Finding Luna Nova: The Real World Locations of “Little Witch Academia”

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Remember when we talked a bit back about anime pilgrimages? Naturally, this is going to apply mostly to locations in Japan, though there are plenty of series set in England, the United States, and alternate forms of Russia. When it comes to fantasy series, you’ll be a little more hard-pressed — very few chances to travel back in time or to fantasy worlds.

But if you’re looking for the world of Little Witch Academia, you might have fun taking a tour around Avebury.

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As mentioned in the show, Luna Nova Academy is built on top of St. Michael’s Ley Line — which has actually been the subject of various books, including Alfred Watkins’s The Old Straight Track and John Michell’s The View Over Atlantis. The ley line cuts through a variety of interesting, magical-feeling areas, all with enough lore surrounding them to support the sort of stories Little Witch Academia brings to mind.

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But there’s still more. Avebury is the home of three stone circles — a large outer one and two smaller inner ones. While Stonehenge is heavily protected from tourists these days, the Avebury stones can be (and regularly are) climbed on, sat on, picnicked on, and yoga’d in front of. Not to mention they’re a pretty decent match for the stones the girls saw in a particular end title card.

Avebury trades on its mysticism when it comes to tourism, but it’s also home to many seasonal rites for practicing pagans. So if you go at the “right” time, you can actually see some serious rituals going down!

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Not only that, but there’s even a potential match for the Arcturus Forest. Twisty, mysterious trees cover the hills around the edges of the town. They’re pretty magical on their own — many believe that if you tie a ribbon or a piece of thread to one of the branches or protruding roots and make a wish, your wish will come true. It’s become something of a cross-cultural practice, too. Visiting tourists will tie wishes on, and even christening parties will come out to make wishes for the newly baptized baby!

The southwest of England is full of magical sights that can be seen referenced in Little Witch Academia, all with their own legends to discover. And local anime fans are rather proud that their home is the subject of a show (even indirectly) that so many people love!

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