Harry Potter Locations to Visit in Oxford
For Harry Potter fans, a trip to Oxford brings to life the magic of the school we all dreamed of of attending when we were kids – Hogwarts. Many different places around Oxford have served as the backdrop for the school of witchcraft and wizardry throughout the filming of the eight Harry Potter films.
You can wander the shelves of Hogwarts Library, step into the Hospital Wing, walk through the halls of Hogwarts and even recreate the terror of the first years being led into the Great Hall for the first time during a visit to Oxford.
Just a hop, skip and jump away from London, Oxford makes an easy day trip for Harry Potter fans looking to recreate the magic of Hogwarts and the wizarding world. This guide to Harry Potter’s Oxford explores each of the Harry Potter filming locations in this historic university town and how to make the most of a Harry Potter day trip from London to Oxford.
Harry Potter Locations in Oxford Table of Contents
- Bodleian Library Harry Potter Filming Locations
- New College Harry Potter Filming Locations
- Christ Church Harry Potter Filming Locations
- Harry Potter Day Trip from London To Oxford
Bodleian Library Harry Potter Filming Locations
Of all of the Harry Potter filming locations in Oxford, Bodleian Library appears the most during the making of the eight Harry Potter films. Two locations within this historic library were used to recreate Hogwarts, including the Divinity School and Duke Humfrey’s Library.
Used as the Hogwarts Hospital Wing, the Divinity School at the Bodleian Library in Oxford appears many times throughout the Harry Potter films. Each of the big three (Harry, Hermione and Ron) see time in the Hospital Wing during their time at Hogwarts. These scenes include when Harry has to regrow his bones, Hermione resting in her petrified state and Ron mending after Sirius nearly tore his leg off, among others.
Harry Potter Scenes Filmed at the Divinity School
- In Sorcerer’s Stone, Harry recovers in the Divinity School after taking on Lord Voldemort to retrieve the Sorcerer’s Stone
- In Chamber of Secrets, Harry grows his bones back in the hospital after Professor Lockhart’s spell removes them all from Harry’s broken arm. During this time, Dobby visits Harry to once again warn him about leaving Hogwarts and disappears just as Dumbledore and the other Hogwarts professors bring in a petrified Colin Creevey.
- In Chamber of Secrets, Harry visits a petrified Hermione at the Divinity School where he finds the final clues to determining the beast that lives within the Chamber of Secrets.
- In Prisoner of Azkaban, Harry once again recovers after a quidditch match. This time it’s due to the dementors who descend upon him during the match and cause him to pass out.
- In Prisoner of Azkaban, Hermione, Harry and Ron discuss the events that just happened after the dementors recapture Sirius Black. Dumbledore enters to plant the seed of time travel for Hermione and Harry and then the pair travel back in time to save Sirius and Buckbeack. When they return, they are once again back at the Divinity School with a very confused Ron.
- In Goblet of Fire, the hospital wing has been transformed into a dance studio for Professor McGonagall to teach the Gryffindor students how to dance in advance of the upcoming Yule Ball.
- In Half Blood Prince, Ron lays unconscious after coming face to face with two very strong potions in a night: one a love potion meant for Harry and the other poison meant for Dumbledore. Ron and Hermione shippers get their first taste of victory in this scene when Ron unconsciously mutters Hermione’s name.
Duke Humfrey’s Library
This beautiful library doubled as the Hogwarts Restricted Section during the filming of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. I don’t know about you, but the Hogwarts library has always been high on my list of fictional places I’d love to visit. Duke Humfrey’s Library, with its ancient books covering the floor to ceiling wooden shelves, definitely comes close to bringing that magical place to life. The books even contain alarms that go off if you touch them, making it even more like the Restricted Section at Hogwarts.
Harry Potter Scenes Filmed at Duke Humfrey’s Library
- In Sorcerer’s Stone, Harry uses his newly gifted invisibility cloak to browse the stacks of the Restricted Section for more information on Nicholas Flamel. This scene is filmed at Duke Humfrey’s Library.
