Harry Potter Theme Park in the UK: A Great Spellbinding Experience

Harry Potter Theme Park

Updated On: April 12, 2024 by   Aya RadwanAya Radwan

The Boy That Lived“. Those were the words that marked Harry Potter in the wizarding world, even before he realised how famous he was or for what reason. Everyone still remembers this description of helpless baby Harry, who later partakes in Lord Voldemort’s demise.

The books and the films left a significant impact on an entire generation who hungered for more Harry Potter and wished the journey would never end. From filming locations to scattered landmarks and theme parks, Potterheads wanted to relive the saga over and over.

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Harry Potter is a series loved by generations.

To satisfy Harry Potter fans worldwide, entertainment companies have built several Harry Potter-themed parks around the world. The visitors to these parks get to travel down memory lane as they walk the streets of Diagon Alley, search for the wand of their destiny at Olivander’s and even ride the Hogwarts Express.

In this article, we’re finding out whether or not there is a Harry Potter-themed amusement park in the UK. On our journey, we will take you through the best Harry Potter-themed attractions in the country. Scroll down to read through the blog, or click on one of the highlighted sections below to jump ahead!

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The Making of Harry Potter by Warner Brothers Studio Tour London

Is there a Harry Potter Theme Park in England?

As surprising as it might sound, there is not a Harry Potter theme park in England. However, Warner Brothers couldn’t miss the opportunity to capitalise on the massive fanbase in the country. So, instead of a Harry Potter theme park, they created the Warner Brothers Studio Tour London: The Making of Harry Potter. And while the location points to London, the studio is actually in Hertfordshire, north London.

Will the Harry Potter Studio Tour Satisfy Your Love for the Series?

A Harry Potter-decorated bus will pick you up from the hotel and take you to the studio. During this, you can prepare to experience a mesmerising journey behind the scenes of the famous favourite series. When you reach the studios outside London, you are free to wander around the sets and try out the props, including some interesting-looking wigs the actors wore during the making of the Harry Poter movies.

If you want to ride a broomstick, you will get a chance to do it! You will get to pretend to run into Platform 9 ¾ and hop on the Hogwarts Express Train to try and make it to Hogwarts on time. The gloomy Forbidden Forest, where Buckbeak, Hippogriff, and Grawp resided, awaits you.

Because scenes inside Hogwarts Castle were filmed in different locations around the UK, there’s a duplicate model in the Harry Potter studio tour to make the experience more authentic.

A video tour through the Harry Potter Studio Tour in London, England.

Other authentic spots include the shops and stalls that lined Diagon Alley, the ominous Chamber of Secrets, and Hogwarts’ Great Hall, where flashbacks of school feasts and, most notably, the Battle of Hogwarts will surely bring tears to your eyes. Several Hogwarts classrooms are featured on set, where you will see jars, potions, and duplicates of some of the eccentric creatures used in class.

One set we know you’ll be excited to witness in person, or perhaps not, is Professor Umbridge’s pink office from the Ministry of Magic. We know we almost all agreed to loathe her, but her cat obsession was worth admiration. It would explain much about Umbridge’s distorted character; however, that’s another topic for another day.

So, this tour is more of a museum and interactive experience than a Harry Potter theme park. It might sound a bit disappointing at first, but believe us: the tour is definitely worth the trip. It’s a great activity and day outside London if you’re travelling with kids, and we’re confident they’ll enjoy their time as much as you.

If you’re planning on taking the Warner Brothers Studio Tour London: The Making of Harry Potter tour, we advise you to book your tickets in advance. This tour is the most sought-after experience in the UK for Potterheads, and tickets sell out extremely quickly.

Once you’re there, tour guides are available on set to aid you as you experience in the Wizarding World. You can seek their help or knowledge regarding anything Harry Potter-related, or you can choose to roam around at your own pace.

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The famous and magical Platform 9 3/4 and its luggage trolley at King’s Cross Railway Station

What Other Harry Potter-Themed Attractions Can Potterheads Visit in the UK?

The Making of Harry Potter tour that Warner Brothers introduced in the UK isn’t the series’ only related attraction. Harry Potter had a new addition to its story by introducing The Cursed Child, the 8th book of the series, which was transformed into a live-action play.

