Self-Guided Oxford Harry Potter Tour – 9 Filming Locations & Map

Harry Potter Oxford tour

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Although it’s not how I spend my days as a local, I completely understand why tourists want to find the Harry Potter Oxford locations. If you’re here to explore the wonderful world of Harry Potter in Oxford, here are my tips on the topic.

If you’re yet to arrive in Oxford, you’ll understand its charm when you do! With golden buildings, turrets and dreaming spires, it’s easily one of the most beautiful cities in the UK. It’s little wonder countless movies and TV shows – including Inspector Morse and The Golden Compass – were shot here.

Oxford couldn’t be better suited had it been built as a film set. But of course, much of it was built 780 years before Harry Potter filming in Oxford commenced!

New to Oxford? Start with my Oxford day trip guide and my Oxford weekend guide.

Was Harry Potter filmed in Oxford?

Not exclusively. Filming took place around the UK and Ireland. I’ve now visited several locations including the Harry Potter locations at Lacock Abbey, Dobby’s Grave in Wales, Gloucester Cathedral’s Harry Potter sites, the Cliffs of Moher cave where Harry and Dumbledore destroyed a Horcrux, and many of the Harry Potter filming locations in Edinburgh.

There are several Harry Potter filming locations in Oxford. Most of them are indoors (perfect if you have bad weather during your visit) and several require an entrance fee; I’ll explain as we go.

Oxford Harry Potter tours – if you’d rather explore with a guide, take a 2 hour HP walking tour (inc Bodleian Library entry).

Harry Potter in Oxford
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What’s the deal with Harry Potter at Oxford University?

When it comes to Oxford tourist attractions, most of them are connected to the University. If you’re not familiar, Oxford University is spread out across the city encompassing many of the historical buildings and attractions. Working for the Uni in the past 100% funded me setting up this blog so hey, we’ve come full circle!

The Oxford University Harry Potter locations are well worth visiting. It’s hardly surprising the historical, charming colleges captured the filmmakers’ attention: they look exactly like Hogwarts! Although still inhabited by students, most can be visited by guests for varying entrance fees.

Related read: Visiting the Oxford University colleges: map + entrance fees

Self-guided Oxford Harry Potter tour

Oxford harry potter map
Click to open in Google Maps

A couple of years ago, I was visited by some Aussie friends who were desperate to see where Harry Potter was filmed in Oxford.

I took them on this very Harry Potter tour of Oxford so I can be sure it works! Let’s get stuck in…

NOTE – this blog is up-to-date with 2024 prices.

Christ Church College

You can’t research Harry Potter locations in Oxford without Christ Church College popping up! There are 38 Oxford colleges but Christ Church is the most famous.

Christ Church fun facts:

  • It was founded by King Henry VIII (not a feminist icon)
  • Thirteen Prime Ministers have studied here
  • Lewis Carrol (the author of Alice in Wonderland) lectured here
  • It was a filming location for Philip Pullman’s Golden Compass
  • It receives 13 million annual visitors – probably because of its Harry Oxford Potter history!

There are not one but three Oxford University Harry Potter filming locations at Christ Church College. These are…

1. Bodley Tower staircase, Christ Church College

Christ church staircase Oxford Harry Potter location

In The Philosopher’s Stone, Harry, Ron and Hermione walk up this staircase where they’re greeted by Professor McGonagall. You can see why this Harry Potter Oxford location was selected: the sweeping staircase and ornate details are perfectly suited.

The staircase set was used again at the end of the film; after the trio has defeated Voldemort and are preparing to head home for the summer.

In the second film, you can see the staircase once again; this is the spot where the Hogwarts caretaker Argus Filch corners Ron and Harry after they arrive at the school in a flying car!

The staircase is part of Bodley Tower and leads to a room just called Hall. At one point, some bells from the cathedral were moved to the tower causing Lewis Caroll to write critical articles about how they were unsatisfactory.

2. Christ Church College dining hall

Christ church dining hall
A location with a link to Harry Potter in Oxford

Does this room look familiar? This Instagrammable place in Oxford resembles the Hogwarts Great Hall which is no coincidence because it is! (Well, sort of.) Filming never took place here however it’s the most famous Harry Potter location in Oxford. Confused?

Christ Church College dining hall was the inspiration for the Great Hall at Hogwarts. Filming took place at Gloucester Cathedral (which I believe is bigger) and a specially built set in the Warner Bros. Studios, but the film set was modelled on this room. I’m guessing the directors saw it, perhaps while filming at the staircase, and thought it was the perfect blueprint for Hogwarts.

You can’t blame them! With rows of dark wooden tables, old paintings on the walls, and light filtering through a dramatic window, it couldn’t be more atmospheric. You can almost imagine Dumbledore on stage and a fresh-faced Harry hanging on his every word.

