What is the UK most famous for??? Fish and Chips? Rain? The Queen? For many people, the answer is “Harry Potter”! However, did you know that a lot of the Harry Potter film locations can be visited today? In fact, there are some right here in London, which you can visit almost as quickly as you could using magical Floo Powder.
1) King’s Cross Station: Harry’s Hogwarts adventures begin at King’s Cross. You can see a sign marking the imaginary platform 9 ¾, with a luggage cart disappearing into the wall! You can take pictures with this, so if you haven’t already been there, you should go now!
2) St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel: While at King’s Cross, you might want to visit the St. Pancras Hotel next door. In Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, the hotel is filmed as the entrance to the station.
Fun fact: The hotel has also been used in other films, including 102 Dalmatians and Batman, and a Spice Girls music video!
Station: King’s Cross
3) Claremont Square: Not too far away is Claremont Square. The row of houses here was used as the outside of Sirius Black’s house, 12 Grimmauld Place, in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.
4) Reptile House: Reptile House in the London Zoo, is where Harry realises that he can talk to snakes and frees the python in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. The scene was filmed here, though the enclosure is actually used for a black mamba snake. While you have to buy tickets, the zoo is a lot of fun if you like animals, just don’t try and free any of them!
Station: Camden Town
5) Leadenhall Market: The market features in the first movie as the exterior of Diagon Alley. Additionally, the door to an opticians shop in Bull’s Head Passage was used as the entrance to the Leaky Cauldron pub. The market is also one of the oldest in London, and dates back to the Victorian age!
6) Borough Market: This market is also used as the entrance to Diagon Alley, but in the third movie (can magical alleys move?!). After getting off the Knight Bus, Harry goes to the Leaky Cauldron, which is in reality, the ‘Chez Michele’ flower shop in Borough Market. Have a look if you can find it!
Station: London Bridge
7) Australia House: As the name suggests, this is where the Australian High Commission is. It is where the inside of Gringotts, the wizard bank, was filmed in the first movie.
8) Warner Brother’s Studio:
This is perhaps the most obvious place to go if you’re a ‘Potterhead’ (a massive Harry Potter fan!), and is where all eight movies were filmed. The studio has actual clothing and sets, including Privet Drive and The Forbidden Forest. You can book a tour from Victoria, or travel there yourself, but tickets get sold out quickly, so make sure you book in advance.
Bet you weren’t expecting this one! While not a film location, Primark stocks a lot of Harry Potter merchandise at more reasonable prices than sold at the studio. Check out the Primark at Tottenham Court Road for a lot of HP options!
There are of course other London locations in the films, including Millennium Bridge, Lambeth Bridge, Piccadilly Circus, and Westminster Station. At Bloomsbury International, our social programme schedule includes some Harry Potter related outings – so if you’re studying with us, make sure to join in.
Whichever way you choose to explore these locations, we hope you have an absolutely magical time!