Harry Potter filming locations: visit the real-life Godric’s Hollow and one of the most beautiful small towns in Britain!
HARRY POTTER LOCATIONS
The Harry Potter books and films have always had a special place in my heart.
They teach us about some of the most important values in life – friendship, loyalty, love, equality, and that “We’ve all got both light and dark inside us. What matters is the part we choose to act on. That’s who we really are.” [“Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix”]
As a true Harry Potter fan, I have already visited some of the best attractions and filming locations, such as:
- ‘The making of Harry Potter’ Warner Bros Studio Tour in Watford,
- The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios in both Orlando and Los Angeles (the one in Orlando is better than the one in LA as it has more attractions),
- Malham Cove (in “Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows Part 1”, Harry & Hermione set up camp in a tent on the Limestone Pavement at the top of Malham Cove),
- Alnwick Castle in Northumberland (the courtyards and baileys of Alnwick Castle were used to film Hogwarts students and staff going about their daily activities),
- London Zoo’s Reptile House (where Harry frees a python and realizes he can talk to snakes in “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone”).
This post focuses on another place known to any Harry Potter fan: Godric’s Hollow.
Godric’s Hollow is a fictional village in England featured in the books and film series as the birthplace of both Harry Potter and his wizarding headmaster, Albus Dumbledore.
“He was about to go home, about to return to the place where he had had a family. It was in Godric’s Hollow that, but for Voldemort, he would have grown up and spent every school holiday. He could have invited friends to his house. . . . He might even have had brothers and sisters. . . . It would have been his mother who had made his seventeenth birthday cake. The life he had lost had hardly ever seemed so real to him as at this moment, when he knew he was about to see the place where it had been taken from him.”
[“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows”]
Although Godric’s Hollow is fictional, it was based on a real place: Lavenham in Suffolk.
Described by The Guardian as ‘one of the most beautiful small towns in Britain’, it was chosen as the location for scenes in Godric’s Hollow.
As I don’t live far from Lavenham, it was time to pay a visit and check out this famous location.
Let’s have a little tour of this magical place, shall we?
GODRIC’S HOLLOW: THE GUILDHALL AND DE VERE HOUSE
The Guildhall and De Vere house were both used as CGI (Computer-Generated Imagery) backdrops in Godric’s Hollow in ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1’.
The Guildhall is a spectacular timber-framed building built around 1530. Set in at the heart of the village, the historic Market Place, it’s now a museum with exhibitions telling the stories of Lavenham’s fortunes.
The more famous of the two, Grade 1-listed De Vere House, is a 14th-century cottage once owned by Britain’s second to the royal family in terms of wealth and very powerful De Vere family.
But its fame comes from modern fiction as this was the place where Harry Potter was born, where Lord Voldemort killed his parents, gave him his famous scar, and at the same time inadvertently made him a Horcrux.
De Vere House is the second most photographed doorway in the whole of the UK, after number 10 Downing Street!
Today, De Vere House is a luxury Bed and Breakfast accommodation so you could stay there if your visit lasts more than a day.
UNIQUE ARCHITECTURE OF LAVENHAM
There is much more to Lavenham than its Harry Potter reference.
Lavenham is often referred to as ‘England’s finest medieval village’ and not without reason.
Full of half-timbered and colorful medieval cottages, Lavenham is a truly magical place and it feels like you are really walking through Godric’s Hollow.
It must be magical as although it’s in the UK when I visited Lavenham there was a clear blue sky and glorious sunshine.
Have a look at the beautiful architecture of Lavenham below; it’s hard to believe but this please really exists!
BEST THINGS TO DO IN LAVENHAM
Whilst visiting Lavenham, make sure not to miss the best attractions!
- Lavenham Falconry – a fantastic day out for all the family with a wide range of Bird of Prey Experiences.
- Little Hall – a 14th Century house, open to the public as a museum filled with beautiful antique furnishings and artifacts. You can wander through the seven rooms and discover the treasures of Little Hall including the study with exotic Persian panels and the spectacular upstairs chamber with its striking crown-post. Finish the tour with a walk around the beautiful garden.
- The Church of St Peter & St Paul – a Grade 1 Listed Building that is regarded as one of the finest examples of late Perpendicular Gothic architecture in England. The tower is 141 ft tall and the interior includes some truly outstanding fittings.
- Lavenham Farmers’ Market – officially the best market in Suffolk, is held on the fourth Sunday of every month in Lavenham Village Hall.
- The Great House Restaurant & Hotel – originally built in the 14th Century, it’s one of Britain’s finest boutique hotels with an award-winning restaurant.
- The Greyhound – offers comfortable, casual, and refined dining in a historic location. I had lunch there and the food was delicious!
When you are planning your visit, check out the Love Lavenham website for some great information about the village life and local attractions.
Lavenham is the most beautiful village in the UK that I have visited so far.
Whether you are a fan of Harry Potter, medieval architecture, or looking for a nice day out with your family, Lavenham is likely to surprise you in many different ways!
If you are looking for some more interesting things to do in the UK, check out this post about Dungeness.
Thanks for stopping by!
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