Where Was Harry Potter Filmed: 10 Famous Filming Locations Revealed

If you haven’t heard of Harry Potter, you must have been living under a rock for many years. The start of the new century brought us the magical mystical story of Harry Potter and his friends. But where was this magical mystical land? More importantly, where was Harry Potter filmed? Let’s get started with the story.

The Story of Harry Potter

Where Was Harry Potter Filmed - Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry

The story of Harry Potter spans ten years (2001-2011) and is based on a series of books written by J. K. Rowling. It’s the story of a young wizard, Harry Potter and all his friends who are students at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. It is set in a fantasy world of magic in England.

The Harry Potter Cast

Where Was Harry Potter Filmed - Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson

The two main actors were Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson. Other actors include John Cleese, Richard Harris, Ian Hart, Maggie Smith, Julie Walters, John Hurt, Richard Griffiths, Robbie Coltrane, Alan Rickman, and Warwick Davis to name just a few.

The Harry Potter Directors

There were eight films in all. Chris Columbus directed the first two Harry Potter movies, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban was directed by Alfonso Cuaron. The fourth movie, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, was directed by Mike Newell. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows were directed by David Yates.

Where Was Harry Potter Filmed: Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry - John Cleese

Where Was Harry Potter Filmed?

The majority of the Harry Potter film series was filmed in England, with many notable locations being used as backdrops to bring the Wizarding World to life. The series was primarily filmed at Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden near Watford, where all eight of the films were shot over a period of 10 years.

Other famous filming locations include Alnwick Castle in Northumberland where the flying lessons were filmed, Christ Church College at Oxford where some of the classroom scenes were shot, and Durham Cathedral where professor Dumbledore’s funeral took place.

The exterior shots for Hogwarts Castle were mainly filmed at Goathland railway station in North Yorkshire. The lake where Harry and his friends competed in the Triwizard Tournament was filmed at Derwentwater Lake and the Durmstrang ship scenes were filmed at Loch Shiel.

The magical Diagon Alley where Harry bought his supplies for Hogwarts was built in London’s Leadenhall Market, while additional filming occurred at Gloucester Cathedral where the Mirror of Erised scene took place.

Where Was Harry Potter Filmed: Quidditch Match Virginia Water Lake

The Forbidden Forest where Harry encountered the giant spider Aragog was filmed in Black Park in Buckinghamshire and the Quidditch matches were filmed at Virginia Water Lake.

Many of these filming locations have become iconic spots where Harry Potter fans can visit to experience the magic of being transported into this beloved book series.

Fun Facts About Harry Potter

The flying Ford Anglia and the Hogwarts Bridge are actually located in a car park at Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden.

On the last day of filming, one of the actors dressed up as Dumbledore, and all of the Harry Potter stars shot their final scenes together around a campfire where they sang songs and shared memories of their time on set.

Hogwarts Express Train - GWR 4900 Class 5972 Olton Hall
Hogwarts Express Train – GWR 4900 Class 5972 Olton Hall

The Hogwarts Express train is actually an old steam locomotive called the GWR 4900 Class 5972 Olton Hall which was used to pull the carriages around Scotland where some of the scenes were filmed.

The wand shop Ollivanders where Harry bought his wand was shot at two different locations. the exterior shots were filmed at Borough Market in London and the interior shots were filmed at Leadenhall Market.

Did Harry Potter Receive Any Awards? 

Many of the Harry Potter movies won awards. Most notably:

  • People’s Choice Awards – 2013
  • Empire Awards, UK – 2006
  • Costume Designers Guild Awards – 2002
  • BMI Film & TV Awards – 2002
  • Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films, USA – 2002
  • Academy Awards, USA 2002 – Nominee
  • BAFTA Awards, 2002 – Nominee

And many more throughout the years. 

What is England Famous For?

When most people hear the word England, they usually think of the monarchy, Buckingham Palace, and Downton Abbey. 

England is also known for Stonehenge which is another iconic landmark and world heritage site located in Amesbury in the south of England near Salisbury. 

To this day, no one knows how Stonehenge got there but it is believed to have been built around 5,000 years ago during the Neolithic period, around 2500 BC. Along with Buckingham Palace, It is one of the main attractions in England. 

Other fun attractions include Westminster Abbey, Big Ben, the Tower of London, and London Bridge. You can also take the Harry Potter tour. The tour is in Harry Potter Studios in London and takes about three and a half hours to complete but there’s no time limit on how long you spend on the tour.

Things to Do in England

You couldn’t possibly be bored touring England. It’s a fairly large country with Wales to the west and Scotland to the north. 

Take a tour of Buckingham Palace, explore the theme parks, visit the Tower of London and the London Zoo, take the Harry Potter Bus Tour of London, and visit Stonehenge. These are just a few of the many things you can do in England.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where is Hogwarts Castle located in real life?

The castle used in the movie series is Alnwick Castle located in Northumberland, England. 

How far is it from London to Hogwarts?

Hogwarts is about 450 miles from London.

For anyone who was a kid or had young children between 2001 and 2011 will have a special place in their hearts for the Harry Potter movie series. I don’t think I’ve ever met a kid who didn’t like this franchise. 

England is a great place to visit. When you visit, be sure to take the family on a Harry Potter tour. The kids will love it! 

Have you ever explored England?  Be sure to leave a comment below.

Photo of author

Alanna Birmingham

Alanna Birmingham is a professional freelance writer and a Film Aficionado who adores watching, writing and being involved in all elements of filmmaking. Her writing repertoire includes films, filmmaking, travel, and electronic gadgets. When she’s not writing she’s hanging out at the beach or taking walks in the woods. She has a passion for animals, especially dogs, and is currently on the lookout for her next canine pal.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.