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Okay, witches and wizards! Did you know that you can visit Hogsmeade Station from the Harry Potter movies in real life in the Muggle world?
That’s right and it’s called Goathland Station in the North York Moors National Park in Yorkshire.
It was at this location that we first saw the Hogwarts Express arrive at Hogsmeade where the students made their way over to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
So, if you wanted to visit Hogsmeade Station in real life then keep reading this post. I’ll also include all the magical Goathland Harry Potter filming locations you can look out for here!
“I’m not going home. Not really.” – Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.
Was Goathland Station in Harry Potter?
Many Harry Potter fans ask ‘which railway station is used in Harry Potter?’ and ‘where is the Harry Potter station in real life?’.
Well, you will be happy to know that it is a real location you can visit and it can be found at the heritage Goathland Station!
Goathland Station opened in 1865 as part of the North East Railway. It closed down in 1965 but has since re-opened as part of the North York Moors Railway that is a charity organisation.
Although it’s been welcoming visitors since the 19th-century, this tiny village now sees thousands of Potterheads every year who want to experience some Wizarding World magic.
It’s your chance to see Hogsmeade Station in real life and you can even ride the steam trains here aka the Hogwarts Express!
Which Harry Potter was filmed in Goathland?
So, Goathland Station only appeared in the very first movie that was Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone or Sorcerer’s stone for you Americans out there.
The filming first started on the 29th September 2000 at Goathland Station and production photography took place a few days later in October.
They didn’t have to do much to transform this station save cover up some Goathland wording on the benches! Most of the original features were kept.
So, if you do decide to visit the Goathland Station Harry Potter location today, it will look exactly like Hogsmeade Station in the movie. Perfect for Potterheads!
Shocking fact – Harry Potter in the books had green eyes and so the production team tried to give Daniel Radcliffe green contact lenses for the movies to play Harry Potter. Unfortunately, he had an allergic reaction to them. That’s why he looks so red-eyed and teary in the Hogsmeade Station scenes! Safe to say, he didn’t have to wear them again…
Goathland Harry Potter filming locations
Personally, I was quite surprised to learn that Goathland Station only appears in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.
In the subsequent films, they used different locations and sets. I guess you just naturally assume it’s the same place.
However, it was just the first movie! Here are all the times that Goathland featured in Harry Potter;
When the students first arrive at Hogsmeade Station on the Hogwarts Express
Relatively early on in the first movie, we see the Hogwarts Express pull into Hogsmeade Station. All the students then get off the train in their robes.
Hagrid is there to greet them all, rounds up the first-year students and then leads them to the boats that will sail them over to Hogwarts.
Did you know that only the first-year students catch the boats to Hogwarts? After their second year, they get the carriages. After you graduate Hogwarts, you’re meant to get the boats back but we didn’t read/see that due to the Battle of Hogwarts in the Deathly Hallows
When Harry leaves Hogwarts to go home
The last time we see Goathland Station is at the very end of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone when Harry says goodbye to Hagrid.
He says ‘I’m not going home. Not really.’ and then Hagrid gifts him a photo album with a photo of his parents in it as a reminder (and support for returning to the Dursleys).
He then hugs him goodbye and then boards the train as it takes off to head back to London.
Fun fact – these scenes were actually the very first scenes filmed in the entire Harry Potter series. So, Harry actually said goodbye to Hogwarts before it all began! Crazy!
Things to do at Goathland Station
So, once you’ve made it to Hogsmeade Station, what is there that you can actually do here? …After you’ve stopped squealing for joy, of course!
Well, there are actually quite a few things that you can do if you’re a Potterhead!
From watching the Hogwarts Express come in, having tea at the café, and shopping for souvenirs. Here are all the things to do at Goathland Station aka Hogsmeade Station;
1. Explore the station and watch the Hogwarts Express come in
When you finally arrive at Hogsmeade Station, it will be pretty surreal to wander around and find all the Goathland Harry Potter filming locations.
You’ll instantly recognise it as the station from Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone when the students first arrive at Hogwarts and Hagrid is there to greet them. Also, at the very end when Harry says “I’m not going home, not really”.
Of course, you’ll see Hogwarts Castle superimposed in these scenes at the end when the train is leaving. It may be pretty obvious but, unfortunately, the castle won’t be there on your visit or the mountains for that matter. Those were also superimposed from Scotland haha!
However, you will see the famous red footbridge, the train station buildings, the old oil lamps and the red benches here. Although they say Goathland, these were all changed to Hogsmeade for the production.
If you have a look around the train ticket office, you’ll see some suitcases that look like Hogwarts trunks. Also, you’ll spot some luggage trolleys that appeared in the film.
