Harry Potter fans — Photo courtesy of Edmond Wells
London Zoo - London, England
It all began at the London Zoo with a scene that sent shudders down my herpetophobic back. It’s here that Harry discovers his magical powers – and that he’s a Parselmouth, or fluent in snake – when he accidentally releases a snake from the Zoo’s reptile house after a deep conversation with the slithery creature.
All About Town - London, England
While you’re wandering through the streets of London, keep an eye out for Australia House on The Strand, aka Gringott's Bank to Potter-ites; and served as home to The Leaky Cauldron and entrance to Diagon Alley.
King's Cross Station - London, England
It’s off to Hogwarts for Harry by way of Platform 9 ¾ at London’s King’s Cross Station. Although the actual platform used in filming was #4, the station is playing along and has created a sign for the fictional platform, complete with a luggage cart “disappearing” through the wall.
Glenfinnan Viaduct – Scottish Highlands
If you want to relive Harry and his friends’ journey from London and Hogsmeade aboard the Hogwarts Express, take a ride on the Jacobite Steam Train that crosses the Glenfinnan Viaduct. Although you’ll travel through the same scenic countryside as seen in the films, some of the perks of the Hogwarts Express – like the infamous trolley cart – you’ll have to enjoy in your imagination.
Goathland Station - North Yorkshire, England
When Harry and his pals finally arrive at Hogsmeade Station to being the last leg of their journey to Hogwarts, it’s the original 19th-century Goathland Station that welcomes them to their new home.
Alnwick Castle - Northumberland, England
England’s second-largest inhabited castle played an important part in the first two Harry Potter films. For it was on its grounds that the wizards of Hogwarts learned to fly and also where Harry and Ron crashed their flying car upon arrival for their second year.
Note that the exterior of Hogwarts doesn’t really exist – it was digitally created especially for the films.
Lacock Village - Wiltshire, England
This 13th century village in Wiltshire couldn’t be more charming and quintessentially British. It’s here in this National Trust property (yep, they own the entire town) that Professor Horace Slughorn calls home. Also, many Hogwarts classroom scenes were filmed at Lacock Abbey.
Christ Church College and Bodleian Library at Oxford University – Oxford, England
Oxford, in and of itself, is well worth a visit no matter your level of Harry Potter mania. The Bodleian Library serves as Hogwarts Library and the medieval dining hall of Christ Church College was the inspiration for the wizards’ favorite place to eat.
Gloucester Cathedral – Gloucester, England
The breathtaking architecture in the cloisters of Gloucester Cathedral set the stage for the halls of Hogwarts and some of the most important scenes in first and second films and makes a reappearance with the sixth installment.
Shell Cottage – Pembrokeshire, Wales
Thanks to a healthy budget, Shell Cottage, home of Bill Weasley and Fleur Delacour in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, has been lovingly constructed on the shores of Wales and will be a must for all Potter devotees.