Charming Snakes: Reptile House London Zoo England
Harry first discovered his gift for talking with snakes, in Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone, at London Zoos Reptile House. In the scene, Daniel Radcliffe speaks to an enormous Burmese python, but the enclosure filmed is actually home to the venomous black mamba, recognisable for its distinctive inky black mouth.
But dont leave it at that. London Zoo is the worlds oldest scientific zoo, dating back to 1828, and offers all sorts of incredible animal experiences. Once youve seen the snakes, immerse yourself in a butterfly paradise or get up close to big cats in the Land of the Lions.
Tours Of Harry Potter Filming Locations
We have yet to find a tour which covers all the Harry Potter filming locations in the UK. However, there are plenty of tours which cover at least some of the above, which we think you will be interested in. Some suggestions we recommend are as follows.
- This walking tour of some of the key locations in London from the films
- This tour that includes a visit to the Harry Potter Studio as well as time in Oxford
- A walking tour of the Harry Potter filming locations in Oxford
- A full day private tour of both Lacock Abbey and Gloucester Harry Potter locations
- A full day tour from Edinburgh to Alnwick Castle, as well as other stops in the Scottish Borders and northern England
Where Was The The Leaky Cauldron Filmed
In the first film the entrance to the Leaky Cauldron was filmed in Leandenhall Market in London. Leandenhall Market was built in the late 19th century and is a beautiful example of a Victorian market. Also this was the location for some exterior Diagon Alley scenes. In the Prisoner of Azkaban film they used Borough Market and the interior shots were done in the Leavesden Film Studios.
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The Chapter House: Open For Only One Week A Year
This is the Harry Potter filming location at Durham Cathedral where I really get my geek on.
The Chapter House is only open during Durhams Heritage Week, which is usually held in September every year. The Chapter House is used daily by the staff that work there so its closed to the public, but this is one small window of opportunity to see this very special room.
So which Harry Potter scenes were filmed in the Chapter House?! Well, its McGonagalls classroom for the first two films!
In Philosophers Stone, Ron and Harry are late to class and witness McGonagall transform from her animagus form, which is a cat to her usual self.
And in Chamber of Secrets, McGonagall teaches the second years to turn animals into water goblets and reluctantly explains the history behind the chamber of secrets.
Ill admit, the room is a little disappointing to see in real life as it was set up for talks so you cant really imagine Professor McGonagall teaching in a room filled with brown chairs and a projector screen. But it was still fantastic to see it in real life and Im so glad I made the effort to visit Durham Cathedral during Heritage Week!
Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows: Part 2
- The exterior model fixes the Great Hall’s corresponding window issue by switching the positions of the smaller and larger sets of windows. However, the interior film set did not change from the previous versions and thus does not include these windows, which should now be visible below the ceiling.
- Students from a house in which the dormitories are located on the east side of the castle are shown marching to the Great Hall through the Viaduct Courtyard, even though the viaduct bridge that connects the two areas together was removed.
- The redesign of the Grand Staircase shows that the area of the stairs far exceeds the area of the Marble Staircase Tower.
- There is no tower that supports the shape and windows of the narrow staircase that leads up to the Ravenclaw Common Room.
- The cloister where Harry talks to the Grey Lady does not appear to correspond with any of the model’s courtyards. It might be a new elevated cloister surrounding the Quad, but its size is too small and its nearby windows do not match up with that Quad.
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The Warner Bros Studio Leavesden
See what it took to make the incredible franchise at The Warner Bros. Studio. Image: Shutterstock/RichartPhotos.
If you truly wish to walk in the footsteps of Harry, visit The Warner Bros. Studio in Leavesden where you can explore the wonders of the Wizarding World. Step onto iconic sets like the Great Hall and Diagon Alley, spot your favourite props from the films, and see up close the intricate detail hidden in every costume. A tour of the studio also takes you through the making of the franchise, educating you about how the special and visual effects teams made Harry and his friends do magic and how magical creatures were brought to life on screen.
Inner Bailey & Rampart Wall Ron And Harry Fly Into The Whomping Willow
If you head on over to the Inner Bailey which is right next to the entrance to the staterooms, youll notice the rampart walls that surround it.
This area of Alnwick Castle featured in Harry Potter and the Chamber of secrets. Its when Ron and Harry fly in the Ford Anglia over Hogwarts and end up crashing into the Whomping Willow!
Youll notice that the Whomping Willow isnt there, It was, unfortunately, some amazing CGI.
But, you can follow the scene through to the Inner Courtyard archway. This is where the car spits out their luggage and decides to leave them and drive off!
