What University Was Harry Potter Filmed At

The magical world of Harry Potter captured the hearts of millions of fans worldwide. The film series, based on J.K. Rowling’s beloved novels, brought the enchanting Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry to life. Throughout the movies, viewers were treated to breathtaking scenery and awe-inspiring architecture. One question that often arises among Harry Potter enthusiasts is: “What university was Harry Potter filmed at?” In this article, we will explore the iconic university locations where the magical journey of Harry Potter was brought to the big screen.

1. University of Oxford

The Infamous Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry

The majority of the Harry Potter films used the stunning architecture of the University of Oxford to represent Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. The university’s historic buildings served as the perfect backdrop for the grandiose and magical school.

  • The Bodleian Library: The Duke Humfrey’s Library in the Bodleian Library was used as the Hogwarts library in several scenes, including the restricted section where Harry, Ron, and Hermione conducted their research.
  • Christ Church College: The Great Hall at Hogwarts was meticulously recreated at Christ Church College’s dining hall. The iconic scenes of students enjoying their meals and various celebrations were filmed in this magnificent setting.
  • Divinity School: This 15th-century building was featured as the hospital wing at Hogwarts, where Madam Pomfrey tended to injured students and staff.
  • New College: The cloisters of New College provided the enchanted setting for many memorable scenes, including Professor McGonagall’s Transfiguration classes.

2. Durham University

The Philosopher’s Stone (Sorcerer’s Stone) Corridor

For the first installment of the film series, “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone” (released as “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” in the USA), the cloisters of Durham Cathedral were used to depict some of the iconic Hogwarts corridors. The cathedral’s striking architecture added an extra layer of authenticity to the magical atmosphere of the movie.

  • Durham Cathedral: The cloisters of Durham Cathedral were featured in various scenes, such as when Harry first arrives at Hogwarts and navigates through the corridors.

3. University of Cambridge

The Yule Ball

In “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire,” one of the most memorable events is the Yule Ball. The grand dance was filmed at the University of Cambridge, which provided an elegant and sophisticated setting for the magical evening.

  • The Great Hall of Christ’s College: The opulent dining hall of Christ’s College was transformed into the Yule Ball venue, where Harry, Ron, and Hermione attended the festive event.

4. Alnwick Castle

Flying Lessons and Quidditch Practice

Alnwick Castle, a medieval fortress located in Northumberland, was the perfect location for filming some of the action-packed outdoor scenes.

  • Flying Lessons: The scene where Madame Hooch teaches the first-year students to fly on broomsticks was filmed on the grounds of Alnwick Castle, providing a picturesque backdrop for Harry’s first flying experience.
  • Quidditch Practice: The castle’s expansive lawn was also used for Quidditch practice scenes in various films.

5. Lacock Abbey

The Magical Classrooms and Corridors

Lacock Abbey, a picturesque English abbey dating back to the 13th century, served as the backdrop for various indoor scenes in the Harry Potter films.

  • Classrooms: Several classrooms within Hogwarts, including the iconic potions classroom, were filmed at Lacock Abbey. The abbey’s medieval architecture added a sense of mystery and history to these magical learning spaces.
  • Corridors: The abbey’s cloisters and corridors were used extensively to depict the various passages and walkways of Hogwarts.
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6. Gloucester Cathedral

The Chamber of Secrets and the Gryffindor Common Room

Gloucester Cathedral, with its Gothic architecture and stunning stained glass windows, provided a mystical setting for some significant moments in the Harry Potter series.

  • The Chamber of Secrets: The cathedral’s cloisters were used to film scenes involving the Chamber of Secrets, where Harry encounters the monstrous basilisk in “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.”
  • Gryffindor Common Room: Portions of Gryffindor’s common room, including the fireplace, were filmed at the cathedral, adding to the warmth and comfort of the Gryffindor student hangout.

7. Goathland Station

Hogsmeade Station

The magical village of Hogsmeade needed an equally charming station, and Goathland Station in North Yorkshire fit the bill perfectly.

  • Hogsmeade Station: Goathland Station became the iconic Hogsmeade Station, where the Hogwarts Express arrives and departs, carrying students to and from Hogwarts.

8. Warner Bros. Studios, Leavesden

Diagon Alley and Hogwarts Interiors

While several real-world locations were used to film outdoor scenes, many of the intricate and magical indoor sets were created at Warner Bros. Studios in Leavesden, Hertfordshire.

  • Diagon Alley: The bustling and enchanting shopping district for wizards and witches, Diagon Alley, was brought to life in the studios. The elaborate set allowed for the creation of the various shops and storefronts that fans fell in love with.
  • Hogwarts Interiors: While the exterior shots of Hogwarts were filmed at real-world locations, many of the interior scenes were created on soundstages at Warner Bros. Studios. This allowed for the stunning recreation of the Gryffindor common room, the Defense Against the Dark Arts classroom, and other key locations within the school.

9. Freshwater West Beach

The Shell Cottage

In “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1,” the Shell Cottage, the home of Bill Weasley and Fleur Delacour, played a significant role in the movie. The stunning coastal scenery of Freshwater West Beach in Wales provided the perfect location for this important setting.

  • Shell Cottage: The picturesque beach and rugged cliffs of Freshwater West Beach were used to create the exterior shots of the Shell Cottage. This idyllic location served as a safe haven for Harry, Ron, and Hermione during their quest to defeat Voldemort.

10. Glenfinnan Viaduct

The Hogwarts Express Route

The Hogwarts Express journey to Hogwarts School is one of the most iconic moments in the Harry Potter films. The scenic Glenfinnan Viaduct in Scotland became the breathtaking backdrop for the train’s magical route.