In addition, there are several filming locations around the country where the cast shot numerous unforgettable scenes. Although the UK doesn’t have a Harry Potter theme park, fans of the series will not find a lack of exciting themed attractions here.

Harry Potter Walking Tour

The Harry Potter Walking Tour is an extra tour offered by the Harry Potter Studio Tours. You can book the additional tour, which will take you on a 2.5-hour guided walk around London to visit different shooting locations featured throughout the films.

This exciting walking tour will take you to the Market Porter Pub, the face of the Leaky Cauldron pub, and the entrance to the Ministry of Magic. You will get to walk on the Millennium Bridge, which is depicted as Brockdale Bridge in the films and later destroyed by death eaters. 

Although having the insights of a professional guide is enjoyable, you can also do your research well and opt for taking the walking tour alone. This allows you to explore the filming locations at your own pace and make any stops you want along the way.

A video on the top 10 places to walk in London

Harry Potter and The Cursed Child Stage Play

After Harry, Ginny, Ron, and Hermione send their youngsters off to their first year at Hogwarts at the end of Deathly Hallows, the story continues with the eighth book in the series, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.

The book was transformed into a stage play by Jack Thorne and earned global acclaim instantly after its first production. In addition to showings taking place at London’s West End theatre, productions of the play are available on Broadway, as well as in Australia, San FranciscoGermany, Canada, and Japan.

The play takes audiences nineteen years after Deathly Hallows, when the sorting hat places Albus Severus, Harry’s son, in Slytherin House. Here, he befriends Scorpius Malfoy, Draco Malfoy’s son. The relationship between Albus and Harry faces many struggles as they both feel dissatisfied with each other’s behaviour.

Today, you can still get tickets to Harry Potter and the Cursed Child at the West End Theatre in London, and you can also book your tickets online in advance. The production at West End allows you to see the play over two parts, with a 20-minute interval between each part.

Ride the Jacobite Steam Train: the Hogwarts Train

Although only witches and wizards are allowed to ride the Hogwarts Express in the series, everyone can ride the real train used in the films—the Jacobite Steam Train.

You can enjoy the fascinating views of the Scottish countryside between Fort William and Mallaig while riding on the iconic locomotive. The Glenfinnan Viaduct, which the train crosses during its journey, was featured in the films extensively and is as striking in reality as it is on the silver screen.

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The Jacobite Steam Train, which served as the Hogwarts Express in the films

Harry Potter Filming Locations Potterheads Will Enjoy

A replica will never feel as authentic as the actual location. However, the magical world of Harry Potter wasn’t all created using the wonderous green screen!

Filming locations around the UK are as grandeur as they looked in the films, and paying a visit to these places is an exciting Harry Potter experience and a historical one as well.

The Reptile House at London Zoo

The first encounter between Harry and Magic comes through the hilarious snake cage scene, where Dudley suddenly finds himself trapped inside the glass cage instead of the snake!

Even though the Reptile House at the London Zoo houses more than 600 species of reptiles, there’s no Burmese Phyton snake to be found anywhere. Despite this, the house and the historic zoo make for an entertaining and informative visit; it is the oldest of its kind in the world.

A video tour through the London Zoo

Alnwick Castle

In the first Harry Potter film, we witness first-grade students standing in two opposite lines, each with their broomstick lying on the floor to their right as Professor Hooch carefully instructs them. This playful, painful, and challenging scene was shot in the inner courtyard of Alnwick Castle, one of the most remarkable castles in England.

In the same courtyard, Oliver Wood, Gryffindor’s Quidditch Team Captain, filled Harry in about the secrets of Quidditch. Shooting at the castle continued through the second Harry Potter film, The Chamber of Secrets.

Built in the 11th century, Alnwick Castle received several restoration works throughout history; the most current dates back to the 18th century and is attributed to Lancelot Brown. Today, the 12th Duke of Northumberland, Ralph Percy, and his family still reside at the castle; the family bought the property during the 13th century!

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Alnwick Castle‘s courtyard was where Harry Potter first learned to play Quidditch.

