The great thing about fantasy is that fiction is often based on reality. Especially due to the films, there are actually a ton of locations that are associated with Harry Potter. Hogwarts may not be a single castle that you can explore, but you can see its stairs, great hall, and more around places like Oxford and London.
Besides those locations, there are also a ton of theme parks. There, you can drink pumpkin juice, get your own magic wand, and take photos in front of a Sirius Black wanted poster.
Here are 10 locations you need to visit if you are a Harry Potter fan.
10 King's Cross Station In London, England
If you find yourself in London, go to King's Cross Station and get a photo of yourself entering Platform 9 3/4. It is a popular location, so it may be a little crowded, but it is well worth braving crowds for a photo keepsake.
What many fans do is put on Hogwarts-style clothing and hold the cart that is sticking halfway out of the wall. They act like they are entering the Platform for a memorable fan photo. If you look up the location online, you can see tons of examples.
9 The Elephant House In Edinburgh, Scotland
Edinburgh is the city where most of the series was written by J.K. Rowling. It is home to many Harry Potter locations. One such location, The Elephant House, allows fans to also enjoy some tea.
The cafe opened in 1995 and became famous for writers using it for inspiration. According to their website, J.K. Rowling wrote a lot of her early novels in the back room which overlooked Edinburgh Castle.
8 The Balmoral Hotel In Edinburgh, Scotland
This gorgeous Edinburgh hotel is where J.K. Rowling finished Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows in 2007. Since it is a hotel, you can even rent the room that the famous writer stayed in: Room 652. In that room, you can see a message she left on a marble bust.
The hotel is not cheap though, as it opened over 100 years ago and has five stars to its name. The "room" is more like an apartment!
7 Greyfriars Kirkyard Cemetery In Edinburgh, Scotland
If you are up for a spookier destination, the Greyfriars Kirkyard Cemetery is where J.K. Rowling got inspiration for Tom Riddle's character. There is a real grave of a man named Thomas Riddell, which inspired Voldemort's real name. The real man died in 1806 and was 72 years old. Many fans now consider it as Voldemort's grave and leave little notes and other goodies on it.
Nearby there is also a grave of a William McGonagall, who inspired Professor McGonagall.
6 Alnwick Castle In North Umberland, England
Alnwick Castle was a filming site for Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone and the Chamber of Secrets. An example of a scene filmed around the castle is when the students learn to fly on brooms with Madam Hooch. The films also used the castle's courtyards to show Hogwarts students walking around.
The part of the castle known as "The Lion Arch," was used as a way in and out of Hogwarts and towards Hagrid's cabin.
5 The Jacobite Train In Scotland
The Jacobite Train in Scotland was used for some scenes in the Harry Potter films and is most remembered for traveling across the bridge of Hogwarts. In reality, the train runs from Fort William to Mallaig. A ticket is about 30 pounds and the trip is 84 miles long.
However, instead of taking the train there is also the opportunity to hike to a viewing point to watch the train go across the bridge. The location is gorgeous and perfect for some memorable photos.
4 Black Park In England
Black Park was used as a filming location for the Forbidden Forest and Hagrid's hut. The first scenes of the Forbidden Forest in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone take place in the Black Park. However, certain scenes were on a built set rather than in the park.
The park is actually a popular outdoor filming location. It has been used for other films such as Robin Hood, Goldfinger, Batman, Sleepy Hollow, Bugsy Malone, Captain America: The First Avenger, and Monty Python's And Now for Something Completely Different.
3 Christ Church In Oxford, England
The old universities and colleges of Oxford are all pretty amazing to tour. For Harry Potter fans in particular though, Christ Church is worth a visit. When there, be sure to check out the staircase from the first movie were Professor McGonagall first meets Harry, Ron, and Hermione.
The real jewel though is the Great Hall. It is not a filming site, but it is the inspiration behind the Great Hall of Hogwarts.
2 Lacock Abbey, England
This place was one of the sites filmed for various Hogwarts scenes, primarily in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone and the Chamber of Secrets. Visitors are allowed in Lacock Abbey if they purchase tickets.
Lacock Abbey's rooms served as Hogwarts classrooms, including Professor Snape's Potions classroom and Professor Quirrell's Defense Against the Dark Arts. The building also includes the Chapter House, which was used as a filming site for when Harry finds the Mirror of Erised. Lacock itself also offers other Harry Potter locations worth checking out such as the home of Lily and James Potter, Slughorns Hideout, and the town of Budleigh Babberton.
1 The London Zoo In London, England
The London Zoo was a filming location for Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. It is where Harry speaks to a snake for the first time, which later became very important in the series. You can visit the zoo and see the same Burmese Python exhibit from the movie in the zoo's Reptile House. They even have information about Harry Potter at the exhibit.
An interesting fact: Harry visiting the London Zoo is not canon in the novels. In the books, he mentions he has never been to the London Zoo. In the film, perhaps this was merely a random zoo rather than the London Zoo.