12 places that every Harry Potter fan needs to visit

All the dreamy locations where the films were shot

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Chilling out on a beach with a lilo and your armbands on is all very well and good, but we have a WAY better idea of how to spend your holidays if you're a Harry Potter fan.

Did you know that it's possible to visit loads of the locations that were used as the magical settings in all of the movies? Hogwarts, Shell Cottage, Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley are all actual, real places that you can take a trip to, and we're so excited about it that we might spontaneously combust into a Pygmy Puff.

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Here's 12 spots that were all made famous by the wizarding world that you can head to this summer – even if you don't have any Floo powder handy.

1. Platform 9 3/4

Kings Cross St Pancras Station, London

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Alright, so a train station might not exactly seem like the most glamorous spot to plan your holidays around, but next time you take a trip to London you need to head to Kings Cross, where there's an actual trolley heading to Platform 9 3/4, and an awesome Harry Potter shop full of magical goodies to check out. The stars of the films sometimes pop by to say hello too, which is a pretty magical bonus.

2. Hogwarts castle grounds

Alnwick Castle, Northumberland

This awesome historic castle was used as the magical setting for the Hogwarts grounds a few times in the movies - including Harry's first flying lesson, and the big crash landing of the Ford Anglia. It's a little pricey on entry, but you could spend a whole day exploring this place, and there's special tribute events to the Harry Potter films sometimes too.

3. Hagrid's hut

Glencoe, Scotland

Glencoe is the location of Hagrid's hut on the slopes of Ben Nevis, and was also the primary location for the gorgeous outdoor shots in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of AzkabanYou can actually stay near Loch Torren, and walk to see across the lake right where it was filmed.

4. Hogwarts Express bridge

Glenfinnan Viaduct, Lochaber, Scotland

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If you fancy a hike then you could head to Scotland to check out this incredible bridge, which is visible in three of the Harry Potter films as the Hogwarts Express makes its journey up to the school. Just keep some chocolate in your pocket in case of any rogue dementor incidents.

5. Hogwarts corridors

Durham Cathedral, County Durham

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Yup, Hogwarts was actually filmed in more than ONE old location (agh life is a lie), and Durham Cathedral is featured in Philosopher's Stone when Harry's with Hedwig, and in Chamber of Secrets when he, Ron and Hermione are in Transfiguration. AND it's free to get into, which means you can save your galleons for a good souvenir.

6. Shell Cottage 

Freshwater West, West Wales

Do you want the good news or the bad news? The bad news is that Shell Cottage is no longer standing at Freshwater West, but the good news is that Bill and Fleur's home is just as beautiful in real life as it looks on the big screen. Just make sure you pay your respects to the late Dobby, who was buried in the sandy hills.

7. Hogsmeade Train Station

Goathland Railway Station, North Yorkshire

Remember in the first film when Harry, Ron and Hermione all say their summer goodbyes to Hogwarts and Hagrid at Hogsmeade train station? It's super cute and quaint, and you can visit it for free next time you pop to North Yorkshire. 

8. Hogwarts hospital wing

Bodleian Library Divinity School, Oxford

The ornate building at Oxford featured in the early Harry Potter movies as the hospital wing, where Madame Pomfrey and her Skelegrow work their magic, while Basilisk victims recover and Dobby pops up to say hi. Other parts of the library were also used as the Hogwarts library, so it's a very magical place.

9. Hogwarts classrooms

Lacock Abbey, Wiltshire

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The Hogwarts corridors, the Mirror of Erised and Snape's potions classroom were all shot in the National Trust property in Wiltshire, making it one of the most recognisable Harry Potter locations of all. 

10. Diagon Alley

Leadenhall Market, London

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In Philosopher's Stone, Leadenhall Market was used for filming the exterior of the wizarding shopps where Harry buys his robes, wand, books and owl for first year at Hogwarts. IRL, The Leaky Cauldron is actually an opticians (soz to ruin the magic), but the rest of the Victorian market itself is beautiful and worth checking out.

10. Harry and Hermione's camping spot

Malham Cove, Yorkshire Dales

After Ron abandons Harry and Hermione on their quest to find the Horcruxes, they head to this spot to set up camp for a little while. You probably won't spot anything wizard-related thanks to all the protection spells they used around the tent, but there's still some pretty awesome views to take in instead.

11. Dumbledore's resting place

Eilean na Moine, Loch Eilt, Scotland

As the greatest wizard who ever lived, it was only right that Dumbledore's final resting place was something pretty special. His island grave on the Hogwarts lake was actually situated on Loch Eilt in Scotland in reality, and even though it was broken into by Voldemort on his quest to win the Elder Wand in Deathly Hallows Part 1, it's looking amazingly peaceful these days.

12. Malfoy Manor

Hardwick Hall, Derbyshire

We're taken to Malfoy Manor in Deathly Hallows Part 1, after Harry and co. are caught by snatchers and handed over to the Malfoys to be left at the mercy of Bellatrix Lestrange. It's an impressively grand location which will make you want to summon the Dark Mark and have dinner with Voldy. Maybe. 

Dreaming of a Harry Potter holiday now? Which of these spots would you love to go to? Let us know with a tweet to @Sugarscape, and then check out the bonus vid below, ya big muggle.

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