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The UK And The "Harry Potter" World Are Basically The Same Thing

OK, so you can't really apparate to Diagon Alley or make a deposit at Gringotts (don't stop reading!), but real UK locations, words and culture permeate the stories. In fact, you can pick up a lot about real Brits just from reading the books or watching the movies!

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UK locations are GREAT

Christ Church Oxford / Via

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.

There is a REAL Ministry (not of Magic)

View this video on YouTube / Via

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.

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.

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.


"Snogging" is way cooler to say than "making out"


It’s not just the accent. Words like snogging, mum, and nutter are common UK words! However, some words were translated for the US editions, including changing the title of the first book from “Philosopher’s Stone” in the UK to the “Sorcerer’s Stone” in the US.

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.

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.

Quidditch and Football


Quidditch may be a made-up sport, but the fanaticism on display at the Quidditch World Cup reflects the British obsession with another sport, football. It's been estimated that more than 25 million Brits watch football on a regular basis.

The UK is not done being magical


Potter nuts the world over were thrilled to get their hands on “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” a textbook in heavy rotation at Hogwarts. They were even more excited when Warner Bros. scooped up the rights to the book.

The buzz right now is that Warners will also produce “Quidditch Through the Ages” and possibly “Tales of Beedle The Bard,” but they haven’t confirmed yet. We hope they do, because we’ll get to see more fabulous British actors, locations and artistic work!