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Where Was Harry Potter Filmed Must
More than a decade has passed since British author J.K. Rowling published the last instalment of Harry Potters adventures at Hogwarts, but the wizarding world is as alive today as it was 20 years ago. Plays, theme parks, prequels, hundreds of merchandising items and continuous book re-releases have allowed the magic to continue on for many years. Are you a true Harry Potter fan? If so, youll definitely want to see the must-visit filming locations where Harry Potter was filmed. So Civitatis is opening up the chamber of secrets for you! Dont worry, theres no basilisk here, but youll be sure to discover more about the Boy who lived.
Alnwick Castle Location & How To Get There
Alnwick Castle is located in Alnwick in Northumberland and can be accessed less than a mile off the A1 motorway.
Once you take the slipway, its really well signposted the whole way throughout the town and youll arrive on Denwick Lane on the B1340 road. Plug in NE66 1YU into your SatNav.
Parking will cost £3 for an all-day spot that is payable in CASH ONLY.
If you plan on arriving on public transport, you get an added benefit of 20% off your castle ticket when you show proof. So, remember to present your bus or train tickets when at the ticket desk.
Alnwick Castle by train: the nearest railway station is Alnmouth. From here you can take a bus or taxi to the castle.
Alnwick Castle by bus: There are plenty of bus services that connect with Alnwick bus station, some front the city of Newcastle.
Fancy a tour instead? If youre on holiday and wanted to cover a few spots. There are a couple of tours that run out of Edinburgh to Alnwick Castle and even Holy Island.
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Potions Class: Lacock Abbey Wiltshire England
Lacock Abbey‘s Warming Room which contains a giant cauldron was Professor Quirrells Defence Against the Dark Arts classroom, whilst Professor Snapes Potions Class was held in the Sacristy. It was in the abbeys Chapter House that Harry stumbled upon the Mirror of Erised, which shows the users hearts deepest desire.
And amid all that selfie wizardry in the lab, the abbeys South Gallery includes the very spot where William Henry Fox Talbot took the worlds first ever photograph.
Divinity School At Bodleian Library
Also at the Bodleian Library, the Divinity School served as the Hogwarts infirmary. The Divinity School is a medieval building constructed in the perpendicular style. It was built between 1427 and 1483 and is the oldest surviving purpose-built building at Oxford University. The biggest draw at the Divinity School is the ceiling. It has incredibly elaborate lierne vaulting, meaning there are tertiary ribs in the vaulting that span two other ribs rather than originating at the central boss. And there are 455 bosses in the ceiling.
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What Harry Potter Sites Can I Visit From London
London makes a great base for visiting Harry Potter sites. There are a number of filming locations in the city itself, plus there are a number you can visit on easy day trips from the city. These include:
- Leadenhall Market
- Kings Cross Station
- The Harry Potter Studio
- Oxford University
- Gloucester Cathedral
- Lacock Abbey
The Bodleian Library Oxford
The magnificent Bodleian Library provided filming locations for 3 of the Harry Potter films. Duke Humfrey’s Library was used as the Hogwarts’ library, where Hermione is often seen reading. The English Gothic Room of the Divinity School, dating from 1488 and the oldest teaching room at the University stood in for the Hogwarts Infirmary, for example in the scene where Ron recovers after being poisoned in The Half Blood Prince.
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Broomstick Flying: Alnwick Castle Northumberland England
Madame Hoochs broomstick flying lesson, seen in the first film, takes place in the Outer Bailey of medieval Alnwick Castle. Broomstick training still occurs and you can also see wizardry magic shows or join a tour with a costumed guide regaling behind-the-scenes stories from when the Harry Potter crew were filming.
If youre a Downton Abbey fan, the castles dedicated exhibition includes photography, costumes and props from the Christmas special filmed there in 2014.
Warner Bros Studios Where Harry Potter Was Filmed
Want to see more? A must-visit Harry Potter filming location for any true fan is the Warner Bros. Studios in London. Here youll discover Snapes potions classroom, the fearsome Dolores Umbridges office, a giant replica of Aragog, 4 Privet Drive, Hagrids hut Youll be amazed!
During your visit, you can also try the famous butterbeer or buy items from this magical universe, including chocolate frogs, dragees of all flavours or choose your favourite wand.
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Loch Etive & Glen Etive
Loch Etive, known in Scottish Gaelic as Loch Eite, is a sea loch in the Argyll and Bute area of Scotland. The loch is fairly narrow and shaped a bit like a snake, stretching over 30 miles . The loch is located within Glen Etive which is a scenic glen that is popular with outdoor enthusiasts.
Glen Etive and Loch Etive were used as a filming location for at least two Harry Potter films. In the Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 movie, Loch Etive is the lake where Harry, Ron and Hermione end up being deposited after jumping off the back of a dragon following their daring escape from Gringotts in London.
