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Muggles, witches, and wizards of all houses, did you know that you can visit Godric’s Hollow in real life?
It’s a tiny village in Suffolk called Lavenham and there are plenty of magical Lavenham Harry Potter filming locations to find around here.
We see these scenes in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 when Harry and Hermione meet Bathilda Bagshot on their Christmas break.
Here are all the Lavenham Harry Potter filming locations you can find and how to visit the real Godric’s Hollow!
What is Godric’s Hollow in Harry Potter?
Godric’s Hollow is an important village in the Wizarding World. It’s a place that holds the happiest memories entwined with the most tragic of losses.
It’s where Godric Gryffindor was born, where Ariana Dumbledore was killed, where The Potters met their untimely end, and where Harry Potter received his scar from Lord Voldemort. From that night on he became “The Boy Who Lived”.
In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1, Harry and Hermione visit Godric’s Hollow to seek out Bathilda Bagshot who resides here during their Christmas break.
They hoped that she was in possession of the Sword of Gryffindor which was a Horcrux that they needed to destroy in order to defeat Voldemort. She invites them inside but she is actually Nagini in disguise!
“Cottages stood on either side of the narrow road… A short way ahead a golden glow of streetlights indicated the centre of the village… Behind the church, row upon row of snowy tombstones protruded from a blanket of pale blue that was flecked with dazzling red, gold, and green wherever the reflections from the stained glass hit the snow.” – Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
Where is the real Godric’s Hollow?
Although Godric’s Hollow is entirely fictional and not a real place in the Muggle world, you can visit the Deathly Hallows filming location in the UK.
The real Godric’s Hollow is located in the medieval village of Lavenham in Suffolk.
This is where you’ll find the filming locations of Godric’s Hollow, Bathilda Bagshot’s home as well as Harry Potter’s birthplace.
What is the Lavenham Harry Potter connection? Was Harry Potter filmed in Lavenham?
The Lavenham Harry Potter connection is a curious one. The production team visited the village in 2010 in complete secrecy!
They filmed scenes of the quirky timber-framed houses during a summer evening and then essentially copy and pasted parts of the village in a CGI backdrop for the movies.
They also used the Tudor house designs to create their very own sets for Bathilda Bagshot’s house and others in Godric’s Hollow.
As it was filmed in the summer and the Godric’s Hollow scenes were set at Christmas time, they had to place Christmas decorations and lights on the houses in Lavenham to help create the effects.
It’s good to note that none of the Harry Potter cast visited Lavenham for filming here. All of these scenes were filmed separately in a studio and both were blended together. It’s the magic of cinema!
Where in Lavenham was Harry Potter filmed?
There are two key locations in this medieval village that the crew visited in Lavenham to film Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1.
They used the outside of the Lavenham Guildhall in the centre of the village and De Vere House as Harry Potter’s birthplace.
Although the cast never visited, Potterheads will love visiting these locations as the resemblance is uncanny. Here are all the Lavenham Harry Potter filming locations and how to find them.
Lavenham Harry Potter filming locations
1. De Vere House / Harry Potter’s birthplace
The main Lavenham Harry Potter filming location has to be De Vere House which was used as Harry Potter’s birthplace. It’s now locally known as the “Lavenham Harry Potter house”.
They took snippets of this residence to use in the CGI backdrop for Godric’s Hollow. They used it in the movies but also in Harry Potter computer games, and even some official Christmas Cards.
It’s a beautiful timber-framed house located on Water Street and, supposedly, is one of the most photographed doorways in the UK second to number 10 Downing Street. I spent far too long getting photos here – it was just too much fun.
Getting photos can be tricky as there are usually cars parked opposite and it’s a narrow road but a wide-angle lens will do the trick! There are also lots of cars speeding by so be careful when crossing the road.
It’s now an AirBnB that you can book for the night. Click here to check out dates and rates.
Did you know? A different house was used for the Potter Cottage in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone? You’ll find it in Lacock. Click here to read my complete guide with all the Lacock filming locations!
How to find the Lavenham Harry Potter house
If you wanted to find the Lavenham Harry Potter house then it’s really easy to do from the Lavenham Guildhall.
Exit the Lavenham Guildhall and take the corner from the market square, heading down Lady Street. You’ll pass by the Lavenham information centre on your left.
At the end of Lady street, you’ll see the Number 10 wine bar. Take a left when you see Number 10 and head down Water Street or the A1141.
You’ll eventually see Harry Potter’s birthplace on your right. Although this road is 30 mph, cars speed down here so be careful when taking photos.
The Lavenham Harry Potter house address is De Vere House, Water Street, Lavenham, CO10 9RW. Click here for a Google Pin.
2. Lavenham Guildhall / Godric’s Hollow
Another place you will recognise from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 is the outside of the Lavenham Guildhall.
Just like De Vere House, snippets of this building were used for the CGI backdrop of Godric’s Hollow.
It’s a gorgeous timber-framed building in the middle of the market square and has a history dating back to 1529.
It was called the Guildhall of Corpus Christi and its function was to regulate the wool trade in the village. It’s now a gorgeous property owned and maintained by the National Trust as a museum.
