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Wednesday July 17th 2024

Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows: Part 1 | 2010

Harry Potter filming location: Freshwater West, Pembrokeshire

Harry Potter location: Dobby is buried among the sand dunes: Freshwater West, Pembrokeshire

Things are getting nasty – crikey, even the Warner Bros logo is corroding.

The last book of the series was split into two parts, filmed back-to-back. With even muggles in mortal danger, Hermione (Emma Watson) chooses to leave home and wipe herself from her parents’ memory. The Granger home is Heathgate at Meadway, in leafy Hampstead Garden Suburb, London NW11 (as ever, please remember this is a private house so please don’t do anything to disturb the residents).

Harry Potter location: Heathgate, Hampstead Garden Suburb

Harry Potter location: Hermione’s home: Heathgate, Hampstead Garden Suburb

Conceived by social reformer Henrietta Barnett, the Suburb was built in the early 20th century in the style of a Medieval village, centred around the church of St Jude-on-the-Hill – the severe spire at the top of Hermione’s road. It was intended to be an idyllic setting of wide, tree-shaded avenues open to all classes and income groups. The good intentions were doomed – inevitably, it’s now one of the capital’s wealthiest areas.

Harry Potter location: Heathgate, Hampstead Garden Suburb

Harry Potter location: Hermione leaves home: Heathgate, Hampstead Garden Suburb

Severus Snape (Alan Rickman) materialises outside ‘Malfoy Manor’ for a meeting with Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes) and his cronies about the impending movement of Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe) to a safe house.

Harry Potter location: Hardwick Hall Derbyshire
Harry Potter location: Snape arrives at ‘Malfoy Manor’: Hardwick Hall Derbyshire

The exterior of the mansion is Hardwick Hall, about eight miles southeast of Chesterfield in Derbyshire.

Designed in the late 16th Century for the formidable Bess of Hardwick, Countess of Shrewsbury, the richest woman in England after Queen Elizabeth I., it’s one of the most significant Elizabethan country houses in England. That doesn’t prevent the design team from adding the Gothic spires it’s been lacking all these years.

Hardwick Hall is now a National Trust property, and open to the public.

Back at ‘Privet Drive’, a polyjuice potion produces a clutch of identical fake Harrys to distract the forces of darkness. The ruse fails when the real Harry is whisked off by Hagrid (Robbie Coltrane) on his motorbike and sidecar only to find himself under attack.

Chased by Death Eaters, Hagrid dives headlong into the southern entrance of the Dartford Tunnel, which runs under the River Thames alongside the huge concrete supports of the Queen Elizabeth II Bridge in Kent (the suspension bridge seen in Four Weddings And A Funeral)

The tunnel interior, though, is the Queensway Birkenhead Tunnel under the River Mersey, hundreds of miles away in the north west of England. Linking Liverpool to Birkenhead, it was – at the time of its opening in 1934 – the longest underwater tunnel in the world. And it’s easier to close down for filming than the busy Thames crossing.

No sooner have Harry and co – minus casualties – arrived at the Burrow, than it too is targetted.

Harry Potter location: Trocadero arcade, Great Windmill Street, London
Harry Potter location: Harry, Hermione and Ron escape from Death Eaters: Trocadero arcade, Great Windmill Street, London

On the spur of the moment, the resourceful Hermione apparates herself, Harry and Ron to the heart of London’s West EndPiccadilly Circus at the foot of Shaftesbury Avenue, in front of the GAP store. Before it was taken over by the clothing chain, this building once housed the Eros News Cinema, where undead victims materialise to harangue David Kessler (David Naughton) in John Landis’ 1981 An American Werewolf In London.

Don’t go looking for the cafe where the three narrowly avoid more Death Eaters – it was a studio set. Since you can see ‘Chris Bryant’s Musical instruments’ across the street, it’s clearly supposed to be Denmark Street at Tottenham Court Road – the heart of the capital’s pop music business, once dubbed Tin Pan Alley.

Plodding through the rather manky looking London Trocadero arcade on Great Windmill Street, back at Piccadilly Circus, Hermione remembers it’s Harry’s birthday, before heading to the safety of ‘Grimmauld Place’.

It’s here that they discover Dolores Umbridge (Imelda Staunton) has the next horcrux, and decide their only option is to infiltrate the Ministry of Magic.

Harry Potter filming location: Scotland Place, London
Harry Potter location: getting disguises to enter the Ministry: Scotland Place, London

They get disguises by nobbling three Ministry employees on Scotland Place, just around the corner from the visitors’ entrance ‘phone box’ seen in Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix.

