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A Muggle’s Guide To Harry Potter Filming Locations In Oxford

I never thought I’d be the sort of person to travel somewhere just because one of my favorite movies was filmed there, and yet here we are.* The city of Oxford had been on our radar for some time. At just an hour away from London, we figured we’d get there eventually, but the thing that ultimately sealed the deal and prompted us to finally book our trip was discovering just how many amazing Harry Potter filming locations there are to see in Oxford.

From the Hogwarts Library to the Great Hall, several of the series’ most beloved scenes were filmed within the colleges here. (If you’ve ever been inside any of Oxford’s colleges, that’ll come as no surprise. Half of them could pass as a real-life Hogwarts.) Having fallen in love with Harry Potter after we moved to the UK (so cliché, but I have no regrets), we couldn’t let an opportunity to see these places in person pass us by!

There are seven major Harry Potter filming locations in Oxford, and you’ll find a guide to all of them below with information on how to visit. All of these spots can be seen in a single day, but if you’ve got a little more time to spend in Oxford, there are many other sights in the city worth visiting, too. If you have a whole weekend to spare, definitely check out our weekend guide to Oxford!

*I, apparently, also now find it acceptable to use completely made-up words in my blog titles. Assimilation into genuine Potterhead status: complete.

Related Post: 8 Pretty Colleges To Visit In Oxford

A Muggle's Guide To Harry Potter Filming Locations In Oxford

A Muggle's Guide To Harry Potter Filming Locations In Oxford A Muggle's Guide To Harry Potter Filming Locations In Oxford

Duke Humphrey’s Library

With its dark, mysterious corners and floor to ceiling shelves of old books and ancient manuscripts, it’s no wonder Duke Humphrey’s Library was chosen to play the Hogwarts Library in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. It took three days to complete the scenes filmed here, the most memorable of which is when Harry uses his Cloak of Invisibility for the first time to enter the restricted section of the Hogwarts Library without being seen.

Duke Humphrey’s Library is located within the Bodleian Library, the main research library at the University of Oxford. To visit Duke Humphrey’s Library, you’ll need to sign up for one of the library’s daily tours. The cheapest option is the 30-minute Mini Tour for £6. A list of all tours and times can be found here.

A Muggle's Guide To Harry Potter Filming Locations In Oxford

A Muggle's Guide To Harry Potter Filming Locations In Oxford

The Divinity School

Used in the filming of the first four Harry Potter films, you’ll no doubt recognize the Divinity School which served as the Hogwarts Infirmary. This stunning grand hall is where Harry wakes up at the end of the first film after confronting Voldemort for the first time, where Harry and Hermione use the time turner to save Sirius and Buckbeak in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, and where Professor McGonagall teaches Ron how to dance for the Yule Ball in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire among many, many other famous scenes.

Also located within Oxford’s Bodleian Library, you can either visit the Divinity School as part of one of the guided tours mentioned above, or you can buy a ticket for £1 that allows access to the Divinity School only.

A Muggle's Guide To Harry Potter Filming Locations In Oxford

New College Cloisters

The hallways of Hogwarts change from movie to movie, but they do share one thing in common – they always look like something straight out of a fairytale castle. The crumbling, castle-like cloisters within New College doubled as the Hogwarts hallways in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. It is here where Harry pushes through a crowd of his fellow students as they ridicule him with Potter Stinks badges.

The cloisters are located just off the Front Quadrangle inside New College, one of the oldest colleges in the University of Oxford. Entrance into New College is £5 and your tour will be self-guided, but a small map is provided when you purchase your ticket at the Porters’ Lodge.

A Muggle's Guide To Harry Potter Filming Locations In Oxford

New College Courtyard

You may recognize this courtyard and gnarled, old tree from the same movie as the cloisters above. The New College courtyard is where Harry tips Cedric off about the dragons they’d be battling in the first task, and the tree (which is actually close to 200 years old) features in the scene immediately following Harry and Cedric’s exchange where Malfoy taunts Harry, prompting Mad-Eye Moody to turn him into a ferret!

