Harry Potter Studio Tour Leavesden
Without doubt, if you are only going to do one Harry Potter related activity when you visit the UK, we think you should make it this a visit to the Harry Potter Studio.
This is where the majority of all eight of the Harry Potter movies were filmed. Following the shooting being completed, Warner Bros. decided to turn much of the property into an attraction that you can visit today.
Unlike the Wizarding World of Harry Potter theme parks in the USA and Japan though, this isnt somewhere you come to take rides. This is more of an experience where you can learn all about what went into making the movies.
Expect to visit original sets, like the Great Hall, Diagon Alley, and the Forbidden Forest. Youll learn all about the green screen technology and digital art that went into creating the Harry Potter world, as well as the models, costumes, and props that brought it all to life.
There is so much to see here it is quite overwhelming. Thankfully theres also butterbeer available for purchase to calm you down.
The tour is, for the most part, self-guided, and it will last you in the region of 3 4 hours to see everything.
In terms of the practicalities of visiting, the Harry Potter Studio Tour is found in Leavesden, just to the north of London. You can get here by public transport, or you can take a guided tour like this which includes transport.
Wed suggest reading through our detailed guide to the Harry Potter Studio Tour for more information and to make the most of your trip.
What Else Has Been Filmed At Hardwick Hall
Although the most famous production that has been filmed here is the Hardwick Hall Malfoy Manor location in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1.
Fans of the 2018 movie starring Margot Robbie and Saoirse Ronan will recognise this house too!
In the film, Hardwick Hall stood in for Hampton Court along with the nearby privately-owned Haddon Hall!
The story follows the short and turbulent reign of Queen Mary I of Scotland and the clash with her cousin Queen Elizabeth I.
Youll recognise the scenes with Elizabeth I and William Cecil that were filmed in the West Court of the Hall and on the rooftop.
Did you know? The real Mary Queen of Scots was placed in the care of the Earl of Shrewsbury and Bess of Hardwick in 1569. She never visited Hardwick hall as it was before the house was built but she did visit Besss other properties. Youll see portraits of Mary Stuart in both Hardwick Hall and Chatsworth House today.
How To Get To Hardwick Hall Malfoy Manor Filming Location
Youll be driving around 20 minutes from Mansfield, 20 minutes from Chesterfield, 40 minutes from Sheffield and 40 minutes from Nottingham.
Its also only 40 minutes from Chatsworth House in the Peak District, Besss other property.
You can then follow the signs to the estate which is huge! Once you arrive, youll find a large car park provided by the National Trust. This is chargeable for the day but National Trust members park for free.
The closest train station is Chesterfield. From here, you can take a taxi directly to Hardwick Hall or the Pronto Bus to Glapwell Young Vanish.
From the bus stop, its a 2-mile or 40-minute walk through the countryside along the main roads. Follow traffic signs for Rowthorne & Hardwick.
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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!
A Lot Of Hormones Flying Around
As the Goblet of Fire filming was underway, many of the stars were teenagers and had life mirroring experiences with their characters as they dealt with crushes and dating.
Radcliffe said he and Watson would go back-and-forth asking each other for advice when texting someone of the opposite gender. We had that old brother, younger sister thing, Watson said. Meanwhile, Grint said filming was interesting given it was a time with a lot of hormones flying around.
There was crushes and people went out with each other and broke up, Lewis said, adding that set became the same environment as school except they were in the Defense Against the Dark Arts classroom.
That film was probably peak hormone, at least for me, Radcliffe said of Goblet of Fire. With the film introducing a myriad of new students set to compete in the Triwizard Tournament, Radcliffe said it made for a complicated setting amid hormonal teenagers.
You had a bunch of hormonal teenagers anyway and then bringing two massive groups of new people, all of them purposely hot for the film It did not take a huge acting stretch for me to tap into my awkward nerdy teenage side, he said.
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In Search Of The Hogwarts Express In Scotland
Who hasnt dreamed of receiving a letter signed by Albus Dumbledore himself inviting us to Hogwarts? While you wait for the letter, you can enjoy travelling on the famous Hogwarts Express. If youre in Inverness, you can hop on board this steam train by booking the Highlands Tour.
