Fancy yourself a true Harry Potter fanatic? Check out these real-life destinations from JK Rowling’s iconic series which you can actually visit in the flesh.
Want to visit a real-life piece of Harry Potter history? The Elephant House coffeehouse in Edinburgh is the famous spot where JK Rowling spent countless hours writing her iconic books. It has become a Mecca for Potter fanatics, returning to the scene where Rowling devised Harry’s adventures in Hogwarts over coffee and cake.
Used as a filming location for the first two Harry Potter movies, The Philosopher's Stone and The Chamber of Secrets, fans will remember the magnificent Alnwick Castle as the place where Madam Hooch taught first years how to ride a broom. It’s also where Harry learned the rules of Quidditch from Oliver Wood.
A must-visit for any self-confessed Harry Potter fanatic. The Warner Bros. Studio Tour lets you sip butterbeer, walk through the Great Hall, hop on a broomstick, wield a wand and see the brand new Gringotts Bank Expansion. See Snape’s Potions room, visit Dumbledore’s Tower, hang out in Hagrid’s Hut and chill in the Gryffindor common room.
All aboard the Hogwarts Express! You can ride across the bridge which leads to Hogwarts. Travelling from Fort William to Mallaig, take in the scenes while riding across the 21-arched Glenfinnan viaduct on a Jacobite steam train just like Harry, Ron and Hermione.
Chaos unfolded in The Philosopher's Stone when Dudley saw the deadly boa constrictor snake escape after falling into its enclosure. Channel the magical scene with a visit the famous Reptile Room at London Zoo where the burmese python spoke to Harry.
Want a real-life Harry Potter experience? Fulfil your dream of becoming a wizard with the brilliant four-day role-playing excursion at the Czocha Wizarding College. We’re not kidding! Based in a 13th century medieval castle, you’ll attend workshops, magic classes and even be assigned to your own house. You’ll get the full Hogwarts experience with like-minded Potter fanatics. Fly to Berlin and there’s a coach that will take you directly to the college in Poland.
Still want more during your stay in London? Spend the night sleeping like a wizard at Hogwarts with an overnight stay at the Georgian House Hotel. Here they provide Harry Potter-styled rooms which are decorated with cauldrons, stone walls, potions and stained glass windows. Maximise your stay by going on the special Harry Potter walking tour which the hotel itself provides.
Let’s face it, everyone wants an Instagram pic pushing the famous luggage trolley at Platform 9 ¾ draped in a Gryffindor scarf. Well, you can do just that (for free!) at Kings Cross in London. After you’re finished the Warner Bros. Studio Tour and had a good night’s sleep at the Georgian House Hotel, round off your magical visit with a trip to London’s iconic station. There’s a brilliant gift shop inside Kings Cross where you can buy all the Harry Potter memorabilia your heart desires.
Prefer a more continental experience? Every year ‘Harry Potter: The Exhibition’ allows guests an up close and personal look at the artistry and craftsmanship that went into creating the props and costumes in the films. The unmissable exhibition travels all around the world and is open in Lisbon until April 2020.
Go back to where it all began. Harry spent his early childhood at 4 Privet Drive being raised by Vernon and Petunia Dursley alongside their horrid son Dudley. The quaint suburban home featured prominently in The Sorcerer’s Stone. You’ll find all the tourists taking selfies at 12 Picket Post Close in Martins Heron — this is where the movie was actually filmed in Berkshire.
If you prefer the rush and adventure of the outdoors, then you’ll love a trip to see Glencoe. Scenes from The Prisoner of Azkaban were filmed in this gorgeous village in the Scottish Highlands. Hagrid’s Hut and the Bridge To Nowhere were shot here (sadly the sets have since been removed) and the area is famed for its stunning waterfalls and trails.