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Kings Cross Station.
Kings Cross Station.
Harry Potter.
Harry Potter.
Movie World Gold Coast.

Harry Potter

Thursday, December 5, 2002
Catriona would like to show you locations used across England for Harry Potter — welcome to the world of Hogwarts.

Author JK Rowling could never have guessed the impact her character, Harry Potter, would make worldwide. She has written four books so far, and all will eventually be filmed.

The title character is orphaned, and lives a loveless life in a cupboard in the home of some unkind relations in Surrey. It seems Harry's parents were wizards and thanks to a visit on his birthday from Hagrid, he learns he too is a wizard. The story follows his attendance at Hogwart's School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, where many other fascinating characters are introduced and get the imagination throbbing along.

A variety of locations was used, including Australia House on The Strand. Its Exhibition Hall was transformed into the goblin-run Gringott's Bank. The site once housed notorious slums and the land was bought by the Commonwealth Government in 1912 for just £1 million. The imposing limestone building was chosen as a location for the film as cinematographer, Australian John Seale, thought the marble floors and chandeliers would be perfect.

Platforms four and five of Kings Cross Station were transformed into Platform 9¾ the departure point of the Hogwart Express heading to Hogsmeade Station.

The Bodleian Library in the University of Oxford has a history from 1602, and comprises many libraries and reading rooms. For filming, the Divinity School became the infirmary where Harry went after his battle with Voldemort and the Duke Humfrey's Library became the Hogwart's Library where research on the Philosopher's Stone was carried out.

Christ Church College is one of Oxford University's 39 colleges. Before Harry Potter was even thought of, Lewis Carrol, who was a mathematics don at Christ Church, used his surroundings as inspiration for Alice in Wonderland. JRR Tolkien and CS Lewis were also fellows in this inspirational place.

The Great Hall and stairway leading to it were the inspiration for the Great Hall at Hogwarts. A replica was created as not even a Hollywood blockbuster could budge university tradition, and as it is a dining room and meals could not be interrupted, filming was not permitted there.

Gloucester Cathedral's medieval cloisters were transformed into Hogwart's hallways. The 600-year-old architectural gems were taken over by talking paintings and mad ghosts, young actors and their tutors and extras from the Kings College next door.

Tucked away in North Yorkshire and part of the moors railway is Goathland Station. It, of course, became Hogsmead Station and was the end of the line for the Hogwart's Express. Alistair Dalgleish, the real life ticket collector, was used as a porter in the movie, but both he and the station have gone back to being the way they were — except Alistair now has plenty of wonderful stories to tell, including the one about how he ran over Hagrid (Robbie Coltrane) with a porter's barrow!

Alnwick Castle in Northumberland is England's second largest tenanted castle. It has been the ancestral home of the Duke of Northumberland since 1309 and the stronghold has survived many battles. These days it contentedly overlooks the pretty town of Alnwick and some magnificent examples of the craftsmanship of Capability Brown, England's greatest landscape gardener.

The castle has a rather stern, medieval exterior, but inside it is an Aladdin's cave of Italian Renaissance, fine furniture and exquisite china. Its walls are dripping with paintings of Titian, Van Dyck and Canaletto.

The Abbot's Tower houses the Regimental Museum of the Royal Northumberland Fusiliers; the Postern Tower has an archaeological museum and the Constable's Tower has exhibitions on the Percy Tenantry Volunteers of the Napoleonic wars. They were rewarded with half-acre strips of land for their services, and the marked out lots are still evident.

The castle more recently became the Hogwart's School of Wizardry, and it is where Harry and his friends learned to use their Nimbus 2000 broomsticks. The grounds were the scene for the all-important Quidditch match, and were used as a base for the many computer-generated effects.

Even if you aren't remotely interested in Harry Potter and his magical friends, the places used in the making of the film are historic and interesting to visit.

Location

On location across England.

Cost

Qantas flies daily to London. Prices start at $2099 per person from the east coast, Adelaide and Perth.
Car hire is available through World Cars and starts at $42 per day.
Christ Church College is open from 9.30am to 5.30pm Monday-Saturday, 11.30-5.30 on Sunday.
Bodleian Library Rooms open at 9am and close at around 9pm. They open on Saturday mornings.
Gloucester Cathedral is open for tours from 10:30am to 4pm each day except Sunday.
Alnwick Castle is open from March 28 to October 25 between 11am and 5pm.
Please note prices are valid at time of transmission and to the best of our knowledge are inclusive of GST.

More information

World Cars
Ph: (02) 9939 8999 Fax: (02) 9939 8111
E-mail: info@worldbycar.com.au
British Tourist Authority
Ph: (02) 9377 4400 www.visitbritain.com
Australia House
The Strand, London WC2B 4LA
0011 44 207 887 5477
www.australia.org.uk
Christ Church College
Ph: 0011 44 1865 27 6150
Oxford University
www.chch.ox.ac.uk
Bodleian Library
Ph: 0011 44 1 1751 47 2508
Oxford University
www.bodley.ox.ac.uk
Gloucester Cathedral
Ph: 0011 44 1452 52 8095
www.gloucestercathedral.uk.com
Goathland Station
Ph: 0011 44 1751 47 2508
www.northyorkshiremoorsrailway.com
Alnwick Castle
www.alnwickcastle.com
Find out when the best time to travel to the United Kingdom is.

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