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Harry Potter England Tour

by Rizki Satya Utami
(Chofu, Tokyo, Japan)

Durham Cathedral

Durham Cathedral

Durham Cathedral University of Oxford Platform 9 3/4, King's Cross Station Harry Potter Studio

Do you know anything about Harry Potter? Well, I think almost everyone knows about it. Harry Potter is a series of seven fantasy novels written by the British author J. K. Rowling.

The books are about the adventures of a wizard, Harry Potter, who is also a student at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. The books have been made into a film series by Warner Bros. Pictures, the highest-grossing film series of all time. I myself used to be a very big fan of Harry Potter, I bought all the books and many merchandises of it, and I even have two replicas of the magic wands.

In Harry Potter movies, a lot of scenes are taken in England, especially in London (the capital city of England). That is because based on the story, Harry Potter lives in London. Then since he is a student of a wizarding boarding-school, the movie scenes mostly take place in the school building, which is a huge castle.

That is why the setting of the movie is mainly including castles and European style buildings, which are located in England. This makes many Harry Potter’s fans from all over the world come to England to see the sites where the movie scenes were taken.

Well, these are several top places to visit if you are a fan of Harry Potter:

1. Durham Cathedral

Durham Cathedral, a UNESCO heritage site, provided the setting for interior and exterior scenes of Hogwarts. If some Potter fans think something's out of place, it's because the film-makers had a spire digitally attached atop the famous towers, where Harry's owl, Hedwig, circled before heading off with a message. On the grounds, you'll see where Harry and his friends had whispered conversations on the lawn; where Professor McGonagall's transfiguration lesson was taught in the Cathedral's Chapter House; and where Qudditch's practise was held.

2. University of Oxford

It's perhaps fitting that Britains' most famous university should have a direct connection with the Wizarding world's most famous school. Head straight to Christ Church College's dining hall, which served as the Great Hall at Hogwarts. The Divinity School at the Bodleian Library not only has a ceiling with images of beasts and biblical scenes described as a masterpiece of Gothic architecture, but it also was used in several films such as the Hogwarts hospital. The Duke Humfrey's Library became the Hogwarts Library with more than 80 miles of bookshelves.

3. King’s Cross Station

All aboard for Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry! The Hogwarts Express (the train used by Harry Potter to go to the wizarding school) departs from ‘Platform 9 ¾’ at King’s Cross Station. At the station, there is a fun re-creation to acknowledge its part in the story with a half trolley lodged into the wall, under a sign close to the real platform 9.

4. Harry Potter Studio

The Making of Harry Potter, the Warner Bros. Studio Tour in London (or rather about 20 miles northeast of London in Leavesden, Hertfordshire), is where the iconic films began and visitors get a chance to go behind-the-scenes to see the detailed sets, mesmerising costumes, props, animatronics, and some things the cameras never even showed.

I really hope that someday I can visit all those places too. :)

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