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  • Meg Minard

Hogwarts Quidditch Pitch – Gryffindor Lions


Photo Courtesy of Harry Potter Wordl


Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 3.86

Hogwarts Quidditch Pitch Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry Hogwarts, Scotland


Gryffindor Lions website

Hogwarts Quidditch Pitch website


Year Opened: unknown

Capacity: 10,000

 

Quidditch

Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry started over 1,000 years ago. The exact time frame of the construction of the Quidditch Pitch and stands are unknown. Quidditch is a dangerous, yet popular, game played by witches and wizards all over the world. It is played on special flying broomsticks, uses three types of balls (one scarlet quaffle, two black bludgers, and one golden snitch) with seven players on each team.


The pitch is used by all four teams of the school: Slytherin, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw, and Gryffindor. Teams fervently compete against one another to win the Inter-House Quidditch Cup every school year.


The venue’s darkest moment, and indeed one of the darkest moments in Wizarding history, came not during a quidditch match but when it hosted the Third Task of the Triwizard Tournament in 1995. The pitch was converted into a giant hedge maze with the championship trophy in the middle. Unbeknownst to the participants, the trophy had been converted into a Portkey, which set off the death of Cedric Diggory, the return of Lord Voldemort, and the beginning of the Second Wizarding War.


Food & Beverage 5

A feast of unique choices are available for consumption at Quidditch Pitch. Golden plates and goblets are filled with roast beef, roast chicken, pork chops and lamb chops, sausages, bacon and steak, boiled potatoes, roast potatoes, fries, Yorkshire pudding, peas, carrots, gravy, ketchup. Anything your taste buds desire.


Pumpkin juice or butterbeer for drinks! We don’t recommend the Polyjuice as you’ll end up leaving the match as someone (or something) other than you arrived. Goblets of eggnog or firewhiskey in the cooler weather are great suggestions to warm fans up.


And for the sweet tooth there are Bertie Bott’s Every Flavored Beans, peppermint humbugs, chocolate frogs, cauldron cakes, pumpkin pasties, fizzing whizbees, and plenty more.


The extraordinary and unique characteristic of the refreshments at Hogwarts Quidditch Pitch is the portions automatically refill.


Atmosphere 4

The oval-shaped pitch is immaculately green and three 50-foot-high hoops emerge in each end of the field. The stadium’s seats rise extremely high on either side of the pitch so fans can watch the flying broomsticks’ soaring action. A high row and a center-pitch location provide the best view. Remember to bring binoculars or omnioculars, aka magic binoculars, as fans can be a distance from watching the match, the two black bludgers and scarlet quaffle.


In an unusual twist for a live venue, spectators can hear the commentator call the match. The quality of commentators varies significantly, from the passionate, biased Lee Jordan to the excellent Professor McGonagall to the quixotic Luna Lovegood. And that last one is putting it nicely.


Mascots or between-action entertainment is not needed, as thankfully, it is all about the fast-paced match being played. The atmosphere is especially high-charged when Gryffindor and Slytherin face off against each other.


Neighborhood 2

The closest town to Hogwarts Quidditch Pitch is Hogsmeade, an enchanted town filled with shops and places to eat. Derish and Banges sells magical instruments and Honeydukes is a popular sweet shop for students which offers succulent-looking sweets, wizarding candy, and the owners make their own fudge. Zonko’s, a joke shop, is always an adventure, even for magical folk.


The Three Broomsticks is a lively pub in town. Stadium Journey recommends not going to the Hog’s Head for a pint as it is quite filthy and the clientele are of a particular sort you’d be advised to avoid.


When in town, be sure to visit the Shrieking Shack, a historic haunted building. Also, a visit to the post office to see the owls (300+) might be worth a stop, if that’s you’re thing.


On a sunny spring day, the grounds around the pitch are perfect for playing wizard chess, Exploding Snap, a casual game of Gobstones or practicing dueling pre or post match. However, stay away from the perilous Whomping Willow on campus.


Hotels, motels and BnB’s are not near the pitch nor the school. If taking the Hogwarts Express train to the school, the Leaky Cauldron (a wizard pub offering food, drinks and rooms to rent) is a few stops on the tube from Kings Cross station. Though many lodging places closer to Kings Cross are nicer, those are in the Muggle world; not the Sorcerers’ one, therefore not quite as interesting.


Although not close at all to Hogwarts, other Quidditch teams to visit if in United Kingdom are the Chudley Cannons, Wimborne Wasps, Puddlemere United, Holyhead Harpies (all down south in England or Wales) or an even more exciting international team such as the Irish National Quidditch team is a short flight over the Irish Sea. One can always head to Easter Road in Edinburgh, home of the Hibernian FC, and watch a football match; different sport but closer to Hogwarts (at least in the same country).


Fans 5

For security reasons, attendance is limited to Hogwarts personnel including students, professors, house-elves, and mischievous ghosts. Dementors are not permitted.


Students turn out in great numbers to fill the stands. They sit with their respective houses and get thoroughly involved, waving flags, brandishing banners, and shooting off magical Filibuster fireworks. Tumultuous applause is awarded after amazing blocks and superb flying.


The pitch has been the site of a number of fan incidents over the years, including a professor who was secretly Voldemort in disguise attempting to curse a player off his broomstick and a group of Slytherins disguising themselves as dementors to disrupt a match.


Access 2

Getting to Hogwarts Quidditch Pitch can be tough as it is hours by train (Hogwarts Express) from Kings Cross station. The tricky part about this method is you need to know how to get to platform nine and three-quarters.


Due to protective enchantments, Hogwarts is not accessible via Apparating, Portkey, or Floo Powder, although some of these may have been lifted with the end of the Wizarding War and final defeat of Voldemort.


Restrooms are located in the school castle. For the ladies, we recommend not using the one on the second floor just above the Great Hall as you may run into Moaning Myrtle who sometimes floods the floor. If getting lost in the school castle (the spiral staircases randomly move), check the Marauder’s Map.


The clear bag policy is not in affect and fans do not need to walk through metal detectors nor be wanded (Muggle wand!) when entering the stadium. Muggle technology is less than useful in this magical environment.


Return on Investment 5

Admission and concessions are free to all Hogwarts personnel. The excitement of watching a quidditch match is nothing less than exhilarating, bewitching and thrilling.


Extras 4

A merchandise shop is located not far from the entrance and offers scarves (no half and half scarves are for sale – real fans don’t like them). Other items offered are Filibuster fireworks, sparkling roaring pinwheels, rosettes, moving player figurines, team robes and hats in various sizes (all four house garments are for sale), quidditch gear, and much more. Prices range from five sickles to ten galleons (though a few trinkets are priced at 19 – 29 knuts).


Watching a match in a historical, magical venue and school is always something worth writing home about. Having refreshments automatically refill is certainly worth an extra mention. Always refreshing at a sports venue, spectators can actually hear the commentator call the match.


Final Thoughts

Only scorcerers are able to witness a quidditch match at Hogwarts Quidditch Pitch, much to the despair of us other sports fans. If you are in Scotland, are a sports fan, and are a witch or wizard, put visiting Hogwarts for a quidditch match on your bucket list!


** A special thanks to Gregory Koch who helped with wording of the historical references and tried his best to keep me on track with actual book facts (he didn’t always succeed). Thanks Gregory!


Additionally, thanks to J.K Rowling for creating such an entertaining read beginning more than 25 years ago.**

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