Top Harry Potter Destinations in Britain

The Internet is buzzing today about the announcement of a new book by Harry Potter scribe J.K. Rowling. (Twenty years ago, she was writing the first Harry Potter book on a typewriter with the margins as thin as possible to save paper, and today she's richer than the Queen.) While the title, subject matter and publication date of the book have yet to be announced (other than that it will be geared towards adults rather than children), we thought we'd celebrate by going on a virtual tour of Harry Potter sites throughout the UK, courtesy of VisitBritain.

Glenfinnan Viaduct, Scotland
On its way to Hogwarts, in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, the flying Ford Anglia lands on Glenfinnan Viaduct, on the West Highland line between Fort William and Mallaig in Scotland. Bonus: If you want to cross the viaduct in a Hogwart’s Express-style steam train, West Coast Railways run the Jacobite Steam Train during the summer season (May to October).

Glencoe, Scotland
The landscapes round Hogwarts were filmed around Glencoe. Look for the Steall Falls at Glen Nevis, which were used for the Tri-Wizard Tournament in Goblet of Fire. Quidditch matches were filmed against the backdrop of Glen Nevis.

Durham Cathedral, England
Durham Cathedral, one of the UK’s finest Norman buildings, doubled as Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. The cloisters became the snow-covered quadrangle, where Harry sets the owl flying in the first film and is also the scene of Ron’s slug vomiting in Chamber of Secrets. The cathedral chapter house is the venue for Professor McGonagall’s class teaching the young wizards to turn animals into water goblets.

Bodleian Library, Oxford, England
Oxford University’s famous Bodleian Library starred in three of the Harry Potter films. The medieval Duke Humfrey’s Library was used as the Hogwarts library and the elaborately vaulted Divinity School became Hogwart’s infirmary.

Alnwick Castle, Northumberland, England
Alnwick was the site of Madame Hooch’s flying lesson in the first film. The estate has impressive gardens with water sculptures and one of the world’s largest treehouses.

King’s Cross Station, London, England
The Hogwarts Express departs from "Platform 9 ¾" of King’s Cross Station, which is actually the arched wall between Platforms 4 and 5. Head towards the entrance to Platforms 9, 10 and 11 on the west side of the station, where a trolley disappears through a wall marked "Platform 9 ¾."


Photo courtesy of VisitBritain.

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