Hello Potterheads, still waiting for an owl to bring your acceptance letter into Hogwarts? Fret not, for here are the seven places to immerse yourself into magical world of Harry Potter that you had always dreamt of!
1. Alnwick Castle, England
‘Stick out your right hand over your broom,’ called Madam Hooch at the front, ‘and say, “Up!”’
This is exactly the place where Harry Potter and his friends learnt how to fly their brooms, including the moment when Harry and Ron crash landed Weasley family’s flying car, portrayed in ‘Harry Potter and The Philosopher’s Stone and Chamber of Secret’. Interestingly, visitors can take a broomstick flight training course and wizardry class on their visit here!
Website: Alnwick Castle
2. King’s Cross Station Platform 9 ¾
“Nine and three-quarters? Think you’re being funny, do you?”
Well, in real life, the platform doesn’t exist. Or maybe because we are all mere muggles so we can’t get through? You won’t be able to find the platform as in the film but there is readily a 9 ¾ sign with a luggage cart disappearing into the wall that has become a top tourist attraction. You can’t get through but at least you can take a photo for memory! Next to it, there is a shop where you can stock up on Harry Potter gear.
Website: King’s Cross
3. Glen Coe, Highland / Hagrid’s Hut
Still remember that satisfying moment when Hermione punches Draco Malfoy when he mocks Hagrid for crying over Buckbeak’s death sentence? This is where the scene took place! Potterheads must admire the breathtaking beauty of Glen Coe, which is a narrow valley of volcanic origins in the Scottish highlands featured in the film ‘Prisoner of Azkaban’ as background.
Website: Visit Scotland
4. Diagon Alley / Leadenhall Market
‘Welcome,’ said Hagrid, ‘to Diagon Alley.’
Leadenhall Market was the access route to Harry Potter’s Diagon Alley, the shopping area for the wizarding world where Hogwarts students purchase their magical supplies. In our world, Leadenhall is the entrance and you’ll have to go to another London location to go to Diagon Alley. This entrance, Charing Cross Road, is known for its multitude of bookshops that specialise in magic – must be the reason why JK Rowling decided it to be the entrance way to Diagon Alley!
Website: Leadenhall Market
5. Christ Church, Oxford Hall / The Great Hall
Gryffindor, Slytherin, Hufflepuff and Ravenclaw…
So, in which house do you belong to? This is where the famous Sorting Hat scene took place. Oxford is a great place to discover the secrets of Hogwarts and for Potterheads to walk the same mysterious hallways that Harry, Hermione and Ron once did. You’ll instantly recognise the setting that can be seen in earlier Harry Potter movies, especially The Divinity School that was used during the first four Potter’s films.
Website: Christ Church Oxford
6. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter
Explore Hogsmeade, Hogwarts, and even ride Hogwarts Express at these three Universal Studios: Los Angeles, Florida and Japan. The Wizarding World creates endless activities and differently themed attractions, including a full-on water park (Volcano Bay) that brings the magical world into real life. This is the perfect place to absorb all the magical creatures and mingle with fellow Potterheads!
7. Warner Bro’s Studio Tour
Luckily, people behind Harry Potter films understood the significance of the magical world that JK Rowling created. That’s why they set up Harry Potter Studio Tour featuring actual props used in the films. This studio tour in Leavesden allows you to experience walking around Great Hall, venture into Forbidden Forest, and even manually handle the costumes and props. In winter, you can even explore Hogwarts in the snow!
Website: Warner Bro’s