from the driving!
Day 7 – Fort William
From Edinburgh, we suggest driving up to Glencoe, which is around 2.5 hours away. Spend around an hour exploring here, then head up to the Glenfinnan Viaduct. Note, if you want to see the train coming across the viaduct you will have to adjust this itinerary accordingly.
There are lots more Harry Potter filming locations around the Glencoe and Glenfinnan area – see our guide to Harry Potter locations in Scotland for more.
We recommend overnighting in Fort William. From here you can drive to Inverness, Glasgow or Edinburgh, all of which offer flight and train connections.
Harry Potter Sites By Train + Day Tours
It is actually easy to see all the sites in this post without needing a car. Here’s a quick itinerary.
3 Days in London
If you want to see more of London, just add in a day or two – check out our 2 day London itinerary for some ideas.
Once you are done in London, take the train up to York. This takes around 2 hours, and you’ll get the best prices if you buy your tickets in advance.
2 Days in York
York makes a good base for a number of Harry Potter filming locations, plus the city itself is beautiful. It’s also said that the film producers visited the Shambles area of the city to get some inspiration for creating Diagon Alley.
From York, you can take a full day tour which includes a visit to Durham Cathedral and Goathland train station. If you want to visit Malham Cove, you could also do this by combination of train and bus from York.
After York, it’s another 2 hours or so by train up to Edinburgh.
3 Days in Edinburgh
Finally, we suggest spending some time exploring the city that inspired many of the Hogwarts locations. You can do this yourself following our guide to Harry Potter in Edinburgh, or you can take a guided walking tour like this.
Again, don’t forget to schedule some time to actually see Edinburgh’s other attractions – see our guide to things to do in Edinburgh for inspiration.
Tours of Harry Potter Filming Locations
We have yet to find a tour which covers all the Harry Potter filming locations in the UK. However, there are plenty of tours which cover at least some of the above, which we think you will be interested in. Some suggestions we recommend are as follows.
- This walking tour of some of the key locations in London from the films
- A fully guided tour of the WB Studio which include return transport from London, entry, and a guided tour through the studios
- A tour which includes your visit to the WB Studio as well as a walking tour of the key London filming locations
- This tour that includes a visit to the Harry Potter Studio as well as time in Oxford
- A walking tour of the Harry Potter filming locations in Oxford
- A full day private tour of both Lacock Abbey and Gloucester Harry Potter locations
- A full day Harry Potter themed tour from York which includes a visit to Durham Cathedral as well as Goathland train station
- A full day tour from Edinburgh which includes several filming locations (including Rannoch Moor, Glenfinnan viaduct, Glencoe, and Loch Shiel) as well as a ride on The Jacobite train (Hogwarts Express)
- A two day tour from Edinburgh which includes the Jacobite Express.
- A full day tour from Edinburgh to Alnwick Castle, as well as other stops in the Scottish Borders and northern England
Well, that’s sums up some of our favourite Harry Potter sights in the UK. Before you go, we wanted to share some of our other content that we’ve created to help you plan your travels.
- We have a guide to all our favourite Harry Potter filming locations in Scotland, which is essential reading if you’re visiting Scotland
- Whilst Harry Potter wasn’t filmed in Edinburgh, the city served as the inspiration for many of the locations in the books. See our guide to Harry Potter in Edinburgh for more.
- Many of the Harry Potter novels were written in various cafes in Edinburgh. You can see where these are in our guide to where the Harry Potter books were written
- London was a major location for filming Harry Potter, so you will want to check out our guide to Harry Potter in London for tips on where to go for those locations
- We also have a guide to visiting the Harry Potter studio to help you get the most out of your trip to that magical location
- We have a detailed itinerary for two weeks in the UK, as well as a one week UK itinerary for a slightly shorter visit. Both of these include locations where Harry Potter was filmed
- To help you plan your time in the UK, see our guides to how much it costs to travel in the UK and our tips for driving in the UK
And that’s it for our guide to the best Harry Potter filming locations in the UK! As always, we’re happy to hear your feedback and answer your questions. Just pop them in the comments below and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can!