[Editor’s Note: Due to the nature of the castle, The Owl Post is not liable if anything discussed in this article proves to be incorrect. Unfortunately, doors like to move, portraits to play tricks, and classrooms to jump about. Passageways don’t always make sense and, basically, Hogwarts has a mind of its own.]
So it’s your first year at Hogwarts. Welcome! This article will help teach you to find your way around the castle and avoid some fates worse than death. If coming from Hogsmeade, you will be welcomed by the large steel gates at the entrance to the grounds. Directly forward from the gates is the covered bridge, and if you look down the hillside, to your left you will see the Groundskeepers hut as well as the path to the Quidditch pitch and greenhouses. On the right of the bridge is the path to the White Tomb, also known as the grave of Albus Dumbledore and the nearby campfire area.
Crossing the Covered Bridge takes you to the first of several courtyards in the castle, this being aptly name the Clocktower Courtyard. Here, a large iron gate is opened and closed during the day. Each day the outer doors of the castle all seal at 6 pm and reopen at 7 am each morning. Just inside the gate you can see the large swinging pendulum of the clock tower and flanking the entry is 2 staircases with exits on 1st 5th, 6th, and 7th floors.
Taking either doorway at the base of the clock tower will bring you to the ground floor of The Grand Staircase. Looking up you can see a number of moving staircases and paintings covering the entire history of Hogwarts. Directly ahead of the doorway in the middle area is the doorway to the Dungeons, we shall return to them later in the tour. On your left is a small stairway leading up, to an open hallway and stairs back down, this will take you to the Great Hall. Pausing in the hallway- on your left is the great hall courtyard, thisdoorway will also seal with curfew so see that you are not locked out.
You are now entering the Great Hall. Here, you will be called for all school assemblies, your meals, as well as any emergency situations that may arise. Breakfast is served at:7:30, Lunch at 11, and Dinner at 6 Pm. Each house is sat at different tables marked by the coloured runner down the middle, but you are encouraged to mix it up and sit with other tables- unless it’s an assembly. The staff is seated at the dais at the front of the hall. On the right side of the staff table is the counter for house points, these will update throughout the year to show the current tally of house points towards the house cup. And on the other side of the dais is the rear door of the Great Hall.
Proceeding through the rear doorway you are now in the Staff Corridor, behind the painting is the teachers private rooms and staff meeting room, no students are allowed in the teachers area and is protected by a password and other charms. Opposite the staff painting is the Kitchen Corridor, in this hallway is a still life of a mans face made from fruit. if you tickle the pear nose three times you will gain access to the kitchens. Here you may find Abner, the Hogwarts head house elf, but be wary he is rumoured to be quite cranky and does not deal well with children. There is also a storage area for barrels that should not be touched unless you enjoy vinegar.
Returning to the staff hallway and continuing onto the next section is the quad courtyard hallway. Taking the doorway framed by windows on each side will lead you to the Quad. Located within this courtyard are doorways for the attic classroom tower, the muggle studies classroom, and a passage leading to the 6th floor.,
The far door will return you to the Grand Staircase. Now, returning here, the door to the Dungeons leads to several important areas- the Potions classroom, Ghoul Studies classroom, and the Head of House office for Slytherin all reside in the dungeons. There are also direct passages to the quad courtyard and the base of the stair tower down here. There are also rumours of hidden passages in the dungeons as well.
Climbing up to the second floor now, this door leads to the viaduct hallway as well as 2 bathrooms, one for each gender. Unfortunately, the girls’ bathroom has been closed for a while now, and thus the boys’ has been turned into an all gender one. The other door leads to the viaduct entry hall, and through these large doors is the bridge that leads to the Great Hall courtyard. Here, there is another door which leads to the tapestry corridor. Within this corridor is several paintings and tapestries, once again detailing parts of Hogwarts history. The door just before the end of the hallway will take you into the Long Gallery.
Immediately to the left is the door to the stone bridge leading to the 6th floor of the main castle. Leaving the foyer, you enter the main hall of the Long Gallery. Within the gallery are several classrooms, including History of Magic, Arithmancy on the upper balcony, and Head of house for Gryffindor office. At the far end of the hall is two large doors which lead out to the greenhouses and the classroom greenhouse is to the right heading out the door.
To the the left just before the doors is the Transfiguration Corridor and classroom as well as Classroom 22b. Across from the classroom is the entrance to the Transfiguration Courtyard, and Astronomy Tower. It should be noted that student are not allowed in the Astronomy Tower except during class times.
At the end of the corridor is the doorway leading out to the Owlery and Quidditch Pitch. A little further down the Groundskeepers Hut, where you can often find the Groundskeeper, who also happens to be Herbology Professor DracheBlume. Continuing down the hallway is the Mythology classroom and the Lost Wands storage room. Located just above on the second floor is the Owl Post office. [Editor’s Note: The Owl Post Office is often locked and protected by enchantment. I would advise you not touch the door unless it’s time for a meeting or you’ve been invited.]
Continuing on the first floor, through the end doorway leads to Turris Magnus, also known as the DADA tower. The DADA Classroom is located at the top of the tower and the One Eyed Witch statue guards the base of the tower. On the left is doorway to the entrance for the suspension bridge, heading across the bridge and up the staircase will lead you to the 3rd floor of the main castle.
Located on the 3rd floor is the Charms classroom, Dueling room, and the primary entrance for the Hospital Wing. Exiting through the other end of the hallway will return you to the third floor landing of the Grand Staircase. The fourth floor houses the Library, which is currently closed due to a nasty poltergeist prank.
Floors Five, Six, and Seven all have the same basic layout of a left, center and right sections. On the left side is the Divination Tower and the right side is the Attic Classroom tower. The Fifth Floor houses the Ravenclaw Head of House’s office and the Prefects’ bathroom. It should be noted that one sections of doors leads back onto themselves and there is only one correct doorway, (and the door changes randomly through the year). The Sixth floor houses the Stone Bridge Crosswalk, Classrooms 6a (Art classroom) , 6b (Music room), 6c (Homemaking Making classroom), as well as the Deputy Headmistress’s office. The Seventth floor is home to the Attic classroom, Divination classroom, and a painting known for singing very loudly and badly. This completes the tour of Hogwarts castle, hopefully, you’ll have better luck finding your way about now.