I make no secret of the very fact I like Harry Potter – and since introducing my daughter to the books, I’ve had an excuse to revisit a string of Harry Potter places in London, to go together with my record of the perfect Harry Potter days out within the UK.
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As a result of if you happen to love the wizarding world, yow will discover numerous Harry Potter filming places in London, plus locations that are talked about within the books (whether or not they made it into the Harry Potter films or not) and even historic spots that are thought to have impressed JK Rowling.
There are an enormous variety of Harry Potter excursions in London too, together with ones appropriate for teenagers, if you wish to pack as many places right into a single day as potential… to not point out the Warner Bros studio tour nor far outdoors the town.
However if you happen to’re on the lookout for the perfect Harry Potter places in London with children to discover as a household (or to discover by yourself!), right here’s my choose of the highest 20 – plus a number of magical bonuses.
King’s Cross, London
Begin your Harry Potter tour of London by heading to the station to board the Hogwarts Categorical, at Platform 9 ¾ in King’s Cross station.
OK so it’s not the precise Hogwarts Categorical, however you may pose for pictures with a baggage trolley part-way by the wall.
There’s normally an enormous queue – that is one in every of London’s greatest Harry Potter sights – nevertheless it normally shrinks through the day. Or flip up vibrant and early (or arrive late) with your personal digicam and props when the store has shut to keep away from ready. Platforms 4 and 5 have been truly used for filming if you wish to examine them out too.
Save a while to browse in the Harry Potter store, which is among the greatest locations to purchase Harry Potter souvenirs in London, whether or not you need to purchase your home scarf, wand, chocolate frogs, Niffler and different wizard paraphernalia – some unique to the store. They even ship if you happen to get actually carried away.
Searching for the bridge that Harry and Hagrid stroll over on their method to the Hogwarts Categorical? It’s not at King’s Cross… and even in London! As a substitute, take a look at my high locations to go in York for Harry Potter followers
St Pancras, London
If you wish to benefit from the picturesque view seen when Harry and Ron flew off over King’s Cross within the Weasleys’ Ford Anglia (from floor degree), the spectacular neo-gothic constructing is the St Pancras Renaissance resort on the St Pancras Worldwide.
It’s simple to pop by if you happen to’re subsequent door at King’s Cross posing at Platform 9 3/4. It’s additionally near the British Library which has a set of wizarding books, together with a scroll displaying find out how to create your personal Philospher’s stone, in addition to different books on the historical past of magic.
For extra nice children’ books about London, take a look at my tops picks for all ages
Leadenhall Market, London
Who wouldn’t need to step by the magical entrance into Diagon Alley? The true life movie location isn’t off Charing Cross Highway although (though you may additionally wander down that road whilst you’re in London, to comply with in Harry’s footsteps within the books).
As a substitute Leadenhall Market, the Victorian coated market within the Metropolis of London was used for the road of wizarding outlets within the first film.
And the way in which in to The Leaky Cauldron? You want the curved door subsequent to the optician in Bull’s Head Passage… beforehand blue, it’s now been painted white.
The Market Porter Pub, London
This pub close to Borough Market was reworked into The Third Hand e-book retailer within the Prisoner of Azkaban, whereas the constructing subsequent door was additionally used as The Leaky Cauldron.
The Market Porter opens early for the market merchants, so you may even begin your exploring from 6am.
Cecil Court docket
There are numerous streets across the nation which declare to have impressed JK Rowling to create Diagon Alley, from Exeter to Edinburgh, in addition to York. However Cecil Court docket in London is one other sturdy contender for the real-life Diagon Alley.
It’s set simply off Charing Cross Highway, because the magic road is within the books, and has a string of weirdly fantastic outlets, promoting books, maps and antiques, full with an old school fuel lamp within the centre.
In addition to the road’s magical really feel, it’s additionally dwelling to Watkins Books, based in 1893 and primarily based at Cecil Court docket since 1901, claiming the title of the oldest occult and mystical bookshop on the planet.
It’s possible you’ll even have the ability to purchase dragon’s blood right here (a dried resin powder relatively than something extra magical…)
Goodwin’s Court docket
When you’ve wandered alongside Diagon Alley, it’s time to courageous Knockturn Alley – or the road that claims to have impressed it. Goodwin’s Court docket, simply throughout St Martin’s Lane from Cecil Court docket, dates again to the seventeenth century.