The northern section of Loch Etive in Gualachulain was also the setting for the camp that the trio set up near the lake in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1. After Ron leaves following the argument with Harry, Hermione ties a scarf around a tree near the lake to let Ron know they left if he returned.
The Glen Etive area is a scenic one and offers great hiking opportunities. The River Etive and other local rivers here are popular with kayakers. Many people stop by on their way to visit the coastal town of Oban.
A couple of attractions around Loch Etive are Dunstaffnage Castle and Bonawe Historic Iron Furnace . Both are open to visitors and run by Historic Scotland. There is a fee to visit but they are free to Historic Scotland members.
The nearest train stations to the loch are in Taynuilt and Connel, and buses run to both of these villages as well.
Harry Potter And The Half
- The Potions classroom was redesigned to be in a plus shape. This version has windows on eleven of the twelve sides. This is impossible, not only because it is housed in a circular tower, but because many of the sides are blocked by terrain and thus cannot have windows emitting light . Only the window in the back of the room is possible, and it was shown in the Occlumency establishing shot in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix .
- The close-up establishing shot of the Astronomy Tower shortly after Ron’s Quidditch victory appears to use a different model than the full-castle one that has differing details. The windows are bigger with a different pattern and it shows a protruding spiral staircase on the right side of the rear. The main model has smaller windows and only a protruding tower on the left side of the rear. The interior set for this scene also seems to suggest that there are cloisters inside the Astronomy Tower.
- The set for the Herbology greenhouses has a tall wall with a doorway facing the lake, and may even be an interior area based on the lighting. The model does not have such an area and all of the greenhouses are located outside, unobstructed. Such a wall does exist on the other side of the greenhouses, however the door and the short wall behind it suggest that this shot is looking toward the lake, which is impossible.
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Which Of The Harry Potter Movies Was Filmed At Alnwick Castle
There were two Harry Potter movies filmed at Alnwick Castle.
The first was Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone in 2001 or for you Americans out there that would be Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone.
The second movie was also filmed here that was Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets in 2002.
Alnwick Castle was used for the interior and exterior of Hogwarts castle in both movies.
This is where Harry and his friends would fly their broomsticks, learn quidditch and also where they would secretly escape to Hagrids Hut in the wilderness!
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Harry Potter Filming Locations In The Uk
This list contains what we think are some of the more important and spectacular filming locations for Harry Potter in the UK.
There are of course many more locations than we have listed here, but we think that these are an excellent representation of the locations you can visit.
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Harry Potter Tour Oxford: Practical Tips
- Wear comfortable shoes. Oxfords cobbled streets might be beautiful but they can be killers on your feet. You dont want to be the person hobbling around halfway through the day.
- The colleges have very specific hours when they are open to the public. I have included links to their websites but check before you go. As a rule, theyre more likely to be open in the afternoon, so I would start your Harry Potter walk around Oxford in the afternoon.
- You do have to pay for entrance to the colleges and the Divinity School and Duke Humphreys Library can only be accessed on a Bodleian tour factor that into your costs.
- Oxford is an easy day trip from London. If its your first time visiting the city, I would recommend staying at least one night as theres so much to explore.
- While there is plenty of accommodation dotted around Oxford, you can actually stay in many Oxford University colleges outside of term-time for a real Oxford experience .
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Harry Potter Film Locations
Youve read the books, youve seen the film now discover the superb film locations.
J.K. Rowlingss Harry Potter books are some of the best selling childrens books in history. The books follow the adventures of an 11 year old boy, Harry who lives in a cupboard under the stairs in a house with his aunt, uncle and spoilt cousin Dudley. Harrys own parents died when he was a baby, not as he believed in a car crash but in a fight with a powerful evil wizard who also tried to kill Harry. He is amazed to find out that his parents were also wizards and that he has inherited magical powers of his own! He is transported from his ordinary life to Hogwarts, a boarding school for wizards. There, he meets new friends, learns new skills and ends up confronting the evil person who killed his parents.
Our Harry Potter tour starts at the Dursleys house, Number 4 Privet Drive, Little Whinging, Surrey which is in fact an ordinary house in Martins Heron near Bracknell, Berkshire.
Several locations in London were used for the filming. The scene early in the film when the Dursleys go to the zoo and Harry talks to the snake, was filmed at London Zoo. Set on the edge of Regents Park, historic London Zoo is home to more than 600 species of rare and beautiful animals. It is in the reptile house here where Harry first learns of his ability to talk to snakes.
The interior and exterior shots of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry are taken from a number of locations around England.
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