How to Visit Bodleian Library
To be able to visit both of the Harry Potter filming locations within Bodleian Library, you’ll need to take one of the guided tours. The library offers three options for guided tours: 30 minutes, 60 minutes and 90 minutes. With each increase in time, you get to see more and more of this historic Oxford Library.
If your interest is only in seeing the Harry Potter Oxford filming locations, taking the 30 minute tour of Bodleian Library will more than suffice as you’ll get to see both the Divinity School and Duke Humfrey’s Library.
You can take a self-guided tour of Bodleian Library, however you will only be able to view the Divinity School and the external quad. The Divinity School is the only Harry Potter filming location that you can see on the self-guided tour of Bodleian Library.
- Address: Broad Street, OX1 3BG, UK
- Cost: £6-£15 depending on the length of the tour
- How to buy tickets: You can reserve in advance on the website or go to the Great Gate ticket office the morning that you wish to visit.
- Tour Times: Check the website for up to date information on tour times. Each length is offered on different days of the week and special events may affect access to the Bodleian Library.
New College Harry Potter Filming Locations
For the making of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, the filmmakers chose to relocate the halls of Hogwarts from some of the other locations used early on in the films to the New College Cloisters and Courtyard at Oxford University.
New College Cloisters
Featured various times throughout Goblet of Fire, the New College Cloisters historic vaulted ceilings and stone-carved halls lent themselves as the halls of Hogwarts during the filming of the fourth movie.
These ancient-looking hallways were actually the last part of the original New College to be completed. Though that was back in 1400, so the hallways still boast quite a bit of age.
Harry Potter Scenes Filmed at the New College Cloisters
- In Goblet of Fire, Harry pushes through the students all wearing “Potter Stinks” badges to get to one of Hogwarts’ courtyards (in this case the New College Cloister Courtyard below).
- In Goblet of Fire, Harry wanders these halls to avoid the Yule Ball and overhears an incriminating conversation between Igor Karkaroff and Professor Snape.
- At the end of Goblet of Fire, the students of Durmstrang and Beauxbatons walk through one of the hallways at the New College Cloisters on their way out of the school. The movie ends here with Hermione fretting about the future and encouraging Ron and Harry to write to her every day of the summer.
New College Cloisters Courtyard
The calm serenity of the New College Cloisters Courtyard did not quite provide that level of comfort for Harry during the events of Goblet of Fire. This Harry Potter filming location in Oxford set the scene for one of the most hilarious moments of the series, when Mad Eye Moody transfigures Malfoy into a ferret and dances him around the New College courtyard.
Harry Potter Scenes Filmed at the New College Cloistes Courtyard
- In Goblet of Fire, Harry tips Cedric off to the dragons in the first Triwizard Tournament task.
- In Goblet of Fire, right after Harry tips Cedric off, he tries to find some peace here amidst all the hating students of Hogwarts. Instead, he finds Malfoy in the oak tree in the New College Courtyard, who comes down to taunt Harry. The scene ends with Mad Eye Moody teaching Malfoy a lesson by transforming him in a very white ferret.
How to Visit New College
You can visit New College to see this Harry Potter Oxford filming location on a self-guided tour of the campus. While self-guided, they do provide a helpful tourist leaflet that shows the places to visit at New College and important information to know about each of these places as you explore.
Number two on the pamphlet is where you’ll want to head to see the Harry Potter filming locations at New College. The cloisters and the courtyard were used as the background for Hogwarts during Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.
- Address: Holywell St, Oxford OX1 3BN, UK
- Cost: £5
- How to buy tickets: You can purchase tickets on the day of your visit at the entrance gate for New College. All tours are self-guided and they provide a helpful pamphlet to guide you through the tour.
- Tour Times: Check the website for up to date information on visitor access to New College. These times vary throughout the year depending on when classes are in session.
Christ Church Oxford Harry Potter Filming Locations
When it comes to Harry Potter filming locations in Oxford, Christ Church is the most popular place to visit on that list. Featured mostly in the first two films, these Harry Potter filming locations give fans their first views of a Hogwarts brought to life.
