Menu
Devon / England / Harry Potter

A Magical Harry Potter Tour of Exeter

This post may contain affiliate links. Please check out my privacy policy and disclosure for more information.

Last Updated on 10th October 2019 by Sophie Nadeau

It’s a well-known secret that J.K. Rowling attended Exeter University in the 1980s and that many of the bars, cafés and shops around the quaint little city in the heart of Devon inspired her when she was writing the Harry Potter series. So much so, that today you can take yourself on a magical Harry Potter tour of Exeter for yourself.

Also worth noting is that the nearby towns and villages of Ottery St Mary, Chudleigh and Topsham were probably the inspiration for ‘Ottery St Catchpole’ (where the Weasley family lives), Topsham (where Madam Nettles lives) and Chudley (possible home of the Crudely Cannons). For more wizarding inspiration in the UK, check out my Harry Potter guide to the UK.

Before you visit Exeter, you need to know a few things. As the capital city of Devon (the other city in the South West county being that of Plymouth), there’s no shortage of things to see and do. And between Roman ruins, an award-winning free to visit town museum, and an excellent foodie scene, there’s pretty much something for everyone! Thanks to its massive popularity, especially during peak season, you’ll want to book your place to stay well in advance so as to secure the best deal. Check accommodation prices here.

Gandy Street

Alleged to be | Diagon Alley

Start your walking tour on Exeter High Street and turn down onto Gandy Street, a little road filled with boutique shops and dating back centuries. Filled with tiny boutiques and pretty cafés, it’s not hard to see how Rowling transfigured this street into a magical one.

When wandering down this road look hard enough and you’ll soon spy The Mugglers Inn, a magically-inspired bar that serves cocktails with names such as ‘First Year Experiment’ and ‘Berry Worms’. Update: As of May 2019, the Mugglers Inn (formerly known as the Cauldron Inn) has been closed for refurbishment.

IMG_20160216_133115

From the end of the road, start walking down towards the boutique shops and bunting. Cross the road (be sure to look both ways), and around halfway down Gandy Street, you’ll see…

The Vaults Nightclub

Alleged to be | Gringotts Bank

And no, I doubt any dragons will be bursting out of the roof any time soon! But, the unique façade of the vaults bar and club in Exeter looks surprisingly like Gringotts Bank from the film…

IMG_20160216_133024

From Gandy Street, cross over to the other side of the main high street and turn down one of the many small alleys to enter into. En route, you’ll pass by several bookshops, jewellery stores, ancient pubs, and even the building which was once the oldest hotel in Devon.

Cathedral Close

Alleged to be | the room of Requirements

Alohomora! There is a small door (so small that you’d have to crouch down to go through it) hidden in a corner of the close. The ancient carved door is supposed to be the inspiration behind the door for the Room of Requirements. For more details about this ancient portal, check out my guide to the Room of Requirements door.

IMG_20160216_133314

After snapping photos of the Room of Requirement door, don’t leave Cathedral Close just yet! After all, you still need to visit the stunning and Gothic Exeter Cathedral. Worth noting is that a huge Roman bath complex is located beneath Exeter Green, and preliminary excavations suggest that the site here may be as important as the Roman Baths of the City of Bath!

Exeter Cathedral Interior

Alleged to be | The Great Hall

The impressive architecture on the inside of Exeter Cathedral supposedly inspired the Great Hall where almost every major event in both the movies and films occurs.

exeter cathedral interior

From the Cathedral, turn back on yourself and walk back onto the main high street. Walk down the High Street towards the Next, Boots and John Lewis stores. At the junction by the John Lewis store, turn left and walk down the road for about 150/200 metres. On your right hand side, you’ll see:

The Old Fire House

Alleged to be | The Leakey Cauldron

If at the end of your Harry Potter, you’re feeling a little peckish, no problem! Not only does the Firehouse, Exeter make delicious pizzas, it was also the inspiration for the Leakey Cauldron. And as soon as you step into this cosy pub, you’ll see exactly why! Before ordering these mouthwatering Italian delights, be sure to note that pizzas are absolutely enormous and just one is more than enough to share between two people!

IMG_20160216_133215

Enjoyed reading this Harry Potter walking tour of Exeter? Pin it now, read it again later:

Harry Potter Tour of Exeter: JK Rowling studied at Exeter University. As a result, there's plenty of Harry Potter Inspiration around the city in Devon, England!

About Author

Sophie Nadeau loves dogs, books, Paris, pizza, and history, though not necessarily in that order. A fan of all things France related, she runs solosophie.com when she's not chasing after the next sunset shot or consuming her weight in sweet food. Currently based in Paris after studies in London, she's spent most of her life living in the beautiful Devonian countryside in South West England!

15 Comments

  • Fleur Perry
    7th July 2019 at 11:19 pm

    Although I liked this guide, there has never been a “Muggler’s Inn” in Gandy Street. There used to be a place called “Cauldron Inn”, but that closed down recently. There is a “Smuggler’s Inn” in the town of Shaldon, maybe you were thinking of that.

    Reply
    • Sophie Nadeau
      10th October 2019 at 6:26 pm

      The Cauldron Inn was actually renamed the Mugglers Inn!

      Reply
  • Richard White
    17th November 2017 at 6:21 pm

    Thanks for this. I only live 10 miles away in Exmouth and knew none of this. Looking forward to revisiting these places.

    Reply
  • Sam Brooks
    11th February 2017 at 11:47 pm

    So i’m from Exeter, Topsham to be exact and knew of most of these places being an inspiration for the Harry Potter series. I love my city. Its gorgeous and to walk around and see these places really fuels my love for Harry Potter even more! Reading the books and seeing some of the local places mentioned is amazing.

    Reply
  • Pascaline
    26th November 2016 at 7:46 am

    Hi there! YOUR article is fun! If you want to visit the real film locations come on one of my tour of London one day!!

    Reply
  • Sarah Shotts
    23rd February 2016 at 4:54 pm

    Love this! I did a Geek’s Guide to London on my blog, but I’ve never been to Exeter. If I do I’ll be sure to consult your list. My husband and I are making a UK trip next year so we’ll see.

    Reply
  • Wanderlustingk
    21st February 2016 at 7:44 pm

    I had no idea about this. I loved your post and I definitely see the link!

    Reply
  • Barb
    20th February 2016 at 8:44 am

    Exeter looks amazing! I’d love to see all these places 🙂
    Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
  • Jill
    20th February 2016 at 3:17 am

    Your photos are amazing! I’d love to visit one day!

    Jill
    Doused In Pink

    Reply
  • Jess
    20th February 2016 at 12:09 am

    Thank you for sharing! This is so wonderful and my Harry Potter nerd is way too excited reading this. Thank you so much!!

    wherethefisjess.com

    Reply
  • Radi
    19th February 2016 at 10:36 pm

    Wow gorgeous places!!! Beautiful photos!
    Have a lovely weekend!

    http://fashionradi.blogspot.com/

    Reply
  • Kylie
    19th February 2016 at 10:23 pm

    This is a really interesting post! Very cool 🙂

    Reply
  • Rena
    19th February 2016 at 4:51 pm

    Oh, thanks for this amazing sight seeing tour!
    xx from Bavaria/Germany, Rena
    http://www.dressedwithsoul.com

    Reply
  • Tanja (the Red phone box travels)
    19th February 2016 at 3:35 pm

    Cool! Had no idea about this. I’d love to visit it:)

    Reply
  • Alexandra
    19th February 2016 at 10:10 am

    Super nice post ! The pictures are beautiful ! I would love to visit Exeter !
    Alexandra
    http://littlefrenchblog.blogspot.fr

    Reply

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.