How To Enjoy A Dog Friendly Harry Potter Themed Weekend in York

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Grab your wands, summon your Patronus and leash up your furry friend—because it’s time for a magical adventure in York! This historic city isn’t just brimming with cobbled streets and ancient walls; it’s also a haven for Harry Potter enthusiasts. What’s even better? Your pooch can join in on the fun. Here’s your ultimate guide to a spellbinding, dog friendly weekend in York that even Dobby would approve of!

Why York?

York is often considered a living, breathing Diagon Alley, capturing the essence of the magical world that so many Harry Potter fans adore. The cobblestone pathways, charming architecture, and whimsical shops set the scene for a wizarding escapade. This allure is enhanced by a tantalising local rumour: it’s said that the movie production teams spent some time wandering York’s most famous street, The Shambles, before creating the iconic Diagon Alley sets for the first Harry Potter film. Although this magical tale remains unconfirmed, the resemblance is uncanny, fuelling the imaginations of Potterheads who visit.

But York’s magic isn’t just in its resemblance to Diagon Alley; it’s also in the hidden gems and quirky details scattered around, especially within The Shambles. Take for instance the potion shop numbered 9 3/4, whimsically skipping over number 10 to numbers 11 and 12—so where’s the missing number? Ah, it’s ingeniously crafted into a tiny fairy door next to the main entrance! And let’s not forget Whip-Ma-Whop-Ma-Gate, a street that, despite its long name, is one of the shortest in the city. These unique touches add layers of enchantment, making York the ultimate setting for a magical, Harry Potter-themed weekend.

A Magical Meander Down Shambles

Kickstart your enchanted escapade with a stroll down Shambles, York’s own Diagon Alley. With its wonky, timber-framed buildings and narrow streets, it’s easy to see why this iconic locale inspired parts of the Potter universe.

The Shop That Must Not Be Named

Eager to channel your inner wizard? Take a gander (or should we say, “take a Fluffy?”) into the Shop That Must Not Be Named. This shop has got all the Harry Potter gear for your next magical adventure, and yes, it’s dog friendly! Open daily from 10 AM to 6 PM, this emporium of magic welcomes both two-legged and four-legged Potterheads. You can even park your broomsticks outside.

Society of Alchemists: For a Bewitching Experience

Step into a realm of mystique and wonder at Society of Alchemists. You’d half expect to bump into Dumbledore as you explore this eclectic treasure trove, bursting with diffusers that infuse the air with scents as delightful as Mrs. Weasley’s kitchen. Candles flicker mysteriously in corners, exuding fragrances that could charm even a dementor. And if you’re into zodiac gifts, this is your celestial playground! The pièce de résistance? Animated eyes that discreetly peep from shadowy corners and an animated dragon’s head that seems to breathe in time with your awe. Don’t forget, the shop is also dog-friendly, so your little Sirius or Luna can accompany you through this beguiling experience.

Potions Cauldron: Elixirs and Brews Galore

Fancy yourself a mixologist of magical brews? Stop by Potions Cauldron on Shambles to whip up your own potion cocktails. Though this spot isn’t dog-friendly, it’s a must-visit for creating fun drinks that would make Professor Snape proud.

Ghost Merchant: Cute Spectres You Didn’t Know You Needed

A little note: Ghost Merchant is one of the few places on Shambles that isn’t dog friendly, but it’s worth a visit if you have someone with you to wait with the pupper. The place sells hand-made, bespoke ghosts that pay tribute to York’s reputation as one of the world’s most haunted cities. From ethereal drifters to cheeky poltergeists, you can buy a unique little ghost to take home as your very own supernatural keepsake. And keep your eyes peeled while you’re out and about on Shambles—small, free-to-adopt ghosts are occasionally tucked away on the street, just waiting for a lucky finder to give them a new haunt.

