For those that don’t know, I’m a huge Harry Potter fan. A Potterhead to be exact. My whole childhood consists of Harry Potter, the books, the movies all of it. I spent this past summer at Universal Studios living in the Wizarding World that is Harry Potter. With that in mind, I knew before I even made it to England that Harry Potter film sites were things I wanted to do. On Pinterest, I found out that Gloucester Cathedral was utilized for the 3 of the 8 movies for Hogwarts and as it happens Gloucester is decently close to Exeter, a trip was in the making.
At about 1 p.m. on a November Saturday, James and I were in Gloucester, excited to live our childhood dreams of going to Hogwarts, okay maybe my childhood dream – James was along for the ride.
The Cathedral itself is free, however, as is the case with many “free” Cathedrals – they hope visitors will leave donations so they can maintain the Church as necessary. It just so happened on the day we were visiting a wedding was occurring. How exciting! I never imagined myself getting married in a Church, but if I were you’d be darn sure it’s in the Church that is the film site of Hogwarts. That’s like getting married AT Hogwarts. What more could a Potterhead ask for?! Anyway, now that I’m totally geeked out – we were actually able to see the ceremony occurring and the bride looked beautiful. Later on in the afternoon we actually came across the wedding party taking their photos in one of the hallways, with a backdrop like this Cathedral I’m sure the photos were beautiful.
Basically, James and I spent about two hours walking around the Cloisters of the Cathedral, taking massive amounts of photos, and re-enacting scenes from the movie..yes we ARE that lame and quite unashamed. This Cathedral was used for 3 of the films as the Halls of Hogwarts – Harry Potter 1/2/6.
Here’s James pretending to be late for Potions:
Most Notable Scenes filmed:
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.
- The scene where the troll was set loose and went into the girl’s bathroom that Hermione was hiding in was filmed in the north section of the Cloisters. Also when Harry and Ron were hiding around the corner, this was filmed in the Lavatorium of this Cathedral.
- The hallway where the Fat Lady’s Portrait, aka entrance into Gryffindor Common Room, was filmed in the south section of the Cloisters.
- Gryffindor Common Room hallway was also filmed in the south section of the Cloisters.
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.
- The scene where “The Chamber of Secrets has been opened”, is painted in blood on the wall was filmed on the east wall of the Cloisters. Below is a photo of me standing where the words were written
- The scene where Moaning Myrtle flooded the toilets was filmed just a few paces from the east wall.
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
- The scene where Harry overhears Snape and Draco discussing the unbreakable vow – he was filmed hiding in the Lavatorium
- The scene where Harry and Ron are standing on the ledge, laughing at the first years and McGonogall calls Harry over and tells him he can take Potions with Slughorn and to take Weasley with him was filmed on the west walk of the Cloisters, just near the cafe. Below is James re-enacting the scene of overlooking the (invisible) crowd of first years.
Following our return the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, we decided to walk around the rest of Gloucester and see what the town had to offer.
There was a Christmas Market going on in Gloucester’s City Center, so we walked through the stalls and shops – window shopping of course since we’re broke. After that, we walked down to the Gloucester Docks and strolled past the picturesque canals. We came across The House of “The Tailor of Gloucester” which is the real-life version of the famed story books so that was quite interesting. More or less, we spent about an hour and a half just strolling through the city going in and out of shops and wandering around. We quickly realized we had way too much time in Gloucester because we were able to see pretty much everything within 4 hours and still had 3 more until our train.
Our solution? Food of course. When we had first arrived into Gloucester we saw a pub right next to the train station that was advertising a lunch special – 2 mains for just £10. We decided we would treat ourselves and go sit down, eat our lunch very, very slowly and have a nice long conversation. James opted for a healthy portion of fish and chips, while I did the Rice and Veg. Curry. It was actually very tasty and we were fortunate we found a way to spend the last few hours in Gloucester together, enjoying each others company.
Total Cost for James and I: £72
- Food: £10
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