Raise your wands, wizards and witches from allover the world. Come and discover with us Harry Potter locations in London!
Our trip to London was a last minute decision. Therefore, with only two weeks of notice, we could not find tickets for Warner Bros Studios. Plus, it was Christmas time so it was impossible to book a date! This did not prevent us from planning our personal tour of every (free) corner of London related with Harry Potter movies’ locations.
If you’re visiting London with kids, also have a look at the other attractions they might enjoy: London Eye, the Tower of London and Hyde Park Winter Wonderland.
Here you’ll find our itinerary of the 7 (coincidence?) places in London that every Harry Potter fan must see.
1 – PLATFORM 9 3/4
Let’s start our tour of the Harry Potter locations from the place where magic begins: Platform 9 3/4 at King’s Cross Station. Every year, on September 1st, Hogwarts’ students pass trough the magic pillar between platforms 9 and 10 to reach platform 9 3/4 where Hogwarts’ train leaves.
To celebrate this brilliant Rowiling’s invention, they’ve actually built the famous Platform 9 3/4 inside King’s Cross. To find it, you can take the subway up to King’s Cross St Pancreas’ stop, which is right beneath the platform. If you’re coming from outside the station, you won’t have to buy any ticket since 9 3/4 is in the shopping area of the station. Following signs, you’ll reach a brick wall with a black sign “Platform 9 3/4”. There’s one of the wizards’ shopping carts disappearing inside the wall, but if there’s a long queue you won’t notice it immediately 🙂
Getting a picture at Platform 9 3/4 is a must for all Potterheads. Be prepared for a long waiting, though. It took us one hour to reach the platform (we were starving!). You might eat, read or play while you wait for your turn.
When you (finally) reach the platform, you can pick your House’s scarf chosing among Griffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw and Slytherin. There’s a professional photographer who will take you some shots that you can buy at the nearby shop. Othwerwise, let some other tourist take you the picture with your own phone. You can visit the shop anyway after the photoshooting.
It takes a long waiting but it definitely worths it!
2 – ST. PANCREAS STATION
You would all remeber the scene in which Harry and Ron, after crashing on the pillar at Platform 9 3/4, fly to Hogwarts on a blue Ford Anglia. In “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets” the two wizards take off just in front of St. Pancreas station. It’s easily recognizable thanks to the reddish color.
St Pancreas is next to King’s Cross and to reach it you just have to get the subway up to King’s Cross St Pancreas. Remeber that Platform 9 3/4 is inside King’s Cross, instead.
3 – DIAGON ALLEY
Diagon Alley is the magical village where all wizards and witches go shopping 🙂 Here you can buy cloacks, wands, potions, sweets, books, broomsticks, owls and everything you need to go to Hogwarts. A million times better than any muggle outlet!
Among the shops mentioned in the movies there’s Olivander, the wands’ shop where Harry buys his first wand. There’s also Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes, Fred and George’s shop shown in the sixth movie.
“Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone”‘s scenes are set inside the covered marked of Leadenhall, in Gracechurch Street. To reach it, take the subway up to Monument Station or Bank Station. You can then proceed by foot using the magical Google Maps 🙂
You can stroll among the many shops or simply enjoy the wonderful atmospheare of Diagon Alley. We had the chance to see this place at Christmas and it’s really magical! If you’re in London in winter, you should visit Winter Wonderland. Here you can find all the info you need.
4 – THE LEAKY CAULDRON
The Leaky Cauldron is one of the most known guest house of the magic world. It’s an old place that offers food and rest to all the wizards. Moreover, in its backyard there’s a secret access to Diagon Alley.
But not everyboday can enter the wizards’ world. In fact, muggles cannot even see the Leaky Cauldron. For them it’s simply an old shop that nobody looks at. Nowadays this magical place still looks like an optician…at least for muggles 🙂
You can find this building (see the picture below) inside Leadenhall Market (have a look at #3 to see the directions).
Harry and Hagrid enter the Leaky Cauldron in “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone” and this is where Harry meets Ron and Hermione in “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban” before going to Hogwarts. It’s a must when visiting Harry Potter locations!
5 – MILLENIUM BRIDGE
In the sixth movie, “Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince”, you’d all remember the Millenium Bridge scene. Among the various Death Eaters’ attacks in London, there’s this creepy scene in which Voldermort’s army destroys the Millenium Bridge.
If you don’t fear Death Eaters attacks, you should visit this bridge anyway. It really is amazing! It connects Bankside to the City and it leads you to St. Paul’s Cathedral. This bridge stands between Southwark Bridge and Blackfriars Bridge.
If you want to cross Millenium Bridge, take the subway up to St. Paul. You can visit the majestic Cathedral and then cross the bridge to reach Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, on the other side of Thames.
6 – PICCADILLY CIRCUS
Piccadilly Circus is one of the most known squares in London. It connects the major streets and it’s famous for the Cupid fountain. It’s the perfect place to do shopping in London since this area is full of shops.
It’s in Piccadilly Circus that Harry, Ron and Hermione apparate after running away from Bill and Fleur’s wedding in “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” part 1. In the movie, the three wizards appear in a crowded street and they immediately look for a place where to put on the casual clothes that Hermione keeps in her enchanted bag.
To reach this square you just have to take the subway up to Piccadilly Circus. You will find yourself in the middle of this wonderful location.
7 – TOWER BRIDGE AND LONDON’S VIEW
In “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix”, wizards fly above London in more than one occasion. At the beginning of the movie the members of the Order guide Harry from Privet Drive to the Head Quarter of the Order. In this scene they fly over the city on broomsticks and you can see some of the most famous locations, like Tower Bridge.
Almost at the end of this movie, Harry and his friends fly to the Ministry of Magic to save Sirius Black. Also in this scene you can have a wonderful view of London from above.
If you want to visit Tower Bridge, reach Tower Hill’s subway stop. You can easily arrive at the bridge by foot. If you have more time, also visit the Tower of London because it definitely worth it! Have a look at our article to find out more.
To have a spectacular view of London from above you can visit the Shard or the London Eye. During our tour we decided to have a ride on the most famous wheel in Europe. Here you can find all you need to know before booking your London Eye ticket.
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If London is your next destination, have a look at our related articles: London Eye, Tower of London and Winter Wonderland.
And if you’re thinking about an Europe tour, don’t miss our weekend in Florence and Florence’s Guide.