Like the cloisters, the New College Courtyard can be seen via a self-guided tour of the college. Opening hours and information for visitors can be found here.

A Muggle's Guide To Harry Potter Filming Locations In Oxford

Bodley Tower Staircase

One of the most famous Harry Potter filming locations in Oxford, the grand stone staircase inside Bodley Tower features prominently in the first two films. Several memorable scenes were filmed here – from Harry’s first arrival at Hogwarts to a flashback sequence between Tom Riddle and Dumbledore to the scene near the end of the first movie where Harry is reunited with Ron and Hermione after being released from the infirmary. (When Ron and Hermione look over the edge of the staircase at Harry, I get all the warm fuzzies!)

The Bodley Tower staircase is located inside Christ Church college. Entrance tickets cost between £8-10 depending on which time of year you visit. You can check opening hours and purchase tickets online here.

A Muggle's Guide To Harry Potter Filming Locations In Oxford

Christ Church Cloisters

Christ Church’s beautiful cloisters were transformed into Hogwarts hallways in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. After Harry has been made seeker for the Gryffindor quidditch team, Hermione tells Harry being a seeker is “in his blood” and shows him a display case in the hallway containing a quidditch trophy with his dad’s name on it. This scene was filmed in the cloisters here just outside of what is currently a bookshop.

The Christ Church cloisters are included with your entrance ticket into the college. See the section above for how and when to purchase tickets.

A Muggle's Guide To Harry Potter Filming Locations In Oxford

A Muggle's Guide To Harry Potter Filming Locations In Oxford

Christ Church Dining Hall

Though no filming actually took place here, Christ Church’s dining hall provided the main inspiration for Hogwarts’ own Great Hall. It’s easy to spot the similarities between the two – the arched windows lining the walls, the extra long “house tables” – but unfortunately for students at Christ Church, their dining hall features a regular ceiling instead of an enchanted one and lamps instead of floating candles. (They still get to wear their robes to dinner, though, so don’t feel too sorry for them!)

The dining hall is also included with your ticket into Christ Church. Be prepared for crowds here, as well as on the staircase during peak season. The staircase leads into the hall, and during busy times it’s where everyone queues to enter. The only way to avoid the crowds is to arrive as soon as the college opens to visitors. Check the official website before your visit as opening hours tend to fluctuate.

Have you seen any Harry Potter filming locations in person? How far would you travel to see where your favorite movie was filmed?

Ready for more? Check out the Harry Potter Studio Tour in London!

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A Muggle's Guide To Harry Potter Filming Locations In Oxford

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24 Comments

  • Reply
    Jenn
    April 16, 2018 at 8:35 AM

    I would 1000% go somewhere just to see a Harry Potter film location! HP is the only movie I’d do that for, though. How cool it would be to feel like you’re at Hogwarts <3

    • Reply
      Sarah Shumate
      April 16, 2018 at 11:11 PM

      I don’t think there are any other films I would travel to see the locations for either. Harry Potter is just special, I guess. :)

  • Reply
    Maggie
    April 20, 2018 at 7:26 PM

    I LOVED seeing all of these places when I visited Oxford! It was so cool walking down that one staircase and imagining Harry and Mallory meeting for the first time ?

    • Reply
      Sarah Shumate
      April 21, 2018 at 8:01 PM

      I know! So many great scenes were filmed on that staircase!

  • Reply
    Diamond
    April 20, 2018 at 8:10 PM

    So far I have only made it to Christchurch but now I’m putting all these other locations on the list! Harry and I grew up together and it’s fun to feel like we’re apart of his world.

    • Reply
      Sarah Shumate
      April 21, 2018 at 8:06 PM

      I was a latecomer to the Harry Potter scene and only read the books for the first time as an adult. (I think I was already 15 when the first book came out in the US, too.) I bet it was fun growing up with Harry, though!