  • Hogwarts Express Route: The Glenfinnan Viaduct, with its stunning arched design and panoramic views of the Scottish Highlands, provided a sense of wonder and excitement as the Hogwarts Express transported young witches and wizards to the start of a new school year.
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11. Black Park

Forbidden Forest and Godric’s Hollow

Black Park, located near Pinewood Studios, served as the filming location for two essential places in the wizarding world.

  • Forbidden Forest: The mysterious and dangerous Forbidden Forest on the Hogwarts grounds was brought to life at Black Park. This dense woodland was the setting for various encounters with magical creatures and pivotal plot moments.
  • Godric’s Hollow: The historic village where Harry’s parents lived and where the tragic event that marked him as the “Boy Who Lived” occurred was recreated in Black Park. The village provided a haunting and poignant atmosphere for these crucial scenes.

12. King’s Cross Station

Platform 9¾

No Harry Potter journey would be complete without the magical Platform 9¾ at King’s Cross Station in London.

  • Platform 9¾: King’s Cross Station served as the starting point for many adventures, as students boarded the Hogwarts Express by passing through the barrier between platforms 9 and 10. The famous trolley disappearing into the wall has become an iconic image for fans worldwide.

13. Pinewood Studios

The Magical Studio Sets

While many real-world locations were used to film outdoor scenes, the heart of the Harry Potter film production resided within the walls of Pinewood Studios in Buckinghamshire, England.

  • Indoor Sets: Pinewood Studios housed numerous indoor sets, including the interiors of Hogwarts, the Ministry of Magic, Gringotts Wizarding Bank, and other essential locations. The studio’s soundstages provided the filmmakers with the freedom to craft the intricate and magical details of these iconic places.

14. Leadenhall Market

The Entrance to Diagon Alley

The enchanting entrance to Diagon Alley, the magical shopping district in London, was brought to life at Leadenhall Market.

  • Diagon Alley Entrance: Leadenhall Market’s charming Victorian architecture and covered walkways provided the perfect location for the entrance to Diagon Alley. This iconic gateway marks the start of Harry’s journey into the world of wizardry.

15. Malham Cove

The Horcrux Cave

In “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince,” one of the darkest and most critical scenes took place in the Horcrux cave. The eerie and otherworldly Malham Cove in North Yorkshire set the stage for this haunting sequence.

  • Horcrux Cave: Malham Cove’s natural limestone formations and cave-like features were used to create the chilling atmosphere of the Horcrux cave. The cave played a pivotal role in the quest to destroy Voldemort’s Horcruxes.

16. Millennium Bridge

The Bridge Destroyed by Death Eaters

In “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince,” Death Eaters launch an attack on London, and the iconic Millennium Bridge becomes a casualty of their destructive magic.

  • Millennium Bridge: The real Millennium Bridge, a pedestrian suspension bridge crossing the River Thames in London, was used for the dramatic and thrilling scene where the bridge is damaged and collapses under the weight of Death Eaters’ assault.

17. Glen Nevis

The Quidditch World Cup Campsite

The thrilling Quidditch World Cup, a magical sporting event, was brought to life in “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.” The beautiful Glen Nevis valley in Scotland served as the location for the Quidditch World Cup campsite.

  • Quidditch World Cup Campsite: Glen Nevis provided a breathtaking backdrop for the magical tent city that housed wizards and witches from around the world who came to witness the exciting sporting event.
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18. Pembrokeshire Coast National Park

Dobby’s Shell Cottage Beach

In “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1,” Dobby’s Shell Cottage played a significant role in the movie. The beautiful Pembrokeshire Coast National Park in Wales was chosen as the stunning backdrop for this emotional location.

  • Shell Cottage Beach: The serene and picturesque beach within Pembrokeshire Coast National Park served as the setting for Dobby’s final resting place. This poignant scene is a powerful moment of loss and remembrance for fans.

19. Virginia Water

The Black Lake at Hogwarts

The Black Lake, a prominent feature on the Hogwarts grounds, was brought to life at Virginia Water in Surrey, England.

  • The Black Lake: Virginia Water’s tranquil lake and surrounding wooded area were used to film scenes featuring the Black Lake, such as the Triwizard Tournament’s second task in “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.”

20. Australia House

Gringotts Wizarding Bank

The magnificent interior of Australia House in London was used to create the opulent setting of Gringotts Wizarding Bank.

  • Gringotts Wizarding Bank: The grand marble hall of Australia House provided the perfect backdrop for the impressive and imposing interior of Gringotts, where Harry, Ron, and Hermione undertook their daring heist in “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2.”

21. Lacock Village

Godric’s Hollow Village

In addition to Lacock Abbey, the picturesque village of Lacock itself was used as the filming location for Godric’s Hollow.

  • Godric’s Hollow Village: The historic cottages and cobblestone streets of Lacock Village served as the charming and magical village where Harry’s parents lived and were tragically killed.


The magical journey of Harry Potter wouldn’t have been as captivating and immersive without the breathtaking real-world locations used for filming. From scenic landscapes and historic buildings to bustling city streets, each location brought a unique charm and authenticity to the wizarding world.

Through the ingenious combination of real-world settings, studio sets, and masterful storytelling, the Harry Potter film series became a beloved and timeless classic. These iconic filming locations have left an indelible mark on the hearts of fans, transporting them to a world of enchantment, friendship, and bravery.

As fans continue to revisit the films and immerse themselves in the magic of Harry Potter, these real-world locations will forever be cherished and celebrated as an integral part of the beloved saga that has touched the lives of millions around the globe. The legacy of the Harry Potter films will continue to inspire generations of fans, thanks in no small part to the enchanting beauty of these real-world places brought to life on the big screen.

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