Shambles Food Court and Market: Nosh and Nibbles

Hungry for a bit more than just magic? Stroll your way over to the sheltered Shambles Food Court and Market for some proper grub. A tantalising array of eateries awaits you and your pup, offering everything from the spiciest of burritos that’d make a dragon breathe fire, to gyros that even a Greek god would applaud. Craving something traditionally British? How about a classic fish and chips? But wait, there’s more! Indulge in heavenly crepes or hot choccy that’ll warm you faster than a Weasley jumper. Like the Great Hall, the atmosphere is bustling, the options are endless, and the best part? Dogs can join in the feast or perhaps enjoy a nibble or two!

More to York Than Shambles

Hole In Wand: Tavern For Witches & Wizards

Ready for a pit stop that’s both dog-friendly and full of enchantment? Well, apparate your way into the tavern at Hole in Wand. While your furry pal can’t join you for a round of mini-golf (sorry, puppers), they’re more than welcome in the tavern area. Imagine sipping a Butter Beer, the froth settling on your lips, as your pup sniffs around, perhaps making a doggy friend or two. It’s the perfect magical retreat to kick back and share a spellbinding experience with your fluffy.

Now, let’s talk about their shop, shall we? Oh, you’ll be like a kid in Honeydukes! It’s crammed with fantastical beverages like Cauldron Cola Magic Potion, Tears of Wizard Cream Soda, and even Serpent’s Venom Lemonade. Wait for it…most of these drinks actually sparkle and shimmer when you shake ’em, making everyone in the room go ‘oooooo’ like you’ve just performed a lumos charm! But the magic doesn’t end there. You can also gobble down Chocolate Frogs or, for the adventurous palate, Tongue Painter Sweets and Unicorn Poo Lumps (yup, you read that right) stored in whimsical sweet jars. And if jelly beans are your jam, they’ve got ’em in charming little flasks, each a magical metre of flavour!

Batch’d: Delicious Delights

Just a hop, skip, and a wag away from the mystical Shambles, you’ll find Batch’d, an oasis of sugar, spice, and all things nice. Now, you might be thinking, ‘Oi, what’s so magical about a bakery?’ Trust us, it’s not just any bakery—it’s a realm of culinary wizardry where each treat seems crafted by house elves trained in the ancient art of yumminess. You’ll be spoilt for choice between brownies that could make even Snape crack a smile, blondies that are sweeter than a Hufflepuff’s disposition, and doughnuts that are, quite frankly, the stuff of legends. As you walk in, the mouth-watering aroma envelops you, whispering promises of delicious indulgence in your ears.

Yorkshire Minister: The Real-Life Hogwarts

Gaze upon Yorkshire Minister and you’ll think you’ve apparated straight into Hogwarts. Although not dog-friendly inside, you and your fluffy companion can marvel at this architectural wonder from the outside, its soaring spires and intricate carvings a sight to make even Dumbledore nod in approval. If you fancy taking in more of York’s landmarks without tiring out your pup’s paws, hop onto a dog-friendly City Sightseeing bus tour or set sail on a City Cruises tour. Both options offer an enchanting way to see Yorkshire Minister and other magical spots around York. Trust us, it’s an experience that will leave you and your pooch feeling like you’ve just caught the golden snitch!

York Station: Your Ticket to Magical Memories!

Don’t miss the spellbinding York Station, the only filming location in York that’s straight out of a Harry Potter movie. Upon arrival, waltz on in and head straight for the first platform. Here’s where you’ll discover the very bridge featured in that iconic scene where Hagrid hands Harry his first-ever ticket to Hogwarts! The magical vibes are so real you’ll be half-expecting an owl to swoop down with your own acceptance letter. Whether you’re setting off on a magical journey or just passing through, this is one stop that every wizard, witch, and well-behaved house-elf (or pooch!) will want to make.

Beyond York

Harry Potter enchantment doesn’t stop in York!

Mr E Escape Rooms, Scarborough: A Magical Quest Awaits!

