Where Is Hogwarts Castle Located in Real Life?

Forget Harvard, Oxford, Cambridge, Princeton and Yale. Forget the Xavier School for Gifted Youngsters even. You know you want to enroll in the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

It's hard to Obliviate what you see on the Harry Potter films. For all their fiction, you can't help but fantasize what it's like to get that letter of acceptance, your ticket on the Hogwarts Express, just getting away from the mundane Muggle world. 

Is there a real Hogwarts castle then, you ask? 

In a way, yes. Universal Parks & Resorts have accio'd Hogwarts from its fictional Scottish Highlands setting into existence—inside the Harry Potter theme parks, that is. The so-called Wizarding World of Harry Potter parks reproduce the fantastic places (and beasts) in J.K. Rowling's otherwise boundless universe, Hogwarts castle among them.  

Universal Orlando Resort was the first to build its own Hogwarts castle in 2010. Inside, before you take the Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey ride, you'll be face-to-face with faithful recreations of the Hogwarts corridors, the Gryffindors' common room, Albus Dumbledore’s office, and even a Defense Against the Dark Arts classroom. The school of your dreams is located in the resort's Hogsmeade neighborhood. 

Universal doesn't get to have all the bloody fun. Warner Bros. has preserved the Harry Potter movie sets in its Leavesden studios in England for the fans. Now we know what you Potttermanic lovebirds are thinking: Can you get married where they filmed Harry Potter? Can you get married at Harry Potter studios? 

Lucky for you, these film sets lend themselves well to bespoke receptions as well as breakfast and dinner events, including black-tie affairs (prices available upon request). Sometimes they even hold holiday dinners in the Great Hall itself. A very happy Christmas, indeed.

Halloween at the Great Hall, Hogwarts Castle (above, as seen on the Warner Bros. movie), the set for which is still intact (below, taken with a Canon PowerShot A3300 IS by Ank Kumar)

You can be Ron and Hermione for a while and say your "I do's" at Alnwick Castle in Northumberland instead, where the first two Harry Potter movies ("Philosopher's/Sorcerer's Stone" and "Chamber of Secrets") were filmed. While it's no Great Hall, the castle is hallowed grounds outdoors: Courtyards and baileys bore witness to cinematic Harry Potter moments like the broomstick lessons and Quidditch tournaments. 

You'll wish you have a Time-Turner with you, with more Wizarding Worlds opening around the globe. Universal Studios Hollywood conjured its own in 2016 with a Castle Hogwarts identical to that in Orlando, except that you can access this one through the Forbidden Forest. The Osaka castle in Universal Studios Japan, which had opened two years earlier, is even grander with the addition of a lake on the grounds below. 

Know what would be even better? A replica of the Mahoutokoro School of Magic, the Japanese wizarding school mentioned in "Pottermore." But you have to get J.K. Rowling to stop talking first. 

Hogwarts castle at Universal Studios Japan in Osaka. Photo below taken with a Sony DSC-HX10V by Freddo


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