Fun fact about Christ Church dining hall –  students still dine here every day! I’m told they wear the appropriate gowns (which are upgraded once you’ve sat your exams) and listen to grace in ACTUAL LATIN before eating. I wonder how they feel about tourists popping their heads around the door.

3. Christ Church cloisters (hallways)

Cloisters christ church
Outside the cloisters

The third and final Oxford Harry Potter location at Christ Church College is the cloisters. Several of these traditional semi-open hallways were used as filming locations. If it’s crowded and busy, keep reading to location #6 for a quieter alternative.

One notable scene from the Harry Potter films set here is when Hermione shows Harry the trophies that his father, James Potter, won playing Quidditch at Hogwarts. This helps motivate Harry to become a fantastic seeker himself!

Christ Church entrance fee: £17 or £18 depending on the season when booked online (they’re slightly more on the door) for a self-guided tour including a multimedia guide. It may be expensive but it’ll gain you entry to the three Harry Potter Oxford locations mentioned above.

See their website to book tickets, which are released at 10 am GMT every Friday for the following week.

Opening times: Hours vary, but are typically 9.30am-4.30pm (Mondays-Saturdays) and 10.30am-2.30pm on Sundays. Entry is FREE for Oxford residents and Oxford staff and students. They get a plus one so maybe you can befriend a local to sign you in! 

4. Duke Humfrey’s Library

This famous library is part of the Bodleian Libraries, Oxford’s main research centre and the UK’s second-biggest library after the British Library in London. Dating back to the 14th century, it holds 13 million items including maps and manuscripts – all the things you’d expect to find at Hogwarts!

Several different libraries make up the Bodleian Libraries. One of them is Duke Humfrey’s which has a small and cosy feel. For this reason, it was used as a filming location in The Philosopher’s Stone. In the scene, Harry is looking for clues in Hogwarts Library whilst wearing his invisibility cloak planning to steal a book.

Entrance details: Duke Humfrey’s is the only Harry Potter location at Oxford University not freely open to the public. Luckily, it couldn’t be easier to book a tour with an official guide. Book a tour on the Bodleian website from £6. The 30-minute and 60-minute tour both include a stop at Duke Humfrey’s.

5. The Divinity School

Divinity school Harry Potter in oxford
Divinity School

Our next stop is the attractive Divinity School, also part of the Bodleian Libraries. You’ll find this grand room and its impressive ceiling just a minute’s walk from Duke Humfrey’s.

The medieval Divinity School was used more than once during filming. It served as the Hogwarts hospital wing, where many key scenes are filmed after characters are recovering from their various escapades. For example, when Harry is recovering from his showdown with Quirell and Voldemort at the end of the Philosopher’s Stone, or where Harry and Hermione use the time turner in the Prisoner of Azkaban.

The Divinity School was used once again as the hall where Professor McGonagall taught the students to dance in The Goblet of Fire, much to the embarrassment of poor Ron.

Background: The Divinity School is the oldest purpose-built University building in the world. It was used in the 1400s for lectures, exams and discussions about theology, and used by the House of Commons in the 1600s when they fled London to escape the plague. It still gets used today for graduations and special events.

Divinity School entrance fee: £2.50, making it the cheapest Harry Potter location in Oxford. Book tickets online in advance here to guarantee entry. If taking a Bodleian Library tour to see Duke Humfrey’s Library, it’s included.

Opening times: 9am-5pm (Monday – Friday), 10am-5pm (Saturday), 11am-5pm (Sunday). You need to choose a 15-minute timeslot for your self-guided tour in advance when you book tickets. As noted above, Bodleian Library rooms are only available to see on guided tours.

6. New College cloisters

New College cloisters

A visit to New College Oxford is quieter and cheaper than Christ Church. Hidden away from central Oxford, you’ll be surprised how spacious it is with a large quad, field, cathedral and dining hall.

But it’s not the aesthetics that bring people in: it’s the filming of Harry Potter at Oxford University, in particular the scene where Harry turns Malfoy into a ferret!

To properly explore this Harry Potter filming location in Oxford, head to the cloisters. These walkways with large, open windows look out onto the quad. You often see the Hogwarts students strolling along these in the films.

This particular one at New College is famous because it was used in Goblet of Fire. You can also spot them when Harry is being teased by students wearing Potter Stinks badges when he goes to speak to Cedric.

new college harry potter oxford
New College cloisters

Keep an eye out for the Harry Potter tree outside where the confrontation between Harry and Draco took place.

New College entrance fee: £8 entry. Only card payments are accepted. It’s free for Oxford City permanent residents and New College members or alumni, and there’s a concession price of £7 for seniors, under 16s and full-time students. Read more about visiting New College here.

Opening times: 1.30-4.30pm (Tuesday–Sunday) from mid-October to mid-March, and 10.30am-5pm for the rest of the year. Check the website to see planned closures and note that, as this is a working college, some areas may be closed during your visit.

