Although set in New York, the newest prequel to Harry Potter, ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them‘ was actually filmed in Liverpool and at the Warner Bros. Studio London.
The movie is about to be released this month, and the excitement among Potter fans is at its peak. With 70 years crafting amazing holidays, Trafalgar shares 10 real-life destinations for Harry Potter fans to visit to explore the magical world created in this movie.
Liverpool is transformed into 1920s New York with The Curnard Buildings and St George’s Hall among the sets used for Magical Beasts and Where to Find Them.
This marks the second time a Harry Potter film was filmed in Liverpool, with the first being a scene in Deathly Hallows: Part I, where Harry and Hagrid escape a pack of Death Eaters on Sirius Black’s flying motorcycle.
Check out the location of the red telephone box where Harry Potter and Mr. Weasley descend into the secret Ministry of Magic in the ‘Order of the Phoenix’. Admire the magical platform 9¾ sign where Harry catches the Hogwarts Express. Explore the city for various shooting locations and for authentic sets, costumes and props used in the movies, visit Warner Bros Studio London for a behind-the-scenes tour.
Alnwick Castle, Northumberland, England.
Scenes filmed at this 11th Century castle include Harry’s first Quidditch lesson. Home to the Duke of Northumberland, visitors can discover the history of the castle, try their hands at broomstick training and take part in dragon quests.
Durham Cathedral, County Durham, England
Widely known and admired for its amazing architecture and ribbed vaulted ceiling, Durham Cathedral is one of Britain’s first World Heritage Sites. In the first movie, Harry walks with his owl, Hedwig, through a snowy cloister courtyard located in Durham Cathedral. It is also where Mr Arthur Wasley’s enchanted flying car crashes into the Whomping Willow.
Oxford University, Oxford, England
The Great Hall in Christ Church College was recreated in the movie studio to be Hogwart’s dining hall. The Bodleian Library and the Duke Humfrey’s Library were used as Hogwart’s infirmary and Hogwart’s Library where Harry dons his invisibility cloak.
Freshwater West Beach, Pembrokeshire, Wales
Shell Cottage, home of Bill Weasley and Fleur Delacour, was featured in both Deathly Hallows movies. It was built as a set at the foot of the sand dunes of Wales most popular surfing destination. This is also the same beach that features scenes with Dobby the elf.
Torren Lochan &Clachaig Gulley, Glencoe, Scotland
Admire dramatic landscapes amidst Scotland’s Western Highlands which were the backdrop for the Quidditch matches, the Tri-Wizard tournament in Goblet of Fire and Hagrid’s Hut, complete with pumpkin patch and a smoking chimney. Hagrid’s hut has since been removed but one look at the lush valley and rugged mountains and it’s no wonder why this scenic location was picked.
Ride the actual Jacobite steam-train line as it chugs across the real-life Glenfinnan Viaduct for an authentic Hogwarts Express train journey. Featured in the second and third movie, fans can experience stunning scenery as the ride on the longest concrete railway bridge in Scotland at 380 metres.
As it crosses the River Finnan at a height of 30 metres, the experience is definitely one that will be hard to forget.
Steal Falls, Ben Nevis, Scotland
This is where Harry battled a dragon during the Triwizard Tournament in The Goblet of Fire. Ben Nevis, Britain’s highest mountain is a great place for those who love trekking, and the highlight of the walk is definitely Steal Falls, the third highest falls in Scotland, cascading 105 metres down the rockface.
Many of the places around the city inspired J.K Rowling when she started writing the Harry Potter books. The Elephant House cafe proudly describes itself as the birthplace of Harry Potter, where J.K Rowling sat writing in the back room overlooking Edinburgh Castle.
For inspiration of names of characters in her books, she would visit GreyfriarsKiryard cemetery just behind the café. There you can find tombstones belonging to Tom Riddle, Elizabeth Moodie and William McGonagall. Next to the graveyard is George Heriot’s School, a prestigious private school, with four houses and four towers, a likely inspiration of Hogwart’s School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
(The writer is President at Trafalgar (Asia) and Travel Corp. (India))
Before the wrap, we leave you with the much-awaited movie trailer below — have a magical day Potterheads !