Yorkshire born and bred, Ritchie enjoys writing about his corner of the UK.
Pottermania in York
As you probably already know, York has some pretty strong ties to the Harry Potter franchise.
In fact, the street the Harry Potter shops are located on is called The Shambles and is said to be the inspiration for Diagon Alley (although the films were not actually shot there).
If you want to do some shopping while in York, then you'll want to head to The Shambles, where you'll find a number of different shops that sell all sorts of Harry Potter merchandise.
About The Shambles
The Shambles is a medieval street in York, England. The street has overhanging timber-framed buildings, some of which date back as far as the 14th century. It was once known as "the most crooked and narrowest street in Europe".
The street is located in the city centre, close to other major tourist attractions such as York Minster and Clifford's Tower. It is a popular spot for tourists, especially Harry Potter fans, as it is said to be the franchise inspiration for Diagon Alley.
If you don't know Potter-lore, Diagon Alley is where Harry is taken in at the beginning of the first book to buy his wand, pet owl Hedwig and textbooks. They return throughout the series before the academic year begins.
Having walked through the street many times, you will find it is often actually quite awkward to navigate given the number of people that coddle down the street and its uneven surface. It is beautiful and packed with history and unique shops to explore.
There are several Harry Potter shops on The Shambles, including The Shop That Must Not Be Named and The Potions Cauldron. There are plenty of other shops and cafes that make it the perfect place to spend a day exploring.
If you're visiting York, be sure to add The Shambles to your list of things to see and do. You won't be disappointed!
The Shop That Must Not Be Named
Address: 30 Shambles, York YO1 7LX
This is the original Harry Potter shop in York, and it's located right on The Shambles (somewhat at the end or beginning depending on which way you face it). They sell all sorts of officially licensed Harry Potter merchandise, so this is the place to go whether you're looking for a new wand or just some souvenirs.
It offers a wide range of products from the movie series, including wands, quidditch supplies, books, and even clothes. They also have a section dedicated to Fantastic Beasts, which is perfect if you're a fan of both franchises.
One thing to note is that this shop can get pretty busy, especially in the summer, so it's best to go early or later in the day to avoid the crowds. There are literally queues out the door during peak times!
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The Potions Cauldron
Address: 9¾ Shambles, York YO1 7LZ
This is another Harry Potter themed shop that's located on The Shambles, and it's dedicated to all things potions. You can buy a wide range of different potions, including some pretty unique ones like Basilisk Blood and Serpent's Venom.
They also offer the chance to mix your own potion and be a trainee wizard for a day. This is a great option if you're traveling with kids—they're sure to love it.
The Potions Cauldron also has a secret wizard sanctuary at the back of the shop, which was used to hide wizards at a time when magic was outlawed in York. It's definitely worth checking out if you're interested in the history of wizardry.
The Wizard Walk of York
Address: Shambles, York YO1 8BL
The Wizard Walk of York is a guided walking tour that takes you to all of the Harry Potter locations in the city. It's a great way to see the sites and learn more about the history and connection between York and the series.
The tour lasts for about two hours and starts at the Minster Gates. You'll then make your way to different locations, including The Shambles, Stonegate, and Clifford's Tower. You'll also get to see some of the filming locations for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, which were shot in York.
The tour is suitable for all ages and is a great way to learn more about the historic city.
Other Ways to Experience Harry Potter in York
In addition to the Harry Potter shops on The Shambles, there are plenty of other ways to experience the series in York.
York Railway Station
York Railway Station was used as a filming location in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. It was here that Harry first met Ron and Hermione and boarded the Hogwarts Express.
The station is still open today. And though you won't be able to magically appear onto Platform 9 3/4 via brick wall, you can take a train from London to York just like Harry did. You can even take a photo with a replica of the Hogwarts Express!
The Hole in Wand
The Hole in Wand is a Potter themed pub located on The Shambles. It's the perfect place to grab a drink and toast your favourite wizard.
If you're looking for a more immersive Harry Potter experience, then you can try one of the many themed walking tours available in York. These tours will take you to all of the Harry Potter filming locations in the city.
This Wizard-themed escape room located in the heart of York is a great option for Potter fans looking for a fun and challenging activity. The room was designed by filmmakers and set designers to create a realistic ambiance. They are even available to host parties and team events.
Goathland Station is a former railway station that was used as a filming location in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. It's located in North Yorkshire, just a short drive from York.
The station is now a heritage site, and you can visit to see where Harry, Ron, and Hermione boarded the Hogwarts Express. You can even take a ride on the heritage steam train!
The Enchantment Chamber
The Enchantment Chamber is a Harry Potter themed apartment to stay in when you're visiting York. It's located in the city center and offers a unique way to experience the series in York. If you're looking for a truly magical experience, then this is the place for you!
Malham Cove is a limestone cliff located in North Yorkshire. It was used as a filming location for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1.
The cove is a popular spot for hikers and tourists and offers stunning views of the Yorkshire countryside. Several walking trails lead to the top of the cliff, where you can enjoy panoramic views of the area.
If you're looking for a breathtaking view, then be sure to add Malham Cove to your list of things to see and do in York. You won't be disappointed.
The Bottom Line
There's plenty to see and do for Harry Potter fans in York. From visiting filming locations to exploring Harry Potter themed shops and cafes, you won't be disappointed. So, what are you waiting for? Grab your wand and start planning your trip today!
© 2022 Ritchie Hughie