7 Magical Places in Ireland That Look Like They’ve Been Plucked From A Harry Potter Set

harry potter ireland

I love the Harry Potter series – always have, always will.

From the books and the audiobooks to the movies and the theme parks, Harry Potter and the world that he inhabits has been a part of my life since the days that I was legging it around a primary school yard in chase of a burst football.

I was thinking about where the movies were shot recently, and a thought came to me that many of the most iconic scenes from the film could have easily been shot in Ireland.

Have a gander at the below and let me know what you think!

1 – Diagon Alley (Butter Slip Lane in Kilkenny)

butter slip land kilkenny
Photo by C Dale Photography

Diagon Alley is a cobblestone wizarding shopping mecca that’s found behind a pub called the Leaky Cauldron.

For those of you that have visited Kilkenny City, the chances are that you’ll have walked by, or ventured through, the gorgeous Butter Slip Lane.

A little chunk of medieval Kilkenny that looks like Ireland’s very own entrance to Diagon Alley.

Thinking about checking it out? Here’s a load of things to do in Kilkenny while you’re there!

2 – The Maze from the Triwizard Tournament (Russborough House, Wicklow)

Russborough House maze
Photo via Russborough House

In the 4th book of the series, Harry battled his way through the deadly Triwizard Tournament, where the Third Task saw him navigating through an enormous maze filled with obstacles and dangers.

One of which was a big ass spider…

OK, so the 20,000 sq. foot head-high Beech Hedge Maze in Russborough House in Wicklow may not be packed with things trying to tear your head off or hex you to smithereens, but it’s a pretty close match to the maze that was magically grown in Hogwarts.

Thinking about checking it out? Here’s a load of things to do in Wicklow while you’re there!

3 – The Chamber of Secrets (the crypt in Christ Church Cathedral)

the crypt in Christ Church Cathedral
Photo by Tripadvisor user Salbo15

If you watched the Chamber of Secrets (the one with the big aul snake slithering around inside the castle walls), you’ll remember one of the final scenes where Harry and Co. battle their way through the Chamber in the belly of Hogwarts.

If you’ve ever visited the crypt in Christ Church Cathedral in Dublin, you may seem some likeliness to the chamber where part of Tom Riddle’s soul caused havoc.

Interestingly enough, the medieval crypt in Christ Church is the largest in Ireland, and it’s the earliest surviving structure in Dublin city.

4 – Azkaban (Spike Island)

Ah, Azkaban – the wizard prison that’s home to prison guards known as ‘Dementors’/

These gliding, wraith-like Dark creatures riddled my dreams for about a month after reading the 3rd book for the first time.

Ireland’s home to many an ancient prison, but none are as secluded as Spike Island in Cork.

Where better to house the most dangerous wizards in all the land than a place that’s home to what’s widely known as ‘Ireland’s hell’.

5 – Griffindor Tower (Ballyhannon Castle)

Gryffindor Tower acted as Harry’s home away from home in Hogwarts for the majority of the series.

It’s brick walls, roaring fire and large comfy looking beds gave me serious bedroom envy throughout my childhood.

I recently stubled across Ballyhannon Castle while writing an article on the best castles to spend a night in Ireland.

This place (which you can also rent for a night) looks like something plucked straight from Gryffindor Tower.

6 – The forbidden forest (Ballinastoe Woods)

ballinastoe woods wicklow
Photo by Sean O’Riordan

The Forbidden Forest appeared in many of the Harry Potter books, and it played host to some of the series eeriest moments, like Harry and Ron’s encounter with the giant spider known as Aragog.

The forest, which is thick with threes and undergrowth such as knotgrass and thorns, gives it an almost daunting, while still beautiful, appearance.

Over the years I’ve gone on many rambles out to Ballinastore Woods in Wicklow, and I’ve always found my mind wandering back to the forest that sits on the edge of the grounds of Hogwarts.

7 – The Leaky Cauldron (The Crown Liquor Saloon, Belfast)

Crown Liquor Saloon Belfast
Photo via National Geographic Travel

The Leaky Cauldron is a wizarding pub and inn in London that served as the gateway to the wizarding world.

When I first read about this place in the books, I pictured an old pub with ancient décor and a cosy vibe.

The Crown Liquor Saloon in Belfast is almost a replica to the pub that I pictured in my mind all those years ago.

Is there anywhere that I’ve missed? Let me know in the comments below!