This Harry Potter-inspired tour of the UK will leave you spellbound

It’s been 20 years since the first Harry Potter movie was released. Like brooms, owls, and enchanted Ford Anglias, time flies, but a trip to where the magic really happened could help turn back time.

And no, no need to speak “Parseltongue” to discover this chamber with the secrets of travel.

In November 2001, a bright-eyed Harry Potter, bushy-haired Hermione Granger, and fiery-maned Weasley cast were shown on the big screen as JK Rowling’s beloved 1997 novel was adapted by Warner Studios. Bros.

Hundreds of millions of moviegoers fell in love Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone captured the imaginations of fans young and old alike, launching the biggest movie franchise of all time and ultimately surpassing $ 1 billion in movie sales worldwide.

While not all of us were lucky enough to receive our Hogwarts letter, non-magical people (aka Muggles) have joined in the magic across the UK, where the majority of the eight films were made. From real Hogwarts grounds to an Airbnb in Godric’s Hollow, these places draw millions of visitors.

Many historic sites considered too stuffy and obsolete by the youth of 2001 quickly got a new lease of life as hundreds of teenage actors swept their halls, including the 900-year-old Durham Cathedral, where the school of Hogwarts witchcraft and sorcery has arrived for the first time. to live.

The old cloisters and sleepy manicured gardens have been transformed and the Cathedral in the North East of England has become one of the most requested outings for young explorers.

The aisles of the cathedral were used in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone for scenes of Harry, Ron and Hermione strolling between yards, while the adjacent grass area was sprinkled with fake snow in the winter scene, when Harry first flew his beloved Hedwig around the castle.

Perhaps most famous, the area also set the stage for Ron’s “slug-eating” curse, which bounced back and left the ash-faced teenager belching giant mollusks across the grass, for the most. great pleasure for the intended target, Draco Malfoy.

Further south in Cheltenham, tens of thousands of visitors cross the threshold of Gloucester Cathedral each year, but only one mountain troll is known to have destroyed the girl’s toilet.

The Gothic building’s lavatorium appears several times in the movies, first when the unlikely trio confront the troll in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone and secondly when Harry overhears Professor Severus Snape discussing his inviolable vow in Harry potter and halfBlood Prince.

The cathedral is also briefly featured in the second film, when a bloody ad is displayed on the walls of North Walk, revealing that the Chamber of Secrets has been opened.

During filming, 170 students from neighboring King’s School had the opportunity to join Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint on screen, playing extras in the films.

Wiltshire is home to one of the most recognizable filming locations known as “Harry Potter Village” over the years. Scenes from Harry Potter and the Pierre Philosophale, Chamber of Secrets and Half-Blood Prince were all shot around the 14th century village of Lacock, with Lacock Abbey in the role of Hogwarts.

The stately home, now owned by the National Trust of the United Kingdom, was originally a monastery, and the Abbey’s warming room turned decidedly cold when it was transformed into the potions teacher’s classroom stealthy, Professor Snape.

In Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, the chapter house of the abbey was also used in the scenes of the Mirror of the Erised when Harry saw his parents for the first time, while the hallways were used extensively in the Chamber of Secrets as the famous boy wizard frantically chased the echoes of the Snake Basilisk as it moved through the castle walls.

Towards the end of the franchise, De Vere House in Suffolk rose to fame as Harry’s birthplace in the Deathly Hallows, Part 1.

The Grade I listed house is one of 340 listed buildings in the town of Lavenham, which is one of England’s best-preserved medieval villages. In 2017 the house went on sale for almost £ 1million, but finding a buyer was a struggle, and now fans can spend a night at Godric’s Hollow by booking on Airbnb or through the Of Maison Vere website.

It’s owned by Jane Ranzetta, who has lived there with her family for three decades, though her house’s appearance in the film came as a surprise. “I’m a Harry Potter fan and couldn’t believe my house appeared in the movie,” Ranzetta said.

“My sister lives across the road and she spoke to the crew to ask if they knew which houses were going to appear, but they just smiled. The house was built in 1485 by the De Vere family and is famous in its own right. It’s like he has his own personality.

Next year, Ranzetta will offer a series of Magic Weekends, including a magic lesson with a professional magician, special themed decor and a menu, with guests encouraged to arrive in disguise.

The Jacobite steam train passing over the Glenfinnan Viaduct at the head of Loch Shiel, Lochaber, Highlands of Scotland

Traveling like a wizard sounds tricky, but with no portkeys and flying cars, Muggles can board the Hogwarts Express and soak up the scenery of the Scottish Highlands.

The Glenfinnan Viaduct features both in the Chamber of Secrets and the Prisoner of azkaban, with the Hogwarts Express passing through its lines, and although fans are urged to stay clear of the tracks, visitors can take a train schedule to watch the show from afar or even climb aboard with a pumpkin or mushy haggis. .

Finally, visitors to Alnwick Castle in Northumberland, which was the setting for Harry’s first Quidditch lesson, can soar into the skies during a ‘broom practice’, where youngsters will learn how to use each other. bend and maneuver on the lawns of the castle.

So whether you are a thrill hunter or an adventurer, now is the time to have “Sirius” with your next vacation.

For more information on historic sites, visit

Updated: November 26, 2021, 7:29 AM

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