It has its personal gaslamps to mild the slim road, lined with bow-fronted homes and outlets – though you gained’t discover flesh-eating slug repellent on sale.
The road has additionally been named as one other contender for Diagon Alley, however the darker atmospheric really feel means it’s simpler to think about Borgin & Burke’s than Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes right here.
Home of MinaLima
You’ll know the work of graphic design duo Miraphora Mina and Eduardo Lima – aka MinaLima – if you happen to’ve watched a single Harry Potter movie. The pair have been the brains behind every part from the Marauder’s Map to packets of Bertie Bott’s Each Flavour Beans.
And you may go to their London gallery and store in Soho – take a look at the little exhibition with data on how they created the designs, and a few originals on show, earlier than looking for a number of extra Harry Potter souvenirs within the store.
Initially at Greek Road in Soho, it moved to close by Wardour Road (no vanishing spells concerned). Entry is free though numbers are restricted so chances are you’ll have to queue…
The Millennium Bridge, London
It’s exhausting to overlook the dramatic begin of Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, displaying the Millennium Bridge between St Paul’s Cathedral and the Tate Trendy collapsing after the Demise Eaters assault.
The wobbly bridge, because it’s recognized affectionately to Londoners, gained’t be wobbling or crumbling because of darkish magic, however you get an awesome view alongside the Thames, and from the South Financial institution to St Paul’s cathedral on the north.
St Paul’s cathedral
When you’ve crossed the Millennium Bridge, there are Harry Potter hyperlinks to St Paul’s Cathedral itself – head inside to take a look at Wren’s Geometric Staircase within the south-west tower which appeared Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.
The staircase doubled as one in every of many at Hogwarts, seen when Ron and Harry go away Professor Trelawney’s divination class after Hermione has walked out.
You should purchase tickets to go to St Paul’s Cathedral right here, together with a reduction utilizing my code MUMMYTRAVELS6 if you happen to e-book by my hyperlink
Australia Home, London
Whereas you may get an unforgettable glimpse of Gringotts Wizarding Financial institution on the Warner Bros Studio tour, full with goblins, the workplace of the Australian Excessive Fee stood in for the Diagon Alley establishment within the early films.
This is among the more durable Harry Potter filming places in London to go to due to the safety concerned on the ornately grand Edwardian constructing on the Strand. However take ID, cross your fingers and ask the safety guards very properly for a fast look inside and also you could be fortunate.
Practise your parseltongue within the reptile home at London Zoo in Regent’s Park, the place Harry will get into dialog with a boa constrictor earlier than realising his magic powers.
Within the movies, a Burmese python seems as a substitute, and there’s a plaque within the reptile home to commemorate the scene…
For some additional serpent trivia, the real-life London Zoo tank beforehand held a black mamba however is at the moment empty.
Claremont Sq., London
Wander round Claremont Sq. in Islington and it’s not exhausting to imagine you’re truly in Grimmauld Place – numbers 23-29 turned the outside of Sirius Black’s household dwelling, headquarters of the Order of the Phoenix.
The sq.’s odd form has its personal secret to inform, courtesy of an 18th century water reservoir which was later coated over.
Westminster tube station
When Harry and Mr Weasley head to the Ministry of Magic for Harry’s listening to, you see them taking the tube – to Mr Weasley’s delight and bewilderment – so as to arrive in totally non-magical trend.
The station they must navigate is Westminster – not a protracted stroll from Scotland Place (learn on), the supposed website of the Ministry itself.
The prepare station the place Harry meets Dumbledore (after studying the newspaper within the cafe in Half-Blood Prince) is Surbiton station – it’s simply outdoors London and doesn’t actually have the flavour of magic, so in all probability not value going out of your method to uncover except you’re decided to see each final location from the Harry Potter movies! If that’s the case, head to platforms 1 and a pair of
The pink telephone field the place Harry discovered the customer’s entrance to the Ministry of Magic stood on the nook the place Scotland Place and Nice Scotland Yard meet.
The telephone field itself was a prop (or maybe it’s solely seen to wizards?), so that you’ll have to make use of your creativeness.
Harry, Hermione and Ron apparate right here to flee the Demise Eaters within the Deathly Hallows Half One, so if you happen to’re ticking all of the Harry Potter London places off, it’s best to not less than stroll by.
The scene filmed right here included 300 extras and needed to be shot early within the morning due to the difficulties of shutting Piccadilly Circus down.
