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Having received a mention in the Doomsday book in 1086- Lacock village has seen the coming and going of at least a thousand years of English history- nestled by the river Avon in the north of Wiltshire. However, it is for its most recent history that the village is receiving its far-flung fame, as it has become a go-to location for the British film industry, hosting pride and prejudice (1995), Downton Abbey (2010-2015) and most importantly, the juggernaut of British culture, Harry Potter. I want to explore why the village is such a perfect film location for the Harry Potter Franchise and why it’s such a wonderful place to visit. Click here for Downton Abbey and Harry Potter Tours
Lacock Village and Harry Potter
First, let’s take a look at where in the franchises eight instalments you can spot Lacock’s characteristic charm.
You will see the village of Lacock predominantly in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (2001) and Harry Potter and the half-blood prince (2009). In the first instalment of Harry Potter film, Lacock is used to represent Godrick’s Hollow and one of Lacock’s many traditional stone houses is where Lilly and James Potter are murdered by lord Voldemort. And in sixth instalment- Lacock represents ‘Budleigh Babberton’ where Harry and Dumbledore find Horace Slughorn– and convince him to take on the post of potions master. The whole episode was filmed in Lacock and you can see a number of Lacocks famous buildings- the distinctive timber framed houses of Church street and later a large brick mansion on Cantax hill.
However, the real Jewell in Lacock’s crown- especially for its burgeoning film career- is Lacock Abbey. Built in 1232 and having undergone many architectural renovations, the building is a prime spot for various films and has subsequently been chosen to represent both Hogwarts and Downton Abbey! Harry Potter fans will instantly notice the medieval archways of the cloisters, which have represented the corridors of Hogwarts
on several occasions. Furthermore, the beautiful gothic stonework of various crypt-like rooms made them perfect locations for both Snape’s potions classes and Quirell’s defence against the dark arts in the first Harry Potter Film.
Why is Lacock Village so perfect for film?
What makes Lacock village so perfect for the film industry is the fact that it seems frozen in time- untainted by modern developments and perfect for the antiquarian sets of the Harry Potter films. The fact is that Lacock has been unchanged for centuries and there are historic reasons for its antique appearance. Lacock was formerly one of the very few places at which you could cross the Avon river, twinned with its ideal location between bath and London, it developed a reasonably successful wool and cloth trade. A couple of centuries of prosperity would have given rise to the majority of the finer buildings visible today Lacock. The dominate family of 17th century wool trade in Lacock, the Colbornes, lived at the very same house depicted as Horace Slughorns, on Cantax hill. However, due to a new road between bath and London which bypassed Lacock as well as a failure to modernise, the industry declined. A lack of development in its key industry lead to a lack of development in its infrastructure and Lacock became frozen in time. With the help of the national trust, the village largely looks the same as it did when the last cloth worker, Richard Perkins, lived there in 1851.
Lacock Village is the platonic idea of a quintessential English village- so not only can you enjoy the more modern pleasure of visiting a top film location but you can simultaneously throw yourself back to a simpler time of English elegance and savour this quaint village’s aesthetic charms. Although it appears frozen in time, Lacock continues to be a living history.
See top filming locations from the award-winning ‘Downton Abbey’ television series and several Harry Potter films on a full-day tour from London.
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Our classic Stonehenge and Bath tour just got better. We now include Salisbury Cathedral and a champagne reception at the new fabulous visitor centre and an expert talk about the ancient landscape and most recent theories. (11 hours)’
On this tour you will be travelling with no more than 16 other people – guaranteed! Our purpose-built minibuses have large windows, good air circulation and clear PA systems so that your professional guide can escort you comfortably through our wonderful country. Our itineraries are carefully planned (with many years of experience) so that you discover as much as possible, without spending too much time on the road.
As we travel in smaller vehicles, we normally use the most scenic routes, where large coach are prohibited from travelling. Additionally, as our group sizes are smaller we are able to more time out of the vehicle. We also employ a the very best driver/guides
Travelling to and around Bath
Bath is the perfect base to explore the West Country. Bath is less than a 2 hour train trip direct from London and can save you lots of time and money by joining a tour from Bath rather than London. Located in the South West of England, Bath is easy to get to – only 90 minutes from London Paddington by train and a short drive from the M4/M5 motorways. Bath is 120 miles west of London and just 20 miles from Bristol Airport.
The train station is in the heart of the city centre and there are plenty of car parking spaces available. Bath is a compact city making it easy to walk around during your visit.
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Travelling by Train
There are regular train services direct from London Paddington and London Waterloo to Bath Spa, with an average journey time of around 90 minutes.
Bristol Temple Meads is just 15 minutes away by train. It is a major hub for travel to all other parts of the country. A number of services to Bath Spa will change at Bristol Temple Meads including services from northern England, Scotland, Devon and Cornwall.
You can get direct trains to Bath Spa from a number of destinations in the UK including Cardiff. Regular train services run from Cardiff Central train station to Bath Spa, with an average journey time of around 65 minutes.
Travel discounts are also available for groups with First Great Western’s GroupSave offer, allowing groups of three or four adults and children to travel off-peak for the price of two adults. Also, if you travel to Bath by train you can take advantage of First Great Western’s 2 for 1 offers at top Bath attractions and restaurants.
If you are staying in Bath for a few days you can easily take a day trip by train to a number of nearby destinations including Bradford on Avon and Bristol
Sightseeing Tours out of Bath
The small group touring experts (Welcome2Britain) offer half and full day tours from Bath include The Cotswold’s, Stonehenge, King Arthur Country, Avebury, Lacock, Castle Combe, Salisburt Cathedral, ancient stone circles / burial mounds and even mysterious crop circles in the summer months. We have a range of tours to the surrounding area, rich in history.
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Accommodation in Bath
Bath is host to a whole range of accommodation from your traditional bed and breakfasts where you should be able to find a bed with breakfast included for 60 GBP per person per night, to the luxurious hotels which can charge up to 200 GBP a night. A good option in Bath is one of the smaller, often family run, bed and breakfast or guest house hotels.
Enjoy your stay in Bath and we hope to see you on board one of our award winning tours
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