You could easily spend an hour or two here looking around. Potterheads will feel like they have been transported to the Wizarding World!
2. Grab a drink or lunch from Goathland Station Café
If you were looking for somewhere to eat or grab a drink in Goathland, you’ll be happy to know that there is a Goathland Station café that opens when the trains are running!
It used to be a goods shed but it’s now been lovingly converted into a unique and cosy tearoom! As you can imagine, it has a distinct railway theme with lots of vintage railway posters and items inside as decor.
You’ll find hot and cold drinks available as well as light bite options for lunch. They also serve up some homemade cakes and ice-creams that make the perfect pick me up in the afternoon.
If you wanted to see trains come and go, I would recommend sitting on their outside benches that are right by the tracks.
They usually open up their old train carriages as well for lunches and afternoon tea which makes a unique dining experience. Unfortunately, it was closed on my visit.
Goathland Station Café is open from early April – 1st November from 9am – 4.45 pm daily
3. Visit the Goathland Station shop for Harry Potter souvenirs
Of course, it wouldn’t be a Harry Potter location without there being a gift shop selling some Harry Potter souvenirs, would it?
In fact, they have some amazing gifts that you can purchase in preparation for your ride on the Hogwarts Express.
They have mugs, magnets, pens, scarves, train signs, bags, wands, and even a plushie Hedwig that little witches or wizards will love! Even I was tempted to get a Hedwig but I already had one in my Hogwarts Case hahaha!
You’ll find the Goathland Station gift shop just outside of Goathland Station in the car park. So, make sure to budget some money for souvenirs.
4. Walk up to the top of the hill to see the viewpoint
If you head to the front of Goathland Station, you’ll find a way to cross over the railway tracks (when it’s safe to do so). Or, you can use the pedestrian footbridge to get to the other side.
If you head through the gate, you’ll find a public walkway and some stairs that head up a hill and onto the moor.
If you follow this pathway all the way up onto the hill you’ll eventually find a viewpoint where you can get the perfect birds-eye view of Goathland Station from above.
It’s a great way to escape the crowds and also capture some amazing photos and videos from the top!
5. Catch the Hogwarts Express to Pickering or Whitby!
So, after your visit to Hogsmeade Station, I would 100% recommend booking a ride on the North York Moors Railway.
Although they filmed most of the carriage scenes in the Warner Brothers Studios in Leavesden, they actually based the Harry Potter train carriage sets on the carriages found in these steam trains here!
The NYMR steam train services run from Pickering to Whitby in the North York Moors National Park. You can either take a ride the whole way or just ride the journey internally between stops.
This train journey has been voted as one of the most scenic in the UK and the North York Moors Railway is run completely as a charity.
The only thing I will say about riding the NYMR is that they don’t let you hop on and hop off stations on their explorer tickets.
So, if you ride from Pickering to Whitby, you cannot get off at Goathland Station to look around without forgoing the rest of your trip. You’d have to wait at Goathland for the returning train to take you back.
That’s why I would recommend making a stop at Goathland Station separately either before or after your steam train journey so you don’t miss out on the whole trip as it’s not a cheap train ride! Or, just ride the train from Goathland.
Personally, I visited Goathland Station first in the morning, then drove to Pickering Station to board the afternoon train from Pickering to Whitby. Just because I wanted longer on the train!
I booked one of the carriages on the NYMR Railway that is JUST like the ones in the Harry Potter movies. It was SO cool! I couldn’t recommend it enough for Potterheads.
Trains run from March – November. Tickets are traditionally around £40-£50 a person. Click here to book your train ride with NYMR!
Where is Goathland Station aka Hogsmeade station in real life!
Goathland Station is located in the gorgeous moorland village of Goathland in the North York Moors National Park in Yorkshire.
It’s very high up on the moor being 486 feet (148 m) above sea level and it has a history dating back to the Domesday books.
It’s been attracting visitors since the 19th-century, however, Goathland is famous today for featuring on the silver screen.
As well as being featured in the Harry Potter movies, you may recognise many locations in Goathland from the popular TV series Heartbeat.
It played the fictional village of ‘Aidensfield’ in the show and it still brings in many visitors for this fact today! You’ll still find the Aidensfield Garage that has been preserved for tourists.
How to visit Goathland Station aka Hogsmeade Station
The easiest way to visit Goathland Station would be as part of a trip on the North York Moors Railway.
The train runs from Pickering to Whitby and so you can stop off on the way. But, remember if you’re on an ‘explorer ticket’ you forgo the rest of your journey if you hop off in between.
So, I would personally recommend driving to Goathland if you were really set on visiting Hogsmeade Station as a Harry Potter fan.
