What to do at the Weekend:
Visit the Lacock Village Harry Potter Filming Locations
In September, we travelled down to the Southern Cotswolds to the beautiful village of Lacock and Lacock Abbey to see where some of the scenes from the Harry Potter film series were shot.
Aside from being one of the oldest and prettiest villages in the UK, it is also littered with filming locations used throughout the Harry Potter movie franchise.
Obviously, this is ideal for big Harry Potter fans like us!
In this blog we’re going to review some of the Lacock Abbey and Lacock Village Harry Potter filming locations.
The Charming Village of Budleigh Babberton (Lacock Village)
“This, Harry, is the charming village of Budleigh Babberton” so said Albus Dumbledore to Harry Potter in the sixth book (and film) The Half-Blood Prince.
In the films, Lacock Village provides the perfect location for Budleigh Babberton.
Lacock is like something out of a postcard.
The village’s quaint 13th century cottage-like houses are dressed in that hallmark Cotswolds limestone and little ‘local’ shops and pubs appear around almost every turn.
It is every single bit the quintessentially English village.
The kind of setting you imagine some Americans think all of England is like.
Where is Lacock Village?
The village of Lacock is nestled in Southwest England, not too far away from the gorgeous Cotswolds village of Castle Combe and further afield, the historic City of Bath.
In modern times, Lacock has become extremely popular as a movie and television backdrop.
This is due to the lack of modern day mainstays such as telephone poles and antennas.
Lacock is also the birthplace of photography.
William Henry Fox Talbot created the earliest surviving photograph negative in 1835 – a picture taken of Lacock Abbey (which we’ll come to later.)
How much does it cost to walk around Lacock Village?
Lacock is owned by the National Trust and aside from the cost of parking (which is free to members), the village is free to walk around.
Where are the Lacock Village Harry Potter Filming locations?
Such a pretty village is naturally the ideal location for J.K Rowling’s Budleigh Babberton.
Below, we’ll tell you which locations were used in the filming of the Harry Potter films and what to look out for.
Godric’s Hollow – Lily and James Potter’s House
The original portrayal of their house in Godric’s Hollow appeared in the Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (Sorcerer’s Stone for our American readers) film.
Walk past St. Cyriac’s Church in Lacock and at the end of Church Street, you’ll see a little private house with a blue door.
This is number 21 Church Street and the original house used for Lily and James Potter’s house in Godric’s Hollow.
This pretty little dwelling has two tall hedges at the front and a low garden gate.
Where does the house appear in the films?
The house appears as Hagrid recounts the events that led to Harry becoming orphaned.
In the film, we see Lord Voldemort break in through the front door, before murdering Harry’s parents using the Avada Kadavara curse.
(Hopefully that’s not a spoiler for anyone).
Godric’s Hollow appears again in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1, but this was located in the Suffolk village of Lavenham.
The House Where Horace Slughorn is Hiding in Lacock Village
“(I) Never stay in one place more than a week. Move from Mug-gle house to Muggle house — the owners of this place are on holiday in the Canary Islands — it’s been very pleasant, I’ll be sorry to leave.”
Horace Slughorn explains to Harry and Dumbledore as he is introduced to the first time in the Half-Blood Prince.
It is revealed that Slughorn has been hiding out from Death Eaters (Voldemort disciples) in the village of Budleigh Babberton, while they try to recruit him.
The house where Horace Slughorn is hiding is in fact one of the Lacock Village Harry Potter filming locations.
At 4-6 Chapel Hill in Lacock Village, we find the house that was used in the film.
It’s a large property visible from the bridge as you approach from the village. It is important to note that this is a private property, so if you are planning to visit, please be respectful.
Like when Horace Slughorn was hiding there, the house in Lacock currently looks unoccupied (perhaps the tenants had enough people taking pictures).
The garden gate has a hole in it and the place is looking a bit sorry for itself.
Maybe however, it is meant to look that way by another wizard laying low there.
The Babberton Arms AKA Sign of the Angel Pub
In the 6th film, Harry and Dumbledore are wandering through the ‘charming village’ of Budleigh Babberton.
Eagle eyed viewers and avid Potter fans will notice that pass the ‘Babberton Arms’ whilst heading over to Slughorn’s hideout.
The Babberton Arms is actually a pub called Sign of the Angel in Lacock Village.
This timber-framed 15th-century is just like any other old pub in England in reality.
It features low doorways, wood floors, ales, and good food.
You can also stay the night if you fancy stopping over and checking out all of the Lacock Village Harry Potter Filming locations over the weekend.
We stopped for a beer in the large beer garden, which features a river to the rear. We visited on a Sunday and it does get quite busy due to folks popping in for their Sunday dinner.
Well worth a visit, even if it’s just to say you have been there!
About Lacock Abbey
So, before we get onto the filming locations at Lacock Abbey we just thought we’d tell you a bit about the Abbey because it’s really cool.
Located just next to Lacock Village, it is a beautiful old building that is owned by the National Trust.
Lacock Abbey is almost 800 years old having been founded in 1232 by the Countess of Salisbury.
Back then, the abbey also housed a convent and the monasterial past is quite evident.
Ela, The Countess of Salisbury who founded the building, was one of the most powerful women in England at the time.