Harry Potter Staircase at Bodley Tower Oxford
Our first glimpse of the inside of Hogwarts takes place on the beautiful Bodley Tower Staircase at Christ Church. The eager and extremely nervous first years meet Professor McGonagall at the top of the stairs before being guided into the Hogwarts Great Hall. Many other scenes in the first two Harry Potter films also take place on this ornate staircase.
Harry Potter Scenes Filmed at Bodley Tower Staircase
- In Sorcerer’s Stone, Professor McGonagall leads all the new first years up the steps of the Bodley Tower Staircase just before they enter the Great Hall to be sorted into their respective houses.
- At the end of Sorcerer’s Stone, Hermione and Ron rush to greet Harry on this staircase after he is released from the infirmary (really the Divinity School at Bodleian Library in Oxford).
- In Chamber of Secrets, Ron and Harry run up this staircase just after crashing Mr. Weasley’s car into the Whomping Willow. Instead of a warm Hogwarts welcome, they are greeted by Filch and taken to see Professor Snape to be disciplined.
- In Chamber of Secrets, Harry’s journey into Tom Riddle’s diary shows Riddle and Dumbledore speaking on the Bodley Tower Staircase just after one of the original Chamber of Secrets attacks.
Christ Church Cloisters
Featured in the very first Harry Potter movie, filmmakers used this Oxford filming location to bring the halls of Hogwarts to life. With hallways that date back to the eighth century, the Christ Church Cloisters provide the ancient feeling that the Hogwarts halls are meant to evoke.
Today, the Cloisters contain an Oxford University gift shop. Historically, though, these beautiful halls once housed the Priory of St. Frideswide, named for the first abbess of the Oxford Monastery. Her body lays interred in the Christ Church Cathedral.
Harry Potter Scenes Filmed at Christ Church Cloisters
- In Sorcerer’s Stone, Hermione shows Harry his father’s seeker trophy in the hallways of the Christ Church Cloisters.
Harry Potter Dining Hall
Among the most historic places to visit at Oxford University, the Christ Church Hall also provided the inspiration for the creation of the Hogwarts Great Hall set for the Harry Potter films. You can spot many similarities between the two, including wooden tables that run the length of the hall, a raised platform for professors to sit at and vaulted stain glass windows that cover the sides of the hall.
Commissioned by Cardinal Wolsey (an advisor to King Henry VIII), the Christ Church Hall was one of the first buildings of the college to be built. It was even built before the library for the college! Today it is still used as a daily dining spot for students of Christ Church College. Some of the more famous students to take their meals here include Albert Einstein, Charles Hodgson (pen name of Lewis Carroll), and John Locke.
Harry Potter Scenes Filmed at Christ Church Hall
Filmmakers did not actually feature Christ Church Hall in any of the Harry Potter movies. Instead, it inspired them in the creation of the Hogwarts Great Hall set at the Warner Brother Studio in Leavesden.
How to Visit Christ Church
You can choose between a self-guided tour or a guided tour of Christ church during a visit to this Harry Potter Oxford filming location. The three Harry Potter locations that you’ll want to visit while here are the Hall, the Bodley Tower and the Cloisters. However, wandering around the rest of Christ Church gives you a walk through the history of this historic college, its role in shaping England and its famous alumni.
Make sure to plan your trip around when the Hall is closed (during lunchtime between 11:45am and 2:00pm) so that you won’t miss being able to see this inspiration for the Hogwarts Great Hall.
Please note that Christ Church does not offer guided tours during July and August due to the increased volume of visitors during these months.
- Address: Enter at Christ Church Meadow Gate: Betty Lane, Oxford OX1 5BW, UK
- Cost: £10 to £17 depending on if you’re doing a self-guided visit or a guided tour
- How to buy tickets: Purchase your tickets online to avoid having to wait in line for them the day of your visit. You can purchase at the gate, but depending on the time of year the line can be quite long.
- Tour Times: Check the website for up to date information on visitor access to New College.
Harry Potter Day Trip from London To Oxford
Only an hour train ride away from the Big Smoke, it’s really easy to visit Oxford on a day trip from London. Great Western Rail trains depart regularly from London’s Paddington Station and will deliver you to this university town, without transfers, in about an hour. The Oxford Rail Station sits right in the center of town so each of the Harry Potter filming locations are within a 20 minute walk from Oxford Station.
