How to visit Harry Potter Castle? Alnwick Castle
Admit it: you would also have loved to go to the famous Hogwarts School of Magic along with Harry Potter. Just a dream? Well, almost! Maybe you won't learn to fly on a broomstick, but Hogwarts Castle really exists, and guess what: it's open to the public! Yes, you got it right! So pack your bags because you might be going through that magical journey into the Potterian world, exploring the places that characterized the scenes of the movie series of the 7 fantasy novels written by JK Rowling.
Let me clarify that I'm not just talking about taking a trip to Universal Studios, but the castle itself; ok, maybe not Hogwarts its real name, however it is an actual physical castle, in which several scenes from the first two Harry Potter movies. So what is this castle called, and more importantly where is it located?
- Alnwick Castle: the real Hogwarts Castle
- Where it is: here's how to get there
- Harry Potter Tour: other places to visit
- Questions and comments from users
What is Harry Potter Castle called?
As you may have deduced from the title of this paragraph, the name of the famous Hogwarts Castle is actually Alnwick Castle: it is a structure that laid its foundation stone in 1096 by the will of Yves de Vescy, Baron of Alnwick, who by erecting it intended to defend the borders of northern England, at that time threatened by Scottish rivals. In 1309 the castle was sold by Anthony Bek, Bishop of Durham to Henry de Percy, becoming the property of the Percy family, first Earls and then Dukes of Northumberland. Even today, after more than 700 years, the Percy family owns it. Before Harry Potter, the castle had already been selected as a setting in other films such as Becket, Blackadder; Robin Hood - Prince of Thieves and others.
Where is Hogwarts Castle in real life? - How to get there
As already specified in the previous paragraph, Alnwick Castle is located in the Northumberland region, and more precisely in the town of Alnwick from where it takes its name. This magical destination, especially suitable for group visits, is located about 1.5 km from the A1 connecting Newcastle and Edinburgh; the castle can be reached directly fromNewcastle International Airport in 40 minutes by car in the absence of traffic, proceeding along the same A1.
Harry Potter Tour: other places to visit
If you want to explore more places that served as the setting for scenes in the Harry Potter movie, here's a list of places you definitely won't want to miss:
- Glencoe (Scotland): Glencoe is a famous valley in Scotland, which was the setting for Hagrid's retreat in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. It is possible to reach the valley on foot; many come to hike through this magnificent natural area.
- Millennium Bridge (London): is a futuristic pedestrian bridge suspended over the River Thames, and connects the Bankside area with the City. It was used as a set in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, a film in which special effects reduce it to pulp.
- King's Cross and St Pancras stations (London): Both London stations, which are located next to each other, were the location for the filming of the Harry Potter movies. St Pancras was used for filming outside the station, while indoor shots were filmed at King's Cross, where you can see a wall identifying the famous '9 3/4' platform. If you want, you can try to cross the wall by making a good run (personally we don't recommend it).
- Leadenhall Market (London): this is an indoor market, adopted for filming as the outdoor Diagon Alley and the Cauldron. The market itself is a great place to grab a bite to eat and shop, or just wander around.
- Christ Church (Oxford): is one of the constituent colleges ofOxford University. What makes it one of the first choices as a film set is its grandeur: not only was it adopted to become the well-known "Great Hall" in Harry Potter, but it was also used for scenes in other films known to the public, such as Alice in the Land of Wonders and Lewis Carroll.
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