8 Magical Harry Potter Day Trips from London
Though London itself has many connections to the Boy Who Lived, it also provides a convenient base to explore many Harry Potter locations in Southern England. With these Harry Potter day trips from London you’ll be able to walk the halls of Hogwarts, visit Harry’s birthplace at Godric’s Hollow, walk the grounds of Hogwarts and more.
These 8 magical Harry Potter day trips from London allow you to walk in Harry’s footsteps and dive headfirst into the wizarding world we all know and dream of being a part of.
Warner Brothers Studio Tours
A must visit for any fan of the Harry Potter fans, the Warner Brothers Studio Tour is one of the most magical Harry Potter day trips from London that you can take. While filmmakers did do some shooting on location in different areas of the UK, the majority of filming took place right at Warner Brothers Studios in Leavesden.
With hundreds of things to see at the Harry Potter Studio Tour, it’s easy to spend a whole day seeing all the sets and props, learning about how filmmakers brought the magic to life and taking advantage of some of the once in a lifetime experiential activities at the studios. You can walk through the famous Great Hall of Hogwarts, explore different Hogwarts sets like the Gryffindor common Room and Dumbledore’s Office, step aboard the actual Hogwarts Express, drink butterbeer and so much more.
For this Harry Potter Day Trip from London, you’ll need to make sure you book in advance of your trip. Not only will you be unable to purchase tickets onsite, but due to its popularity the studio tour often sells out weeks, if not months, in advance. For more information on ticket availability and prices, check out the Warner Brothers Studio Tour website.
For more information on everything you need to know about visiting the Harry Potter Studio Tour, check out this guide to visiting the studio here.
Warner Brothers Studio Tour Day Trip Highlights
- Hogwarts Great Hall
- Hogwarts Express
- Drink Butterbeer
- Gringotts Bank
How to Get to Warner Brothers Studio Tour
To get to Warner Brothers Studio Tour from London, you’ll want to take a train to Watford Junction and then catch the Studio Shuttle just outside the station. The most direct route will be to catch a train from London’s Euston Station as the journey will only take about 20 minutes Euston to Watford Junction.
Want to walk around a real-life Hogwarts? Then you’ll need to take a Harry Potter day trip form London to Oxford. Home to the Hogwarts Hospital Wing, Hogwarts Library, and the inspiration for the Great Hall of Hogwarts set at the Warner Brothers Studio Tour, some of the most memorable Hogwarts moments took place at various filming locations in Oxford.
The three core places to hit on a Harry Potter Day Trip to Oxford include Bodleian Library, New College and Christ Church College. Bodleian Library served as the backdrop for the Hogwarts Hospital Wing (Divinity School) and the Hogwarts Library (Duke Humfrey’s Library). A walk around New College Cloisters will allow you to relive scenes from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.
Finally, Christ Church provided the interior for the grand staircase and a minor cameo as the halls of Hogwarts in the first movie. The Hall at Christ Church also inspired the creation of the Great Hall of Hogwarts for the movies.
Just an hour’s train ride from London, this Harry Potter day trip is super accessible and easy to knock out in less than a day. This means you can explore other activities that Oxford has to offer, like the Natural History Museum, Oxford Castle or Radcliffe Camera.
Make the most out of your Harry Potter day trip from London to Oxford with this helpful guide on Harry Potter locations in Oxford, including scenes filmed at each of the locations and helpful tips for visiting Oxford.
Oxford University Day Trip Highlights
- Christ Church College
- Bodleian Library
- New College Cloisters
- Oxford University Museum of Natural History
How to Get to Oxford University
The easiest way to get to Oxford is by train. Great Western Rail trains depart regularly from London Paddington and the journey takes about an hour. The Oxford Station is in the center of town so it’s easy to get to the Harry Potter locations in Oxford on foot.
You can also drive to Oxford from London. The drive is about an hour and a half from Central London via the M40 and A40. Parking in Oxford is pay to park and there a number of garages in central Oxford for you to park.
Lacock Abbey and Village
The charming medieval village of Lacock is a must visit for any Harry Potter fan. Filmmakers returned here a number of times throughout the filming of the Harry Potter series, and most recently filmed scenes here for Fantastic Beasts: Crimes of Grindelwald.
In Lacock Village proper, you’ll find the filming location for the Potter’s Cottage from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. This adorable little house looks so happy and untouched by the evil Lord Voldemort bestowed upon it in the Harry Potter film. In Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, Harry and Dumbledore come to fictional village of Budleigh Babberton to convince Horace Slughorn to return to Hogwarts. Both the background of the village and the house that Slughorn hides out in are located in Lacock.