For example, I drove early in the morning to visit Goathland Station or Hogsmeade and then caught a later service from Pickering to Whitby and back. Alternatively, you can catch the train from Goathland to Whitby if you didn’t want to go the whole way.
Driving to Goathland is easy once you’re in the North York Moors National Park. It’s around a 20-minute drive from Whitby, 40-minute drive from Scarborough, 20-minute drive from Pickering.
But, I would warn you that you will be driving along winding country roads so take care while on the moor!
Also, expect delays with country traffic so I would leave enough time to catch your steam train if you have one booked.
Goathland Station parking
There is limited parking available at Goathland Station and it works on an all-day parking charge.
This is so that those catching the steam train only have to pay one fixed fee instead of paying by the hour. The Goathland Station parking charges are £3.50 for the entire day.
Pickering station parking charges are slightly higher at £5 for the day if you were catching the Hogwarts Express.
There is no NYMR station parking at Whitby as it runs out of the main train station so you will need to find alternate parking in the area for your journey.
Goathland Station ticket prices and opening times
The great thing about Goathland Station is that it doesn’t cost any money to visit! So, if you didn’t want to see Hogsmeade Station then you can just pop along at any time.
Saying that charity donations are always welcome – just pop some money in the milk cart near to the station building!
The station sits over a public right of way in the North York Moors National Park as there are many walking routes from Goathland. Wade’s Causeway which is also known as the ‘Roman road’ runs across the village nearby Wheeldale Moor.
Also, they have a shop and a station café that is open to the public and anyone can visit here, even if you’re not boarding a train that day!
As far as I’m aware Goathland Station doesn’t ‘close’ so if you wanted to visit early for photos that’s a possibility. I got here around 8 am and found it empty!
Goathland Station photography tips
Due to being a Harry Potter location, Goathland Station is an extremely popular place to visit. So, if you wanted to get some photos of this station empty, I would arrive earlier or later in the day.
I got here around 8 am and there was no one at the station at that time which was great! But, it didn’t last very long haha.
The busiest time at Goathland Station is when the steam train aka The Hogwarts Express is due to arrive. There will be people everywhere as many visit the station just to see the trains come in as well as boarding them!
I would suggest getting photos/videos on top of the footbridge as the is the best place to capture it coming into Hogsmeade Station without lots of people in the way.
Traditionally there are morning services that run from Pickering to Whitby and vice versa and afternoon services. So, make sure to visit at the right time to see it.
How else can you see the Hogwarts Express in the UK?
If you would like to ride the Hogwarts Express used for scenes in the Harry Potter movies then you need to book a trip on the Jacobite Steam Train in Scotland!
Their steam trains were used for scenes of the students journeying through the mountains to Hogwarts school.
Of course, the interior scenes were filmed in a studio but the outside of the train was filmed for all of the panoramic landscape scenes – it’s all part of the movie magic!
If you wanted to ride the steam train then you should head to the West Coast Railways website to book your tickets. I would recommend booking as far in advance as possible to guarantee a seat.
If you fancy just looking at the Hogwarts Express and seeing it cross over the Harry Potter bridge then you need to visit Glenfinnan Viaduct near Fort William in the Scottish Highlands.
You can gather at a viewpoint with fellow Potterheads and watch the train go by. It’s an absolute must for any Harry Potter fan.
Are you looking for more Harry Potter locations in Yorkshire & County Durham?
Did you know that there are plenty of Harry Potter filming locations around Yorkshire and County Durham to visit?
After Goathland Station, you could head over to the city of York! Although there weren’t many filming locations there is The Shambles which is known as the ‘Harry Potter Street’.
After, I would recommend heading to the Yorkshire Dales to visit Malham Cove that featured in the Deathly Hallows.
Also, you may be surprised to know that Durham Cathedral was a filming location for Hogwarts too. You can walk around their cloisters to feel like you’re walking to potion’s class and see the quad where Ron throws up slugs!
Why not spend a night in Hagrid’s Hut?
Have you ever wanted to spend a magical night in Hagrid’s Hut at Hogwarts? Well, now you can and it’s only a 20-minute drive away from Goathland!
The Groundskeeper’s Cottage by North Shire is the only one of its kind in the world and is a life-size hut that you can book to spend the night.
It has a living room, kitchen, Ministry of Magic bathroom, and bedroom which makes the entire place cosy. There’s even a Ford Anglia outside.
It’s been set up as the perfect Potterhead retreat in the countryside. So, you can relax on the sofa, pour yourself some Butterbeer and have a Harry Potter movie night.
I recently stayed here and it was the most magical time! It is expensive but worth splurging on.