You've watched the films, now stand in the footsteps of Harry Potter and his Hogwarts friends at these instantly recognisable London locations used in the movie. Fancy gettting a guided tour of these famous spots? Check out the Harry Potter walking tour of London at the Visit Britain Shop.
1. King’s Cross Station
The Hogwarts Express departs from Platform 9¾ at King’s Cross Station, which is actually the arched wall between Platforms 4 and 5. If that seems short on magic, head towards the entrance to Platforms 9, 10 and 11 on the west side of the station. There you’ll find a trolley disappearing into the magical realm through a wall with the sign: Platform 9¾.
2. St Pancras International
Next door to King’s Cross Station is London’s favourite Destination Station, St Pancras International. Outside you’ll see the neo-gothic facade of St Pancras where the Weasley’s magical Ford Anglia takes off in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.
3. Piccadilly Circus
One of the most memorable scenes in the Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows I where we see Harry, Hermione and Ron rushing through London’s West End was filmed in Piccadilly Circus. Remember the scene in which our 3 heroes have to jump out of the way to narrowly miss being hit a London bus?
4. Reptile House, London Zoo
London Zoo’s Reptile House is where Harry first discovers his gift for talking with snakes in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. Home to more than 650 different species, you’ll have the chance to chat to all sorts of weird and wonderful mammals, birds, invertebrates, reptiles, amphibians and fish on a visit to the zoo.
5. Millennium Bridge
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince opens with a dramatic sequence of London's Millennium Footbridge collapsing. A pedestrian-only steel suspension bridge crossing River Thames, the Millennium Bridge links Bankside with the City and offers dramatic views of St Paul’s Cathedral as you walk from the south side to the north.
6. Charing Cross Road
The Leaky Cauldron pub and inn for wizards, which serves as a gateway between the non-wizarding world and Diagon Alley is located on the Muggle street of Charing Cross Road in London’s West End. Charing Cross Road is renowned for its specialist and second-hand bookshops and more general second-hand and antiquarian shops giving the street an intriguing charm.
7. The Leaky Cauldron
Leadenhall Market in the City of London was used as Diagon Alley in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. The entrance to wizard’s pub, the Leaky Cauldron, is in real life an optician in Bull’s Head Passage in Leadenhall Market. Leadenhall is a superb example of a Victorian covered market with an ornate painted roof.
8. Gringotts Wizarding Bank
Scenes for Gringotts Wizarding Bank (the only known bank of the wizarding world) in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone were filmed in the grand interior of Australia House on Strand in central London. A major landmark on this famous street, Australia House was officially opened by King George V in 1918.
9. Westminster Tube Station
Westminster Tube Station is one of the main locations Harry Potter uses when travelling in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix and had to be closed to the public for an entire day during filming! Westminster is one of the most historic areas in London and is close to endless attractions including the Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey, Parliament Square, Downing Street and the London Eye.
10. Lambeth Bridge
It’s on Lambeth Bridge that the Knight Bus has to squeeze between 2 oncoming double-decker buses in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. The next bridge downstream is Westminster Bridge. Fun fact: The bridges are painted red and green respectively to represent the colour of the leather benches in the 2 houses of the Palace of Westminster - the House of Lords (red) and the House of Commons (green).
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There are lots more magical Harry Potter moments to be had in London. From a spellbinding tour of the studio where Harry Potter was filmed to a luxury chauffeur-driven tour of film spots, check out more Harry Potter attractions here.