Additionally, Lacock Abbey brought the magic of Hogwarts alive throughout many of the Harry Potter films and in Crimes of Grindelwald. At various points and in various rooms, Lacock Abbey served as the halls of Hogwarts, Snape’s Classroom, Quirrell’s Classroom and the room that held the Mirror of Erised.
Once you’ve finished visiting each of the Harry Potter filming locations in Lacock, make sure to take some time to wander around the village. You can also learn all about the British father of photography at the Fox Talbot Museum.
Learn all about the different Harry Potter filming locations in Lacock and tips for maximizing your time at this charming medieval village here.
Lacock Day Trip Highlights
- Lacock Abbey
- Walk around Lacock Village
- Fox Talbot Museum
How to Get to Lacock
Whether you’re driving or taking the train to Lacock, the journey will take about two hours from Central London. If you’re driving, you’ll the M4 going westward. Alternatively, you can also take the M3 or the M40 and M4.
To get to Lacock from London via train, you’ll take a Great Western Rail train from London Paddington and disembark at Chippenham. Once in Chippenham, you’ll need to walk about 15 minutes to get to the X34 bus stop that stands directly across from the Angel Best Western and a shopping center that contains a Waitrose. The bus journey takes about 15 minutes and costs £7.50.
Enemies of the heir beware. You’ll need to keep your wits about you on a Harry Potter day trip to Gloucester. This historic cathedral appeared many times throughout the eight Harry Potter films as the halls of Hogwarts.
The most notable appearances are in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Harry finds Mrs. Norris petrified here and the infamous warning message painted in blood: “The Chamber of Secrets has been opened. Enemies of the Heir Beware.” The Cloister Hallways at Gloucester Cathedral also appeared in The Sorcerer’s Stone and The Half Blood Prince.
Since it is easy to knock out a visit to Gloucester Cathedral in the morning, there’s plenty of time left in your day trip to explore more of Gloucester’s history and literary heritage. Just a stone’s throw away from the cathedral you’ll find a Beatrix Potter Museum at the adorable little House of the Tailor of Gloucester. You can also dive into the history of Gloucester at the Museum of Gloucester or the National Waterways Museum.
More about what scenes Harry Potter filmmakers shot at Gloucester Cathedral and tips for making your visit to this historic cathedral magical, check out this Harry Potter Guide to Gloucester Cathedral.
Gloucester Day Trip Highlights
- Gloucester Cathedral
- Beatrix Potter Museum
- Museum of Gloucester
- National Waterways Museum
How to Get to Gloucester
The fastest way to take a day trip to Gloucester from London is via train. Great Western Rail trains regularly depart from London’s Paddington Station and the overall journey takes 1 hour and 45 minutes.
Driving from Glouceter to London takes about 2 hours and 30 minutes via the M4. If you’re planning to drive to Gloucester, I would recommend combining this Harry Potter day trip with Lacock Village, which is just an hour long drive from Gloucester.
Featured in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, the stunning Seven Sisters Cliffs are well worth a day trip from London. Covering an 8 mile stretch along the southern coast of England, these white cliffs and the power of the sea that created them will take your breath away.
In Goblet of Fire, Harry, Hermione and the Weasleys land at Seven Sisters after a mangy old boot portkey transports them to the Quidditch World Cup. You can see the beautiful white cliffs shining in the background as soon as they land.
This coastal walk, which begins in either Seaford or Eastbourne depending on your preference, takes you up and down the seven hills known as the Seven Sisters showcasing gorgeous views of the white cliffs and sea at every turn.
Closer to Eastbourne, you’ll also find the cute little lighthouse known as Beachy Head. Not just pretty, this lighthouse has sought to keep sailors away from the dangerous rocks that line this stretch of the cliffs for centuries. The scene in Goblet of Fire takes place right near the Coast Guard Cottage closer to the Seaford end of the coastal walk.
Seven Sisters Day Trip Highlights
- Seven Sisters Country Park
- Beachy Head
- Bournemouth Pier
How to Get to Seven Sisters
There are two ways to get to Seven Sisters Country Park from London. One way is to enter the park from Seaford and the other is to enter from the eastern end of the park in Eastbourne. I would recommend that you arrive in one and depart from the other so you’ll be able to walk the length of the Seven Sisters. For example, if you take the train down to Seaford, you should plan to return to London from Eastbourne.
Train from London to Seaford: 1 hour and 35 minutes from Victoria Station. You’ll need to catch a Southern Rail train towards Ore. You’ll get off at Lewes and then transfer onto a train towards Seaford. You can also take a train to Brighton and then transfer onto a train towards Seaford.
