Harry Potter has been a fundamental part of many childhoods. The series might have officially ended years ago, but the love for it certainly hasn’t. Now that the fans know there’s no follow-up coming, all attention has been diverted to attractions that satisfy the Potter nostalgia. Here’s a list of top nine magical destinations you can visit in real life to meet your love for Harry Potter. Read along to know more.
1. WIZARDING WORLD OF HARRY POTTER
The Universal Studios Wizarding World of Harry Potter is located in Los Angeles, Florida, and Japan. That means you’ve got three opportunities to make the most of your series-themed vacation. Everything you ever dreamed about as a kid has taken a physical form in these studios. Pick wands out at Olivanders, enjoy amusement parks, shops, or sip the iconic butterbeer in Dumbledore’s office.
2. ADORE THE ALNWICK CASTLE
The Alnwick Castle was built in the 11th century, following the Norman conquest in English county of Northumberland. You might remember the Alnwick Castle from the first two movies. Especially from the scene where Harry first learns to fly his broomstick. It’s also the location where Harry learned the rules for Quidditch. You can find Harry Potter-inspired events and an exciting historical tour.
Alnwick Castle is less than a mile from A1. The main car parking is ahead of Denwick Lane. Traveling to the castle by your car is the safest option, as the pandemic has made public transport unsafe. Consider getting roof rack accessories for your vehicle so that you can safely carry all your Harry Potter merchandise home.
3. VISIT THE GREAT HALL, CHRIST CHURCH
The Great Hall of Christ Church, Oxford University, was an inspiration for the Hogwarts Dining Hall. It’s where all the young wizards and witches assembled for meals and events. A lot of the iconic scenes take place here. The good news is that it’s open to the public if there’s no educational event going on. Visitors can have a look at the hall during a visit to the college.
4. TAKE A RIDE ON JACOBITE IN GLENFINNAN VIADUCT, SCOTLAND
As kids, we’ve all dreamed about going to Hogwarts in the Hogwarts Express. Get ready to turn that dream into reality. The stunning scenery might look unrealistic on television, but luckily you can take that Hogwarts route in real life. The Glenfinnan Viaduct in Scotland is the bridge that carries the main cast towards their Alma Mater. You can even ride “Jacobite,” the original steam engine used in the movie. The route is open from March to October, with tickets starting from just £30.00.
5. VISIT PLATFORM 9¾ IN KINGS CROSS, LONDON
If you have secretly kept an eye out for the magical Platform 9¾, your search ends here. Kings Cross in London is perhaps the most famous Harry Potter destination. Your wizarding experience will be empty without carrying a trolley through the station where the scenes were filmed. Muggles can’t travel to the Hogwarts station, but they can stock up on Harry Potter merchandise in a trendy shop nearby.
6. ENJOY THE HARRY POTTER EXHIBITION
This entry is somewhat nomadic. Behold the traveling exhibition of Harry Potter that travels all around the globe. Your personal Hogwarts experience travels right to your locality. Visitors are immediately sorted into their respective houses upon entry. You’ll be able to catch sight of recreational movie sets, authentic costumes, and you may even test your skills in Quidditch. If you’re a Potterhead, you’ll love this exhibition.
7. TOUR THE WARNER BROS. STUDIO, LONDON
This award-winning experience gives a magical experience like no other. It’s almost as if you’re on the set for a Harry Potter movie. You’ll be able to personally learn about the guarded secrets of Hogwarts, like the special effects and animatronics used in the film. Iconic props like Hagrid’s motorcycle or Harry’s Nimbus 2000 are up for display. You can even step into the Diagon Alley and visit Ollivander’s and Weasleys’ Wizard Wheeze. Book your tickets, and you’ll have at least 4 hours to make the most out of your visit.
8. STROLL THROUGH THE LACOCK ABBEY, ENGLAND
Lacock Abbey was in the interior sequences of The Philosopher’s Stone and The Chamber of Secrets. It was the location for Professor Snape and Professor Quirrell’s classroom. It’s even famous for the Mirror of Erised scenes after Harry has served detention. Trace the footsteps of Harry in this stunning location in Wiltshire.
9. RELIVE THE TRIWIZARD TOURNAMENT IN STEALL FALLS, SCOTLAND
The Steall Falls is the second-highest waterfall (390 feet) in Britain and also the setting for the Triwizard Tournament. You’ll remember it as the location where Harry battled the Horntail Dragon in The Goblet of Fire. This is for the adventurer fans because the area around the waterfall is ideal for trekking and climbing. The cable bridge is perfect if you want to appreciate Scotland’s beauty while you’re at it.
You may not receive your wand and a Hogwarts letter through an owl, but these destinations will work just as well to live through a magical experience. You can visit your favorite sets of the movie in reality. Have a tremendous wizarding experience. Remember that even the wizards need protection from a pandemic. Always keep your masks and sanitizers handy.