1. UK locations are GREAT
Not all of the fabulous places seen in the films are the product of movie magic! Many shots were filmed at real (and beautiful) locations around the UK. Oxford University and several churches stood in for Hogwarts’ exterior.
London’s Millennium Bridge and King’s Cross Station have both appeared ‘as themselves’ in the films, which have also featured the coast of Wales and Yorkshire Dales National Park. The Forest of Dean in Gloucestershire was the inspiration for the mysterious Forbidden Forest.
2. There is a REAL Ministry (not of Magic)
In book six, the “Other Minister” makes a visit to 10 Downing St. Well, he would, because that’s where the real head of the government in the UK, the Prime Minister, lives and works.
3. British trains are almost as cool as the Hogwarts Express
The UK’s rail network is the oldest in the world, having opened in 1825. JK Rowling first started writing the series during the train trip between Manchester and London King’s Cross station.
4. Students do go away to boarding school
Speaking of Hogwarts, many UK students do attend private boarding schools, which are called public schools, even though they are private, tuition-funded institutions. Confused yet?
Additionally, just like Harry, Ron and Hermione stress out over their O.W.L.s, students in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland take their G.C.S.E.s (General Certificates of Secondary Education) between the ages of 14 and 16.
6. British candy is… different
“Pastille” is not a word JK Rowling made up, but just another of the real life UK sweets that get her magical touch.
7. There are still milkmen in the UK
Hogwarts tried to sneak Harry’s acceptance letter into the Dursley household through the milk jugs delivered to the door. You don’t see many milkmen anymore in the US, but there are more than 5,000 milkmen and women working in the UK today.
8. Pudding actually means dessert
When a Brit says “pudding,” they could mean a lot of different things, as generally the term “pudding” can refer to the dessert course. The American pudding (Jell-O style) is uncommon in the UK.