The Harry Potter guide to London

The Harry Potter guide to London

There are many places in London where you can experience the magic of the Wizarding World without having to travel too far outside the city. The capital is teeming with wizarding wonders for ultimate Potterheads, from Leadenhall Market, which was used as one of the entrances to The Leaky Cauldron pub, to Platform 9 ¾ where you can hop aboard the Hogwarts Express and head for the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Here's where to go and what to do if you want to get your fill of the eponymous novels by J. K. Rowling and indulge in ultimate Pottermania.

In this guide
  1. Harry Potter experiences in London
    1. Leadenhall Market – Leadenhall Market: Harry Potter's Diagon Alley
    2. Platform 9¾ – Catch the Hogwarts Express on Platform 9¾
    3. The Cauldron – Channel your inner magic
    4. London Zoo – When the Dursleys go to the zoo
    5. Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – Get behind the scenes
    6. Shaftesbury Avenue – Retrace the footsteps of Harry, Ron and Hermione
    7. Westminster – Muggle central
    8. Borough Market – The Leaky Cauldron entrance #2
    9. Lambeth Bridge – A scene with The Knight Bus
    10. Scotland Place – Leading to the Ministry of Magic
    11. Australia House – The setting for Gringott's Bank
    12. Claremont Square – A house protected by a Fidelius Charm
    13. Piccadilly Circus – The bright lights of Piccadilly Circus
    14. House of MinaLima – For design aficianados
    15. Cecil Court – The real-world Diagon Alley
    16. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child – The story continues
    17. Harry Potter statue – Petrificus Totalus
    18. House of Spells – Stock up on Potter-themed souvenirs
    19. Millennium Bridge – Brockdale Bridge
    20. Highgate Cemetery – Where you'll find Fantastic Beasts
    21. Thames RIB Experience – Retrace the iconic chase scene
    22. Spellbound Emporium – Centrally-located gift shop
    23. Rails – Harry Potter-themed afternoon tea

Harry Potter experiences in London

Leadenhall Market

Leadenhall Market: Harry Potter's Diagon Alley

Leadenhall Market is not only one of the oldest markets in the city, it's also where most of the Diagon Alley scenes in the Harry Potter movies were filmed. This beautiful covered market dates back to the 14th century and is considered an architectural and historical landmark. It was used as the entrance to the Leaky Cauldron in the first movie, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone.

Platform 9¾

Catch the Hogwarts Express on Platform 9¾

Although platforms 9 and 10 at King's Cross St. Pancras are separated by tracks in real life, in the Harry Potter movies, you can dash through 9¾, a brick wall between the platforms, to catch the Hogwarts Express to the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Keep your eyes peeled for a luggage trolley embedded into the wall, where you can pose and get a professional shot taken wearing your choice of house scarf. It's also where the Harry Potter shop is also found, ideal for stocking up on memorabilia and all your wizarding world supplies.

The Cauldron

Channel your inner magic

Don your cloak and wave your wand at The Cauldron, a magic and fantasy-themed cocktail bar in the heart of trendy Stoke Newington. You can channel your inner wizard or witch here, learning about molecular mixology to craft delicious, drinkable elixirs, like The Dragon's Breath, made with rum and homemade strawberry syrup.

London Zoo

When the Dursleys go to the zoo

London Zoo, in the heart of Regent's Park, is the world's oldest scientific zoo and the filming location for a Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone scene. If you're a die-hard fan, you'll already know that the scene was filmed in the Reptile House in the enclosure where the zoo's black mamba lives. When the Dursleys go to the zoo for Dudley's 11th birthday, Harry gets talking to a giant Burmese python before eventually setting it free.

Warner Bros. Studio Tour London

Get behind the scenes

The Harry Potter Warner Bros Studio Tour offers the chance to get a proper behind-the-scenes look at where all eight films are produced. You'll get to drink Butterbeer and see the real costumes worn by the actors during the making of the movies whilst getting an up-close, behind-the-scenes glimpse at the magic that went into making each film.

