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Spellbindingly Brilliant Harry Potter Experiences in the UK

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Young or old, we all share the same wide-eyed wonder for the magical Wizarding World of Harry Potter and its characters. 

Every one of us has wanted to live in this fantasy world at some point, and kids absolutely adore all things Harry Potter. A Harry Potter-themed vacation or holiday offers families the chance to immerse themselves in this wonderful world and let their imaginations run wild. And when in the UK, you simply cannot miss out on the film sets, iconic locations, and memories of the huge family-friendly legacy. 

If you’re considering a Harry Potter inspired trip and scrolling through different Harry Potter places to visit in the UK, then we’ve got you covered with just the inspiration for the coolest itinerary yet. Between Harry Potter-themed days out and amazing food and little treats, you and yours are guaranteed a blast!

Harry Potter Experiences in the UK

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Harry Potter Attractions in London

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1. Harry Potter Warner Brothers Studio with Coach Transfer From London

The Warner Bros Studios in London is one of the coolest Harry Potter places to visit in the UK for all wizarding fans. The location has preserved the memories, props, costumes, and more from the movies, making it a Harry Potter destination you definitely do not want to miss. 

Warner Bros Harry Potter Studio Tour

The Making of Harry Potter – Warner Bros. Studio Tour

Many of the film series’ sequences had to be done in artificial sets to ensure the allure of magic and spells. Today, these sets have been converted into museum-like tourable premises that fans need to visit to have their minds “Reducto”-ed away!

Diagon Alley  at Harry Potter Studio Tour.
Diagon Alley

The Warner Brothers Studio is set in Leavesden, and following the end of shooting, has been opened up to the public through a tour that takes you through the charm of both elaborate props and the magic of visual effects.

Hogwarts Express at  Harry Potter Studio Tour.
Hogwarts Express at Harry Potter Studio Tour.

From a life-sized model of the Hogwarts Express, in all its grandeur; to a miniature model of Hogwarts; and even the set models of the Great Hall and the Gryffindor common room, the Warner Bros. Studio has plenty to keep you engaged and entranced for the day.

Platform 9 3/4 Hogwarts Express at  Harry Potter Studio Tour.
Platform 9 3/4 Hogwarts Express at Harry Potter Studio Tour.
The cupboard under the stairs
The cupboard under the stairs

See Privet Drive, Harry’s room under the stairs, go to Hagrid’s and see how perspective makes a person look like a giant.

Hagrids Hut
Hagrids Hut

For the more daring, the studio also has Aragog, the giant animatronic spider! He’s one to send chills down your spine, but don’t worry if that’s too intimidating for the little ones, as there is an alterative path without the spiders descending.

Aragog and friends
Aragog and friends
Chocolate Frogs at  Harry Potter Studio Tour.
Chocolate frogs

You will also find sweet old Buckbeak, bowing down in greeting. Before you leave, make sure you stop by the gift shop to take home chocolate frogs and wands.

At Christmas time, the set is decorated so beautifully, just like the Yule Ball. The Great Hall is the first place to enter on the tour, a

Explore intricately made artifacts that are guaranteed to impress your child, and an entire magical world filled with sets from all the movies. Stop by the famous goblin-run Gringotts bank and hop onto the Hogwarts Express.

Take a walk with your child along the streets of Diagon Alley, and don’t forget to take plenty of photographs to mark all the magical moments you encounter.

A classic behind-the-scenes that’s both for the kids and the parents, this tour comes with transfers to and from the studios. 

The entry tickets are a little on the higher end, but skip-the-line privileges are offered as well as free cancellations up to 24 hours in advance. Get them here. 

2. Harry Potter Guided Walking Tour

There’s no end to the number of Harry Potter things to do in London. After all, it’s here that most of the books were written and the movies made. Embark on this fun guided walking tour around central London and find plenty of historical and trivia tidbits. You’ll cross all the places that inspired J.K. Rowling herself, and even be able to fit in some must-sees in the city along the way like Borough Market, Winchester Palace, and Trafalgar Square.