Platform 9 ¾

If you’d like to take your turn in pushing your luggage trolley through Platform 9 ¾, King’s Cross Railway Station will gladly offer you the opportunity. The station administration has a sign with a luggage trolley at the same spot where characters from the Harry Potter books and films pushed their trolleys to catch the Hogwarts Express.

It is an excellent place for a photo op for your Instagram, and children especially love getting to reenact the famous scene!

The Harry Potter Shop at Platform 9 3/4 in London

Durham Cathedral

The 11th-century Durham Cathedral was featured in several scenes in the first and second Harry Potter films. In his first year, we see Harry bidding Hedwig goodbye as she flies off to deliver a message, which was shot in the cathedral’s cloisters.

Ron Wesley spat slugs in the second film out in the cathedral’s courtyard; he also frequently gathered and whispered with Harry and Hermione in the same spot. The cathedral’s Chapter House was home to Professor McGonagall’s class, where she taught the students the Basics of Transfiguration.

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Durham Cathedral was a filming location for the first and second Harry Potter films.

Gloucester Cathedral

Gloucester Cathedral is another holy place in the UK that dates back to the 11th century and is featured sparingly throughout the Harry Potter films. The scene where Hermione surprisingly found a troll as she got out of the lavatory, while Harry and Ron ran to rescue her, was shot in the cathedral’s cloisters.

The same cloisters served as the hallway leading to Gryffindor and where the shocking statement of opening the Chamber of Secrets was written.

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Gloucester Cathedral‘s cloisters were used as the hallway to Gryffindor

Steall Falls: The Triwizard Tournament

The Triwizard Tournament in the fourth book, The Goblet of Fire, is one of the series’ most exciting scene adaptations. Producers used Steall Falls at Ben Nevis Mountain in Scotland as the backdrop of Harry’s first task in the tournament, where he had to beat the horntail dragon to retrieve the golden egg from its nest.

Not far away, producers chose Loch Eilt, a small island, to be Dumbledore’s burial site later in the films. This filming location is close to Fort William, another popular tourist destination in Scotland.

Godric’s Hollow

The house of James and Lily Potter in Godric’s Hollow was featured many times in the films. This vintage and historical-looking house is part of a protected heritage village in Lavenham, Suffolk. The house served as home for Jane Ranzetta and her family for three decades.

Today, the house serves as a Bed & Breakfast, allowing visitors to enter into the Wizarding World and stay in the home of Harry Potter’s own parents! Additionally, you can enjoy Suffolk food and wander around the county.

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Godric’s Hollow is a Bed & Breakfast that serves traditional English food.

Lacock Abbey

The well-preserved buildings of Lacock Abbey, a 13th-century abbey in Lacock, Wiltshire, turned into a fortified residence in the 16th century. Remains of the abbey’s cloisters served as Hogwarts’ corridors through numerous Harry Potter films.

One of Harry Potter’s wonderous objects was the Mirror of Erised; its name explains its purpose. With “Desire” spelt backwards, the mirror showed a person’s deepest desires, and it was in the abbey’s Chapter House.

Two rooms in the abbey served as classrooms in the films: The Sacristy and the Warming Room, which served as Snape’s and Quirrel’s classrooms, respectively, in the first film.

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Lacock Abbey provided two rooms used as classrooms in the films.

The Market Porter Pub: The Leaky Cauldron

In the third film, The Prisoner of Azkaban, Harry furiously leaves home, boards the purple wizards’ bus and asks to be taken to the Leaky Cauldron Pub. Harry initially intended to enter Diagon Alley through the pub, but he stayed in one of the upper rooms for a night.

The Market Porter Pub in Borough Market in London served as the front of the Leaky Cauldron in the films, and you can head there for a light drink or a refreshing lemonade.

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The Market Porter Pub was the Leaky Cauldron Pub, where Harry slept after running away from home.

University of Oxford

The Harry Potter producers drew inspiration from the dining hall at Christ Church College at the University of Oxford to build a duplicate, more extravagant Great Hall at Hogwarts.

The college’s Bodley staircase is featured several times throughout the films. It appears noticeably at the beginning of the first film when first-year students meet Professor McGonagall and at the film’s end after Harry, Ron, and Hermione beat Voldemort for the first time.

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A dining hall at the University of Oxford inspired the Great Hall at Hogwarts.

Are There Harry Potter Theme Parks in Other Countries Around the World?

