6 Hogwarts Castle Locations You Can Visit
As Harry Potter fans, we all grew up waiting for that much anticipated letter to drop through our front doors. The wizarding war of the 1990s definitely might have prevented some of our letters from making it through, but for those who never got the chance to attend the famous wizard school of Hogwarts, don’t fret! You can recreate the magic and visit Hogwarts Castle locations in the UK
Where is Hogwarts?
First, let’s start with the real life location of Hogwarts. The exact location of Hogwarts remains a mystery among muggles. J.K. Rowling places it somewhere in the Scottish Highlands, hidden among the green giant mountains and the deep, mystical lochs. Many magical enchantments keep the school hidden from plain sight so only wizards can truly know the location of the school for witchcraft and wizardry.
Hogwarts Castle Filming Locations
For the filming of the Harry Potter movies, filmmakers utilized many different places throughout the UK as the Hogwarts Castle locations. Many of the castles and cathedrals used stemmed from the medieval ages to give the feel of the centuries old magical school that was founded in 990. You can dive into the magic and visit these six Hogwarts Castle filming locations.
Alnwick Castle today is synonymous with Harry Potter. This medieval castle in Northern England provided the backdrop for the Hogwarts Castle during the first two Harry Potter films. You can see different areas around the grounds of Alnwick Castle in multiple scenes during Sorcerer’s Stone and Chamber of Secrets.
The most famous Hogwarts scene filmed at Alniwck Castle is the scene where Harry and the other first years learn how to ride broomsticks in the Hogwarts courtyard. What you’re really seeing in the background is Alnwick Castle. In fact, you can learn how to fly a broomstick yourself during a visit to this Hogwarts Castle location. Each day the castle hosts multiple broomstick flying lessons to teach you the art of this wizard form of travel.
Learn more about visiting Alnwick Castle and how to have the ultimate Harry potter experience at this Hogwarts Castle location with this guide.
Located in the picturesque stretch of the Cotswolds, Lacock Village stands as a village frozen in time. Many of the buildings haven’t been touched for centuries, including the historic Lacock Abbey that was used as a Hogwarts Castle location in the Harry Potter films and Crimes of Grindelwald.
The most recognizable Hogwarts Castle location in Lacock Abbey will be in the Cloisters, which were used as the halls of Hogwarts in many of the wizarding world films. Additionally, different rooms off the cloisters have served as sets for Hogwarts classrooms and the room that housed the Mirror of Erised in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.
You can read all about the different scenes filmed at Lacock Abbey, as well as the different filming locations used in Lacock Village (including the Potter’s Cottage) in this post on Lacock Harry Potter filming locations.
One step into the Cloisters at Gloucester Cathedral and you’ll instantly feel like you’ve stepped into Hogwarts. Filmmakers used these medieval hallways in many of the Harry Potter movies as the main hallway for the students to pass through from the Great Hall.
In fact, the walls in these hallways once dripped blood with the famous “Enemies of the Heir BEWARE” message from Chamber of Secrets. Gloucester Cathedral also marked the entrance to the Gryffindor Common Room in the first Harry Potter movie.
To learn more about how Gloucester Cathedral was used as a Hogwarts Castle location during filming and other ties the Gloucester area has to Harry Potter, read this Gloucester Guide to Harry Potter.
Durham Cathedral provided the backdrop for many interior shots of Hogwarts during the first two movies as one of the Hogwarts Castle locations. The cloisters in particular were used as the halls of Hogwarts throughout different points in the first two films. Within these halls, everyone’s favorite house elf, Dobby, was freed from the service of the Malfoys.
One other spot within this Northern England cathedral served as a filming location for Hogwarts. Filmmakers used the Chapter House as Professor McGonagall’s classroom in the first two movies.
For more information on the Hogwarts Castle locations in this historic cathedral, read this Durham Cathedral Harry Potter guide.
Oxford University is famous around the world for its high-caliber academics, but it also has a magical connection to Harry Potter as one of the Hogwarts Castle locations in the UK. Many different places at Oxford University star in the movies having played the part of the Hogwarts library, the hospital wing, courtyards, and more.
Though the Dining Hall at Christ Church (a college at Oxford) stands out as the most famous Harry Potter place to visit at Oxford University, it was not actually used as a Hogwarts Castle filming location. However, It is believed that many elements of Christ Church hall inspired Harry Potter set designers when building the Great Hall that sits at the Warner Brothers Studio at Leavesden.
Warner Brothers Studio at Leavesden
To visit the interior of some of the most famous Hogwarts Cast locations, you’ll need to take a trip to the Warner Brothers Studio just outside of London. Here, you can walk through the famous Great Hall (they even do meal events you can attend here during different holidays throughout the year) and visit many other Hogwarts Castle sets used through the Harry Potter films.
Some of these additional Hogwarts Castle sets for the film that you can visit include the Gryffindor Common Room, Dumbledore’s Office, Gryffindor Boys Dormitory, and the potions classroom used in the later films.