A Harry Potter guide will help you to kick-start this tour of Muggle London, and a cool on-the-go interactive quiz awaits. Encourage the wonder and glee in your child, and allow them to take in the full experience. Witness Diagon Alley where Harry bought his first wand, and explore the secret wizarding Leaky Cauldron. Who knows, you might even catch a glimpse of Daniel Radcliffe’s school on this lively walk! 

Reserve and book your unforgettable tour to famous Harry Potter film locations in London, with affordable tickets. They come with free cancellation and complementary rescheduling if your plans change. 

3. Witchcraft and Wizardry Escape Room in East London

Who doesn’t remember the countless escapades and challenges that Harry Potter and his gang faced? Put yourself in the shoes of these young witches and wizards, and experience your own adventure with this Harry Potter-themed escape room. 

Escape Room London organizes a super fun witchcraft and wizardry escape room in Whitechapel, London that’s great for kids aged 10 and above. Parents and kids together can pool their wits to find their wands and escape from inside a sealed room and a mad professor. Sinister and adventurous, it’ll have your hair on end and the kids will enjoy every bit of the experience. 

The experience is open from 1 p.m. on weekdays and 10 a.m. on weekends and requires between 2 and 6 players to take part. Book your tickets seamlessly on the website to get the entire room for a whole 90 minutes from the time you enter. 

4. Wizard Exploratorium Wizard Afternoon Tea

We’re certain that like us, you too have dreamt of the food served in the Great Hall; the Cornish pasties, delicate pies, and wide assortments of sweets! It’s time to open up your taste buds to these delicacies with an afternoon tea that is a central part of British culture. 

This interactive tea-brewing experience in London makes the best of English cuisine with a Harry Potter twist. Nibble on awesome confectionery delights starting from lemon tarts to mango cheesecake, and cute little ham, cheese, and mustard “sand-witches”. 

There are cool spell-casting games for the adults and young ones, and fun experimental tea-brewing sessions to test your skills at Transfiguration. You’ll need tickets for the experience, but I’ll leave the online portal to take you through the rest. 

platform 9/3/4
Platform 93/4 at Kings Cross

5. Visit King’s Cross 

You may wonder after all the strolling and exploring whether there can possibly be another Harry Potter-themed thing to do in London. The answer is yes! Among all the places to visit, you cannot skip over the famed Platform 9¾ at King’s Cross Station. It’s the place all of us dreamed of escaping into to reach the world of Hogwarts, just like Harry and his friends did. Plus, we’re certain your kids will go gaga over the official Harry Potter shop with souvenirs like t-shirts, trunks, wands, Harry Potter-themed drinks, and chocolate frogs! 

Take plenty of pictures at the Platform with a cool luggage trolley in place, and pick out your own wand and House Scarf before you head back to the muggle world! 

Leadenhall Market
Leadenhall Market

6. Leadenhall Market 

The centuries-old Leadenhall Market is famed for being a meat and poultry trading post that dates back to the Romans. Over time, it’s become a bustling center of activity and now, you can find high-end restaurants, bars, and retailers all about this humble space. 

Its rich history aside, you might also recognize the place from a still in the Philosopher’s Stone where Harry and Hagrid are on their way to Diagon Alley. It’s the spot from where the Leaky Cauldron gives way to the gigantic wizarding market that we all know and love!

Frequently visited by many Potterheads from across the globe, it is one of the classic Harry Potter places to visit in the UK. From its overarching lead roof to its now renovated old-time architecture, it’s a stunning piece of heritage that’s still lively and welcoming. 

7. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

Miss the on-screen magic of the Wizarding World? Get ready to go back to Hogwarts with the next generation of wizards and witches with Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. The story continues with Harry’s son, Albus Severus Potter, attending his parents’ alma mater, Hogwarts, and unfolds with the events that follow in his life.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is an award-winning two-part stageplay that was first performed at the Palace Theatre in London in 2016. The play runs year-round so make sure you witness the next chapter in the lives of the Potters in a tale of friendship, family bonding, and betrayal. The play consists of four acts, revisiting our favorite characters, including the mischievous trio who are adults in the Wizarding World, enemy-turned-ally Draco Malfoy, and more. 

Wizarding Accommodation in London

Georgian House Hotel, London

This magical hotel has nailed the perfect Harry Potter holiday experience for fans of the books and films. This small, boutique family friendly hotel in London has five wizard themed rooms which embrace the wizarding experience. It’s the perfect base to explore all the Harry Potter attractions in London.

Three are suitable for families, called the Wizarding Rooms. Pass through a portrait-lined passageway that is bathed in candlelight that casts dancing shadows across the walls. 

The hidden room behind the bookcase leads to the Enchanted Chambers which sleeps two! Four poster are hung with plush crimson velvet curtains, stone walls, nooks and crannies with cauldrons set the atmosphere. See Booking.com rates here.

wizard chambers at the Georgian House London, harry potter themed hotel room
The master bedroom in the Wizarding Chambers at the Georgian House Hotel, London (image courtesy of hotel)

The Georgian House also has a range of Wizarding experiences throughout the year, including a fabulous magical wizarding afternoon tea and cocktail potion making.

Cocktail potion making at the Georgian House Hotel, a Harry Potter Themed Hotel in England
Cocktail potion making at the Georgian House Hotel

See Booking.com rates here for the Georgian House Hotel.

Oxford 

8. Harry Potter Film Locations Tour

Oxford is renowned the world over for its iconic universities, its visionary academicians, and its stunning architecture. But for the truest Potter fans it holds relevance as one of the key cities in which scenes from the movies were shot. 

Being right on brand with the vibe of the city, this guided tour is educational as well as a relaxed Harry Potter-themed day out. Begin your curated experience with a two-hour walking tour through the sites where the Harry Potter movies were filmed. Take a stroll along one of the world’s oldest universities and visit the Divinity School, which housed various noteworthy scenes from the movie. Head to the Church College and bask in the view of its meadows where your kids can run free. You’ll even get a chance to learn about the legendary characters from Lewis Caroll’s Alice in Wonderland. Now that’s what we call a great fantasy vacation! 

With great reviews to vouch for it, you’ll love how interactive the whole tour is. Get your skip-the-line tickets here. 

York Wizarding Attractions

9. A Harry Potter-Themed Guided Tour of York

As the series grew more and more popular across the globe, York was yet another location in the UK to be gripped by Potter fever. Set out on a themed walking tour of the city and visit all the locations that were once a part of the Wizarding World!

Definitely one of the best Harry Potter things to do in York, this guided tour comes with quizzes, games, and costumed re-enactments! Explore every Harry Potter-related site, from Diagon alley to the moors and, of course, the Hogwarts Express. Get sorted into one of the four houses and sip on warm butterbeer along the way. 

It’s the perfect day out for your kids and fits right into your Pottermania-centered holiday. Extremely easy on your pocket, book your tickets with free cancellation here. 

10. Moors, Whitby, and the Yorkshire Steam Railway

Who says a Harry Potter day out can’t have plenty of other exciting things squeezed in between? Explore the North York Moors National Park which contains one of the largest heather moorlands in the UK. 

For Harry Potter entertainment, take your family to the fantastic Hogsmeade Station where you’ll get to recount all your favorite scenes from the Prisoner of Azkaban to the Deathly Hallows. You can also visit the seaside town of Whitby which is rumored to have inspired the story of Dracula, quite the spine-chilling end to a great day! 

Book your tickets here.

11. The Shambles, York Harry Potter

The Shambles is often known as the Harry Potter street York and wondering through the historic streets, it is easy to see why.