For those wanting to put their wizarding wits to the test, take a jaunt to Scarborough for a visit to Mr E Escape Rooms. You and your “students” are the last hope to save Wizard-kind in Professor Grumblemore’s enchanted classroom. While the characters and story are uniquely its own, there’s no denying the Harry Potter-inspired vibe that casts a spell over the room. And guess what? It’s just an hour away from York, making it a perfect day trip for you and your magical mates. Best of all, your furry friend is welcome to join in the enchanting escapades, making this an experience that’s truly fun for the whole magical family!

Malham Cove: Step into a Harry Potter Filming Location

If you’re itching for a proper Harry Potter pilgrimage (and a big ole walkies), then look no further than Malham Cove in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales National Park. You’ll recognise it from “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban” as the stunning backdrop to Harry and Hermione’s camping adventure. With towering limestone cliffs sculpted over millions of years, it’s a geological marvel that even Professor Sprout would applaud. Just under two hours from York by car, Malham Cove is easily accessible for a day trip. There’s even a carpark near the visitor centre, and from there it’s a scenic 30-minute walk to the cove itself. Whether you fancy the shorter jaunt to the cove or opt for the longer loop through Janet Foss waterfall, this magical location is sure to leave you and your pooch spellbound!

Goathland Station: All Aboard for a Real-Life Hogsmeade Adventure!

Pack your wands and wagging tails because it’s time to embark on a magical journey to Goathland Station, the real-life doppelganger of Hogsmeade Station! Just an hour’s drive from York, this quaint station in Yorkshire is where iconic scenes from the first Harry Potter film were shot. Remember the moment when Harry and Ron first disembark and Hagrid greets them? Yep, that’s Goathland for you! The station itself is petite but packed with nostalgic magic. Time your visit with the arrival or departure of a steam train to really feel like you’re stepping into the Wizarding World. It’s an experience that’ll make you, your mates, and even your pooch feel like you’ve received your very own Hogwarts letters!

Where To Stay?

101 House At The End

For a holiday stay that transcends the Muggle realm, consider booking a visit at the 101 House At The End, fondly referred to as the Witchcraft & Wizardry House. Perfect for fans young and old, this magical haven is within wand’s reach of The York Racecourse and a stone’s throw from the City Centre. Venture into a realm of pure imagination with features like the mesmerising Emerald Bedchamber, a cosy Victorian Reading Room for snuggling up with a spellbook, and a sumptuous bathroom perfect for potion-infused bubble baths. Oh, and don’t forget Fido! This enchanting domicile welcomes pets—though do note there’s an additional £32 charge for bringing your furry apprentice along.

The Moxy

For those whose taste in accommodation swings towards the whimsical, The Moxy is your jam. Far from your average hotel, this spot is brimming with pop-culture artefacts that’ll make your stay feel like a playful adventure. Each room is a thematic wonder, seamlessly blending modern amenities with delightful quirks. It’s not Harry Potter-themed per se, but its eclectic decor certainly resonates with the charm and fantasy of the Shambles.

The Principal York

If you’re yearning for a touch of grandiosity to top off your magical adventure in York, look no further than The Principal York. Formerly The Royal York Hotel, this luxurious abode sits amidst tranquil gardens and even boasts a new Garden Room with views overlooking the iconic York Minster. The hotel is a hop, skip, and a jump away from the train station, making it an ideal base for exploring all the historical and whimsical wonders of York. Award-winning interior architects Goddard Littlefair have waved their wands over the place, marrying late-Victorian elegance with modern-day comfort. The result? A spellbinding collection of 155 plush bedrooms and suites, swathed in balanced, neutral tones that scream more than just luxury—they scream, “You’re home, wizard!”

Ready For A Spellbinding Weekend?

A Harry Potter-themed weekend in York is a magical affair for both humans and canine companions. With this guide, you and your pooch will have the ultimate enchanting experience. So, get your wands at the ready, because adventure awaits!


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