In celebration of the 20 year anniversary of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone hitting the big screen, holidaycottages.co.uk delved into the data to reveal the top filming locations across the UK where you can walk in the footsteps of your favourite characters, based on the number of memorable scenes each location featured in, the percentage of TripAdvisor reviews those locations had that were related to Harry Potter, and Instagram data.
The UK’s top Harry Potter filming locations
1. Warner Bros. Studios, Leavesden
All eight films feature scenes filmed at these iconic studios, with one of the most memorable being those of the Hogwarts Great Hall. Studio tours are available on-site where fans can experience what it’s like to be a wizard for themselves.
2. Glenfinnan Viaduct, Lochaber
This well-known filming location is iconic for being a key setting for journeys on the Hogwarts Express. Many loyal fans have visited the location to get the feel for its natural beauty in real life, and more than a third (34%) of its TripAdvisor reviews mention Harry Potter!
3. Gloucester Cathedral, Gloucester
Gloucester Cathedral was used for many scenes throughout Hogwarts, including the hallways and exterior scenes. The great Cloister has appeared in a number of films including the Philosopher’s Stone and the Chamber of Secrets.
4. Alnwick Castle, Northumberland
Not only was Alnwick Castle used as the filming location for Madam Hooch’s broomstick flying lesson, but lessons are still available there today for excited visitors – almost 20% of the reviews on TripAdvisor mention Harry Potter.
5. Glencoe, Argyll
This stunning Scottish nature reserve is also home to Hagrid’s hut, which you can still see today on a visit, just be careful of the hippogriffs. Glencoe also formed the background for many Quidditch matches and elements of the Triwizard tournament.
6. Lacock Abbey, Wiltshire
This 13th century abbey is another place where the iconic Hogwarts hallways were filmed. In the film, Harry can be spotted here in his invisibility cloak, only just avoiding being seen by Snape.
7. Oxford University, Oxford
The beautiful setting of Oxford University doubles as a number of Hogwarts’ rooms, including the Bodleian library as the Hogwarts library, where Harry sneaks around in his invisibility cloak and New College providing shots for the hallways, where Mad-Eyed Moody turns Draco Malfoy into a ferret.
8. Durham Cathedral, Durham
Professor McGonagall’s classroom is set at Durham Cathedral, the location where Ron gets the dreaded Slug vomiting curse. It’s one of a number of locations that played a part in the Hogwarts hallways, with Harry’s owl Hedwig spotted in this particular hall.
9. Black Park, Buckinghamshire
Black Park in Iver Heath doubles as the Forbidden Forest, a place which is strictly off limits to unaccompanied students. On one of Harry’s visits he is accompanied by Hagrid, who shows him the dragons and provides a hint as to what the next challenge in the Triwizard tournament may be.
10. Reptile House, London Zoo, London
The Reptile House at London Zoo is where Harry discovers his ability to speak Parseltongue (speak to snakes). On this trip with the Dursley family, Dudley falls through the glass which magically disappears, leading him to fall in and for the snake to escape. If there’s one scene that everyone remembers frame by frame in the first film, it has to be this one.