Harry Potter Walking Tour Day Trip Itinerary
This walking tour itinerary will take you through each of the Harry Potter locations in Oxford.
10:00am – Arrive at Christ Church
Since this is the most popular of the Harry Potter filming locations, you’ll want to visit this location first to avoid the crowds that gather in the afternoons. You can either guide yourself around this historic college or join a guided tour to see the Bodley Tower Staircase, Christ Church Hall and the Cloisters.
11:30am – Grab a Snack
Grab a quick snack before going to your guided tour at the Bodleian Library. Some tasty options near these two Harry Potter filming locations include:
- Nash’s Oxford Bakery
- Ben’s Cookies
- The Cake Shop
12:30pm – Take a Guided Tour at Bodleian Library
The only way to see both of the Harry Potter filming locations is to join a guided tour at Bodleian Library. On the 30 minute tour you’ll get to see both the Divinity School and Duke Humfrey’s Library. Try to book these tickets online in advance. Otherwise, you’ll want to stop by the Great Gate first thing before you even step into Christ Church Cathedral.
If you want to see more of this historic library, you can also join a 60 minute or 90 minute tour of Bodleian Library. Please note that the 90 minute tour is only available on certain days of the week and you almost always have to book in advance.
1:00pm – Eat Lunch
After hitting the first two of the Harry Potter filming locations in Oxford, take a break to grab some lunch. Some delicious options to consider:
- Pizza Pilgrim
2:00pm – Take a Self-Guided Tour of New College
Once you’ve finished eating your lunch, move on to visit the third and final Harry Potter filming location in Oxford. At the New College main entrance, you’ll be able to purchase a ticket to enter and guide yourself around this medieval college.
To see the Harry Potter filming location at New College, head straight to the Cloisters where you’ll be able to walk through the halls of Hogwarts and visit the courtyard where Mad Eye Moody turned Malfoy into a ferret.
After seeing these Harry Potter locations at New College, you can then roam around the rest of this historic college.
3:00pm – Visit the Harry Potter Store in Oxford
To cap off your Harry Potter day trip in Oxford, head over to the Harry Potter store in Oxford. The Shop of Secrets on Broad Street brings the magic of Diagon Alley to this university town with its Harry Potter merchandise and gifts.
Once you’re done browsing, you can either wander around the town of Oxford or head back to London.
Tips for Visiting Harry Potter Filming Locations in Oxford
These tips will allow you to maximize your magical trip to visit these Harry Potter filming locations in Oxford:
Book ahead where possible
As a popular tourist destination in the UK, the Oxford college tours often book up a few weeks in advance. There is always a chance of getting walk on tickets at the gate of each of these locations, but why not avoid the stress and book ahead online before you visit.
The only exception to this rule is New College, as tickets for the self-guided tour of this particular college are only available at the entrance. It’s possible you may have to wait in line, but this Harry Potter filming location is not as popular as Bodleian Library and Christ Church.
Don’t visit on a Sunday
Many areas of Oxford University are closed or have limited hours on Sundays due to church services and other activities. If you can, avoid coming here on a Sunday at all costs. Otherwise you may not be able to see all of the Harry Potter filming locations in Oxford.
Avoid the months of July and August
July and August mark the highest volume of tourists to the UK, and to Oxford in particular. You’ll see larger crowds, higher wait times and more expensive hotels during these months. Its better to try and visit during the shoulder months (March-May or September to November) when tourist numbers are down.
Check the college websites for special events
Since Oxford University is a fully functioning school, there are often many special events associated with campus activities because of that. Make sure to check the visitor sections of each of the college websites before you visit to see if there are any changes to schedules or potential closures before you arrive in Oxford.
Other Harry Potter Filming Locations to Visit
- Visit these five other Hogwarts locations in England
- Everything you need to know to visit the Harry Potter Studio Tour in London
- Harry Potter Guide to London
- Pay tribute to Dobby at his grave in Freshwater West
- Magical road trip of Harry Potter filming locations in Scotland
- Take a Deathly Hallows walk at Malham Cove
- See the inspiration for Malfoy Manor at Hardwick Hall