With the next chapter of the Harry Potter story about the hit theatres in London, there’s no better time for Potter fans to plan a trip to England, where the story unfolds. Here’s your guide to the wizarding world of Harry Potter, from Platform 9 ¾ to his house on Privet Drive.
The hottest ticket in London this summer is Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, a two-part, five-hour play that follows Harry Potter and his friends 19 years after the final novel. That’s right. Harry is now an over-worked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband and father to three school-aged kids. The story was written by J.K. Rowling and Jack Thorne specifically for the stage. And tickets are on sale now!
Traveling to England to get a dose of Harry Potter’s magical world? Here are some of the most iconic places to see while you’re there, both in the wizard world and the muggle world.
4 Privet Drive, Little Whinging
The suburban home of the Dursleys, where Harry lives in a cupboard under the stairs at the beginning of the story, is located in Berkshire. It’s a private home, but by now the owners are probably used to fans parking outside their home to take a photo or two. You’ll find it at 12 Picket Post Close, Martins Heron. The easiest way to get here is to rent a car in London, heading west about an hour from central London.
The reptile house is where Harry first speaks to a snake. It’s none other than the Reptile House at the London Zoo, located in Regent’s Park. This all happens before Harry even knows he’s a wizard and he finds himself speaking to a boa constrictor, making his cousin fall into the enclosure, to his surprise!
Platform 9 ¾
This is a classic stop for any Potter fan and you can find it at the always-busy King’s Cross Station in London. The platform is actually located on the wall between Platforms 4 and 5 and you’ll notice it by the luggage cart cemented into the wall… or by the line up of people waiting to get their photo taken there!
The beautiful ceilings and hallways of Hogwarts in the movies were filmed at Gloucester Cathedral in the cloisters. Some scenes were also shot at the New College’s cloisters at Oxford University. The corridor that leads to The Fat Lady and Gryffindor’s common room is Gloucester Cathedral. The scene in Goblet of Fire, where everyone is wearing badges that say “Potter Stinks”, is at the New College in Oxford. The college’s quad was also the film location when Draco gets turned into a ferret by Mad-Eye Moody.
Hooch’s flying field
Madam Hooch teaches Harry, Ron, Hermione and their classmates how to fly broomsticks on the grass outside Alnwick Castle in Northumberland, the northern part of England. This is also the place where Harry and Ron “park” the Ford Anglia in Chamber of Secrets.
This beautiful place can be found in Scotland. In real-life it’s called Loch Shiel, in Glencoe. It’s beautiful spot for boating in the summer, surrounding by gorgeous hills and mountains that are perfect for hiking and trekking. The closest city is Fort William, and is a great stepping-off point for an adventure in western Scotland.
Warner Bros. Studios
If these places haven’t satisfied your hunger for all things Potter, then you have to make a trip to Warner Bros. Studio in London to see The Making of Harry Potter. The studio tour takes you through two soundstages and a backlot filled with original sets, costumes, animatronic creatures and thousands of props from the films. This is where the movies were made, even while the books were still being written. Complete the experience with a ride on a broomstick and a butterbeer ice cream!