You’ve read all eight Harry Potter books from cover to cover. You’ve seen every movie, at least twice, and you think J.K. Rowling can do no wrong. You might even be in a Quidditch league. You are a Potter fan down to your wizard-worshipping core. So there is absolutely no question that you are going to hit every Harry Potter filming location you can find in London. Here’s a list to start your quest.
Not only is this one of the oldest covered markets in London, but it also served as the setting for Diagon Alley in the Harry Potter films. Walk along the Victorian market’s glass-covered streets and reimagine Harry’s first visit to gather his school supplies. Don’t miss a chance to take a selfie at 42 Bull’s Head Passage, whose storefront was the entrance to the Leaky Cauldron. Before leaving the market, descend into Old Tom’s Bar for some true 19th century British atmosphere with a beer.
King’s Cross Station is bustling and busy with people all the time, but some are drawn to the station for reasons other than transportation in and out of the city. This is one of the most quintessential London Harry Potter sites, shown in multiple films each time he departs on the Hogwarts Express for school. Enter the station and head toward its western departure concourse to find the best selfie spot ever—a Platform 9 ¾ sign with a luggage cart disappearing into the wall next to it.
For an even deeper dive into filming locations, the dramatic Gothic exterior of the St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel London also features prominently in the Harry Potter world. The hotel’s stunning facade represented the entrance to King’s Cross Station entrance and is where Harry and Ron parked Mr Weasley’s flying car before returning to it, when they could not reach Platform 9 ¾.
In the first film, Harry becomes aware of his magical abilities when he talks to a boa constrictor through the glass at a zoo. The real zoo where this was filmed? The London Zoo in Regent’s Park. Head to the Reptile House to make your best attempt at speaking parseltongue to the zoo’s scaly inhabitants. Maybe you’ll be parched enough to stay for the zoo’s afternoon tea.
In the opening scene of “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince”, the London Millennium Footbridge is seen collapsing into the River Thames full of pedestrians. Fortunately, special effects were used and the steel suspension bridge still spans the river for you to cross. Take a stroll across the bridge from south to north for exceptional views of St. Paul’s Cathedral.
Near the beginning of the first “Deathly Hallows” movie, Harry, Ron and Hermione are seen fighting off Death Eaters in a muggle café. They take off running through Piccadilly Circus after the encounter with the Death Eaters and narrowly avoid getting hit by a bus. Enjoy a much less stressful time in Piccadilly Circus than Harry had and sup in one of the chic restos in the nearby Soho neighborhood, like Social Eating House, serving an updated black pudding. There, you can eat the way modern Muggles in London do.
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