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Monday March 27th 2023

Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix | 2007

Harry Potter filming location: Scotland Place, London
Harry Potter location: the entrance to the Ministry of Magic: Scotland Place, London

With Harry under attack from Dementors, and expelled from Hogwarts, ‘Mad-Eye’ Moody (Brendan Gleeson) whisks the wizard and his friends along the Thames on a frantic broomstick ride, past the illuminated towers of business centre Canary Wharf, museum ship HMS Belfast alongside Tower Bridge and the Houses of Parliament, to land in ‘Grimmauld Place’. They arrive in the grassy square of Claremont Square, Islington, in north London, and exit through the gate on the south side.

Harry Potter location: Claremont Palce, Islington, London
Harry Potter location: arriving at ‘Grimmauld Place’: Claremont Square, Islington, London

Directly opposite the gate, the family home of Sirius Black (Gary Oldman), now used as headquarters of the Order of the Phoenix, is the south side of Claremont Square, off Pentonville Road – though, without the Fidelius Charm, you obviously won’t be able to see number 12.

Harry Potter location: Claremont Palce, Islington, London
Harry Potter location: arriving at ‘Grimmauld Place’: Claremont Place, Islington, London

From here, it’s off to the hearing at the Ministry of Magic.

The UK’s various government Ministries are ranged along Whitehall, the wide ceremonial road linking Trafalgar Square to the Houses of Parliament in Westminster, so this is naturally where you’ll find the Ministry of Magic. It’s just not as well signposted as the Ministry of Defence, say, or the Prime Minister’s residence in Downing Street.

“Trains underground! Ingenious, these muggles.” exclaims Arthur Weasley (Mark Williams), mightily impressed by the technical wizardry of the gleaming new entrance to Westminster Underground Station, as he accompanies Harry to the Ministry.

Most passengers emerging from the station, though, will be more overwhelmed by the sheer visual overkill of Charles Barry and Augustus Pugin’s Palace of Westminster and the tower of Big Ben (actually St Stephen’s Clocktower – Ben is the bell hanging inside).

Harry Potter location: Westminster Underground station, London
Harry Potter location: “Trains underground! Ingenious, these muggles.”: Westminster Underground Station, London

You’ll have a tougher time than Harry does getting into the Ministry of Magic. On Great Scotland Yard, running between Whitehall and Northumberland Avenue, at the junction with Scotland Place, stood the red phone box containing the visitors’ entrance. There is no phone box (come on, if King’s Cross Station can install half a luggage trolley, why has nobody turned this spot into a must-visit photo opportunity?), and notice how a fake bridge was added to cover up the office door alongside.

On the same stretch of street, piled high with sandbags, Robbie Turner (James McAvoy) says his goodbyes to Cecilia Tallis (Keira Knightley) before going off to war in Joe Wright’s 2007 film of Atonement.

It’s back to the familiar backdrop of King’s Cross Station, where Sirius Black (Gary Oldman) shows Harry the photograph of the original members of Order of the Phoenix. The steps, at the bottom of which is supposed to be the ‘Waiting Room’ can be found on Platform 1, but the old raised walkway has been replaced by a sleeker modern bridge.

The Hogwarts landscapes are once more the Scottish Highlands, against the dramatic mountain backdrop of Glen Etive, not far from Glencoe, with Hagrid’s hut set in nearby Clachaig Gully. You can see the area again in 2008 romcom Made Of Honor, which features the famous Clachaig Inn.

The flashback to Harry’s father tormenting the young Severus Snape, was filmed in the grounds of Blenheim Palace, Woodstock, in Oxfordshire. The grand estate is home to the Duke of Marlborough, and the birthplace of Sir Winston Churchill.

The grounds are seen again in Kenneth Branagh’s 2015 film of Cinderella, while the great house itself becomes ‘Elsinore’ for Branagh’s 1996 Hamlet, as well as appearing as ‘Hallucinogen Hall’, the home of Sir August de Wynter (Sean Connery) in Jeremiah Chechik’s 1998 film of The Avengers, and as the palace of King Leopold of Belgium (Thomas Kretschmann) in The Young Victoria, and as an 'Italian' villa in the 2015 Bond film Spectre.