Shaftesbury Avenue

Retrace the footsteps of Harry, Ron and Hermione

Shaftesbury Avenue may be the heart of London's West End theatre district, but it's also the filming location for a scene in The Deathly Hallows Part One Harry Potter movie. Harry, Ron and Hermione make their way along Shaftesbury Avenue before Hermione announces, "I used to come to the theatre here with Mum and Dad."

Westminster

Muggle central

Westminster in London is the setting of many muggle locations, including Buckingham Palace, where Harry Potter sent an owl, saying, “You can't miss it. Big white place with a flag on top” Some other locations featured in the films include Westminster Tube Station, which Arthur Weasley and Harry use to travel to the Ministry of Magic for Harry's trial in the Order of the Phoenix.

Borough Market – Harry Potter experiences
Borough Market
Borough Market – Harry Potter experiences
Borough Market
Borough Market – Harry Potter experiences
Borough Market
Borough Market – Harry Potter experiences
Borough Market
Borough Market – Harry Potter experiences
Borough Market
Borough Market – Harry Potter experiences
Borough Market
Borough Market – Harry Potter experiences
Borough Market
Borough Market – Harry Potter experiences
Borough Market

Borough Market

The Leaky Cauldron entrance #2

Although the entrance to the Leaky Cauldron was originally in Leadenhall Market, later, the filming location moved to Borough Market. A small flower shop located under one of the railway arches, Chez Michele (which has actually now closed) became the entrance to the pub for the scene where Harry arrives on the Knight Bus in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.

Lambeth Bridge

A scene with The Knight Bus

Lambeth Bridge is where the Knight Bus was filmed driving over the bridge and squeezing between two other oncoming buses in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.

Scotland Place

Leading to the Ministry of Magic

Right around the corner from Charing Cross Station is Scotland Place, which features in a scene shot for Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. You'll likely recognise it from when Harry and Ron make their way to the Ministry of Magic for Harry's hearing on charges of using magic in front of muggles.

Australia House

The setting for Gringott's Bank

The scenes shot in Gringott's Bank, the only bank in the wizarding world owned and operated by goblins, are shot inside Australia House, the diplomatic mission of Australia in the UK. It provided the perfect setting for the grand interior of the bank, with its shiny marble columns, elegant chandeliers and patterned marbled floor. Just imagine goblins going about their daily business inside.

Claremont Square

A house protected by a Fidelius Charm

Claremont Square, known better in the Harry Potter films as 12 Grimmauld Place, is the home of Harry's Godfather, Sirius Black and his family - one of the largest and wealthiest pure-blood wizard families. It's also the headquarters of the Order of the Phoenix, but as Potterheads will already know since the Order of the Phoenix HQ and the House of Black is located in muggle territory, it's protected by a Fidelius Charm, meaning you won't actually be able to see it. But wandering around the neighbourhood where it's hidden is a great way to get your imagination stirring.

Piccadilly Circus

The bright lights of Piccadilly Circus

The world-famous Piccadilly Circus was used in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part One in a scene where Harry, Ron and Hermione emerge in front of a passing No.19 in the middle of Piccadilly Circus, where the famous Piccadilly lights are on full display. It's also the location for the scene where the trio are fleeing from the Death Eaters.

House of MinaLima

For design aficianados

The House of MinaLima might not be a location used to film any of the scenes in the Harry Potter movies, but it's the design studio behind the graphic props used in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. The studio spent two years designing many of the movie's visual elements, including publications and marketing materials for the franchise.

Cecil Court

The real-world Diagon Alley

Though the Harry Potter films used Leadenhall Market as the Diagon Alley filming location, it's this narrow alleyway between Charing Cross Road and St Martin's Lane that's thought to be the real-world inspiration for the fictional street. The narrow alley is full of antique shops, bookstores, curio sellers, and other intriguing vendors, making it a top spot to pick up a unique souvenir of this equally unique location.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

The story continues

The Palace Theatre in the West End is home to Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, a play written based on a story by J. K. Rowling that picks up the story many years after the conclusion of the original series. The spectacular production features a stunning setting and thrilling twists, expanding the world of Harry Potter through the eyes of his son, Albus Severus Potter.

