Hogwarts tops the list of must-visit fantasy locations

Harry Potter’s Hogwarts tops the list of fictional destinations film fans would most like to visit.

Monday, 29th April 2019, 12:40 pm
Updated Monday, 29th April 2019, 12:45 pm
Alnwick Castle, home of Hogwarts. Picture by Jane Coltman

In a survey by travel, media and entertainment startup Culture Trip, one in three put the School of Witchcraft and Wizardry at the top of their wishlist of fantasy worlds to which they would most like to escape.

While fans can’t enrol at the school where the boy wizard learnt his craft, they can certainly visit Alnwick Castle, which was used as a location for Hogwarts in the first two blockbuster films.

Broomsticks at Alnwick Castle.

The research reveals two thirds (63%) of Brits wish they could visit fictional destinations on holidays with about a third (28%) saying they’ve holidayed somewhere purely because it’s a filming location of a TV show or film.

Harry Potter reigns supreme with one in three (29%) fans putting Hogwarts top because there would be a lot to see and do (56%), they’d want to immerse themselves in the culture (32%) and the amazing photo opportunities on offer (28%).

In second place is The Shire (18%) from Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit (18%), closely followed by Narnia, the setting of The Chronicles of Narnia.

Despite the mortality rate, Game of Thrones fever is still strong. One in 10 (12%) Brits say they would love to visit Westeros on holiday, and fans would be willing to fork out an average of £1,246 for the privilege of exploring the Seven Kingdoms. This skews higher for male fans, who’d be happy to put up £1,358, compared to women, who’d commit to spending £1,146.

When travelling the country, men would choose Mother of Dragons Daenerys Targaryen to be their guide (19%) or join them at a dinner party to sample the local cuisine (17%). In contrast, women would favour Jon Snow or Tyrion Lannister as their guide (27% v 17%) and dinner party guests (22% v 16%).

As with the real-world, there are always destinations travellers tend to avoid.

For fictional worlds, nearly one in five (17%) say they’d steer clear of The Wasteland in Mad Max, because they wouldn’t feel safe (59%), aren’t interested in the culture (59%) and wouldn’t want to get to know the people (17%).

Other high-ranking undesirable locations include Panem from The Hunger Games and Isla Nublar from the Jurassic Park series (14%).

When it comes to trying the cuisine in fantasy locations from film and TV, food from the Harry Potter films is also popular.

Butterbeer (18%), Chocolate Frogs (17%) and Bertie Botts Every Flavour Beans (9%) all feature in the vote headed by Fizzy Lifting Drinks from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (20%).

In lieu of being able to travel to our favourite fictional worlds, Brits are happy to explore the next best thing. However, two in three (63%) would like to visit filming locations in the future.

New Zealand tops the bucket list, with nearly one in three (29%) choosing the home of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, The Chronicles of Narnia, Avatar, King Kong, X-Men Origins: Wolverine and Thor: Ragnarok.

In second place is Hawaii (26%), the filming location of Jurassic Park, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, Avatar, Pirates of the Caribbean, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle and Planet of the Apes. Hawaii is closely followed by the USA (16%), Iceland (16%) and St Vincent (13%).

Cassam Looch, TV and film expert at Culture Trip, said: “Fantasy worlds have captured the imagination of people around the globe – with 17.4 million people watching Game of Thrones’ Season 8 premiere and Avengers: Endgame breaking records by raking in £1billion worldwide during its opening weekend.

“Directors, casts and crews have managed to make the worlds in which our on-screen heroes live so appealing, that people are longing to visit these places in real life.

“Travel and entertainment lie at the heart of Culture Trip, and it’s this reason that we continue to share inspiration for trips and experiences that combine the best of both worlds.”

Results from the research

Which fictional locations from film & TV would you most want to visit on holiday?

Hogwarts School of Witchcraft & Wizardry (Harry Potter films), 29%; The Shire (The Hobbit, Lord of the Rings), 18%; Narnia (The Chronicles of Narnia), 18%; Middle-Earth (Lord of the Rings), 18%; Shipwreck Cove (Pirates of the Caribbean), 13%; Westeros (Game of Thrones), 12%; Star Wars Universe (Star Wars), 12%; Star Trek Universe (Star Trek), 11%; Gotham City (Batman), 10%; Pandora (Avatar), 10%; Isla Nublar (Jurassic Park Series), 10%; Avengers Headquarters (Avengers: Infinity War), 9%; Wakanda (Black Panther), 9%; Asgard (Thor: Ragnarok), 9%; Westworld (Westworld), 7%; Xavier’s Academy (X-Men), 7%; Panem (Hunger Games), 7%; Mystic Falls (The Vampire Diaries), 6%; Sunnydale (Buffy the Vampire Slayer), 6%; Riverdale (Riverdale), 6%; Hawkins (Stranger Things), 5%; Forest of Naboo (Star Wars Episode 1), 4%; Xandar Plaza (Guardians of the Galaxy), 4%; Smallville (Smallville), 4%; Zion (The Matrix), 4%; The Wasteland (Mad Max: Fury Road), 3%; Themyscira (Wonder Woman), 3%; World of Azeroth (Warcraft), 3%.

If you could travel to fantasy locations from film & TV, what local cuisine would you most want to try?

Fizzy lifting drinks (Charlie & the Chocolate Factory), 20%; Scooby Snacks (from Scooby Doo), 18%; Butterbeer (Harry Potter), 18%; The Three Course-Dinner Chewing Gum (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory), 18%; Chocolate Frogs (Harry Potter), 17%; Turkish Delight (The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe), 16%; Krabby Patty (Spongebob Squarepants), 15%; Everlasting Gobstopper (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory), 12%; Romulan Ale (Star Trek), 10%; Bertie Botts Every Flavour Beans (Harry Potter), 9%; Lembas Bread (The Lord the Rings), 8%; Peeta’s Bread (The Hunger Games), 8%; Fish Fingers & Custard (Doctor Who), 6%; Eggo Waffles (Stranger Things), 6%; Portion Bread (The Force Awakens), 4%; Colo Claw Fish (Solo: A Star Wars Story), 3%; Rokeg Blood Pie (Star Trek), 3%; Klatooine Paddy Frogs (Return of the Jedi), 3%; Hunted Squirrel (The Hunger Games), 3%; Plomeek Soup (Star Trek), 3%; Thala-Siren Milk (The Last Jedi), 3%.