There are two entrances, but tourists are advised to use the entrance on New College Lane.

7. Budget option – the Harry Potter Oxford tree from outside

Don’t want to pay £8 entry? Don’t worry. You can see the tree where Malfoy gets transfigured into a ferret for free. Of course, I’d recommend going inside New College if you have the time and budget but if not, locate the Bridge of Sighs and stand under it. When facing New College, you should be able to glimpse the tree.

Bridge of Sighs
The bridge and tree

Next, find the tiny alleyway entrance to your left. This is called St Helen’s Passage and leads to our next Harry Potter location in Oxford…

8. The Turf Tavern

Turn tavern

Not technically a Harry Potter movie location in Oxford, this quirky pub was a favourite of the cast during filming. It must have been a quirky time for the locals: imagine walking into your regular pub and seeing Dumbledore sipping a pint!

It’s a shame it was never featured in the films because the surroundings would have been perfect for Hogwarts. When you squeeze down cobbled St Helen’s Passage, you’ll see what I mean. 

Background: ‘The Turf’ has been a popular drinking hole since the 1300s although it was then known as the Spotted Cow. Another fun fact is that ex-prime minister Bob Hawke broke a Guinness World Record here by finishing a pint of beer in 11 seconds.

The pub has embraced becoming a Harry Potter Oxford location but they’re yet to start serving butterbeer. Watch this space… 

Entrance price: Free. But maybe buy a drink. They also serve decent pub grub if you’re hungry.

9. Bonus stop – Natural History Museum

Natural History Museum

Since no filming took place at the Natural History Museum and it’s away from town, I almost left this stop out. However, if you have time, this is one of my favourite places in Oxford to spend a rainy afternoon. Better yet, it has a Harry Potter connection. 

The directors visited while filming Harry Potter in Oxford and perused the artefacts for inspiration. I don’t blame them: the museum has a long history of inspiring creative sorts. Stare long enough at the dodo skeleton and you’ll understand where Lewis Caroll got inspiration for the Dodo in Alice in Wonderland

Tips for visiting Oxford Harry Potter locations

  • When touring the Harry Potter Oxford University locations, check individual college websites / the Bodleian Libraries website. Each college is separate and may close for exam periods and other events.
  • Be mindful that these are still working colleges with students and staff going about their day-to-day life. Wave a selfie stick in their face and they may not be too happy!
  • Set aside 2-4 hours for all these filming locations
  • Wear comfy shoes. This tour requires a bit of walking, plus cobbles.

How long does an Oxford Harry Potter tour take?

It depends on you but here are my suggestions:

  • 1-1.5 hours at Christ Church – after paying £17 entry, make the most of the college and grounds!
  • 30-60 minutes at Duke Humfrey’s depending on which tour you pick
  • 15 minutes at the Divinity School – it’s just one room
  • 30-45 minutes at New College
  • 10-?? minutes at Turf Tavern (depending on if you stop for a drink).

Total entrance fees: If you follow this Harry Potter Oxford tour exactly, your entrance fees will come to £33.50 based on Christ Church costing £17, New College costing £8, Duke Humfrey’s costing £6 for a tour and the Divinity School costing £2.50.

Official Harry Potter Oxford tours

If you’d rather explore the Harry Potter locations in Oxford with an official guide, browse these tours.

Browse all Harry tours in Oxford.

If you’re coming from London and don’t wish to self-navigate, you can take a Harry Potter day tour from London with GetYourGuide. The tour combines an Oxford walking tour with a visit to the iconic Warner Bros Studio London, where you’ll learn behind-the-scenes secrets from the making of the movies and discover iconic set features, including the Hogwarts Express train.

Once in Oxford, your guided tour will take you to selected colleges, alongside Bodleian Library, Radcliffe Camera, and the Sheldonian Theatre.

Harry Potter shops in Oxford

Broad Street and Cornmarket encompass all kinds of shops, cafes and restaurants but they’ve recently become a hotspot for fans of Harry Potter in Oxford. Here are a few of the best wizard shops for muggles in Oxford:

  • Head to the House of Wonders to rummage for wands, sorting hats, cuddly owls and more.
  • The Shop of Secrets is a great place to search for souvenirs and collectables, including a licensed collection of wands (Note: the store recently moved from Broad Street to the back of the Oxford Campus store).
  • Flaggs is the place to shop for both general Oxford and HP-related souvenirs, and you’ll find plenty of collectables within the Watsons of Oxford store too.

Head to nearby Blenheim to see the Harry Potter tree

Another related attraction within Oxfordshire can be found a short bus ride away within the Blenheim Palace grounds beside the village of Woodstock.

