Your first stop will undoubtedly be the ‘real’ Great Hall, located inside Christ Church College. It is no surprise that this was an inspiration of the filmmakers since they decided to replicate this historical wonder at their own Warner Bros. film studios.
Whilst inside the college, it is good to know that the stairway you walk up to get to the Great Hall is also used to film some scenes, as well as a small archway where Harry first arrives at Hogwarts (you’ll find that immediately to the left as you walk in the entrance).
Though no filming actually took place here, Christ Church’s dining hall provided the main inspiration for Hogwarts’ own Great Hall. It’s easy to spot the similarities between the two – the arched windows lining the walls, the extra long “house tables”. Though today’s students are not treated to floating candles and ghostly presences, they can take pleasure in the splendour of its Renaissance architecture. With dark wooden panelling surrounding the room, the walls are adorned with a number of portraits
The dining hall is also included with your ticket into Christ Church. Be prepared for crowds here, as well as on the staircase during peak season. The staircase leads into the hall, and during busy times it’s where everyone queues to enter. The only way to avoid the crowds is to arrive as soon as the college opens to visitors. Check the official website before your visit as opening hours tend to fluctuate.