We all, old and young, have watched Harry Potter’s first and second movies but do you really want to live it? Then pack your things and allons-y to Alnwick Castle in Northumberland, England where our story for today starts.
This castle is fairly known has Hogwarts for the first 2 movies of Harry Potter film-series. If you are wondering which scenes, keep up with me till the end and you will be really amazed about what you will see.
Alnwick’s Castle first appearance in a Harry Potter movie, was in one of the most memorable scenes in the whole film-series. It was when Harry had his first flying lesson with Madame …… (if you don’t remember her name, go watch the movie before continuing reading you Muggle). SPOILER ALERT !!! what happened in this scene was that Neville had some trouble controlling his broomstick and landed on a statue hanging on one of the entrances. For the record, this statue is not a part of the castle but Warner Bros put it in for filming then took it off after, since on every top of the castle there’s a statue except this entrance. Anyway, when he was hanging up there, his “remembrall” felt down and Malfoy had it. A wee clash of course between the hero, Harry, and the bad boy, Malfoy, led to a pursuit using the broomsticks. All this happened in front of Miss McGonagall window which is located in Gryffindor Tower (one of Alnwick castle’s tower). If you look closer to the tower photo down here, you can actually see the lion crest on it which helped a lot the director since the Sigel for Gryffindor is the Lion.
Take a look at this short YouTube video about this scene if you don’t recall all these places:
The second time it appears when Harry has been named in Gryffindor Quidditch team as the youngest seeker in the history of Hogwarts. Oliver Wood, the Gryffindor team captain, had set Harry’s first training really early in the morning and that took place in the same field as Madame Hooch’s first flying lesson.
Another iconic scene from the movie has been filmed in Alnwick castle and it’s one of my favourite but first let me refresh your memory. Do you remember the first charm Harry, Ron and Hermione learned in HP 1? – Hint: Levitation Charm.
You are right !! it’s “Wingardium Leviosa”. According to Hermione, it’s spelled: wing-GAR-dee-um levi-O-sa. I think you already got the scene and here’s a picture of it when Ron was making fun her after getting out of the class.
Once again, Alnwick castle has featured in the first movie with its fantastic entrance, the Lion Arch it’s called. As the three musketeers Harry, Ron and Hermione were walking out of the castle while trying to convince Hagrid that Snape was casting a spell on Harry’s broomstick during his first quidditch match (which was against Slytherin, obviously). If you rewatch the movie again, make sure to take a closer look the wall behind them and you will find that it’s the only wall in Hogwarts that has the unique cross “+” symbol on it.
Also, in the next scene, the Christmassy one, we see Hagrid pulling a giant Christmas tree. This took place in Alnwick castle as well in a place called the Inner Bailey. Sorry I didn’t take any photos of this place but it’s not the end of the world as long as this castle gives me more and more about my beloved Harry Potter.
The lion arch has been highlighted more than once in the first movie as the entrance of Hogwarts and one of the last times you will see it in the first movie is when Harry, Ron, Hermione and Malfoy have been punished by Prof. McGonagall for staying out of bed after hours and then been walked out of the castle by Argus Filch, the caretaker of Hogwarts. A fanciful panoramic scene of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Notice that all the castle parts in this scene have been added in Harry Potter studios in London except the Lion Arch, as the castle’s entrance, which has been filmed in Northumberland where the castle is.
Believe it or not but the next photo shows the “Forbidden Forest” featured in the first HP movie. You can see as well Hagrid’s hut laying at its entrance.
Last but not least, the Weasley’s magical flying car, what was its brand? You see, you start to forget a lot about Harry Potter’s World. It’s a “Ford Anglia”. Featuring in the second movie Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, the crash-landing was set in the Inner Bailey of Alnwick Castle as you can see on the photo but some of you will be saying “Ahu! but where is the Whomping Willow?” – The answer is there was not even a normal tree and the Whomping Willow has been added in HP studios in London.
NB: If you want to know more about the flying car route to Hogwarts, check my other post about “Harry Potter bridge & Highlands Day-Trip”.
This one-day virtual tour has come to an end and I hope you enjoyed it. I would strongly recommend a visit to this mysterious castle at least once-per lifetime but it’s a must. So Hurry up and make a room for it on your Bucket list and trust me, you will not regret it.
If you have any comments don’t hesitate to write it and if you seek any advice about the tour just get in touch with me. I will let you now enjoy some of the fabulous photos of the day and remember, the Sorting Hat takes your choice into account.