If you are in the world of wizardry for the first time, why not start your journey the same way Harry did? The Shambles, also known as the inspiration for the movie’s version of Diagon Alley, is one of the most popular and best-preserved shopping streets from Medieval times making York for Harry Potter fans a must!

There are timber-frame-adorned buildings that date back to the 14th century in The Shambles. These historic buildings, which used to house the fares and businesses of butchers in the area, are now home to many quaint shops, huddled along narrow lanes, much like Diagon Alley itself!

There are also a number of Harry Potter-themed stores with everything from brooms to Potions to get you started on your journey.

While the shops and stalls may open and close, the Harry Potter street itself is open to visitors throughout the day, so pick a time that has the least crowds if you want to get the best shots for your Instagram. Don your robes and flick your wand in the air with the magical backdrop of little store signs and red rooftops for that Potter-esque photo!

Harry Potter Shops in York

Harry Potter York the Shop That Must not be Named

12. The Shop That Must Not Be Named

The Shop That Must Not Be Named was the first one to go up among the stores dedicated to Harry Potter in York. Tucked away at number 30, The Shambles, this shop is a one-stop destination for all things Harry Potter. The first thing that greets you upon arrival is a dedicated parking space for brooms, and it only gets nerdier (and more magical) from there! 

Park Your broom at The Shop That Must Not be Named
Park Your broom at The Shop That Must Not be Named

The inside of this Harry Potter shop (unofficial) instantly transports you to a whole other world. You’ll find everything from jewelry to collector’s items like wands, robes, chocolate frogs, and the Marauder’s Map.

There’s so much to see and explore that it’s likely you will feel at least a little confused and overwhelmed, but don’t worry. Just find yourself one of the store’s “House Prefects” (the welcoming and friendly staff) and they’ll help you make up your mind, especially with important decisions such as your first wand!

The Shop That Must Not Be Named is one of the most popular spots for Harry Potter fans in York so definitely expect crowds when you visit. And don’t forget to take some souvenirs home. You just never know when the Sword of Gryffindor will come in handy!

The Potions Cauldron York
The Potions Cauldron

13. The Potions Cauldron

Head to The Potions Cauldron on 9¾ for the most magical drinks of your life. How about a shot of Basilisk Blood? Or a dose of Unicorn Essence, followed by a cup of the store’s Love Potion?

If you’re worried at all about the contents of these drinks, relax, they’re all concocted with fruit juices and other yummy ingredients that are perfectly fine for both the kids and adults in your bunch to enjoy! Parents will love that the brewery also serves alcohol under the guise of “poisonous” drinks.

After trying some of the delicious concoctions, sign up for the Potion Experience to have an apothecary guide you and your family through a fun session where you learn how to cook your own potions. 

Inside The Potions Cauldron, York
Inside The Potions Cauldron

The Potions Cauldron is a lot more than just a drinks store too! Apart from trying out the potions, kids will also get the chance to be sorted into one of the four Hogwarts houses by the store’s own Sorting Hat. On your way out, be sure to try and spot a tiny door (a magical resident, perhaps?) at the doorway of the Cauldron, Shambles 10, for a cute memory and a few pictures. 

14. York Harry Potter Escape Room

Underneath a seemingly normal muggle cafe lies an entrapment for wizards and witches of all ages! Find the Harry Potter Escape Room York underneath the Rehab Piccadilly Cafe Bar at 7-9, Piccadilly.

With a quirky backstory, complete with props and settings, the escape room is designed keeping all ages in mind, so stop by, put on your pointy thinking hats and get busy!

With runes, wands, and spells, you’ll be fully equipped to help a wizard put his body back together in 60 minutes and find your way out of the room. Teams are made up of 2-5 people, making it a fantastic way to spend time with your family. Put your heads together and let the magic happen. Rack up the lowest time and land a spot on the leaderboard!