Youll also cross the Glenfinnan Viaduct, one of the most popular Harry Potter filming locations a unique experience!
New College Courtyard & tree
The New College Courtyard was also used as an Harry Potter Oxford location in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.
Mad Eye Moody has popped up on the scene and transfigures Malfoy into a ferret and stuffs him down his buddys trousers before hes told off by Professor Mcgonagall.
Funny isnt it, how you dont feel one shred of sympathy for Draco
Fee for entering New College £5 in the summer, free in winter.
The Last Casting Role
The very last person cast for the Harry Potter franchise was Kelly Macdonald. Macdonald plays the ghost of Helena Ravenclaw. Her small role in the film helps Harry find the last tangible Horcrux, Ravenclaw’s diadem, that was needed in order to destroy Voldemort.
Macdonald is also the voice of Merida in Brave and can be seen in No Country For Old Men.
St Pauls Cathedral Staircase Aka The Divination Tower Stairwell
Appeared in: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban and Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Alright sorry to leave you hanging about St Pauls! Heres a little known fact about this famous cathedral and Harry Potter: unknown to most, one of St Pauls stairwells was actually used as the stairs to the Divination Tower in Prisoner of Azkaban then in Goblet of Fire as the stairs to the Defense Against the Dark Arts classroom. You know, after that first class with Mad Eye Moody .
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Harry Potter Sites By Train + Day Tours
It is actually easy to see all the sites in this post without needing a car. Heres a quick itinerary.
3 Days in London
If you want to see more of London, just add in a day or two check out our 2 day London itinerary for some ideas.
Once you are done in London, take the train up to York. This takes around 2 hours, and youll get the best prices if you buy your tickets in advance.
2 Days in York
York makes a good base for a number of Harry Potter filming locations, plus the city itself is beautiful. Its also said that the film producers visited the Shambles area of the city to get some inspiration for creating Diagon Alley.
From York, you can take a full day tour which includes a visit to Durham Cathedral and Goathland train station. If you want to visit Malham Cove, you could also do this by combination of train and bus from York.
After York, its another 2 hours or so by train up to Edinburgh.
3 Days in Edinburgh
Visit The Hardwick Hall Secondhand Bookshop
If you were a literary lover then youll fall in love with the fact that Hardwick Hall has a secondhand bookshop!
Its located in the former stables and they have a huge collection of pre-loved works that you can browse. You may get lucky and spot a copy of Harry Potter on the shelves.
Youll find all sorts of travel, art, history and childrens books. All proceeds help towards their renovation works.
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Porto And The Hogwarts Library
Did you know that before Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone was first published in 1997 J.K. Rowling had lived in Portugal a few years? The famous author moved to Porto in the early 1990s to teach English. There, she met her future husband, who she later divorced shortly after having her daughter.
Her time in the tiled city may have influenced her to create part of the magical universe. Although the author herself has denied it, it was believed that the Lello bookshop was the perfect inspiration for the Flourish and Blotts shop, where Hogwarts students buy their books. Although Porto is not one of the Harry Potter filming locations, its full of legends linking the magical world to the city on the Porto Harry Potter Free Tour.
Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire
During Harry’s fourth year, Hogwarts plays host to a legendary event: the Triwizard Tournament. Three European schools participate in the tournament, with three ‘champions’ representing each school in the deadly tasks. The Goblet of Fire chooses Fleur Delacour, Viktor Krum, and Cedric Diggory to compete against each other. However, curiously, Harry’s name is also produced from the Goblet thus making him a fourth champion, which results in a terrifying encounter with a reborn Lord Voldemort.
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High Marnham Power Station
Appeared in: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1
Harry, Ron and Hermione are camping out at an abandoned nuclear power plant in Deathly Hallows Part 1 before they camp out in the woods.
I wouldnt suggest you travel and come here cuz it honestly does seem creepy AF but yes, thats where that part was shot!
Hardwick Hall Opening Times
I have to admit that visiting this National Trust property is generally quite easy but there is quite a small window to visit the inside of the hall itself.
The park is open from 9 am and Hardwick Hall gardens open from 9.30 am 6 pm throughout the year. But, the inside of Hardwick Hall only opens from 11 am 3.30 pm from April October.
