Where to Find Hogwarts, Hobbiton, the Red Keep, and other Fictional Places?
Does the title sound familiar? If so, then you are in the right place. Here, we are not going to tell you where to find magical beasts, but we will tell you where to find places where your favorite fictional characters have lived, had lots of adventures, learned new things, went through hardships, or even went insane. So, let’s get started.

1)Hogwarts – Harry Potter Movie Series

If you are a fan of the widely popular fantasy series, then I don’t doubt that Hogwarts is your dream school. Well, we can get you a bit closer to your dream, and tell you where you can, actually, visit Hogwarts, and by that, of course, we don’t mean the replica at Universal Studios. We will tell you where to find the actual corridors where Harry Potter walked, the room where he dined, and the courtyard where he took his breaks (well, of course, we know it is Daniel Radcliffe. Harry Potter is just a fictional character; we know that regretfully.) Here’s where you can find some parts of that fictional Gothic castle which has bewitched us on first sight.

Our first view of Hogwarts from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.

Hogwarts Exterior – Alnwick Castle
Remember the exterior we see in their very first flying class? That was actually Alnwick Castle in Northumberland, England.

First Flying Class – Alnwick Castle behind them

The Middle Courtyard – Durham Cathedral / New College (Oxford)
The middle courtyard of Hogwarts which was the setting of many memorable scenes was actually the courtyard of Durham Cathedral but that was in the first two movies, then it moved the courtyard of the New College at Oxford.

Durham Cathedral Courtyard in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Durham Cathedral Courtyard as seen from the inside

Durham Cathedral Courtyard as seen from the inside

The courtyard in New College at Oxford in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

The courtyard in New College at Oxford in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

The courtyard of New College at Oxford

The courtyard of New College at Oxford

Hogwarts Interior – Gloucester Cathedral
The beautiful and authentic Gothic interior of Hogwarts is none other than that of Gloucester Cathedral in Gloucestershire, England.

The interior of Gloucester Cathedral as seen in Harry Potter Movies

Gloucester Cathedral Interior

Gloucester Cathedral Interior

2)Hobbiton’s Houses – Lord of the Rings

Now we move to J. R .R. Tolkien’s world, to the northwest of Middle-Earth; the Shire’s central village Hobbiton. Hobbiton is home for the hobbits to whom belongs Frodo Baggins, the protagonist of the Tolkien’s celebrated trilogy. Hobbiton, as shown in the movies, is remarkable for its Hobbit-holes.

Matamata Town famous for the Hobbiton Movie Set

The Hobbit-holes, also called Smial, are homes for the hobbits dug in the side of Hobbit Hill, with perfectly round doors and windows. Hobbits might not exist, but the Hobbit-holes exist; the entire village of Hobbiton exists. It can be found in Matamata town in New Zealand.

Bag End Smial (Hobbit-hole) as seen in Matamata Town

Matamata town, where the Hobbiton scenes were filmed, has become a tourist attraction, mainly to the fans of the fantasy series. In Matamata, you will find the complete Hobbiton movie set including Bag End, the Hobbit Hole where Frodo lived, and the Green Dragon Inn.

The Green Dragon Inn in Matamata / Hobbiton

3)Winterfell – Game of Thrones

While most of the hit fantasy show Game of Thrones (GOT) has been filmed in Titanic Studios in Northern Ireland, real places were used for the larger settings; one of which is the Stark’s castle of Winterfell in the North of Westeros. Castle Ward, in County Town of Northern Ireland, ages back to the 18th century. The castle is famous for having two different architectural styles on its front and back. The front features Classical Palladian, while the back features Georgian Gothic. However, this is not the part used for GOT’s Winterfell. The Tower House, which is a bulky mass for defensive purposes, was digitally modified and used as the fictional castle’s front yard.

Castle Ward’s Tower House

Winterfell’s front yard – showing the digitally modified Tower House

Winterfell’s front yard – showing the digitally modified Tower House

4)The Red Keep – Game of Thrones

Here is another one from the TV adaptation of George R. R. Martin’s epic series. We can start on this one with the context, King’s Landing.
King’s Landing is the capital of the Seven Kingdoms, located on the eastern coast of Westeros. On the far east of King’s Landing, overlooking the sea is the Red Keep where the ruler of the Seven Kingdom sits on the Iron Throne.

Dubrovnik city in Croatia

You can find the real King’s Landing in the Croatian city of Dubrovnik. Dubrovnik does not only have a thick stone wall fortress, or the sea surrounding its high cliff, it also has a Red Keep. The Red Keep from the series is none other than Dubrovnik’s Lovrijenac Fortress located on the highest part of the cliff, and this one is also digitally modified.

King’s Landing – a modified Dubrovnik

Lovrijenac Fortress on top of the cliff overlooking the sea.

Lovrijenac Fortress on top of the cliff overlooking the sea.

King’s Landing and the Red Keep in Game of Thrones

King’s Landing and the Red Keep in Game of Thrones.

