If you’re a Harry Potter fan, then you already know that quite a lot of the film series was set in the Big Smoke. On a trip to London, make sure you visit some of the best Harry Potter film locations and places that inspired the magical movies. From Platform 9 ¾, Gringotts Bank to the Order of the Phoenix headquarters and the Ministry of Magic, these are 10 awesome Harry Potter film locations in London. Check them out on a self-guided tour...
Want more? Check out 10 Harry Potter Locations to See in Edinburgh
Walk over the Millennium Bridge
We all remember that scene from Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince when the Death Eaters attack London and the Millennium Bridge ends up derailing and eventually collapsing. Thankfully the destruction of the bridge was all CGI, so you can still walk down it today. From the bridge you’ll get some great views of St Paul’s Cathedral and the Shard (London’s highest skyscraper).
Closest tube station: St Pauls or Embankment
See Platform 9 ¾ at King’s Cross St Pancras Station
Is there any Harry Potter location more iconic than platform 9 ¾? Located in King’s Cross St Pancras station, there’s now a luggage trolley stuck halfway between the wall on the platform (to recreate the moment where Hogwarts students run through the bricks to get to the Hogwarts Express). You can even get a photo holding the trolley as if you were heading to the magical wizarding world yourself!
But this isn’t the actual spot where filming took place. Apparently, it was actually somewhere between platform 4 and 5.
Closest tube station: King’s Cross
Explore Piccadilly Circus/Shaftesbury Avenue
Remember that scene in The Deathly Hallows Part 1 when Harry, Ron and Hermonie apparate to London after Death Eaters attack Bill and Fleurs wedding? They landed smack bang in Shaftesbury Avenue near Piccadilly Circus because it’s the first place that came to Hermonie’s mind when she had to think of a location to escape to. Famous for its theatres, restaurants and hustle and bustle, Shaftesbury Avenue is a major street in London’s West End and well worth a visit for anyone visiting London! Hermonie even said she and her parents used to go to the theatre here.
Closest tube station: Piccadilly Circus
Check out the Reptile House at ZSL London Zoo
London Zoo is the world’s oldest scientific zoo - and it just so happens that it was also the filming location for the snake scene in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone where young Harry discovers he can speak parseltongue. You can go inside the very same Reptile House and look inside the reptilian exhibits. A ticket to London Zoo is just under £30 and will give you access to all the exhibits including gorillas, lions, elephants, penguins, butterflies, reptiles and more. Open every day of the year (except Christmas Day), we highly recommend checking the zoo out.
Closed tube station: Regent’s Park
This is one of our favourite filming locations of all time from Harry Potter. Ever wanted to see where the Ministry of Magic is based? Great Scotland Yard is a street in Westminster used as the entrance to the Ministry of Magic. Appearing in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix and also in Deathly Hallows Part 1, this filming location was home to the telephone box that transported witches and wizards to the Ministry. Don’t look out for the telephone box though. It doesn’t exist! The filmmakers had to CGI it in.
Gaze at the Order of the Phoenix HQ on Claremont Square
While the inside of the Order of the Phoenix Headquarters was actually a film set, it’s said that the exterior of the building is located on Claremont Square in the London Borough of Islington. Head to Number 12 Grimmauld Place to see the home of the Black Family and the Order of the Phoenix HQ.
Closest tube station: Angel
Board the Hogwarts Express at the Warner Bros Studios
No Harry Potter fan can skip the Warner Brothers Studios Tour in Watford. Here you can discover the filmmaking magic that brought J.R.Rowling’s books to life.
Make sure to book your tickets in advance where you’ll be given a time slot to take a self-guided tour around some original sets and learn the secrets from the behind-the-scenes. Hop aboard the Hogwarts Express, walk inside the Great Hall, venture through the Forbidden Forest and get an inside look at the Gryffindor common room. While it’s not based in London, you only need to travel a short distance out of the city via train or coach. You won’t regret it.
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See the The Cursed Child in Theatre
If you haven’t got tickets to see the Harry Potter and the Cursed Child in theatre yet, then do so immediately. Showing at the Palace Theatre on Shaftesbury Avenue, the show is a spin-off of the original Harry Potter book series written by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany and Thorne in play-form. Made for the stage, this is the best thing to do once you’ve finished all the Harry Potter books, watched all the films and ready for more magical action. The play is in two parts and it’s the most awarded play in the West End in the Olivier Awards.
Follow the Knight Bus Route on Lambeth Bridge
One of our favourite scenes in the Prisoner of Azkaban is when Harry’s riding through London on the Knight Bus and the vehicle magically flattens to fit through two double decker buses. This brilliant scene takes place on Lambeth Bridge. The bridge has a footpath so you can walk the exact same route that the Knight Bus went. From Lambeth Bridge you’ll get incredible views of the London Eye and the Houses of Parliament.
Closest tube station: Vauxhall
Discover the set of Gringotts Bank at Australia House
Australia House is home to the High Commission of Australia - so it’s a pretty important building in the city. Harry Potter filmmakers used this Grade II listed building as the interior for Gringotts bank. Australia House has a beautiful, bank-like interior with giant chandeliers and exquisite marble flooring so it was the perfect place to host Gringotts. Unfortunately, Australia House isn’t open to the public so you can’t actually go inside but you can always take photos of the outside. Try and sneak a peek through the windows!
Closest tube station: Temple
In Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Leadenhall Market forms part of Diagon Alley. Harry and Hagrid walk through Leadenhall Market on their way to the Leaky Cauldron. If you visit, look out for The Glass House opticians on Bull's Head Passage which was used in the film as the entrance to the Leaky Cauldron pub.
Closest tube station: Monument
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