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harry potter shell cottage

Freshwater West, one of Wales’ premier surfing beaches, has been inundated with Harry Potter fans in recent years. As the iconic setting for the famous Shell Cottage, Freshwater West is also home to Dobby the house elf’s grave.

Here’s your guide to the incredible setting for Shell Cottage, Pembrokeshire …


Shell Cottage

harry potter shell cottage

Shell Cottage was constructed as one of the set’s for the final Harry Potter films – Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows starring Daniel Radcliffe and based on the book by J. K. Rowling. The house was the setting for Bill and Fleur Weasley’s home and a safe house during the Second Wizarding War. The unique, character-filled cottage was built along the coast of Freshwater West, Pembrokeshire, with filming taking place between the 11th and 15th May 2010.

The cottage was used for filming several scenes in both Deathly Hallows Part 1 and Part 2 but was taken straight down after filming. Although Shell Cottage has long since gone, you can visit the location of this iconic landmark. If you’re looking for your very own cottage by the beach, check out these coastal cottages in Pembrokeshire.

The amazing detail of the shell roofing was completed with plastic moulding. Whilst the cottage itself was filled with water containers to make sure the house didn’t blow away in the wind! The Shell Cottage has now been removed from the beach, but Potter fans still flock to the beach in search of Dobby’s grave and to walk in the footsteps of Harry, Hermoine and Ron.


Dobby’s Grave, Freshwater West

Freshwater West where Dobby's Grave is

Dobby’s death, which took place in front of Shell Cottage, is one of the most devastating and upsetting scenes throughout the whole Harry Potter series. For those who don’t know, Dobby was a house-elf belonging to the Malfoy family and was extremely protective of Harry Potter.

After causing a lot of mayhem throughout the first few films, Dobby and Harry became the closest of friends, with Harry treating Dobby as an equal. Eventually, Harry managed to free the loveable house-elf from the poor treatment of the Malfoy’s, thus turning Dobby into a Free Elf. Dobby died in the arms of Harry Potter, along the golden sands of Freshwater West.

To this day, the beach is visited by many a Harry Potter fan, in search of Dobby’s grave. The original “here lies Dobby, a Free Elf” stone was initially stolen, however amongst the sand dunes of Freshwater West, you’ll still find an array of memorials for Dobby.

How to Find Dobby’s Grave

If you’re heading to Freshwater West in search of Dobby’s grave then all you need to do is follow these instructions…

  • Walk along the beach from Cafe Mor and continue along the grassy area between the beach and road and turn right.
  • From here, walk past the “Freshwater West Beach” sign, onto the pebbles and towards the lifeguard box.
  • Continue for 100 meters, over the smaller sand dunes.
  • At the top of the sand dunes, you’ll see Dobby’s heartwarming memorials. Dobby’s grave is located on top of the dune closest to the sea.

Freshwater West

Views of Freshwater West beach

Freshwater West, a beautiful, windswept, exposed beach, is arguably one of the most consistent surf spots in Wales. In fact, the Welsh National Surfing Championships are held at Freshwater West annually during the first bank holiday in May. The south-westerly facing beach, with its mighty waves, should only be tested by experienced surfers and extremely strong swimmers.

On a calm sunny day, the water may look inviting, but the rip currents beneath the surface can be very dangerous. Not only was Freshwater West the filming location for Shell Cottage in Harry Potter, but it also featured in Ridley Scott’s Robin Hood.

This must-visit beach in Pembrokeshire is breathtakingly beautiful and the ideal location for family adventures, romantic strolls or a day relaxing on the beach. If you’re looking for a spot to eat during your visit to Freshwater West, some of our favourites spots include Cafe Mor, Hibernia Inn and Wavecrest Cafe.


Holiday near Shell Cottage, Freshwater West

If you’re thinking of visiting Freshwater West to explore the famous site of Shell Cottage or to visit Dobby’s Grave, then be sure to check out these fantastic holiday cottages in Pembrokeshire. From large family accommodation to cosy coastal cottages, we’re sure you’ll have a Pembrokeshire holiday to remember!


Image Credits: Will and Ed Webster (CC BY 2.0)

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