The Ultimate Harry Potter Tour of London
It’s been years since all of the books and films, but the world of Harry Potter in London is still going incredibly strong. Perhaps nowhere more so than London where a lot of the films’ scenes were shot, either in a studio or on location.
So, if you still spend the occasional weekend feasting on the Harry Potter films, then why not explore this world a little in real life by visiting real filming locations and other Harry Potter experiences across Greater London?
Harry Potter filming locations in London
First, let’s look at some of the Harry Potter places you’ve seen in the films (probably over and over again) that you can actually visit in London.
Platform 9 ¾, King’s Cross Station, London
If you want to make it to Hogwarts, you’ll first need to board the Hogwarts Express. And everyone knows you do that from Platform 9 ¾ at King’s Cross Station. To get a taste of this in real life, head to the concourse of King’s Cross and look for the Platform 9 ¾ sign. And underneath the sign is a trolley magically travelling “through” the wall just like Harry Potter.
Strike a pose pushing the trolley through the wall for a truly magical souvenir photo. You can take your own photos or have a professional photo taken, which you can purchase at the Harry Potter shop found in the concourse.
You might also want to snap some photos of St. Pancras as this station was actually used for the exterior shots of King’s Cross.
ZSL London Zoo, Reptile House
Practice your parse tongue with a trip to London Zoo’s Reptile House, the same place where Harry first discovered his ability to talk to snakes in The Philosopher’s Stone. You can make a whole day of it with lots of wonderful creatures to see across the zoo, and ZSL are doing their part to help protect and conserve species.
The enclosure that you see in the first film is home to the zoo’s black mamba in real life, although we wouldn’t recommend trapping your classmate inside like Harry Potter does to Fred.
The Millennium Bridge, London
Take a stroll across London’s Millennium Bridge and hope that it doesn’t get destroyed by Death Eaters like it does in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. This pedestrian bridge gives you great views of the city and across the River Thames, with St Paul’s Cathedral dominating the skyline on the Central London side of the bridge.
Check out Tower Bridge too, which Harry flies over on his broomstick in the Order of the Phoenix.
A few different filming locations were actually used for Diagon Alley throughout the films. While most of the scenes were shot in a studio, you can find locations that you might recognise as Diagon Alley from the films. The two main claimants of this coveted location are Leadenhall Market and Borough Market.
Leadenhall was used in The Philosopher’s Stone and Borough Market was used in The Prisoner of Azkaban. And if you’re looking for the Leaky Cauldron, look for the bright blue opticians on Bull’s Head Passage when visiting Leadenhall Market, and Chez Michele flower shop at Borough Market.
You’ll recognise this area and the large government building found there as a backdrop from the Half-Blood Prince, when Harry and Mr. Weasley travel to the Ministry of Magic through a phone box. Although the phone box itself isn’t there, you can still visit the spot they travelled from and take photos in front of the building.
Other Harry Potter experiences in London
London really knows how to cater to Harry Potter fans. Let’s look at some tours and experiences to check out while you’re there.
The Making of Harry Potter, Warner Bros. Studio Tour
Once you’ve scoured all the real-world locations across London, head to Warner Bros. Studio to see the sets where it was filmed, as well as real props, costumes, and an insight into how some of the magical scenes were filmed. The start of the tour is guided (and some guides were even extras in the films), but then you get to go off on your own and explore everything at your own pace.
You’ll explore the original sets of places like the Great Hall, Diagon Alley, and Platform 9 ¾. Climb aboard the Hogwarts Express steam train, practice your wand choreography, and fly a broomstick in front of a green screen. And, of course, there’s a great gift shop to get your Harry Potter souvenirs to take home with you.
The best Harry Potter shops in London
We briefly mentioned the Platform 9 ¾ shop at King’s Cross Station, started by Professor Flitwick himself, Warwick Davis. This shop is inspired by Ollivander’s wand emporium, and you can find a range of souvenirs, clothing, games, and more, as well as getting your professional souvenir photos from there.
There’s also the House of MinaLima in Soho, run by the graphic design team behind the Harry Potter films. There are four exciting floors filled with Harry Potter posters, prints, and other graphics on display or for sale, including exhibits of certain props from the films.
Brew and drink potions at The Cauldron
Brew your own bubbling and steaming potions at this magical cocktail bar. Book a 1 hour and 45-minute immersive cocktail-making experience at The Cauldron, where you get to wear robes and wave a wand while mixing your own potions, before enjoying these tasty drinks (with both alcoholic and non-alcoholic options).
The School of Witchcraft and Wizardry
Have you ever imagined being trapped in the world of Harry Potter? Maybe you wouldn’t want to escape from that situation, but that’s the whole point of this Harry Potter-inspired attraction in London.
The School of Witchcraft and Wizardry is an escape room where you have 60 minutes to work together and solve Harry Potter-themed puzzles to make your way out safely and graduate from The School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
Visit Harry Potter attractions in London with Airport Transfers UK
We’re not quite the Hogwarts Express, but Airport Transfers UK can get you around London with ease to reach all those important Harry Potter destinations. You can compare and book a taxi for all of your Greater London travel needs, saving up to 30% on your fares when you book with us in advance.