Train from London to Eastbourne: 1 hour and 30 minutes from Victoria Station. You’ll need to catch a Southern Rail towards Ore and then disembark at Eastbourne Station.
Though not far from London, Virginia Water offers a serenity and calm that’ll make you think you are hours away from the nearest metropolis. In addition to its natural beauty that pulls visitors in, Virginia Water Lake also appeared in both the third and fourth Harry Potter movies.
In Prisoner of Azkaban, Virginia Water doubles as the Black Lake that surrounds Hogwarts when Harry rides Buckbeak over the lake during Hagrid’s class. In Goblet of Fire, Harry stands here skipping rocks when Hermione comes to pass a message from a sulky Ron to Harry about a clue to the first task for the Triwizard Tournament.
Just beyond Virginia Water sits an inconspicuous street called Picket Post Close that actually provided the backdrop for No. 4 Privet Drive in the first movie. You’ll want to look for Number 12 Picket Post Close to find the original home of the Dursleys.
Virginia Water Day Trip Highlights
- Virginia Water Lake
- Original No. 4 Privet Drive
- Windsor Great Park
How to Get to Virginia Water
To get to Virginia Water via public transport takes about 1 hour and 20 minutes. You’ll board a train at Waterloo Station going towards Egham (roughly an hour). From there, you’ll walk to the Church Road bus stop and take the 500 bus towards Frimley. Make sure to disembark at The Wheatsheaf, just a 5 minute walk from the Virginia Water Lake.
To drive to Virginia Water from London, your best bet will be to take the M4. This journey can take anywhere from 40 minutes to an hour and a half depending on traffic out of London.
Sadly, Godric’s Hollow does not really exist in the Muggle World. Fortunately, the filmmakers used the medieval village of Lavenham to stand in for the famous wizard village while filming Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1, so you can pretend like you’re walking through the village where Godric Gryffindor, Bathilda Bagshot, the Dumbledores and the Potters all lived.
During a Harry Potter day trip to Lavenham, you can visit the house that marks Harry’s birthplace and stroll through this small wizard hamlet that played such an integral role in wizarding history throughout the centuries.
Only accessible by driving, the beautiful village of Lavenham has plenty of things to see and do outside of the Harry Potter experiences. Drop into the Little Hall Museum to learn about the history of the medieval village of Lavenham. Just outside the village you’ll also be able to visit Kentwell Hall, a stately Tudor estate that puts on historical re-enactments and boasts gorgeous gardens.
- Harry Potter’s Birthplace
- Godric’s Hollow
- Little Hall Museum
- Kentwell Hall
How to Get to Lavenham
The best way to get to Lavenham from London is to drive. The drive from Central London to Lavenham takes less than 2 hours, though traffic in the city may affect this. The fastest route is northbound via the M11, but you can also take the A12.
The Forbidden Forest might be off limits to Hogwarts students, but not to you on this Harry Potter day trip from London. In the early movies, the filmmakers used Black Park as the spooky Forbidden Forest and as the location for Hagrid’s Hut.
Located just behind Pinewood Studios, this natural forest made for a convenient location for the filming of these initial movies. Black Park also featured in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Batman, and Captain America.
The main attraction on this day trip from London will be a country walk around the majestic woods in Black Park. You can also take to the trees to explore the forest from the air at Go Ape Black Park’s treetop rope course.
Black Park Day Trip Highlights
- Black Park Country Park
- Go Ape Black Park
How to Get to Black Park
Your target destination from London to Black Park will initially be Go Ape Black Park. If you’re using Google Maps to guide you, this is the only way it will give you public transportation options for you to be able to get into Black Park Country Park. It’s also the easiest place to park if you choose to drive from London to Black Park.
The journey from Central London to Black Park takes about an hour and a half. You’ll take a train from London Paddington to Slough, which takes about 15-20 minutes. Once off at Slough, you’ll hop aboard the 583 bus towards Uxbridge. From the bus stop at Wellington Street to your final stop at the Stag PH, this bus trip takes about 30 minutes. The rest of your journey will be on foot for about a mile until you come to Black Park.
To travel to Black Park by car, you’ll take A40 or M4 for about 45 minutes to and hour and a half depending on traffic.
Other Harry Potter Locations to Visit in the UK
- Harry Potter Guide to London
- Harry Potter Guide to York
- Visit Malfoy Manor at Hardwick Hall
- Pay tribute to Dobby at his grave at Freshwater West
- Walk around Hogwarts at these 6 Hogwarts Castle locations in England
- Walk the Potter Trail in Edinburgh
- Take a Harry Potter road trip in Scotland
- Ride the Hogwarts Express in Scotland