Location: Harrow School
Platform 9 3/4
Location: Kings Cross Station...That handy train line will then whisk you straight to Kings Cross, the bustling terminus at which Harry, Hermione, Ron and friends board the Hogwarts' Express. Obviously, Platform 9 3/4 doesn't really exist (sorry kids) but there is a bronze plaque marking the spot where it would stand, and a luggage cart halfway through the wall that's ideal for photo ops. In a parallel world, Harry and co. would have boarded the train just down the road, at the station J.K. Rowling was visualising when she wrote the book ("I was actually thinking of Euston," she told the BBC, "so anyone who's been to the real platforms 9 and 10 in King's Cross will realise they don't bear a great resemblance to the platforms in the book"). The exteriors are different too - Harry and Ron's Ford Anglia ride began next door outside the much more scenic St. Pancras. If they'd boarded the train there, they'd have ended up in Paris.
Reptile HouseLocation: London Zoo
aLike Withnail And I's Withnail - who in another parallel, spent his schooldays at Harrow School - Harry takes a trip to London Zoo in The Philosopher's Stone, although there's a lot less soliloquising to the timber wolves. The scene was filmed in the Reptile House, and you'll find another plaque marking the spot. A 20 minute stroll across Regent's Park will get you there. The Burmese python (Python molurus bivittatus), with whom Harry has his close encounter, was shot in a glass case that's normally home to a black mamba (Snakus poisonous holy-shittus). The two aren't difficult to tell apart: the mamba is much more poisonous and much less talkative.
Location: Piccadilly Circus/Shaftesbury AveThe cafe where Harry, Hermione and Ron's have their fraught late-night cuppa is buried somewhere on a Leavesden soundstage, but even if it did exist we can't recommend going there - it's crawling with Death Eaters and the service is terrible. It's a simple business to follow in their Deathly Hallows footsteps, though. Just take the tube to Piccadilly Circus, pick the exit marked 'Shaftesbury Avenue' and head that way. If you're travelling by Apparate spell, aim for the Gap outlet.
Ministry Of Magic
Location: Great Scotland Yard, Scotland PlaceAs Rufus Scrimgeour (Bill Nighy) intones at the beginning of The Deathly Hallows, it's a time of murder, disappearances and raids, so it's fitting that the Ministry of Magic's exterior shots were filmed at Great Scotland Yard where such things are all in a day's work. It's an easy trip across the West End, if your flying car is in for a service, follow in the footsteps of Arthur Weasley and take the tube to shiny Westminster Tube Station. From there, it's a short mosey along Whitehall to Scotland Place. Sadly, you won't find the red phonebox that Harry and Mr Weasley use to enter the Ministry in The Order Of The Phoenix, but, as you'll discover in The Deathly Hallows, there's a new route in anyway.
Gringotts Wizarding Bank
Location: Australia House, StrandIt's to the home of London's head Aussie, the Australian High Commissioner, rather than Diagon Alley, that we go next to find Gringotts Bank. The interior shots of the Bank were shot in this grandiose corner of the Strand. We'd like to say that you'll find goblins galore here, but any attempts to exchange the contents of your wallet for wizarding money will probably be meet with polite requests to "rack off". You can, however, request a visa to visit Australia. The Exhibition Room, used for Harry's personal banking scenes, is closed to the public, but the building is well worth a visit anyway. It was built during the First World War, donchaknow, with marble shipped all the way from Australia. Strewthius incrediblus.
Location: St. PaulsIt took a really long time to stop the Millennium footbridge wobbling, and what do the Death Eaters do but turn up and knock it down. Boo! Happily, it's standing again now and you can walk across it without (much) fear of a watery death plunge a la Half-Blood Prince. From the bridge you can just spy the Gothic spires of the Houses of Parliament, past which Harry and his fellow members of Dumbledore's army whizz on broomsticks in The Order Of The Phoenix. Lambeth Bridge, across which the Knight Bus squeezes in The Prisoner Of Azkaban, is only a bend in the river away upstream.
Location: Borough MarketThat hair-rising Knight Bus ride ends up at the secret entrance of Diagon Alley, known more commonly as gastro-paradise Borough Market and the perfect spot for lunch on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. You're more likely to pick up a skinny latte than a foaming tankard of butterbeer, but a pumpkin pastie is not out of the question. Harry's Knight Bus screams to halt here, via Palmers Green, Lambeth and that inconveniently parked car, to drop him at The Leaky Cauldron. Along with Leadenhall Market, Great Newport St and Smithfields (which are, confusingly, not even slightly close together), Borough is one of the labyrinthine surrogates for Diagon Alley, although the most magical thing you can buy here is a piece of Roquefort, a single sniff of which will reduce a grown adult to tears.
The Leaky Cauldron, Diagon Alley
Location: Leadenhall MarketJust across London Bridge you'll find Leadenhall Market, an ornate Victorian emporium of all things fruit, veg and meat. It's a second home to Diagon Alley, with exterior shots of the market appearing in The Philosopher's Stone. Hagrid and Harry enter the fantastical thoroughfare via Glass House Opticians, which you can still find at 42 Bull's Head Passage. You can even buy a broomstick at Leadenhall, although it probably won't be a Nimbus 2000. From Leadenhall, Potter completists will want to head up to Lincoln's Inn Fields to find the home of Sirius Black, 12 Grimauld Place, which is not as unplottable as all that.