Hole in Wand York
Hole In Wand Wizarding Golf

15. Hole in Wand – Harry Potter Crazy Golf York

If you’re looking for a more action-packed, but still family-friendly activity like mini-golf, Hole in Wand is a splendid choice. Win your way through portals and cauldrons, cast spells to assist you, and try your best at getting a hole-in-one at this marvellously designed wizarding themed golf course! Located within the Coppergate Shopping Center, Hole in Wand is a mini-golf course that takes you on an adventure in search of a missing gargoyle.

'Basilisk Blood' potion at Hole in Wand York
‘Basilisk Blood’ potion at Hole in Wand

For a smooth experience, book your visit online by choosing from the list of different types of tickets, each with their own perks and benefits. Upon completion of a challenge, each player receives a special elixir from the Potions Cauldron as a prize!

Make your own potion after a round of Wizarding Golf
Make your own potion after a round of Wizarding Golf

To treat yourself after a tiresome hunt and restore your energy stores, munch on some snacks and concoctions at the Wizard Tavern, located within the premises. Even if you aren’t a fan of mini-golf, the Wand Dogs and Uni-Pop-Corn make the eatery worthy of a visit.

16. The Wizard Walk of York

Time for a witchy waltz through the back-alleys and paths of York! The famous Magic Hatter takes you on a quest to find magical creatures in the city, with plenty of comedy and family fun for everyone. While it is most ideal for families with kids below the age of 10, the show can still be enjoyed by anyone that is entertained by silly humor. Expect nothing dark or scary; just a fun family experience as you stroll and explore the city.

The Wizard also provides Wizard Wand Kits, so add that to your York Harry Potter tour if you want to practice your “swish and flick” (as Hermione would say).

It comes with a couple of tricks you can try yourself and when you’ve mastered them, you can even print out a certificate from the website! Subject to availability, they can be opted for when booking your tour online. Both public and private tours are provided, so check out the website and make your booking according to your preferences. 

York Railway Station Bridge
York Railway Station Bridge

17. The Kings Cross Bridge Scene

Did you know that the scene in the first movie where Hagrid and Harry cross the bridge while on their way to Platform 9¾ was not shot in Kings Cross Station? It was actually York Railway Station, only altered and edited in post to look like Kings Cross! So why not pay the station a visit while in town? 

Head to the station and walk up to the bridge to recreate your favourite moments from the movie. You won’t need a ticket to Platform 9¾ to enter the station or any ticket for that matter. Your little Potterheads are sure to get a kick out of visiting one of the actual Harry Potter filming locations in Yorkshire, and you’ll get some photos to remember it by!

(Platform 9 3/4 scenes were actually filmed in an archway between platforms 4 & 5 at Kings Cross.)

Goathland Railway Station
Goathland Railway Station

18. Goathland Railway Station

While the village of Hogsmeade was only revealed in Prisoner Of Azkaban, the station at Hogsmeade will be a familiar spot to those who have watched the first two movies!

Do you remember that final scene in the first movie where Hagrid waves goodbye to the children as they leave for home on the Hogwarts Express? Well, you will, as soon as you step into Goathland Railway Station, the location where this scene was shot!

You’ll find this station on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway, a heritage railway that is preserved to reflect a historic stage in the evolution of the railway.

If this isn’t exciting enough, there is also a chance you will see a couple of steam trains that look similar to the Hogwarts Express making their way through the station! So grab a ticket and explore some of the amazing landmarks, like the North York Moors National Park, while here and check those off your bucket list as well.

Malham Cove
Malham Cove

19. Malham Cove

Malham Cove is a limestone formation that spreads out over more than half a mile in North Yorkshire. You’ll find huge white limestone rocks that make up a sort of rocky pavement or hideout. Sound familiar? That’s right, this is where Harry and Hermione take refuge after escaping from He Who Must Not Be Named in the Deathly Hallows – Part 1 movie.

