In Depth

Where was Harry Potter filmed?

Ten locations where JK Rowling’s books were brought to life


Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, the seventh and final instalment in JK Rowling’s fantasy series, was released 11 years ago this weekend. Hundreds of thousands of fans queued overnight outside book shops, desperate to discover their hero’s fate, on 21 July 2007.

The magic didn't end there: the final book was adapted into two films and the series spawned several literary, cinematic and theatrical spin-offs.

Here are ten locations in the UK where the hit movies were filmed.

Leadenhall Market, London

Leadenhall Market, near Liverpool Street station, shows up in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone as the exterior for Diagon Alley and the Leaky Cauldron.

Durham Cathedral

Featured in The Philosopher's Stone, The Chamber of Secrets and The Prisoner of Azkaban, Durham Catherdal was used for various exterior and interior shots of Hogwarts. In the first movie, the courtyard became the snow-covered backdrop where Harry releases Hedwig the owl, and in the Chamber of Secrets a room stood in for the classroom where Harry, Ron and Hermione learned how to turn animals into water goblets.

Alnwick Castle

The second-largest inhabited castle in England, Alnwick Castle was featured in the first two films for exterior shots of Hogwarts. The Outer Bailey is where Harry and his fellow students learned to fly broomsticks with Madam Hooch.

Malham Cove, Yorkshire

Malham Cove in North Yorkshire, a rock formation just north of the village of Malham, featured in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1. Harry and Hermione hide from Voldemort in the natural limestone pavement, deeply scored by streams of water.


A number of scenes from the magical franchise were filmed in Oxford colleges. A few of the most recognisable locations include the Bodleian Library, used for the infirmary and library at Hogwarts, and New College, used in a scene where everyone sports “Potter stinks” badges during the Triwizard Tournament. Christ Church College’s great hall also inspired the design for the school dining hall. 

Virginia Water, Surrey

Used in several of the movies to represent Hogwarts’ Lake, Virginia Water was the scene of Harry’s Hippogriff ride in The Prisoner of Azkaban, and where Hermione passed messages to Harry and Ron in The Goblet of Fire.

Hardwick Hall, Chesterfield

Hardwick Hall is the principle setting for the Malfoy Mansion, the Deatheaters’ main hideout.

Glen Coe, Scotland

As well as being the location of Hagrid’s Hut, Glen Coe stood in for the bridge leading to the entrance of Hogwarts. Some scenes were also filmed at the nearby lake.

Glenfinnan, Scotland

The Glenfinnan Viaduct plays the part of the “bridge to Hogwarts”, over which the Hogwarts Express passes on its journey to the school.

Platform 9¾

King’s Cross Station in London has its own tribute to Platform 9¾, from which the Hogwarts Express departs: a trolley disappearing into a wall at the entrance to platforms 9, 10 and 11. The area of the station used in the films is an arched wall between platforms 4 and 5.


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