Get in muggles, we’re going to Dobby’s grave: Cardiff student edition
We visited the most iconic Harry Potter filming location in Wales: Here’s how it went
If you’re not willing to drive for four hours to a remote beach in west Wales to spend 10 minutes looking at a pile of rocks commemorating the life of a fictional elf then I’m sorry, but we can’t be friends.
For those who don’t know, Dobby the house elf was a much loved character from the Harry Potter franchise who, much to the fans’ dismay, was killed and buried during the last book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. When making the films, these emotional scenes were filmed at Freshwater West Beach in Pembrokeshire, and his seaside grave has since been tracked down by fans and turned into loving tribute which is free to visit by the public.
It took us about 2 hours to drive there from Cardiff Uni and was actually much easier to find than we expected. We pulled into the first car park we came across along the coastal road, and, honestly, when we got there our first thoughts were just confusion and doubt about whether we were really in the right place. We didn’t feel any more confident after asking other visitors in the car park if they knew which direction the grave was in, either, as they all looked at us as if we were speaking Parseltoungue and had no idea what we were talking about.
Nevertheless, we crossed the road and took the small path down to the beach, determined to find these rocks if it was the last thing we did. As we were walking, we caught sight of a large pile of something on a sand dune in the distance and a couple of other people who were also heading towards it. Figuring that that must be it, we set off in that direction.
We truly thought we would have to scour the beach for hours for any trace of something magical, but it only took us a couple of minutes to walk over there and immediately we knew that this was it.
From the bottom of the dune to the very top, there were small stones and socks left by fans to pay tribute to their favourite house elf. Some of the stones had been intricately painted and decorated, others had quotes from the films or messages to Dobby written on them. Some of my personal favourites of these were: ‘Dobby for next prime minister’ and ‘I luv Goyle’, but there were plenty of others that were more respectful.
We started to feel annoyed with ourselves that we didn’t bring a Sharpie to write a message of our own for Dobby, but we each put a stone from the beach on the pile anyway, it’s the thought that counts, right?
Although this isolated location was picked for a reason, we were surprised at how quiet and peaceful it really was there. Of course, it is very remote, so not every Potterhead in the world would be able to visit, but we were the only people there for ages, which we weren’t really expecting. That being said, it was a very cold, wet and gloomy day, so maybe the coach-loads of fans were waiting for a slightly sunnier day to visit.
We were only there for about half an hour at the most, but overall, if you’re in South Wales, have a car, and like Harry Potter, this should definitely be on your bucket list and we would absolutely recommend paying a visit. It’s also just a really nice beach if you and any other muggles want a fun day at the beach with a splash of magic on the side.
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