It’s hard to believe that the Harry Potter franchise has been with us for over 20 years. J.K. Rowling’s world of wizardry has inspired many across the globe, so it’s no surprise that there are lots of places for fans to visit in the UK.
Whilst there are much more things to see than the ones on the list, we’ve whittled down our favourites. Here are our top four places to visit in the UK for Harry Potter fans.
The Shambles, York
The famous medieval street in York looks a lot like Diagon Alley, and may well be a source of inspiration, but is not actually featured in the films. The Shambles is one of the best-preserved medieval streets in the whole of Europe, with its overhanging buildings and cobbled streets taking you back in time.
Potter fans will also find lots of themed shops down the alley. So if you’re wanting to buy a wand in a real-life Diagon Alley, now’s your chance. The Shambles is a 20-minute walk from York Station.
Platform 93/4, London
As all J.K. Rowling fans know, London Kings Cross is the station used by the students to catch the Hogwarts Express. In the films, you’d reach the platform by dashing through the brick wall between platforms 9 and 10. But as these platforms are separated by tracks, you can find platform 93/4 in the station concourse.
Once you’ve arrived by train at London Kings Cross station, head over to the infamous trolly for a photograph. It’s accessible all day and is totally free of charge – you can even snap a pic with a scarf in your chosen house colour. And don’t forget to pop into the Harry Potter shop to grab yourself a Hogwarts school jumper or robe.
Bodleian Library, Oxford
Remember the scene in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone when Harry entered Hogwarts library using his invisibility cloak? Well, the oldest reading room in the Bodleian Library, the Duke Humfrey’s library, was where the whole thing was filmed. With endless shelves of archaic manuscripts and books, the location looks no different than its appearance in the film.
Unless you have an invisibility cloak going spare, you’ll need to book onto a private tour. A tour will give you access to the library that Harry could only have dreamed of, allowing you to see the incredible architecture and hear stories from within the heart of the University.
4 Privet Drive, Little Whinging, Surrey
Only true Potterheads will visit the wizard’s childhood home. This was where we originally met Harry and the unlikeable Dursley family in the Philosopher’s Stone. Some of the series’ most iconic scenes have been filmed here, including where fans meet Dobby the house-elf and where Harry protects Dudley from the dementors in the fifth instalment of the series.
In reality, the home from the movies was actually filmed in the town of Berkshire, so you’ll find hordes of fans taking pictures at 12 Picket Post Close in Martins Heron.