I would highly recommend visiting as you can learn about the weaving trade as well as this place acting as a bridewell!
3. The Swan at Lavenham
Although only briefly, you can just make out The Swan at Lavenham pub sign behind Harry and Hermione as they make their way through Godric’s Hollow.
The half-timber framed building is lit up with Christmas lights and covered with snow but you’ll see it as they make their way over to the Potter’s gravesite.
Did you know you can actually book a night’s stay at The Swan if you wanted to extend your trip to the village?
4. Even more quirky magical houses
Although the Guildhall and De Vere House are the two main Lavenham Harry Potter filming locations for Godric’s Hollow, the production team also took tiny pieces of other houses found around here to inspire the film set.
They essentially ‘copy and pasted’ bits of these houses onto their own sets and CGI for filming!
Potterheads simply cannot leave without exploring this fairytale village filled with vibrant Tudor houses that look straight out of the Wizarding World.
I would recommend strolling down the High Street to see places like the bright orange Crooked House, and The Cordwainer’s in a saccharine pink.
The Little Hall in the main square is the most gorgeous shade of ochre and around the main square, you’ll find a gorgeous pink bakery called Sparling and Faiers. The Toll Cottage by the market cross is also as cute as a button.
I could have spent hours here taking photos of all these buildings, they were just too pretty!
Godric’s Hollow at Harry Potter Studios
If you wanted to see the end result of what they took away from Lavenham for the movies, then you only need to visit the Harry Potter Studios tour in London.
In their backlot section, they have a life-size version of Bathilda Bagshot’s house from Godric’s Hollow. This is the one that Daniel Radcliffe and Emma Watson filmed within the studios.
Although you can’t go inside it on your visit, you can see the similarities to Lavenham instantly. Harry Potter’s birthplace is not there but the huge prop does have a replica of their front door.
How to visit Lavenham aka the real Godric’s Hollow
Lavenham is an ancient medieval wool town located in Suffolk in the East of England. This is a two-hour drive from central London.
But, if you’re on a road trip this is also a short drive away from either Cambridge, Bury St Edmunds, or Ipswich.
If you’re not driving, there is no train station in Lavenham. But, the nearest stop is Sudbury which is only 90 minutes from London by train.
Once you get there, you can then switch to a bus service (45 minutes) or taxi (15 minutes) to reach Lavenham.
There is plenty of free parking in Lavenham. You can park directly outside of the Lavenham Guildhall for free but these spots do tend to get busy on weekends and afternoons.
If the central car park is full, there is some extra free parking located near St Peter and St Paul’s Church. Just follow the parking signs through the village.
It’s then a short five-minute walk to both the Lavenham Guildhall and De Vere House!
Lavenham is often regarded as the best-preserved example of a medieval wool town in England.
It has a history dating back to the Saxon times and there is evidence of a market charter being granted by Henry III in 1257.
By the 14th-century, the weaving industry was a main source of trade for the country’s economy and this meant that Lavenham was able to thrive.
By the Tudor period, this tiny town was the fourteenth wealthiest in all of England! The Lavenham Guildhall, or the Guild of Corpus Christi, was set up to regulate the wool trading here.
Many of the timber-framed buildings found in Lavenham date back to the 15th-century and have never been altered due to the decline of the weaving trade in the 16th-century.
In fact, the entire town plan is very much the same as it was when it was first founded all those centuries ago.
Today, Lavenham is a delightful destination for day-trippers in Suffolk and Potterheads who descend on the town to take a peek at the real Godric’s Hollow!
Even more magical things to do in Lavenham
To make the most of a day trip, there are plenty of magical things to do in Lavenham on your visit.
After the Lavenham Guildhall, make sure to visit the Little Hall Museum just nearby which tells you more about the town’s heritage.
In the main square, you can visit the Blue Vintage Tea Rooms for a bite to eat. Head down Barn Street to see the Old Grammar School where John Constable went to school.
If you wanted to go shopping, Lavenham High Street has all sorts of shops and art galleries to browse. Or, The Weaver’s House Spa is the perfect place for some R&R.
Make sure to pop inside the fabulous St Peter and St Paul’s Church at the top of the village. It’s Grade I listed and this site has been a place of worship since Anglo-Saxon times.
Where to eat in Lavenham
If you plan to visit Lavenham Guildhall then I would definitely make a stop at their friendly tearoom!
It’s located inside a Tudor building and they serve up amazing homemade cakes, coffees, teas, and lunches throughout the day.
If you wanted a traditional lunch worthy of the Leaky Cauldron then I would make a stop at The Swan at Lavenham which serves up tasty meals in their rustic timber-framed restaurant daily. They also serve up afternoon tea.
Where to stay in Lavenham
Of course, if you wanted to extend your visit to Godric’s Hollow why not stay in Harry Potter’s birthplace itself?
The Harry Potter filming location of De Vere House is also an AirBnB that you can spend the night in Lavenham.
You’ll get a private room in the residence with free parking and all the amenities you could wish for.