Harry Potter statue

Petrificus Totalus

On the north side of bustling Leicester Square, you can find a statue of Harry Potter riding his broomstick at high speed. Part of the Scenes in the Square sculpture trail, the statue commemorates the global success of one of the biggest British film franchises. The sculpture trail, which includes other figures from London's film history, is free to visit.

House of Spells

Stock up on Potter-themed souvenirs

Get your fill of Harry Potter memorabilia at House of Spells in Charing Cross, the ultimate shop for stocking up on all kinds of Potter-themed souvenirs. Find your perfect wand for flicking and casting spells, get your fill of magic-themed sweets and potions and purchase a scarf for whatever house you're in. They sell everything from keyrings and toys to jewellery, clothing, books, collectables, and more. Plus, it's not just Harry Potter items you can purchase here; they also sell souvenirs for Lord of the Rings, Stranger Things, Peaky Blinders and more.

Millennium Bridge

Brockdale Bridge

You might know The Millenium Bridge as Brockdale Bridge in the Harry Potter movies, a pedestrianised bridge that crosses the River Thames. It was destroyed by a small group of Death Eaters and Fenrir Greyback in the opening scenes of The Half-Blood Prince, one of the most iconic and memorable scenes of the entire film series.

Highgate Cemetery

Where you'll find Fantastic Beasts

The Fantastic Beasts spin-off series hasn't quite attained the heights of popularity that the original franchise has, but completist Potterheads will still want to pay a visit to this magnificent Victorian seven. In Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, scenes at the famous Père-Lachaise cemetery in Paris were actually filmed here – you can visit the entrance to the Lestrange Mausoleum in Highgate's Circle of Lebanon. You might also catch a glimpse of an actual fantastic beast, as the cemetery is said to be haunted by a vampire.

Thames RIB Experience

Retrace the iconic chase scene

The Thames RIB Experience boasts the fastest speedboats on the river. Book the Wizard Blast package and take off down the river, retracing the thrilling flight of the Order of the Phoenix past iconic landmarks such as Tower Bridge and the Millennium Bridge. The 45-minute round trip also includes an on-board quiz to test your knowledge of the series.

Spellbound Emporium

Centrally-located gift shop

Located in Holborn in the heart of the capital, Spellbound Emporium is a magical store that stocks a wide array of official Harry Potter merchandise - the shop is open late so you won't miss a chance to buy some unique gifts or treats. You'll find a varied selection of items ideal for all ages here. Whether you're shopping for yourself or someone else, this shop has everything a Harry Potter fan needs.

Rails Restaurant & Little Bar – Harry Potter experiences
Rails Restaurant & Little Bar
Rails Restaurant & Little Bar – Harry Potter experiences
Rails Restaurant & Little Bar
Rails Restaurant & Little Bar – Harry Potter experiences
Rails Restaurant & Little Bar
Rails Restaurant & Little Bar – Harry Potter experiences
Rails Restaurant & Little Bar
Rails Restaurant & Little Bar – Harry Potter experiences
Rails Restaurant & Little Bar
Rails Restaurant & Little Bar – Harry Potter experiences
Rails Restaurant & Little Bar
Rails Restaurant & Little Bar – Harry Potter experiences
Rails Restaurant & Little Bar
Rails Restaurant & Little Bar – Harry Potter experiences
Rails Restaurant & Little Bar
Rails Restaurant & Little Bar – Harry Potter experiences
Rails Restaurant & Little Bar
Rails Restaurant & Little Bar – Harry Potter experiences
Rails Restaurant & Little Bar
Rails Restaurant & Little Bar – Harry Potter experiences
Rails Restaurant & Little Bar
Rails Restaurant & Little Bar – Harry Potter experiences
Rails Restaurant & Little Bar

Rails

Harry Potter-themed afternoon tea

After completing your pilgrimage to the nearby Platform 9¾, take a break for afternoon tea in the stylish Rails Restaurant. The Back to Hogwarts menu features sweet and savoury snacks inspired by the bestselling books, including things like Hagrid's butterbeer panna cotta, crunchy passionfruit golden snitches, and Hogsmeade chocolate mousse frogs, accompanied by a nice pot of tea.

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