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Harry Potter York Attractions

Scurrying down the narrow cobbled paths of Diagon Alley is something every Potterhead has dreamed of doing. Be it to choose a wand, or buy new robes, we’ve all hoped that Hagrid would come to pick us up and take us shopping for our first year at Hogwarts at some point in our lives. Wizarding fans and parents can make these dreams a reality by heading down to York, a quaint old city in England that looks like it’s straight out of Rowling’s books. As huge Harry Potter fans ourselves, my daughter and couldn’t wait to explore all the wizarding things to do in York!

For a very long time, it was speculated that Diagon Alley was actually based on many parts of York due to the resemblance being so uncanny!

While its streets may have inspired some of the sets in the movie, J.K. Rowling has since officially confirmed on Twitter that Diagon Alley was created from her imagination alone and was never based on any real-life place.

Nevertheless, York is now magical and alive with many Harry Potter-themed stalls and experiences to give us Muggles a taste of the Wizarding World.

So what are you waiting for? Grab your wands, get on your brooms and read on to know all that Harry Potter York has in store for you! From wizarding themed attractions, Harry Potter shops, magical streets, film locations in Yorkshire and Harry Potter accommodation – you can plan an entire Harry Potter York trip!

Harry Potter York Attractions
Harry Potter York Attractions

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Harry Potter Things To Do in York

Shambles, York like Diagon Alley in Harry Potter
The Shambles, York

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

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

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. 

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

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.

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

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

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

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.

Enchanted Chamber York

The Enchantment Chamber

There’s no better way to embark on your Harry Potter York journey than by staying at a Harry Potter-themed accommodation! The Enchantment Chamber is the most immersive experience a Potterhead could ask for.

The Enchantment Chamber is an award-winning, one-bedroom, apartment-style facility, modeled after the Gryffindor common room. With the four-poster beds straight out of Hogwarts and trunks that double up as wardrobes, the magic here comes to life at The Enchantment Chamber.

Visitors of The Enchantment Chamber commend the establishment’s attention to detail. Owned and maintained by fellow fans of the franchise, the hotel pays tribute to many of Rowling’s legendary creations, from the entrance to Platform 9¾ to the artifacts and wands that you will find in your room!

Realistic fireplaces and wooden floors are sure to take you to the world of Harry Potter but don’t worry. Modern amenities that include internet service and kitchenettes are provided as well, to give Muggles a comfortable stay in the Wizarding World.

FAQs

Was Harry Potter filmed in York?

Although many iconic Harry Potter locations in the books, such as Diagon Alley, seem like they were inspired by York, that is not the case. The uncanny resemblances even had fans convinced that The Shambles was the real shooting location for the movie, but that proved to be untrue as well! With that being said, some of the Diagon Alley movie scenes are said to have been inspired by The Shambles, and a few other scenes were actually filmed at scenic spots in and around the city as well.

Is there a Diagon Alley in York?

In the city of York, the cobbled walkways of Harry Potter York Shambles look unbelievably similar to the streets of Diagon Alley. Its narrow lanes and little shops with hanging signs have caused many fans of the Wizarding World to refer to Shambles as the real-life Diagon Alley. And with gift shops and stores that sell officially licensed Harry Potter merchandise, it may as well be true!

What does Harry Potter have to do with York?

Following the speculation that York was the inspiration for many of the locations in J.K. Rowling’s tales, fans from all over the world poured in to see this location for themselves and recreate their favorite iconic scenes. Despite the rumor being debunked, later on, all the buzz led to many “Wizardry and Witchcraft” themed stalls and shops popping up! This, as well as the fact that a few of the movie scenes were actually shot in this city, are the two main things that connect York and Harry Potter.

Is any of Harry Potter filmed in York?

Yes! Unlike The Shambles which was falsely rumored to be the shooting location for Diagon Alley, the York Central Railway Station made an actual appearance in the first movie. In Philosopher’s Stone, Hagrid and Harry are shown to cross a bridge in King’s Cross Station to find Platform 9¾. This bridge is actually situated in York’s Railway Station! North Yorkshire Dales’ Goathland Station was also another one of the Wizarding World’s railway stations and the final stop of the Hogwarts Express: Hogsmeade. 

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