So, if you did want to see the inside, youll need to ensure you visit in the right season and timeframe. This can be quite awkward if youre on a tight Peak District itinerary.
If you did happen to miss it, the outside of the manor is still classed as the gardens. So, this inner courtyard area surrounding the house will remain open if you wanted to take some nice photos!
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More Information For Visiting Scotland
If you are looking for more Harry Potter content, we also have a comprehensive guide to Harry Potter locations in Edinburgh as well as a guide to cafes where J.K. Rowling wrote the Harry Potter books.
We have lots and lots of other information on Scotland across our two travel blogs which you can view here and here. For instance we have guides to things to do in Edinburgh, things to do in Glasgow, best day trips from Inverness, visiting Loch Lomond, , skiing in Scotland, planning a North Coast 500 road trip, and much more!
So thats our guide to Harry Potter filming locations in Scotland, and we hope it will help you plan your own magical trip to Scotland!
Which of these spots would you want to visit? Have you been to any of these Harry Potter film locations in Scotland? Are there any other Harry Potter sites in Scotland that you think should be added to this list? Tell us in the Comments section below.
As always, we love your comments and feel free to ask us any questions about Harry Potter filming locations or any other question you may have about visiting Scotland in general!
Near Abbotsbury Swannery Aka The Area Near The Burrow
This is a very random filming location because only about 2 minutes of footage was shot here, using entirely body doubles because the actual scenes where you can see the actors was shot in the studio BUT nonetheless, I wanted this list to be complete. This big field of reeds stood in for the land on which the Burrow is built, you know just before it gets burnt to the ground .
According to the Dorset Echo, filming took place in November 2007 for this short clip, a feat that required 100 production staff present! If thats not a hint at just how big these film budgets were, I dont know what is
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Harry Potter Tours Brit Movie Tours
If your looking for a guided Harry Potter tour, we run a number of tours which can be found here. We have a number of tours to suit everyone. If you are just in London for the day and fancy a walking tour then our Harry Potter London Walk tour is the one. If you want to see the Warner Bros Studio as well as locations around London and oxford we offer a couple of tours. All of our Harry Potter Tours are operated by us and are not official Harry Potter events and are not endorsed, sanctioned or in any other way supported, directly or indirectly by Warner Bros Entertainment Inc, the Harry Potter book publishers or J.K.Rowling.
Not sure whether to book with us? Read our reviews on Trip Advisor here before making your decision. We look forward to welcoming all muggles, wizards and witches on our magical tours.
Christ Church College Aka The Great Hall And The Stairs Leading To It
Appeared in: Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Ive been to this stunner in-person and I cant lie to you, subtle tears may have been shed.
SO, let me clarify one thing: while the Great Hall from all the Harry Potter movies is actually a set , this hall in Oxford is still well worth visiting because the film set design was heavily modelled after it. So much so that The Hall is basically a spitting image of the Great Hall weve learned to love throughout the franchise.
Plus, the stairs leading up to it appear it in the first two films: in the Philosophers Stone as the scene RIGHT before all the newcomers enter the Great Hall and also in Chamber of Secrets when Ron and Harry have just crashed into the Whomping Willow and run into Filch being super creepy on the stairway. Youll also briefly see it in the flashback scene where Tom Riddle is chatting with Dumbledore about the student death, and he, too, is being super creepy on the stairway.
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Steal Falls And Black Rock Gorge Ben Nevis
Appeared in: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire and Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
In the first Triwizard Challenge, Steal Falls and Black Rock Gorge were used as a backdrop during the chase scene between the Hungarian Horntail and Harry. Whee alliteration!
You also spot Steal Falls in Half-Blood Prince during a Quidditch Game.
Chesil Beach Dorset Aka Home To The Burrow
While of course, the exterior of the impossible gravity-defying Burrow was accomplished through CGI, and the interiors were all shot on sets in Leavesden, the backdrop for the Burrow was inspired by a marsh near Chesil Beach in Dorset.
According to Stuart Craig, the HP production designer, this remote location seemed like the perfect place for the Burrow given its flatness really accentuated the weird impossible structure of the building.
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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.