This spot is further away from the city than the rest of the Harry Potter York locations on this list and should take you a little short of 2 hours to reach. But don’t let that stop you from paying this iconic spot a visit.

Located in Yorkshire Dales National Park, it offers some of the most amazing views of the rolling green cliffs that surround it. Explore the limestone rocks and capture more memories at yet another shooting location in the vicinity of the town. Active families will also be excited by the many walking routes and treks through the beautiful grounds that you can check out! 

Harry Potter Themed Accommodation in York

if you are visiting York to embrace all the wizarding aspects, then why not stay in Wizarding Themed Accommodation? Here are two places in York to consider.

Game keepees cottage Hagrids Cottage

Groundskeeper’s Cottage

Hagrid’s Hut was Harry, Ron, and Hermione’s favorite place to hang out on school grounds, which is why it might also be your favorite place to stay when in York! The Groundskeeper’s Cottage is a life-sized hut, inspired by and designed after Hagrid’s iconic hut from the movies. Book your stay prior to spending your night here and live the Groundskeeper life for a day!

Located in North Yorkshire, the cozy hut comes with a bathroom, a kitchen, and a bedroom for your comfort. Grab a mug and lounge on the couch in your living room with the view of the countryside to keep you company.

Maybe even don Hagrid’s shoes and hope that those three kids aren’t up to any mischief! The Groundskeeper’s Cottage is an extravagant option to choose but is definitely worth your Silver Sickles if you’re an ardent Harry Potter fan.

The Enchantment Chamber, harry potter themed accommodation, York
The Enchantment Chamber apartment in York (image courtesy of hotel)

The Enchantment Chamber, York

Whilst this wizarding world-themed apartment comes with 1 bedroom with one large double bed making it not ideal for families it is beautifully themed with an unconventional four poster bed, realistic open fire, real wood flooring and furnished with an eclectic collection of magical artefacts from the wizarding world. See availability on Booking.com.  For more Harry Potter York attractions read here.

Kent

20. Hempstead House Hotel Halloween Afternoon Tea

If you’re passing through Kent, then your kids are in for a happy little surprise. The Hempstead House Hotel organizes a Harry Potter-themed afternoon tea during Halloween that’s picture-perfect and in line with your entire Hogwarts holiday. 

There’s an exciting children’s magic show, a sorting ritual with the Sorting Hat, and a full Harry Potter-themed afternoon spread. The kids can busy themselves with a “Philosopher’s Scone”, Sorting Hat biscuits, butterbeer, and more. For the adults, there are plenty of House Cup Macarons and Four Finger Sandwiches to munch on. 

It’s a Halloween event that draws in large crowds every year and should be a must-visit during your autumn visit! Leave them a message and book your family tickets through the website. 

Northwich, Cheshire

21. Forbidden Forest Experience 

Filled to the brim with lore and mystical creatures, it’s no wonder why some of the most thrilling and exciting parts of the series take place in the Forbidden Forest. The kids are in awe of it, and maybe there’s even a part of you that is drawn to it as well! Well, now you get to live it all over again; this time, in real life!

At Northwich in Cheshire, take a nighttime woodland trail filled with the magic of the Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts franchise. The lights and special effects make it the mystical place that we’ve always imagined, and there’s delicious food and drinks on the way for all to snack on. You can sip on a cup of mulled wine while the kids grab some delicious hot chocolate and butterbeer. 

Get your own wands and view some celebrated scenes from the movies. Conjure up a Patronus, interact with a Hippogriff, and make friends with the Centaurs. It’s a wholesome experience that we’re sure you’ll love. 

Now that you’ve looked at some of the top Harry Potter places to visit in the UK, it’s time to get planning! Your excited little ones, and the child within you as well, will adore a vacation that’s filled with Hogwarts, Chocolate Frogs, and spells. Pack a punch and visit as many spots as you can to make your family vacation a truly magical one!

Important info:

This event usually opens mid October and closes mid January.

