To celebrate the 20th anniversary of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone hitting the big screen, holidaycottages.co.uk dived into the data to reveal the best filming locations across the UK, where you can follow in the footsteps of your favorite characters, based on on the number of memorable scenes in which each location appeared, the percentage of TripAdvisor reviews the sites had that were related to Harry Potter and Instagram data.
Britain’s best Harry Potter filming locations
1. Warner Bros. Studios, Leavesden
All eight films feature scenes shot in these iconic studios, one of the most memorable being those from Hogwarts Great Hall. Study tours are available on site where fans can experience what it is like to be a wizard for themselves.
2. Glenfinnan Viaduct, Lochaber
This well-known shooting location is iconic for being a key frame for travel on the Hogwarts Express. Many loyal fans have visited the site to get a feel for its natural beauty in real life, and more than a third (34%) of its TripAdvisor reviews mention Harry Potter!
3. Gloucester Cathedral, Gloucester
Gloucester Cathedral was used for many scenes throughout Hogwarts, including the hallways and exterior scenes. The Great Monastery has appeared in a number of films, including The Wise Stone and the Chamber of Secrets.
4. Alnwick Castle, Northumberland
Not only was Alnwick Castle used as a shooting ground for Madam Hooch’s broomstick flying lessons, but lessons are still available there today for enthusiastic visitors – almost 20% of TripAdvisor reviews mention Harry Potter.
5. Glencoe, Argyll
This stunning Scottish nature reserve is also home to Hagrid’s cottage, which you can still see today on a visit, just beware of the hippogriffs. Glencoe also formed the backdrop for many Quidditch matches and elements of the Triwizard Tournament.
6. Lacock Abbey, Wiltshire
This 13th-century convent is another site where the iconic Hogwarts corridors were filmed. In the movie, Harry can be seen here in his invisibility cloak and only just avoids being seen by Snape.
7. Oxford University, Oxford
The beautiful surroundings of Oxford University also serve as a number of Hogwarts rooms, including the Bodleian Library as well as the Hogwarts Library, where Harry sneaks around in his invisibility cloak and New College provides images to the hallways where Mad-Eyed Moody transforms Draco Malfoy into a ferret.
8. Durham Cathedral, Durham
Professor McGonagall’s classroom is located at Durham Cathedral, the place where Ron receives the dreaded Slug-breaking curse. It’s one of a number of venues that played a role in Hogwarts’ hallways, with Harry’s owl Hedwig spotted in this particular hall.
9. Black Park, Buckinghamshire
Black Park in Iver Heath also serves as the Forbidden Forest, a place strictly forbidden for unaccompanied students. On one of Harry’s visits, he is accompanied by Hagrid, who shows him the dragons and gives a hint as to what the next challenge in the Triwizard tournament might be.
10. Reptile House, London Zoo, London
The Reptile House at the London Zoo is where Harry discovers his ability to speak Parseltongue (talk to snakes). On this trip with the Dursley family, Dudley falls through the glass, which magically disappears, causing him to fall in and the snake escapes. If there is one scene that everyone remembers frame by frame in the first movie, it has to be this one.