  • Reply
    Emma
    April 20, 2018 at 10:00 PM

    AWESOME article! I can’t wait to explore these places next time I’m in London :)

  • Reply
    Jackie S.
    April 20, 2018 at 10:40 PM

    Thank you for sharing these awesome photos and places from the Harry Potter movie! Brings back great memories when I first watched the movies. I would love to visit the Christ Church Cloisters. So pretty and magical.

  • Reply
    Neha
    April 21, 2018 at 2:43 AM

    Such a cool post! I did see Christ Church when I visited Oxford all those years ago, but didn’t visit the Cloisters. Added to my to-do’s for another time!

  • Reply
    Kelly Price
    April 21, 2018 at 4:25 AM

    Cannot wait to take a daytrip from London to visit these places. My sister is the ultimate HP fan, and she’s coming to visit me this summer, so will go armed with your blog post to guide her around. :)

    • Reply
      Sarah Shumate
      April 21, 2018 at 8:08 PM

      Oh, that’s perfect! You two will have so much fun! Don’t forget to hit all the Harry Potter spots in London, too!

  • Reply
    Maike
    April 21, 2018 at 4:57 AM

    This is such a great post which makes me wanne go to my letter box and look for my Hogwarts letter immediately :D I am a huge Harry Potter fan and visited many filming locations but unfortunately I never made it to Oxford. Next time I am going to London I will definitely visit Oxford and use your guide to find all these locations.

  • Reply
    Mia
    April 21, 2018 at 5:07 AM

    What great photos! I studied at Oxford during Summer 2012 of the Diamond Jubilee—it was such an amazing time to be in the city. Your photos make me want to go back and recapture my time there :)

    • Reply
      Sarah Shumate
      April 21, 2018 at 8:11 PM

      How exciting to have the opportunity to study at Oxford! And during the Diamond Jubilee – I’m sure that was amazing. My daughter would love to attend there, so we’re hoping she can at least do a study abroad for a semester or a summer. Would be an experience she’d never forget, I’m sure!

  • Reply
    Kelly
    April 21, 2018 at 9:22 AM

    Omg!!! I le Harry Potter and remember these stunning places from all the movies! I should have visitd here yesterday but oh well. Definitely need to visit asap and embrace the Harry Potter nerd that I am.

  • Reply
    Lorial Roballo
    April 21, 2018 at 3:51 PM

    Really insightful post!! :) Great photos too!

  • Reply
    MG
    April 21, 2018 at 7:33 PM

    I LOVED reading this – I’m such a huge Harry Potter fan, and your photos really capture how beautiful these filming spots are. I visited Oxford a few years ago, but it was such a rush visit… This post has me wishing I had a trip planned!

    • Reply
      Sarah Shumate
      April 21, 2018 at 8:15 PM

      If you ever get the opportunity to go back, you should take it! Oxford is such a beautiful city. Even though we had plenty of time there and didn’t feel rushed, I’d still go back just to see it all again. It’s one of those places that never gets old.

  • Reply
    Tanja/The Red Phone Box travels
    May 3, 2018 at 11:40 AM

    I’ve been to the dining hall, a proper HP experience:)

  • Reply
    Dannielle
    May 4, 2018 at 10:43 AM

    I love this! and I’ve saved it for a trip with my fellow harry potter obsessed friend. Thanks for doing the research for the rest of us!

  • Reply
    Meiko
    October 11, 2018 at 11:00 PM

    I worked in the entertainment industry and have therefor visited and worked on many movie and TV sets. There is only one movie I would be willing to travel to see, Harry Potter. I went to Oxfor in Dec, 2011 to visit my cousin. She was studying there. She took me to see the great hall at Christ Church and the stair case. At the point only the first movie had been released. I look forward to returning to London with my children, who are big HP fans.

  • Reply
    Meiko
    October 11, 2018 at 11:01 PM

    *I meant 2001, not 2011.

    • Reply
      Sarah Shumate
      October 15, 2018 at 10:09 AM

      That will be so much fun to get to take your kids around to all the Harry Potter spots in London! It was my daughter that introduced me to the world of Harry Potter and we loved seeking out all the locations together in London and Oxford. :)

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