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In Harry Potter & the Prisoner of Azkaban, we learn that Sirius Black escaped Azkaban by transforming into a dog and swimming to the mainland, and then hid in the forbidden forest.

The movies always made Azkaban seem like it was in the middle of the ocean, with a perpetual storm that, despite probably being too rough for Black to swim in, leaves all clues as to where the mainland is indiscernible.

Is there ever any indication as to where Azkaban might be located?

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    Wherever it is, I don't care once I'm not there! – Bellatrix Apr 17 '17 at 21:55
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    @Bellatrix great comment, especially with that name. – Mark Gardner Apr 18 '17 at 15:20
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    @MarkGardner Thanks! :) – Bellatrix Apr 18 '17 at 15:32
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It's in the North Sea.

Azkaban has existed since the fifteenth century and was not originally a prison at all. The island in the North Sea upon which the first fortress was built never appeared on any map, Muggle or wizarding, and is believed to have been created, or enlarged, by magical means.

Pottermore - Azkaban

Cornelius Fudge identifies it as being in the middle of the North Sea

‘… I’ve just come from Azkaban,’ Fudge had panted, tipping a large amount of water out of the rim of his bowler hat into his pocket. ‘Middle of the North Sea, you know, nasty flight … the Dementors are in uproar –’ he shuddered ‘– they’ve never had a breakout before.

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince: CHAPTER ONE — The Other Minister

Although that would seem to conflict with the fact that Sirius swam back to shore from it. We're also advised that it's to the south of Hogwarts.

I swam as a dog back to the mainland … I journeyed north and slipped into the Hogwarts grounds as a dog … I’ve been living in the Forest ever since … except when I come to watch the Quidditch, of course … you fly as well as your father did, Harry …’

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban: CHAPTER NINETEEN – The Servant of Lord Voldemort


Given that Hogwarts is known to be in Northern Scotland, the implication is that Azkaban is somewhere off the coast of Yorkshire, Durham, Northumberland or possible southern Scotland.

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    It also draws parallels to the real-world Alcatraz, which was a prison/asylum in the bay of San Francisco off the mainland (and is now a tourist destination). But that's neither here nor there :-) – Robotnik Apr 18 '17 at 0:46
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    I assume that since it's in the North Sea, it's still pretty close to the English coast. Imagine Sirius Black swimming the wrong way and ending up in Norway or something. – Nzall Apr 18 '17 at 7:55
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    I suspect that "middle of" here is a hyperbole that could mean anything from "half a mile out" to "dead center of the North Sea". – Tin Man Apr 18 '17 at 18:32
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    So you mean I could have escaped by swimming?!? – Bellatrix Apr 19 '17 at 18:33
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    @Bellatrix - You had to get out of your cell first – Valorum Apr 19 '17 at 18:34

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