On my recent visit to London last month, I ticked off another location which was featured in the Harry Potter movies. This got me thinking, there are so many filming spots in the UK and especially in London that other Harry Potter fans can visit. Many of them can be incorporated into a sightseeing trip in London. I’m going to take a look at Seven locations which were used in the films and can be visited in London.
They’ve really pimped out this location which is featured in all of the movies. King’s Cross is where Harry & co board the Hogwarts Express on Platform 9/¾. You can have a picture taken on the platform but do be aware there is normally a really long que. Additionally, there is a Platform 9¾ gift shop which is pretty amazing and worth visiting.
Maybe the less said about this, the better. One of my biggest fears are snakes, so I wasn’t too thrilled about going into the Reptile House in London Zoo. In fact, I danced about outside for a good ten minutes trying to talk myself out of it. The fact that it was featured in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone was what persuaded me to just suck it up and go inside. The Reptile House was featured in one of the first scenes of Philosopher’s Stone and Harry Potter ends up speaking to a Burmese snake and his darling cousin, Dudley gets locked in an enclosure.
This is the location which I ticked off last month. Leadenhall Market is a short walk from Bank, Monument and Fenchurch Street stations. Not only is this market super cute with some really nice shops and restaurants. It was also featured in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone and used in some exterior shots of Diagon Alley when Harry and Hagrid are going to buy some supplies for Hogwarts.
Trafalgar Square was briefly featured in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince when death eaters are attacking the capital city. Just before they take down Millennium Bridge which is also worth visiting. I decided to include Trafalgar Square in this list as it was where the final movie premiere for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows pt.2 took place. I actually went to the premiere in 2011 and the whole set up was out of this world. It was actually the biggest movie premiere in cinema history and the red-carpet went from Trafalgar Square through to Leicester Square. It was certainly an experience, I’ll never forget.
This London landmark was featured in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 when Harry, Ron and Hermoine apparate into the muggle world to avoid death eaters. The trio find themselves right in the middle of Picadilly Circus before walking up Shaftsbury Avenue. I remember seeing online that when they were filming the scenes, the crew literally shut down half of London.
Whilst at Fashion Week, the amount of times I’ve walked up and down The Strand is pretty unreal. I didn’t actually realise that Austrailia House, which is just a little further up from Somerset House is the inspiration for Gringotts’s Bank. Whilst you can’t go inside, from the exterior you can really see the resemblance.
So this strictly isn’t a filming location but it’s now home to J.K. Rowling’s new two-part west end play; Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. I got really lucky and I’ll be seeing the play next September with 5th-row seats! I’m pretty excited about it and visited the theatre on Shaftsbury Avenue for a little photo opp. If you haven’t got tickets, I believe it’s now sold out but they so release forty tickets every Friday for the following week.
To a Harry Potter fans who haven’t visited the Harry Potter Studio Tour out at Leavesden, I urge you to go. I visited back when it opened in 2012 but went last year after the arrival of the Hogwarts Express. Featuring many of the original sets, props and just everything a Harry Potter fan would love. It’s really simple to get to from Central London. Grab a train from Euston Station to Watford Junction and a shuttle bus will take you to the studios. Ticket must be booked in advance from this website and they are around £30 but it’s 100% worth it.
Also, a little cheeky location to add. If you’re visiting the Studio Tour, take a look towards the estate (Dowding Way) just before you go through the gates. That’s actually where Harry got on the Knight Bus in Prisoner of Azkaban.
There are actually a couple of Harry Potter Walking Tours around London. You can find them on Discount-London who also have a variety of other sightseeing tours. Outside of London there are plenty of other Harry Potter filming locations which are also worth visiting such as Durham Cathedral, Malham Cove and Goathland Station. I’ve also visited Alnwick Castle where some of the Quidditch Lessons were filmed. They have lot’s of Harry Potter themed events throughout the year.
Are you a Harry Potter fan? Have you visited any of these locations?