Ever since one of Mark’s friends
made the mistake of was kind enough to tell me that Gloucester Cathedral, only thirty minutes by bus from his home in Cheltenham, is where some of the Hogwarts scenes in the Harry Potter movies were filmed, I was set on doing a day trip there.
Gloucester is a bit of a strange place – I would say a good portion of the town quite frankly looks run down (which is odd because neighboring Cheltenham is quite upscale), but I was pleasantly surprised to find a few interesting areas for us to visit to make a day trip there worthwhile. So here goes our day in Gloucester:
The first place we visited was the Gloucester Quays. The word quays is pronounced “key” and all it means is a platform near water for loading and unloading ships. Since Gloucester is on the River Severn, ships used to come to the Gloucester Quays and the goods were stored in the warehouses around the area. Fast forward to today and this area has been revamped to be a hip restaurant and shopping area.
After having lunch in the Quays area, we walked over to Gloucester Brewery. There, we did a tasting of five beers. Even though beer is not usually my go-to beverage of choice, I actually was pleasantly surprised that I liked all the beers we tasted (and it was free, so who am I to complain!). Two that particularly stood out were a vanilla porter, and another was called Sourpuss – a bitter beer.
After our tasting we started walking over to the Gloucester Cathedral. On the way however we were sidetracked by a medieval event that was going on. Next thing we know we were watching a sword battle complete with a “King” and spectators alike and I was thinking to myself “only in England!”. As I’m in the middle of watching the Game of Thrones series, I was pretty excited by this spectacle (although pleased that was not real, and nobody would be dying that day).
Finally we made our way over to the magnificent Gloucester Cathedral. I think – as far as I can remember – this was my first time ever in a Church of England (as in, the denomination of Christianity) church. I didn’t really notice any major differences from other churches I’ve been in (mostly Catholic), but we also didn’t stick around for a service.
Anyways – to the important stuff. The hallway that is on the perimeter of the worship space and the courtyard are where some of the Hogwarts scenes were filmed. As I’m a pretty big HP fan, I was super excited to be there – I was the overattentive tourist trying to get pictures of the hallways without any people in my photos (Mark really enjoyed all my picture taking especially as I herded him through the hallways to get the perfect shot). The Cathedral actually has occasional Harry Potter tours of the filming areas – dressing up is encouraged – but unfortunately I wasn’t there on a day that they had one. Next time though!
Besides it being in the Harry Potter films, the cathedral is absolutely beautiful inside and out. The courtyard garden and the area where evensong occurs are really lovely.
Having visited Gloucester Cathedral now, I’m interested in trying to visit some of the other locations used in the Harry Potter movies. The only other one I’ve been to that I’m aware of is Kings Cross Station for the iconic Platform 9 3/4 picture.
Overall the day in Gloucester was quite enjoyable and the fan girl in me was very happy.
Have you been to Gloucester or any of the Harry Potter filming locations?