Time needed. approx. 60-90 minutes (the walking trail takes approx 45-75 minutes)

Ticket prices range from £26.50-£48 for adults and £21.50-£36 for children, depending on the session date and time. Free entry for children under 5’s.

Harry Potter Experiences in Edinburgh 

22. Holy Island, Alnwick Castle & Northumbria

This one-of-a-kind tour takes you on a scenic route into the Kingdom of Northumbria where you will come across the beautiful, sprawling Alnwick Castle. If it starts to look familiar, that’s because some of the most awe-inspiring scenes at Hogwarts were shot here! You’ll recognize it from the Philosopher’s Stone and the Chamber of Secrets, which is why it’s first on our list of Harry Potter things to do in Edinburgh. 

You’ll find that the castle has been used in scenes from a number of other movies and shows as well like Downton Abbey and Transformers. Spend your time walking around the market town and take part in a host of events, ranging from witch pot making to medieval dance and music. If you’re lucky, you might even catch an outdoor movie screening; maybe even Harry Potter! 

Visit the Holy Island of Lindisfarne, an important religious center of the British Isles, and cross the River Tweed into Scotland if you’re looking to travel beyond. Needless to say, this one is quite an eventful day trip, but won’t burn a hole through your pocket. Get your tickets here. 

23. The Cauldron

Just like in the movies, a true Harry Potter experience just has to involve copious amounts of drool-worthy food, scrumptious snacks, and other goodies that wizards and witches indulge in! Butterbeer, humongous minced meat pies, delicious English crumpets – the list is endless. And what better way to enjoy it all than with a Harry Potter-themed afternoon tea? 

The Cauldron at Edinburgh is the cutest little stopover you’ll make. Although it is most well-known as the place where older fans can practice their “potion”-making and mixology skills to make Harry Potter-themed drinks, it also holds sessions for kids! There’s a special Child Ticket for kids below 18 who want a  non-alcoholic “Potions Experience”, and the Wizard’s Harry Potter-themed tea includes scrumptious tiny cakes, tea brewing, and desserts, all in smaller portions for your little one. 

Book your kid-friendly (or adult) potion-making class for a magical afternoon out.

24. Glenfinnan, Mallaig & Glencoe Adventure

A vacation in Edinburgh is incomplete without a picturesque outdoorsy trip that offers a break from the usual grind; especially when coupled with stunning visuals from your favorite movie series.

Travel northwest from Edinburgh and arrive at Glencoe, which is a historic Scottish village that boasts pristine sights and wildlife. Journey around the area, stop for snacks at cozy little restaurants and take in the brilliant sea at the port town of Mallaig. Soon after, you’ll reach the main attraction Glenfinnan with its Loch Shiel. You’ll know you’ve arrived when you start to remember it as the Black Lake from The Prisoner of Azkaban and The Half-Blood Prince! 

Watch the Jacobite Steam Train cross the bridge from a distance; it’s the same one we know as the beloved Hogwarts Express! And just like that, another magical day will draw to a close. 

You’ll want to book your tickets well in advance because of how fast they sell out. Refreshing and spotless, this is a rustic Harry Potter tour that you have to get in on. 

25. Alnwick Castle Day Tour 

What comes after the Hogwarts Express? Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, of course! This famous structure is not just the filming location of Harry Potter, but also Transformers, and even a few Downtown Abbey scenes were shot here! 

Take the Alnwick Castle Tour, a 9.5-hour tour filled with castles, beaches, and the rustic moors of Scotland’s borders, to complete your Harry Potter vacation!

For kids over 6 years old, broomstick training is provided at Alnwick Castle at the very same spot that Harry had his first flying lesson in the movies! Just keep on the lookout for rain, as lessons will be canceled if the grounds are wet and slippery.

26. Harry Potter Walking Tours

Take the award-winning ninety-minute Potter Trail to get bewitched by the enchanting trail from the Greyfriars Bobby Statue to the Victorian Terrance. The course takes less than an hour and a half and covers all the Harry Potter things to do along the way. This one‘s a free guided tour, but tips and donations are welcome. 

