University of Oxford
One of the most prestigious institution of higher learning in the world, the University of Oxford provided many locations for the Harry Potter movies. The iconic Great Hall where students of Hogwarts regularly convene in the movies was recreated on a soundstage for convenience sake but was inspired from Christ Church’s Hall. The school also provided the staircases seen in the films including the one seen when Professor McGonagall greets Harry, Ron and Hermione upon their arrival in The Sorcerer’s Stone.
The Duke Humfrey’s Library doubled as the Hogwarts library where the trio are often seen studying or concocting their next move. Additionally, the Divinity School passed as Hogwart’s hospital wing where Madam Pomfrey worked her magic mending injuries and illnesses of varying severity.
Alnwick Castle (Northumberland, England)
Alnwick Castle is used in all eight movies of the saga as it provides many of the exterior shots for the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Most notably, this is the spot where Harry first learned to ride a broomstick and you may recall that this is where Harry and Ron crash their flying car into the Whomping Willow in The Chamber of Secrets. The building is also known as the second largest inhabited castle in England after Windsor Castle. While you are there, be sure to visit the spectacular Alnwick Garden.
Founded in AD 1093, Durham Cathedral was used extensively for the interior and exterior shots of the first two films most notably the area known as the “Transfiguration Courtyard” and Professor McGonagall’s classroom. In The Sorcerer’s Stone, Harry can be seen walking through the snowy cloisters with his white owl, Hedwig, before the bird rises up into the sky and over the church’s twin 13th-century towers.
Lacock Abbey (Wiltshire, England)
You may recognize the picture above as the location where Harry Potter freed Dobby and you would be right. Founded in 1232, Lacock Abbey provided many of the classrooms at Hogwarts as well as the location for the scene in which Harry finds the mirror of Erised. The landmark also has significance outside of movies as it is also associated with photography pioneer William Henry Fox Talbot who discovered the negative/positive photographic process, upon which modern photography is based. Also stop by the neighboring village of Lacock which inspired the appearance of Godric’s Hollow.
Gloucester Cathedral (Gloucester, England)
Having stood over 1,300 years, Gloucester Cathedral provided many of the corridors used in the movies including the scenes with Headless Nick in The Sorcerer’s Stone and Moaning Myrtle in The Chamber of Secrets. This is also where Harry and Ron rescue Hermione from the giant troll and find the following blood writing on the wall: “The Chamber of Secrets has been opened – enemies of the heir BEWARE!”