Universal Studios Hollywood, California, USA

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Hollywood is a magical destination that brings the enchanting world of Hogwarts to the heart of California. Opened in 2016, this park captivates visitors with its faithful recreation of iconic locations from the Harry Potter series.

Guests can wander through Hogsmeade Village, complete with its snow-capped roofs and bustling shops, or take a thrilling ride on “Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey,” which whisks them away on a captivating journey through the wizarding world.

The park also features the immersive “Wizarding World of Harry Potter” gift shops, where fans can purchase wands, robes, and other magical merchandise. With its meticulous attention to detail and commitment to recreating the magic of the books and films, Universal Studios Hollywood offers a captivating experience for Harry Potter fans on the West Coast of the United States.

Universal Orlando, Florida, USA

Universal Orlando in Florida boasts not one but two immersive Harry Potter-themed areas: Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade Village, connected by the Hogwarts Express train.

Diagon Alley, which opened in 2014, is a testament to the park’s dedication to recreating the wizarding world down to the most minor details. Visitors can enter the magical shopping district, explore Gringotts wizarding bank, and embark on the thrilling “Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts” ride.

Hogsmeade Village, part of Islands of Adventure, opened in 2010. It is equally captivating with its snowy rooftops, Butterbeer stands, and signature attractions like “Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey” and “Flight of the Hippogriff.”

The Hogwarts Express, which connects both areas, adds an extra layer of immersion, allowing visitors to travel between the two iconic locations, just like in the books and movies. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios Florida is a must-visit for fans seeking an unparalleled magical experience in the United States.

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Diagon Alley at Universal Orlando’s Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Florida, USA.

Universal Studios Japan

Universal Studios Japan in Osaka introduced its own Wizarding World of Harry Potter in 2014, offering an authentic and immersive experience for fans in Asia. The park faithfully recreates Hogsmeade Village, with snow-covered streets and iconic shops.

The meticulous attention to detail, combined with cutting-edge technology, brings the magic of the books and films to life for visitors in Japan. The Wizarding World at Universal Studios Japan has become a major draw for tourists from all over Asia, providing them with the opportunity to step into the world of Harry Potter without leaving the continent.

Universal Studios Beijing, China

Universal Studios Beijing, which opened in 2021, welcomed the Wizarding World of Harry Potter as one of its flagship attractions. It marked the first time this magical experience had been brought to mainland China.

The park features Hogsmeade Village and offers a variety of rides, shops, and experiences for visitors. This addition to Universal’s global portfolio of Harry Potter attractions demonstrates the enduring global appeal of the wizarding world.

The Wizarding Worlds of Harry Potter in various Universal parks around the world have allowed fans from different corners of the globe to experience the magic, wonder, and excitement of the beloved series and step into the enchanting world of witches, wizards, and fantastical creatures.

Whether you’re in California, Florida, Japan, or China, the magic of Harry Potter awaits.

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The Harry Potter-themed attractions in the UK transport fans to Hogwarts

There are Many Intriguing Harry Potter-Themed Attractions in the UK

The Harry Potter-themed attractions in the United Kingdom offer an enchanting and immersive experience that allows fans of J.K. Rowling’s mesmerizing wizarding world to enter the magical realm they have come to know and love.

Beyond the tangible elements of the attractions, the enduring popularity of the Harry Potter franchise speaks to the universal appeal of its themes of friendship, bravery, and the power of imagination. Visitors from all walks of life can connect with the characters and stories, finding solace, inspiration, and a sense of belonging within the wizarding world.

The Harry Potter-themed attractions in the UK serve as a bridge between the fictional universe created by J.K. Rowling and the real world, allowing fans to live out their magical dreams and immerse themselves in the enchanting world of wizards and witches.

Whether you’re a die-hard Potterhead or a casual fan, these attractions offer an enchanting journey into a world where magic is real and the adventure never truly ends.

Although there is no Harry Potter theme park in the UK, we still hope you’ve enjoyed our exploration of the Harry Potter-themed tours and attractions in the UK as much as we did! For more fiction-themed tours based on the latest hit series and films, check out the filming locations for The Last of Us, Netflix’s Wednesday, and Banshees of Inisherin.

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