The Forbidden Forest
Location: Black Park, IverThe Dark Forest is nearly as scary in real life. Black Park, a 530-acre reserve a short amble from Pinewood Studios, was used for The Wolfman, Sleepy Hollow and Eden Lake, as well as Hogwart's sinister, out-of-bounds woodland. It's basically crawling in movie beasties and probably has some Na'vi in there if you venture far enough inside. The park was used in the first four Potter films, and was home to Hagrid's hut and the spot where Harry tamed the Hippogriff. Disappointingly, there are no Hippogriffs to be found there, or Thestrals, Bowtruckles or Grawps for that matter, although you may stumble across a hedgehog or two.
Hogwarts Great Hall
Location: Christ Church College, OxfordOxford stood in for Hogwarts's gothic halls and stairways, giving Rupert Grint and co. the chance to squeeze in a little punting, the odd Radiohead gig and a pint of two of foaming non-alcholic ale between takes (all that Dark Art-battling beneath the dreaming spires is thirsty work). Christ Church was used for many of Hogwarts' interiors and stairways, while its ancient dining hall was recreated at Leavesden as Hogwarts' Great Hall. If you're looking for the spot where Malfoy was turned into a ferret, that's down the road at New College.
Location: Bodleian Library, OxfordJust a short cobbled stroll away across Radcliffe Square is Oxford University's ancient book depository, the Bodleian, which you'll recognise as the place where Harry and co. get down to the serious business of swotting for their N.E.W.T.s., Hogwarts Library. Next door is the Divinity School, a medieval edifice that doubled up as Hogwarts' sanatorium in the first four movies. Its Gothic ceiling boasts enough beasts and creatures to make even Hagrid leap from his skin. It's open to the public all year round. Dress code: Scholars' gowns rather than invisibility cloaks. Sub fusc optional.
Location: Lacock Abbey, WiltshireOften used for telly costume dramas, the Abbey at Lacock, just down the road from Malfoy Manor in Wiltshire, appeared in The Philosopher's Stone and The Half-Blood Prince. Not only are Quirinus Quirrel's classroom and Severus Snape's laboratory found here, but the cloisters - dating all the way back to 1232 - were stalked by Argus Filch and his scrawny cat, Mrs. Norris. The neighbouring village of Lacock was the inspiration for Godric's Hollow and was used for filming The Half-Blood Prince, although for The Deathly Hallows production shifted to Lavenham in Suffolk (presumably it was easier for Nagini to get to).
Hogwarts School Corridors
Location: Gloucester CathedralFilming at Scotland's most magical seat of learning, Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, involved some sleight-of-hand of its own. Eight different locations were used, of which Gloucester Cathedral, built in Norman times, was a suitably ornate setting for Hogwarts' cloisters and the Gryffindor dormitory scenes. Warner Bros.' crews last filmed there at the end of 2008, and fans still descend to try to sneak a glimpse of Moaning Myrtle. "Suddenly you'll get an influx people in cloaks," says Barbara Lloyd, the Cathedral's Operations and Marketing Manager tells Empire. "Children will bring their families to see it. It's been great news for the Cathedral."
Location: Goathland Station, North YorkshireThe Hogwart's Express finishes its journey not in Scotland but North Yorkshire. "I'm reasonably up to speed on Harry Potter now," says John Bruce, Station Master of Goathland, the real Hogsmeade Station, which can be found near Whitby. "People do recognise the station. We get quite a lot of visitors, many of them are French or Japanese youngsters." Steam trains run through Goathland every day during the summer. Despite leaving from the same terminus, getting there is a trickier business than Harry's journey to Hogsmeade, explains Bruce: "You have to go from Kings Cross to Darlington, Middlesbrough and then down Whitby line, with one change."
Hogwarts School - Mrs. McGonagall's Office
Location: Durham CathedralNext stop is Minerva McGonagall's (Maggie Smith) classroom, located in the depths of Durham Cathedral's Chapter House. Dating back to Norman times, the cathedral was a suitably ancient surrogate for Harry's 9th century secondary school, with cast, crew, owls and baboons descending on it for The Philosopher's Stone and The Chamber Of Secrets. The Chapter House itself isn't open to the public, so unless you can Animagus yourself in, the Cathedral cloisters are the next best thing. It was here that Harry took Hedwig the owl for a spin.
Hogwarts School - Broomstick Flying And Quidditch ScenesLocation: Alnwick Castle
This stone edifice has been home to Earls and Dukes of Northumberland since the 1300s, and home to Quidditch since the first Golden Snitch was released in The Philosopher's Stone. Alnwick (it's pronounced "Annick", if you're asking for directions) is the second biggest inhabited castle in England, and even has its own ghost. The castle makes a suitably grand backdrop for all that wizzing around on broomsticks and was extensively used during the first two films in particular. It's open to Muggles between April and October. Flying cars discouraged.
That Long Bridge Thing In The Chamber Of Secrets
Location: Glenfinnan ViaductThe magnificent Glenfinnan Viaduct, 20 miles west of Fort William on the edge of Loch Shiel, is the suitably towering edifice upon which the Hogwarts Express wends its magical way north. At 1000 feet across and 100 feet up, the local train that still crosses it is not for the faint of heart, but is still totally preferable to tearing past, clinging to the door of a Ford Anglia. The viaduct also appeared in Monarch of the Glen, which gives us an idea for a screen face-off we'd pay quite a lot to see: Voldemort versus Richard Briers.
4 Privet Drive, Little Whinging
Location: Picket Post Close, BerkshireBerkshire, not Surrey, is the home of the cumudgeonly Dursleys and their appalling son Dudley. The worst place in Muggledom is actually named after a small town in Gloucestershire that J.K. Rowling visited as a child, and while there's no record of her being locked in a cupboard under the stairs, she obviously didn't enjoy it that much. The Dursley family home, complete with the under-the-stairs cupboard once occupied by Harry Potter (we like to think), can be found near Bracknell - although the interior scenes were, in reality, shot on a soundstage at Leavesden Studios.