Harry Potter fever is about to strike the Muggle world once again with the release of the 6th film in the series – Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. Skyscanner presents the ultimate Harry Potter tour, where fans of wizards, witches and wands can explore the Potter universe and visit all the places associated with the Potter films and books.
So if you’re a real Harry Potter fan, jump on your broomstick, start your flying car or just grab your floo powder and visit these famous Potter landmarks. Or if your wand is broken and your wizarding skills just aren’t up to par, you can always find a cheap flight on Skyscanner with the rest of us Muggles.
1. London Kings Cross Station
Potter World: the famed Platform 9 ¾ is where Harry and his wizarding pals hop aboard the steaming Hogwarts Express at the start of each term on their way to their magical school.
Muggle World: the actual platform used for the filming was Platform 4, but Network Rail have erected a Platform 9 ¾ sign and a luggage trolley magically disappearing into the wall to honour the story, which has made Kings Cross station a must see for fans on the Potter circuit. Find cheap flights to London.
2. Goathland, North Yorkshire
Potter World: Hogsmeade Station is the place where Harry and friends disembark the Hogwarts Express before making the onward journey to Hogwarts School.
Muggle World: Goathland station is a real station in North Yorkshire that was used as the film set for Hogsmeade and Potter fans still flock to get their pictures taken at this now famous landmark. Unfortunately you won’t see Hogwarts in the distance as in the films – it was created using special effects. Find cheap flights to Leeds-Bradford
Potter World: the grounds outside Hogwarts where Harry and his classmates have their first ever broomstick flying lesson.
Muggle World: the second largest inhabited castle in England after Windsor Castle, it was used in the filming of the exterior of Hogwarts for the flying lesson scene as well as when Harry crash lands the flying car. Several other locations were also used to film parts of Hogwarts including: Christ Church, Oxford, Durham Cathedral, Gloucester Cathedral and Lacock Abbey, Wiltshire. Find cheap flights to Newcastle
4. London Zoo
Potter World: the place where Harry realises he is a Parselmouth – i.e. fluent in snake speak – during Harry Potter & The Philosopher’s Stone.
Muggle World: the reptile house in London Zoo was used to film this slithery scene. Why not see if you can discuss the latest in reptilian fashion with a boa constrictor too? Find cheap flights to London
Potter World: though never specifically mentioned in the books, JK Rowling has remarked in interviews that Scotland was the logical setting for Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, the place where the vast majority of Harry and co’s adventures take place.
Muggle World: Scotland is well known for its castles, mansions and noble houses, all of which may have provided Rowling with inspiration for Hogwarts. Glen Nevis was used for some of the Quidditch scenes, and the West Highland Railway was used to film the journey of the Hogwarts Express which also takes in the incredible Glenfinnan Viaduct. Find cheap flights to Scotland
Potter World: Bulgaria is home to Durmstrang Institute’s wizarding student and international Quidditch champion, Viktor Krum.
Muggle World: Bulgaria’s White Brotherhood – a group who believe in supernatural beings of great power, collect in the Seven Lakes region of the Rila Mountains to perform a spiritual dance every year. Here, over a thousand people dressed in white robes move slowly around in huge concentric circles. The spectacle is so impressive that Michael Palin visited the area and filmed it for his BBC documentary series, New Europe. Find cheap flights to Bulgaria
Potter World: the Emerald Isle is home to many magical creatures in the Potter Universe including Imps, (small mischievous creatures), Porlocks, (horse guardians from southern Ireland) and Kelpies (water demons). Ireland is also well known in the wizarding world for being the proud winners of the 1994 Quidditch World Cup.
Muggle World: catch a hurling match, which is about as close as a Muggle can get to the sport of Quidditch. A hugely popular sport in Ireland, most towns have a hurling field and team. Find cheap flights to Ireland
Potter World: home to the “Welsh Green” dragon, this species prefers to nest in high mountain regions. It mainly hunts sheep and small mammals but tends to avoid human contact.
Muggle World: climb Wales’ highest and most famous mountain, Snowdon. A typical climbing party takes around 5-6 hours to reach the summit and come down again, and if you keep your eyes peeled, you may just catch a glance of a Welsh Green. Pembrokeshire in Wales is also the film location for Shell Cottage, home of married couple Bill Weasley and Fleur Delacour which will feature in Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows film. Find cheap flights to Wales
Potter World: home to the native Norwegian Ridgeback dragon which inhabits the northern mountains, this beast has venomous fangs and feeds on large animals and sometimes aquatic mammals. Hagrid succeeds in hatching a Norwegian Ridgeback egg but eventually gives it to Charlie Weasley who takes the dragon to the Romanian Dragon Sanctuary.
Muggle World: Norway’s mountains and fjords are a paradise for wildlife; we don’t know about dragons, but trolls are a strong part of Norse mythology, said to be devious and fearsome creatures living underground in hills, caves or mountains. Find cheap flights to Norway
Potter World: this eastern European country is home to the Romanian Dragon Sanctuary, a preservation area created for the protection and study of dragons. The largest dragon sanctuary in the Potter universe, it was the preferred supplier of dragons for the Triwizard Tournament.
Muggle World: Transylvania in Romania is well known for its spooky, reputedly haunted castles. Ever since Bram Stoker used it as the setting for his Dracula novel, the region has been shrouded in supernatural folklore and associated with vampires, who also form part of the wizarding world in the Potter series. Find cheap flights to Romania
11. Wollongong Australia
Potter World: home to the Woollongong Warriors, one of the strongest Quidditch teams in the Harry Potter Universe and dominators of the Australian Quidditch league, their rivalry with the Thundelarra Thunderers is legendary amongst the Australian magical community as documented in JK’s book: Quidditch Through the Ages.
Muggle World: Woollongong is an obvious reference to very similar sounding Wollongong, a city in New South Wales, Australia, noted for its numerous surfing beaches, scenery and botanic gardens, so no doubt an ideal place for wizards to obtain essential ingredients for their potions. Find cheap flights to Australia
12. Orlando Florida
The Harry Potter Wizarding World Theme Park will offer possibly the most Harry Potter-esque experience possible in the Muggle world. Due to open in 2010, the park promises to ‘immerse fans in the adventures of the world’s most popular wizard’. Find cheap flights to Orlando
No Harry Potter fan can omit Edinburgh as part of their tour. It was in this fine city (which is also home of Skyscanner) that JK Rowling completed the first book in her series – Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone – reputedly doing much of the writing in cafes around the city. To the dismay of Potter fans, one of her favourite spots, Nicolson’s Café, has since turned into an all-you-can eat Chinese restaurant. However, another one of JK’s haunts, The Elephant House still stands and a coffee with a bagel here is a must for any Potter Fan. Find cheap flights to Edinburgh
Other Venues in the Potter Universe
Numerous other buildings were used for film locations including Bodleian Library, Oxford (Hogwarts interiors), Australia House, The Strand London (Gringott’s Bank), Martins Heron, Berkshire (Privet Drive) and Leadenhall Market, London (Diagon Alley).
For more on the Harry Potter World visit: The Harry Potter Wiki
To find flights to more Muggle locations visit: Skyscanner