Alternatively, you can also check out the two-hour Harry Potter Magical Guided Walking Tour that covers multiple Harry Potter Edinburgh spots, from Greyfriars Kirkyard to the Royal Mile.

27. Nicolson Cafe 

We all know that J.K. Rowling got the idea for Harry Potter on the train, but did you know she wrote the first book in cafés around Edinburgh? Yes, that’s right, and Nicolson’s cafe was one of the places that were most frequented by the then newly divorced, single mother Rowling!

Although Nicolson’s has long since closed, you can still visit the new cafe in its place, “Black Medicine Coffee” for some delicious coffee. Wondering if it’s authentic enough? A plaque on the corner of the street says, “J.K. Rowling wrote some of the early chapters of Harry Potter in the rooms on the first floor of this building,” and Rowling has confirmed it too.

Harry Potter Themed Places to Stay in Edinburgh

For the ultimate wizarding stay, why not try one of these themed Harry Potter accommodations in Edinburgh?

Harry Potter Themed Hotels in Scotland

Harry Potter Themed Hotel in England, JK Rowling Suite
J.K. ROWLING SUITE, image courtesy of Balmoral Hotel

J.K. Rowling Suite, Balmoral Hotel, Edinburgh

This is the exact room where J.K. Rowling finished writing the Deathly Hallows. The luxury room sleeps 2 adults in a comfortable king-sized bed that can be twinned plus 2 extra beds for children are available upon request. The rooms offers views of Calton Hill and luxury decor evoking the Scottish countryside. The room is also home to the the marble bust of Hermes that J.K. Rowling signed after finishing the book but expect other little nods to the wizarding series. Availability on Booking.com.

West Bow - Magical Harry Potter-Inspired Flat near Edinburgh Castle, Harry Potter Themed accomodation
West Bow – Magical Harry Potter-Inspired Flat near Edinburgh Castle

Magical Harry Potter-Inspired Flat, West Bow Edinburgh

A great centrally based one bedroom flat with sofa bed in the living area can sleep a family of four. The panelled effect walls, books and magical artefacts help give this accommodation the wizarding vibe: There’s even a secret cupboard to find. Availability on Booking.com

Wizarding Residence on Grassmarket, Edinburgh

The Wizarding Residence is a one bedroomed Harry Potter inspired apartment. It’s central location (and allegedly inspiration for Diagon Alley) means that Edinburgh’s famous castle, Royal Mile, Grassmarket and much more are all a short walk away. The accommodation is filled with quirky items and decorations from J K Rowling’s Wizarding world. The downside it is a one bedroomed place with a double bed so not ideal for families. Check availability on booking.com.

Harry Potter Themed accommodation at The Witchery
One of the opulent suites at The Witchery (image courtesy fo the hotel)

The Witchery by the Castle, Edinburgh

Sadly, each of the nine opulent Witchery Suites occupy just 2 guests in double beds and are not suitable for children but perhaps for an adult getaway? With rich furnishings, velvet walls, gothic and antique touches it is certainly a unique place to stay and reminiscent of what a Harry Potter suite may look like for Bellatrix Lestrange. Check availability on Booking.com

Looking for more Wizarding Accommodation?

If you are travelling around the UK, then these Harry Potter themed places to stay in the UK and Ireland may make your stay more magical and further afield, why not try these Harry Potter accommodations.

Family Travel Planning Resources We Use

Flights: We always use Skyscanner as it is user friendly, allows you to check deals for everywhere if not sure where to go, and seems to find the cheapest flight deals in most cases.

Tours and Activities:  GetYourGuide  has a wide range of family friendly activities around the world.

AccommodationBooking.com is who we use when researching for places to stay ( we like their flexible cancellation policies. We do also check directly with larger hotels brands too.

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