York is a magical place for anyone to visit, but for Harry Potter fans it’s extra special thanks to the city’s connection with JK Rowling’s much-loved books. Grab your cloaks and wands and hop on your broomsticks to enjoy some fantastically enchanting York experiences.
Amble down the Shambles – or should that be Diagon Alley?
Popular with Harry Potter fans the world over, York’s famous medieval street, the Shambles, is said to have been the inspiration for Diagon Alley. Walk down the cobbles and you’ll soon see why, with its timber framed buildings oozing history and charm. Formerly a street of butchers’ shops adorned with hanging meat and with raw sewage running along it, it’s a street that could tell a story or two.
Although it retains its original charm, the modern-day Shambles is a sweet-smelling experience with many a treat for Potter fans. Visit The Potions Cauldron at No. 9 ¾ (of course) to make your own magic potion, see the amazing LEGO Hogwarts and visit the potion room.
Also on the Shambles is The Shop that Must Not be Named, complete with official Harry Potter merchandise, a cast of Potter-mad staff and even broomstick parking. It’s the ideal place to pick up a new wand or replace your old cloak.
Shambles, York YO1 7LX
Visit York Railway Station to cross the King Cross bridge
Apparently the bridge that Harry and Hagrid cross is at York station! Make a pilgrimage to York’s main transport hub and watch out for steam trains that are Hogwarts-bound… York Railway Station, Station Road, York YO24 1AB
Head to Hogsmeade (AKA Goathland Station)
A short drive from York are the North York Moors, one of the most stunning parts of the country. The North York Moors Railway is one of the top visitor attractions, not least because of its connection to the Harry Potter films. Goathland Railway Station was transformed into Hogsmeade, welcoming Harry Potter and his friends to their new term at Hogwarts. While you’re there, we’d really recommend riding the North York Moors Railway for the full experience – it’s a truly magical thing to do, and one of our top recommendations for family days out in the North York Moors. Goathland Station, Cow Wath Bank, Goathland, Whitby YO22 5NF – Visit the North York Moors Railway website
Stay at The Enchantment Chamber
For a really immersive Harry Potter experience, there’s no better place to stay than The Enchantment Chamber, a Harry Potter-themed apartment just a snitch’s throw from York city centre. With magical artefacts and attention to detail, it’s a stay to remember. For something more traditional, take a look at our family-friendly places to stay in and around York, from hotels to self-catering. The Enchantment Chamber, 44 Cocoa Suites, Navigation Rd, York YO1 9AE – Visit the website
Explore Malham Cove
Have courage, channel your inner Dumbledore and head out to Malham Cove in the Yorkshire Dales where you’ll see one of the the settings for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part One, where Harry and Hermione hide from Lord Voldemort. Malham, Skipton BD23 4DJ
There’s a lot for Harry Potter fans to love about a trip to Yorkshire, from the Shambles in York to the North Yorkshire Moors for Hogsmeade and the Yorkshire Dales too. Happy wizarding!