With restrictions easing across England, please continue to follow government guidance and remember to plan ahead and check attraction websites before travelling. Take a look at our top tips on how to escape the everyday responsibly to see how you can make the most out of your day trips and breaks.
Durham, County Durham
UNESCO World Heritage Site, Durham Cathedral, has doubled up as Hogwarts not once, but twice over the years. Explore the ancient cloisters that became the snow-covered quadrangle where Harry magically releases Hedwig in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, and walk in the footsteps of Harry, Ron and Hermione in The Chapter House, which appeared in the Chamber of Secrets as the setting for Professor McGonagall's transfiguration classroom. We doubt you'll be able to turn animals into water goblets though.
Explore the grounds of Alnwick Castle in Northumberland and imagine you’re part of Madame Hooch’s flying lesson by joining the resident wizarding professors for broomstick training sessions on the very spot where Harry had his first lesson in the first film. (Between March and October)
Wizards, squibs and even muggles can discover the magic of Harry Potter on the Warner Bros Studio Tour. The studios were used in the filming of all the Harry Potter films, and many of the fantastic props, mythical items and iconic sets were saved. Take a journey through the famous sets, pose in your favourite scenes, and taste some delicious Butterbeer.
Venture to the quaint English village of Lacock in Wiltshire, where parts of the movie series were filmed. Take trip to the abbey and see if you can recognise Hogwarts’ interiors, including Professor Snape’s classroom. See if you can spot Horace Slughorn’s home from The Half-Blood Prince as you explore the village.
Fancy a visit to the Leaky Cauldron from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, or a stroll down Diagon Alley? Leadenhall Market in the City of London was used as Diagon Alley in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, whilst the entrance to wizard’s pub, the Leaky Cauldron, is in real life an optician in Bull’s Head Passage.
Visit one of the oldest stars of the Harry Potter films with a trip to Gloucester Cathedral. Its beautiful cloisters, complete with awe inspiring fan vaulted ceilings, lead to the Gryffindor Common Room, and have also been stormed through by a troll and graced by the fat lady.
Climb aboard the North Yorkshire Moors Railway where you can enjoy a ride through picturesque countryside before pulling into Goathland Station, which doubled as Hogsmeade station in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone.
The Hogwarts Express departs from Platform 9¾ at King’s Cross Station, which is in the arched wall between platforms 4 and 5. If that seems short on magic, head towards the real-life entrance to platforms 9, 10 and 11 on the west side of the station where you’ll find a trolley disappearing into the magical realm through a wall with the sign: Platform 9¾.
Wander around the cloisters and quadrangles of Christ Church College where many of the Hogwarts scenes in the first movie were filmed. Book a college room at Christ Church and enjoy breakfast in The Great Hall, which was replicated in the film studios to create the grand Hogwarts Hall. Don’t forget to take a photo on the 16th-century staircase, where Harry and the new first-years are greeted by Professor McGonagall.