This famous tree was used as a filming location in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix during a flashback had by Professor Snape. Not only is the tree free to visit, but the whole of Blenheim is free to enter if you use my guide to the Blenheim free entry gates.

The S3 bus runs every 30 minutes from Oxford’s Gloucester Green, arriving right outside Blenheim Palace. The ride takes 30 minutes and tickets cost just £2 each way.

More things to do in Oxford


Visit the Radcliffe Camera and Radcliffe Square: this scenic square is home to one of the important buildings in Oxford, the Radcliffe Camera which is a library and part of the Bodleian Library. Even just viewing it from the outside is incredible but you shouldn’t miss the iconic view from the top of the University Church of St Mary the Virgin (£5 for the tower climb).

Spot the quirky Sheldonian Heads on the outside of the Sheldonian Theatre.

Walk under the Bridge of Sighs named after the one in Venice. This is close to the Turf Tavern that I’ve already mentioned as one of the Harry Potter locations in Oxford.

Try punting along the river – it’s £25 an hour per boat or you can hire a chauffeur for £35.

Visit museums like the Pitt Rivers and the Ashmolean – and have tea or drinks on the roof of the Ashmolean.

Take a nature walk in University Parks or check out cool neighbourhoods like Jericho and the Cowley Road.

Another fun Harry Potter-related activity in Oxford

Harry superfans may be delighted to know that you can watch a real (well, sort of!) Quidditch match in Oxford!

How is this possible, you might wonder? Well, like many universities these days, Oxford University has a Quidditch Club and they put on competitive matches from 2-4pm on Wednesdays and Saturdays in University Parks. Anyone can go and watch!

More literary connections in Oxford

fawn statue

Although it’s the Oxford Harry Potter connection that keeps tourists coming, there are plenty of other points of interest for bookworms and movie buffs. Some places to check out are:

  • The Eagle and Child pub – this historic drinking hole is where members of the ‘Inklings’ literary group would meet to discuss their work. Members of the group included J.R.R Tolkien and C.S Lewis who wrote Lord of the Rings and The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe!
  • Alice and Wonderland locations – author Lewis Carroll was said to have based his literary dodo on the one in the Natural History Museum and there’s also a stained glass window at Christ Church College with an Alice connection. Finally, the Alice Shop on St. Aldate’s is where the real Alice (the daughter of Carroll’s friend) would buy sweets.
  • Narnia locations – there are several Oxford locations thought to have inspired C.S Lewis including the gold ‘fawn’ on St Mary’s Passage.
  • Discover more on a C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien walking history tour of Oxford (£27).

Where to refuel

Check out my Oxford food and drink guides because I’ve written in detail about brunch, coffee, Asian restaurants and more!

For a quick eat, Sasi’s Thai in the Covered Market is one of my favourite Oxford restaurants. Coffee lovers, head straight to the Missing Bean on Turl Street, one of the best cafes in Oxford known for its cappuccinos and cakes.

Getting to Oxford

Book a train on Trainline; it takes just 1 hour from London Paddington.

A cheaper option is the Oxford Tube, a bus service that runs up to every 10 minutes between Oxford and London.

In addition to the Oxford Tube, there are a few other bus services running between UK cities and Oxford. Compare journey prices and times on Busbud.

Thanks for reading!

Visiting the UK? 

Guidebooks – LP always get my seal of approval. Use the latest copy of Lonely Planet England.

Getting around by air – I use Skyscanner to find the best-value flights, using the ‘search by month’ tool to find the cheapest dates. You can also use the ‘to anywhere’ feature if you’re flexible on where you’re going.

Car hire – use to compare car rentals in the UK (and all around the world).

For hotels and self-catering apartments, I use You can filter by review score and price to find the best-rated budget places. For hostels, I use

To save money on accommodation, I use Trusted Housesitters, a website that connects homeowners going away and travellers who can sit their homes & pets.

I use GetYourGuide for tours & activities when I don’t want to travel solo. The guides are knowledgeable and you can’t beat the prices. I also check Viator as they often have fun and unique offerings.

Need travel insurance? I use True Traveller (for Europe residents) since it’s affordable but covers everything you’d need including various activities, valuables and pre-existing conditions. Unlike some companies, they insure you if you’re already travelling / don’t yet have your flight home booked. Get a quote.

For travel insurance for other nationalities, I recommend Hey Mundo and for long-term digital nomad travellers, I suggest Safety Wing.

Check out my resources page for more travel discounts and budget tips from my 10+ years on the road!

Thanks for following my Harry Potter Oxford tour!

Check out my other Oxford posts:

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1 thoughts on “Self-Guided Oxford Harry Potter Tour – 9 Filming Locations & Map

  1. Dominique | says:

    I’m sharing this with a friend of mine. She’s going to London soon to visit Harry Potter related sights, I’m sure she wouldn’t mind a bit of a detour!

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