The entrance to the Ministry itself is a gentlemen’s toilet on Horseguards Avenue by the junction with Whitehall. And, no, there is no toilet in the middle of the road here, just a statue of Liberal politician the Eighth Duke of Devonshire. Incidentally, the monumental entrance to the right is the Muggles’ (real) Ministry of Defence, which you can see as itself in2014 Tom Cruise sci-fi Edge Of Tomorrow.

Harry Potter filming location: Horseguards Avenue, Whitehall, London
Harry Potter location: the ‘gentlemen’s toilet’ entrance to the Ministry of Magic: Horseguards Avenue, Whitehall, London

One look at the fantastic Ministry of Magic should tell you that it’s another vast studio set.

Having managed to grab the horcrux, there’s a narrow escape to the woods, with Ron (Rupert Grint) getting splinched. The woodland is old favourite Burnham Beeches in South Buckinghamshire. Around 25 miles from central London, it’s an area of ancient woodland surprisingly owned by the City of London, which bought the land in 1880 to save it from residential developers.

You can access Burnham Beeches from Lord Mayors Drive, west of the A355, between Slough and Beaconsfield. Being convenient for Pinewood Studios, Burnham shows up in plenty of films, including Robin Hood, Prince Of Thieves, First Knight, Goldfinger, The Princess Bride and Snow White and the Huntsman.

With Ron not fully recovered, it’s off – rather aimlessly – on foot across the UK to find the remaining horcruxes.

Harry, Hermione and Ron are certainly covering ground. The long suspension bridge beneath which the three trudge through mud is the Severn Bridge, on the M4 north of Bristol. Opened in 1966, the elegant suspension bridge, spanning the Severn Estuary, links England to South Wales.

The deserted cooling towers beneath which they camp were at High Marnham Power Station, a former coal-fired power station, a couple of miles south of the village of Dunham, to the west of the River Trent in Nottinghamshire, in the Midlands. The site was scheduled for demolition, and the towers finally disappeared in July 2012.

Harry Potter location: Malham Cove, Yorkshire
Harry Potter location: Harry and Hermione camp out on the limestone pavement: Malham Cove, Yorkshire | Photograph: iStockphoto / prestongeorge

And after Ron stomps off in a huff, Harry and Hermione set up camp on a barren rocky plateau, where they recognise the mysterious symbol in the Beedle the Bard story book. You’ll find this striking feature up in North Yorkshire. It’s the Limestone Pavement atop Malham Cove, a 260-feet-high amphitheatre-shaped cliff just outside the village of Malham, north of Skipton.

Malham Cove is also seen in the 1992 film of Wuthering Heights; while the village of Malham itself and the lake, Malham Tarn, were featured in Bette Davis melodrama Another Man’s Poison way back in 1958.

Harry Potter location: Lavenham, Suffolk
Harry Potter location: Harry, Hermione and Ron visit ‘Godric’s Hollow’: Lavenham, Suffolk

Feeling the need to return to his place of birth, Harry skips with Hermione from the north of England to the southeast, to ‘Godric’s Hollow’. The village is Lavenham, on the A1141, fifteen miles west of Ipswich in Suffolk, though much of it was recreated in the grounds of Pinewood Studios, and was also augmented with CGI. Lavenham’s real Medieval streets are featured in Witchfinder General, Stanley Kubrick’s masterpiece Barry Lyndon and Pier Paolo Pasolini’s 1971 film of The Canterbury Tales.

Blink and you’ll miss it, but the robbery by young Gellert Grindelwald (Jamie Campbell Bower) of the wand from the house of Gregorovitch (Rade Serbedzija) is Rothenburg ob der Tauber, about 40 miles west of Nuremberg in Germany. You don’t see a great deal of it here, but it’s the fairytale village seen in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

More woods, as the three are chased by Snatchers, and Hermione uglifies Harry to disguise him. This time it’s Swinley Forest, just south of Bracknell, Berkshire. There’s quite a bit of ‘green screen’ trickery here, so don’t expect to find rivers or mountains.

Harry Potter location: Freshwater West, Pembrokeshire
Harry Potter location: Harry, Hermione and Ron escape to the beach from Malfoy Manor: Freshwater West, Pembrokeshire

Captured and held in ‘Malfoy Manor’, they get last-minute help from Dobby the house elf. The ‘Cornish’ beach to which they are transported is Freshwater West, on the B4319, about seven miles west of Pembroke in Pembrokeshire, South Wales.

‘Shell Cottage’ was a set built at the northern end of the beach, and it’s here among the sand dunes that Dobby, fatally wounded by Bellatrix Lestrange (Helena Bonham-Carter) during the escape, is buried.

Facing southwest, this is a favourite spot for experienced surfers – but treacherous currents make it a dangerous place to swim. The wide expanse of sand was also used for the spectacular French invasion in Ridley Scott’s Robin Hood.

• Many thanks to Alexander Thompson for help with this section.