Many fans think of London when they think of Harry Potter, and while the city is home to myriad filming locations, it’s Oxford, England that really oozes Hogwarts’ vibes. Located about 60 miles (96 kilometres) from London, Oxford is where numerous Harry Potter scenes were filmed across its colleges. Walking through the medieval and Gothic architecture, you feel as if you might bump into Hermione, Ron, or Harry himself. Here are some of the most iconic Harry Potter filming locations in Oxford for your next Potter pilgrimage. By
Christ Church Staircase
Transporting us back to the early Harry Potter films, this famous staircase was used in numerous scenes in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. The top of the staircase is where we see Harry, Hermione, Ron, and others walk to meet Professor McGonagall in Sorcerer’s Stone. In the second film, after Harry and Ron miss the Hogwarts Express train and have to get to Hogwarts with Weasley’s car, the duo ascends these stairs only to find Argus Filch, Hogwarts’ grumpy caretaker. The staircase is also where a flashback scene shows Tom Riddle chatting with Dumbledore in Chamber of Secrets. Christ Church is a working school and religious institution, so a ticket is required for non-students.
Christ Church Cloisters
The site of Christ Church was originally founded as a monastery in the eighth century. Cloisters were common in monasteries, as they provided a sheltered space for monks to walk undisturbed. The cloisters at Christ Church are spectacular, with Gothic architecture and intricate design. These cloisters can be seen in “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” as the Hogwarts’ hallway where Harry sees the trophy his father won as a seeker in Quidditch (the wizarding world’s favourite game). It’s here that Hermione explains to Harry that being a seeker is in his blood. You can see the cloisters with a ticket to Christ Church.
Christ Church Dining Hall
While no filming actually took place here, Christ Church’s dining hall served as inspiration for Hogwarts’ Great Hall. Photographs of the hall were used to create the set for the Great Hall, and it’s easy to see the similarities. High ceilings, long dining tables with a head table up front, and elaborate windows all create a Great Hall feel. The only thing that’s missing? Floating candles, an enchanted ceiling, and a row of magical professors. (Hey, it was built by muggles, give them a break.) Visitors will need a ticket to Christ Church to see the dining hall.
New College Cloisters, Courtyard, and Tree
In Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, the cloisters and courtyard within New College are seen as Harry makes his way through a crowd of his peers who are ridiculing him by wearing “Potter Stinks” pins. In the courtyard at New College, Harry tells Cedric Diggory that the first task they’ll face in the Triwizard Tournament is dragons. Also in the courtyard is the tree where Malfoy sits taunting Harry, which prompts Professor Moody to turn Malfoy into a ferret. Visitors can take self-guided tours of New College by paying an entrance fee.
Bodleian Library, Divinity School
The Divinity School was used for many scenes in the first four Harry Potter films. In the first film, the Divinity School was used as Hogwarts’ infirmary, where Harry recovers after his first confrontation with Voldemort. The school was also used in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban when Harry and Hermione use the time turner to save Buckbeak the hippogriff and Sirius Black. And the school was also used in the “Goblet of Fire” film when Professor McGonagall teaches Ron how to dance for the ball. Book a tour to see the Divinity School.
Bodleian Library, Duke Humfrey’s Library
With endless shelves of dated books and manuscripts, the Duke Humfrey’s Library was the perfect filming location for a scene in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. When Harry goes looking for answers in the restricted section of Hogwarts’ library, he uses his invisibility cloak to wander throughout the stacks unseen, only to be terrified when Hogwarts’ caretaker Argus Filch hears him rummaging about. Visitors can tour the library with a ticket.