In actuality it’s normally a bit much less magical, because it’s one of many metropolis’s busiest junctions, though you do have the well-known illuminated adverts brightening every part up.
Sadly you may’t assure a journey on the Knight Bus however you may see one of many Harry Potter London places the place it appeared on display, crossing Lambeth Bridge.
In Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, that is the place the Knight Bus squeezes between two different very non-magical doubledecker buses because it drives over the bridge.
It’s round a 15-minute stroll from Westminster, so you may additionally simply stroll onto Westminster Bridge and have a look down the river to see it from afar.
Harry Potter strolling tour in London
You gained’t be wanting Harry Potter strolling excursions in London, most of which can take you to the principle Potter movie places listed on this publish.
It’s all the time enjoyable to affix a gaggle of fellow followers although, and loads of the tour guides run quizzes or can present you scenes from the movies as you go, for an added bonus.
Extra Harry Potter excursions in London
If you wish to save your toes, or see greater than on a strolling tour alone, do this London Harry Potter tour together with a ship journey. Or there are tour bundles together with a Harry Potter strolling tour, plus hop-on hop-off bus tour and boat tour (though the latter don’t have a wizarding theme)
You can even be part of a Wizards London Bus tour masking the places within the capital, on a three-hour tour.
Take a look at my ideas for some extra of the greatest bus excursions in London with children right here
The Palace Theatre, London
This West Finish theatre is the venue for the fabulous play, Harry Potter and the Cursed Little one – Elements I and II.
With extra performances, you don’t have to e-book months prematurely any extra, though you’ll discover the perfect costs if you happen to do – and through peak season, it’s value keeping track of the positioning for returned and cancelled tickets coming again on sale if you happen to’re attempting to go to last-minute.
There’s additionally a lottery by way of TodayTix to be in with an opportunity of two tickets for £40 – so if you happen to’re in simple travelling distance of London, it’s nicely value enjoying.
Beneficial for aged 10+, it’s implausible with children who’re Harry Potter followers, however between the size of time spent on the theatre and some scary moments, it’s not superb for youthful children.
A condensed model can also be now carried out in New York, San Francisco, Toronto, Melbourne and Hamburg.
The Warner Bros Studio Tour, Hertfordshire
Though the Warner Bros studios aren’t in London itself, it’s solely a 20-minute prepare journey from Euston (plus the shuttle bus from Watford Junction station) to achieve the positioning in Leavesden, Hertfordshire.
And if you’re this shut, there’s no approach it’s best to threat lacking this final vacation spot for Harry Potter followers in London – myself included. Be sure to e-book forward as tickets get snapped up nicely prematurely.
Take a look at my full set of ideas for the Harry Potter Studio tour
Permit loads of time to journey broomsticks, drink butterbeer (optionally available!), uncover props, see the Hogwarts Categorical, stroll into The Forbidden Forest and watch a dragon rampage by Gringotts financial institution.
There are shows galore, and it’s solely if you go to that you just realise the astonishing element and simply how a lot work has gone into every side, to not point out an array of magical creatures plus background on how the units and animatronics have been created.
Take a look at hippogriff Buckbeak, whose feathers have been added by hand and stored groomed by the Creature Results group, or work together with Dobby the Home Elf. And if you happen to’ve all the time needed to go to Hogwarts, that is the one place you’ll discover the entire fort.
There are particular occasions all year long, in winter you may uncover Hogwarts within the Snow or a Darkish Arts theme for Halloween, in addition to different momentary exhibitions.
For those who’re on the lookout for motels close to Harry Potter Studios London, take a look at my high picks, or if you like to e-book tickets with a coach switch from London, click on right here or direct by way of Golden Excursions
Eat and sleep Potter
The Georgian Home Resort
You won’t have the ability to curl up within the Gryffindor dormitory after a protracted day exploring, however the subsequent neatest thing needs to be heading to mattress within the Wizard or Enchanted Chambers on the Georgian Home Resort close to Victoria.
E-book by way of reserving.com right here, together with free cancellation
When you’ve refuelled over a wizard afternoon tea, after all, full with eye of newt scones or completed whipping up your personal potions (aka cocktails and mocktails)…
There’s no official Harry Potter hyperlink however with trunks, cauldrons and four-poster beds, the one factor that’s lacking is an owl.