However, she actually became one of the nuns living at the Abbey soon after its completion.
The convent closed in 1539 as part of the Dissolution of the Monasteries.
The abbey was bought by William Sharington in 1540 for £730. He transformed the abbey buildings from a convent to a country house.
He chose not to demolish the stone cloister, probably the most striking features of the Abbey today.
The Birthplace of Photography
William Henry Fox Talbot was a pioneer of Victorian photography and he created the earliest surviving photographic negative at Lacock Abbey in 1835.
His ambition to create a way to ‘fix images’ was driven by his frustration at his lack of painting and drawing prowess.
The famous negative he produced is of an image of a window at Lacock Abbey.
This is now come to be recognized as the world’s earliest surviving photographic negative.
Lacock Abbey Admission Prices
Unlike Lacock Village, there is a charge to go into Lacock Abbey. If you aren’t National Trust Members it will set you back £16.50 each for an adult and £8.50 each for children.
Hogwarts Filming Locations at Lacock Abbey
Lacock Abbey has served as the filming location for some of the scenes inside Hogwarts in the first two films and Fantastic Beasts: Crimes of Grindelwald.
The Warming Room at Lacock Abbey – Defence Against the Dark Arts Classroom
As you enter Lacock Abbey turn right and you will see The Warming Room.
This is a large airy room that is well lit on bright days in the sunshine.
At first glance, the cast iron cauldron placed in the centre of the room is perhaps a nod to the Harry Potter scene shot in this room.
But it isn’t.
The cauldron is a genuine 16th Century artifact from the warming room at Lacock.
Image Credit: National Trust (it’s much better than our pic!)
The Warming Room is featured in Harry Potter and Philosopher’s Stone and serves as professor Quirral’s Defence Against the Dark Arts Classroom.
In the film, Professor McGonagall interrupts Professor Quirral’s class to ask for Oliver Wood (Gryffindor Quidditch Team Captain) and nominate Harry Potter as the team’s seeker.
“Potter, this is Oliver Wood. Wood — I’ve found you a Seeker.”
Wood’s expression changed from puzzlement to delight.
The Sacristy at Lacock Abbey – Professor Snape’s Classroom
As you enter Lacock Abbey, turn left and walk towards the far end of the corridor – towards the Harry Potter film totem.
The Sacristy is one the left and this room served as Professor Snape’s Potions classroom in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.
The Sacristy is actually one of the oldest parts of the building, having been there since the 1230’s.
Back when the Abbey was a working building, the Sacristy would have been used to store vessels (but probably not potions) for church services.
You can easily recognise the room in the background of the “clearly, fame isn’t everything” dressing-down that Snape gives Harry in his first potions lesson.
The Chapter House at Lacock Abbey – The Mirror of Erised Scene
“So — back again, Harry?”
Harry felt as though his insides had turned to ice. He looked behind him. Sitting on one of the desks by the wall was none other than Albus Dumbledore. Harry must have walked straight past him, so desperate to get to the mirror he hadn’t noticed him.”
As you enter the Abbey, turn left and walk about halfway up the corridor.
Turn left into the Chapter House.
The Lacock Chapter House served as the resting place for the Mirror of Erised in the first film.
In one of the most touching and iconic scenes of the whole book and films series, this scene sees Dumbledore explain to Harry how the Mirror of Erised works.
“It shows us nothing more or less than the deepest, most desperate desire of our hearts.”
Explaining how Harry is able to see his deceased parents in the mirror’s reflection.
Fans will recognise the Chapter House from this scene but The Chapter House of Lacock Abbey is used again in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, as a Hogwarts study hall.
The scene shows the Hogwarts students studying for an exam.
Lacock Abbey Cloister – Hogwarts Corridors
Whilst we’re still hoping that our Hogwarts letters are merely delayed by postal strikes.
We are happy to have sampled at least a taste of what it’s like to walk the Hogwarts corridors.
The cloister of Lacock Abbey was the backdrop to some iconic scenes within Hogwarts in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.
Potter fans will recognise the corridors from when Harry escapes from Filch after being in the restricted section at night whilst under his invisibility cloak.
He then observes Snape warning Professor Quirrell.
“You don’t want me as your enemy, Quirrell,” said Snape, taking a step toward him.
“I-I don’t know what you…”
“You know perfectly well what I mean.”
The Cloister in the Chamber of Secrets
In the Chamber of Secrets Lacock Abbey cloister makes an appearance in a couple of the night-time scenes.
We remembered it from the scene where Harry finds a petrified Nearly Headless Nick.
More recently, the Lacock Cloister has featured in the Fantastic Beasts film: The Crimes of Grindelwald.
If you spot any more scenes where it is featured, let us know in the comments!
Pro-Tip for Visiting Lacock Abbey
We say this with everything but it is important here – get here early. Lacock Abbey opens at 10.30am.
Especially on weekends, arrive as early as possible if you want to get unobstructed pictures of the Lacock Cloisters and corridors.
It is understandably very popular with Harry Potter fans!
More Harry Potter Related Adventures
If you want to read more of our Harry Potter related content, head on over to our blog post about the Harry Potter Studio Tour in London.
Went spent the day nerding out at the Warner Brothers Studio and learning about everything there is to know about the Harry Potter films.