London and Harry Potter go hand in hand, and while the city is home to numerous film shooting locations, it’s Oxford, England that really radiates Hogwarts’ feels. Located almost 60 miles from London, Oxford is home to several Harry Potter scenes at Oxford’s colleges. While strolling through the Gothic and primitive architecture, you feel as if you might encounter Ron, Hermione, or Harry himself. Following are six of the most iconic Harry Potter filming sites in Oxford for your next Hogwarts tour.
Christ Church Staircase
Taking us back to the early Harry Potter movies, this eminent staircase was used in several scenes of “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” and also “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.” The top of the staircase is the place where Harry, Hermione, Ron, and others are seen walking to meet Professor McGonagall in “Sorcerer’s Stone.” In the second movie, after missing the Hogwarts Express train Harry and Ron are forced to reach Hogwarts in Weasley’s car, the duo ascends these steps only to find Hogwarts’ cranky warden; Argus Filch. The staircase is featured in a flashback scene where Tom Riddle is shown talking with Dumbledore in “Chamber of Secrets.” Christ Church is a religious institution and a working school, so you have to buy a ticket if you aren’t a student.
Christ Church Cloisters
Christ Church was initially established as a monastery in the eighth century. Abbeys were common in monasteries, as they provided a covered walkway for monks to stroll uninterrupted. The cloisters at Christ Church are outstanding, with Gothic architecture and sophisticated design. These cloisters are shown in “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” as the hallway of Hogwarts where Harry sees the award his father won as a hunter in Quidditch; the favorite game of the wizarding world. It’s the same place where Hermione enlightens Harry that he’s innately a seeker. You can walk around these cloisters with a ticket to Christ Church.
Christ Church Dining Hall
Although no film shooting actually happened here, Christ Church’s dining hall was the main inspiration behind Hogwarts’ Great Hall. Photographs of this hall were used to build the set for the Great Hall, and you can easily find the resemblances. High ceilings, extended dining tables with the main table up front, and elegant windows all give a Great Hall feel. The only thing missing is floating candles, an entranced ceiling, and a row of mystic professors. You will need a ticket to Christ Church if you want to see the dining hall.
New College Cloisters, Courtyard, and Tree
In “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire,” the corridors and courtyard located in New College are seen as Harry runs through a crowd of his fellows who are deriding him by wearing “Potter Stinks” badges. In the courtyard at New College, Harry is seen telling Cedric Diggory that the first task they’ll take on in the Triwizard Tournament is dragons. Also, there is a tree in the courtyard where Malfoy scoffs Harry, which prods Professor Moody to turn Malfoy into a ferret. You can take self-guided trips to New College by paying for an entrance ticket.
Bodleian Library, Divinity School
The Divinity School was extensively used for several scenes in the first four Harry Potter titles. In the first movie, the Divinity School was used as Hogwarts’ sanatorium, where Harry goes for recovery after his first altercation with Voldemort. The site was also used in “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban” when Harry and Hermione team up to save Sirius Black and Buckbeak the hippogriff, using the time turner. Also, the school was again used in the “Goblet of Fire” where Professor McGonagall instructs Ron how to dance for the ball. You can pre-book a tour to visit the Divinity School.
Bodleian Library, Duke Humfrey’s Library
With countless shelves of outmoded books and documents, the Duke Humfrey’s Library worked as the perfect filming location for a scene in “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.” When Harry goes into looking for answers in the prohibited section of Hogwarts’ library, he uses his invisibility cloak to meander throughout the piles unnoticed, only to be petrified when Hogwarts’ concierge Argus Filch hears him plunging around. Want to visit the library? You can do that by buying a ticket.
The Harry Potter movies were filmed in the United Kingdom and Ireland. Many real-world locations were used for scenes in the movies, however, you can watch Harry Potter movies in order, if you have missed seeing those spectacular places.
If you are a die-hard Harry Potter fan and want to time-travel back in the Hogwarts days, wear a cloak and grab tickets to visit all these spectacular places and roam around the places where the famous Hogwarts alumni used to exhibit their enchanting powers.