5)President Snow’s House – Hunger Games

The Bestselling Young Adult Dystopia has grown widely popular after the release of its first movie: The Hunger Games. The series has raised political and social issues showing the depth that goes beyond mere enjoyment. If you were one of those who awaited the release of every movie then you will remember the scene from Catching Fire, the second movie in the series, when Katniss and Peeta attend a dinner party at the Mansion of President Snow during their victory tour. President Snow, who is the main villain in the series, gives a significant speech that encloses threat to the main protagonist. Do you remember the speech?

President Snow’s Mansion in Catching Fire.

Then, do you remember the grand mansion? Well, it is real, and you can go and see for yourself. Swan House in Atlanta is a Classic Eclectic mansion, built in 1928 for the Inman family by the local architect Philip T. Shutze. The luxurious mansion and its rooms, which were used in parts of the filming as well, are a reflection of the wealthy lifestyle of the cotton broker’s heirs. Swan House, now, is on the grounds of the Atlanta History Center in Buckhead district, Atlanta, in the American state of Georgia. The center opens its doors to the visitors and offers paid tours inside the house under the name “Capitol Tours.”

Swan House in Atlanta, Georgia, USA.

6)Downton Abbey – Downton Abbey

The highly acclaimed period drama is named after the residence of the aristocratic Crawley Family, from the Edwardian period in England. It follows the lives the of the estate’s residents: the Crawleys living upstairs and the servants living downstairs. The main feature of the drama is, of course, Downton Abbey which is featured on the drama’s posters and main theme. The Crawley family is fictional, and Downton Abbey is fictional too but not entirely. You can find it in Hampshire, England, under the name of Highclere Castle.

Downton Abbey as featured in the main theme.

In the late 19th century Highclere Castle was remodeled from a house to the Gothic Revival Castle we see now by the aid of the Victorian architect Sir Charles Barry, the designer of the Houses of Parliament.

Highclere Castle – Downton Abbey

The splendid interior of the castle was, also, used as a setting for the drama. It features the great hall with its pointed arches, heavy pillars, and ornate walls in addition to the elegant library, drawing room, dining room, and bedrooms.

Highclere Castle’s Great Hall.

Highclere Castle’s Library.

Highclere Castle’s Library.

Highclere Castle’s Drawing Room

Highclere Castle’s Drawing Room

7)Overlook Hotel – The Shining

The movie adaptation of Stephen King’s horror novel The Shining is, by all means, a classic. The “Here’s Johnny” scene in which Jack Nicholson’s character, Jack Torrance, leers from behind the chopped bathroom door is, arguably, the scariest in movie history. The ominous Overlook hotel which has driven Torrance to madness was a product of King’s inspiration by the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park in Colorado, USA. King and his wife stayed for one night in the Colonial Revival hotel, and they were the only residents in the hotel, but according to the novelist, this might not have been the case. The hotel, which is rumored to be “haunted”, has become a tourist attraction, with high requests on Room 217 where King has stayed the night.

Overlook Hotel in “The Shining” movie – Timberline Lodge in Oregon

Although Stanley Hotel was the source of inspiration to King’s novel, it is not the hotel we see in Stanley Kubrick’s film. The exterior of the Overlook Hotel, seen in the movie, actually belongs to the Timberline Lodge, south of Mount Hood, in Oregon, while the interior scenes were filmed in a studio in England.

The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park inspires Stephen King’s The Shining

8)Kamiyama Town – Hyouka

This is one is not exactly a building but a set of buildings, a town, and if you are into animation and especially Japanese animation (anime), then you will find it interesting. The Japanese animated series Hyouka is about high school students who solve simple but gripping mysteries in their school in the fictional town of Kamiyama. One of the main attractions of this animated series is its enchantingly peaceful setting. Kamiyama town features the simple beauty of a typical Japanese town with its traditional houses, markets, Shinto shrines, and charming nature. However, it turns out that the writer of the novel Hyouka, from which the animated series is adapted, was inspired by his hometown, Takayama in Gifu Prefecture, Japan. So, if you liked Kamiyama town, you know where to go now. Here are some pictures that show the resemblance between both towns, taken by visitors to Takayama town.

Kamiyama’s Shinto Shrine in Hyouka

Kamiyama’s Shinto Shrine in Hyouka

The real Shinto Shrine in Takayama

The real Shinto Shrine in Takayama

Bridge over the river in Kamiyama

Bridge over the river in Kamiyama

Same bridge and surrounding architecture in Takayama

Same bridge and surrounding architecture in Takayama

The riverbank in Kamiyama showing traditional Japanese Houses

The riverbank in Kamiyama showing traditional Japanese Houses

Miyagawa Riverbank in Takayama

Miyagawa Riverbank in Takayama

Bagpipe café in Hyouka’s Kamiyama

Bagpipe café in Hyouka’s Kamiyama

The real Big Pipe café in Takayama

The real Big Pipe café in Takayama

 

 

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