With all the rich history in York’s cobbled streets, it certainly does feel like a city rife with magic.
So it’s not a surprise that the popular book and film franchise Harry Potter has inspired many wizard enterprises.
In contrary to popular belief though the author confirmed that the Shambles is not the inspiration for Diagon Alley, however the filmmakers at Warner Bros. may have used the street as inspiration for Diagon Alley in the films.
But that hasn’t stopped the city taking the magic theme and running with it.
So we’ve put together a guide of places to visit if you’re a Harry Potter super fan, or if you simply like a little bit of magic in your life.
From shops, attractions, filming locations and staycations to enjoy, there’s wizardry right on our doorstep.
Are we missing your favourite? Let us know down below or drop us a line at [email protected]
The Shop That Must Not Be Named
This magical shop on the Shambles will make you feel like you’ve been whisked away to Hogwarts! Selling officially licensed Harry Potter merchandise from clothing, to replica wands, to sweet treats and more – this has everything for the Harry Potter super fan. Its popularity inspired a couple of copycat shops on the street too.
The Potion’s Cauldron
Also on the Shambles is a magical drinks emporium for wizards and non-magical folk alike. Styled like an ancient apothecary, this is not your average gift shop but an experience. Have a go at creating your own potions, or browse the selection of magical drinks, snacks and gifts.
The Hole in the Wand
From the minds behind The Potion’s Cauldron is a new magical mini-golf course opening in May. Perfect for a family day out, this spellbinding attraction is sure to keep everyone entertained. There will also be magic-themed refreshments available – why not try a Wand Dog or Uni Pop-Corn? Potions of the alcoholic variety will also be available for the adults too…
Wizard’s Emporium Escape Room
Have you ever wanted to put your wizard skills to the test? Now you can, at this new escape room at Rehab Piccadilly. If you choose to take the challenge you can expect potion mastering, rune deciphering, wand lore and more trials ahead. Refreshments will also be available from the café bar.
The Enchantment Chamber
On Navigation Road is a staycation with a charming twist…Book a night at The Enchantment Chamber and step straight into a bedchamber of the wizarding world – complete with all the modern luxuries. Relax into the unique four-poster bed in front of a realistic open fire and enjoy your magical experience.
Does this look familiar? You may recognise this limestone pavement from the film Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part One, in a scene where Harry and Hermione set up camp on the rock. The film also features views across Malhamdale. Malham Cove is open all year so why not follow in their footsteps? (Though I wouldn’t suggest camping…)
North York Moors Railway
Perhaps the closest you’ll get to riding the real Hogwarts Express! This beautiful heritage steam train is the perfect way to experience the stunning Yorkshire countryside. The train runs from Pickering to Whitby, and one of the stops is Goathland Station – which you might recognise as Hogsmeade Station from the film Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone!
The Dorm Room and The Ground Keeper’s Cottage
After a day on the North York Moors why not stay at one of these cosy cottages? For a magical-themed stay choose between The Dorm Room – inspired by the Gryffindor common room – or The Ground Keeper’s Cottage – inspired by Hagrid’s hut. Fun to share with friends or family, transport yourself to Hogwarts for the night.
A must visit for any Harry Potter super fan – Goathland Station was used for Hogsmeade Station in the first Harry Potter film. You will also see the North York Moors Railway travel through this station, with the steam train looking almost like the Hogwarts Express itself.
And one to avoid!
According to many fansites, a scene Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone was filmed using the footbridge at York Station as a stunt-double for King’s Cross.
But our photos of the bridge, below, categorically scotch that rumour. It looks like this scene was shot 200 miles away at King’s Cross in that there London.