You don’t want an enormous household to like Hagrid’s Hut in Watford. This two-bedroom condominium is simply a two miles from the Leavesden studios website, so it’s a fast five-minute drive to take you to the wizarding world.
And in addition to all the standard self-catering services, together with kitchen and washer, there’s a enjoyable Harry Potter theme all through the condominium – look out for owls dotted round, broomsticks on the partitions and the books to learn as nicely, to get you within the temper on your go to.
With a double mattress, bunk beds and a settee mattress, there’s room for 5 which makes it superb for bigger households visiting the Harry Potter Warner Bros Studios. There’s on-street parking as nicely.
Click on right here to e-book rooms at Hagrid’s Hut with free cancellation
For extra self-catering residences and motels close to Harry Potter studios, take a look at my high picks
For an additional Harry Potter themed various, self-catering condominium Spinners Finish is a three-bedroom condominium – together with a settee mattress in the lounge – so there’s loads of room to unfold out.
It’s additionally two miles from the Warner Bros Studio tour, and the bedrooms are themed across the totally different Hogwarts Homes (no Slytherin although, regardless of the title!)
There’s a minimal two-night keep, however if you happen to’re planning to spend the entire day absorbing each element of the studio tour earlier than heading into central London for extra Harry Potter places, that’s simply what you’ll want. There’s additionally free parking, plus a full kitchen with washer.
Potion making and a Wizard Afternoon tea
If testing the totally different Harry Potter locations in London has whetted your urge for food for all issues magical, you may strive your hand at creating your personal potions or refuel with a Wizard Afternoon tea at The Wizard Exploratorium in Soho.
Throughout the 1h 45-minute potion making expertise, you may get pleasure from a welcome drink poured by magic wand, plus the prospect to brew two of your personal (in addition to the usage of any important magical gear whilst you’re there) – appropriate for younger potion makers (children aged 5+) in addition to adults.
Or tuck into the Wizard afternoon tea, with ‘sand-witches’ alongside the scones and desserts, plus tea brewed by magic wand – additionally lasts for 1h 45 minutes. So long as you may solid the suitable spells together with your wand to get the components from the puzzle chest, and crack the important abilities of transfiguration to concoct your tea, after all.
Extra magical experiences for Harry Potter followers in London
Wand making on the Wizard Exploratorium
Are you actually a Harry Potter fan if you happen to haven’t dreamed about strolling into Ollivanders and your wand selecting you? You possibly can’t fairly try this within the Muggle world, alas, however the subsequent neatest thing is making your personal wand.
The Wizard Exploratorium isn’t formally linked to Harry Potter (actually, it says so very particularly!) however the half-hour Magic Wand Expertise is ideal for younger followers – and the following neatest thing if you happen to can’t get to Florida to get artistic with one of many Harry Potter wands at Common.
After selecting your magical fashion (mild, darkish or earth magic), you get to select your wand, the core and a particular ‘tree essence’ (saves chopping down all these wand timber), earlier than practising a number of fundamental spells.
For extra uncommon issues to do in London with children, take a look at my choose of the perfect
A wizard Escape Room
Might you place the clues collectively to achieve the Chamber of Secrets and techniques (and escape once more)? For those who love the considered Escape rooms, there’s at the moment a wizarding themed escape room in Highbury & Islington, north London.
Wizarding Faculty: Fang of the Serpent at Breakin Escape Rooms isn’t formally linked to Harry Potter, however if you happen to’ve learn the books, your information of the plots and some spells would possibly provide you with a head begin on fixing some riddles.
Harry Potter photographic exhibition
*EDIT – NOW CLOSED* There’s one other likelihood to journey a brush, in addition to a implausible look behind the scenes on the Harry Potter Photographic Exhibition in Covent Backyard.
Take a look at our overview for all the main points of a day on the Harry Potter picture exhibition with children, however there’s an opportunity to find quirky trivia, learn the way among the most memorable scenes have been created, see outfits up shut, and take a look at pictures of the solid between filming.
Implausible Beasts exhibition – now closed
Impressed by the Implausible Beasts films, the exhibition on the Pure Historical past Museum in London featured an excellent serving to of Harry Potter props too – a dragon head and golden egg for starters – in addition to a lot concerning the wizarding world’s different magical creatures.
Whereas it has now ended, take a digital go searching in my overview of visiting the Implausible Beasts exhibition.
*up to date 2023*
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