A Muggle’s Guide to Harry Potter Locations in London

It may not have Four Privet Drive or the Hogwarts School of Magic and Wizardry, but London still has more Harry Potter locations than you can throw a Nimbus 2000 broomstick at.

Whether you’ve read every page of ever Harry Potter novel, or even watched one film in a theatre, it doesn’t take much to see how much magic London offers in terms of all the Harry Potter locations there are to see in the city.

And although finding each and every Harry Potter location in London would be like finding the golden snitch in a haystack, (unless you have Marauder’s Map, a Time-Turner, that is), you could easily squeeze in a handful of sites in one day….if you know where to find them.

Where to find Harry Potter locations in central London

In the first Harry Potter novel, Diagon Alley is described as being “just off Charing Cross Road” in London, but unless you know the secret code to tap onto a brick wall, chances are you won’t be discovering the real Diagon Alley anytime soon. Nevertheless, muggles and magic folks alike can easily stroll up and down the small side-street in London known as Cecil Court which also happens to be off Charing Cross Road), as it is believed to be the inspiration behind the real Diagon Alley.

Harry Potter Cecil Court. harry potter locations
Harry Potter Cecil Court. Flickr: Kotomi_ / CC BY-NC 2.0

And don’t worry about dialing “62442” in a red telephone booth to be transported to the Ministry of Magic, because the building used to film the iconic scene in The Order Of The Phoenix is actually located in Great Scotland Yard! (You can also see the archway from Great Scotland Place which was digitally added during the editing process for the film as well).

Also, nearly all of the centrally-located bridges in London were featured in a Harry Potter film at some point or another; (like the Tower Bridge in The Order of the Phoenix, Lambeth Bridge in The Prisoner of Azkaban and Millennium Bridge in The Half-Blood Prince).

But if you’re truly worried about missing out on any important Potter-related attractions, you could always go on one of Strawberry Tours’ daily Harry Potter tours, just to be on the safe side.

Harry Potter locations outside of central London

Don’t be fooled into thinking that the only Harry Potter-related locations to see are in central London. As a matter of fact, some of the most iconic Harry Potter locations in London are located outside of the centre, and shouldn’t be missed by any hardcore Potterhead.

A must-do for any Harry Potter fan would be to see the real Platform 9 3/4 with your very own muggle eyes in King’s Cross Station, which has since been transformed into a Potter-loving paradise thanks to the series’ popularity.

Harry Potter Platform 934. harry potter locations
Harry Potter Platform 934. Flickr: Martin Pettitt / CC BY 2.0

Not only can you pose for pictures with a half-embedded trolley underneath a Platform 9 3/4 sign, you can also shop for Potter-related merchandise at The Harry Potter Shop at Platform 9 3/4 (which was opened by Warwick Davis, the actor who played Professor Flitwick and Griphook in the films).

Harry Potter Leadenhall Market. harry potter locations
Harry Potter Leadenhall Market

And not one, but two famous London markets were used as filming locations in the eight different Harry Potter films. Leadenhall Market was the original Diagon Alley location in The Sorcerer’s Stone, and the blue door in Bull’s Head Passage was used as The Leaky Cauldron entrance in The Goblet Of Fire as well). Also, if you have the extra time, then try to make the pilgrimage to Borough Market, which was used as the exterior shots for The Leaky Cauldron in The Prisoner of Azkaban.

About Joe Wareham

Website: http://worldsaway.org/

Joe is a digital nomad and world traveller. He is interested in developing cultural understanding and language skills wherever he goes, and wants to try every way of travelling, from homestays to hitchhiking.

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