20 awesome Harry Potter things to do in London

You’ve read the books, watched the movies and maybe even played the games, but now it’s time to bring your Harry Potter fantasy to life by walking in the footsteps of some of the UK’s most beloved fictional characters.

In this post, you’ll not only find a rundown of the most famous Harry Potter filming locations in London you can visit for yourself, but also the best London Harry Potter attractions as well as trips to other Harry Potter locations around the rest of the UK.

Harry Potter Attractions in London:

Here are all of the best Harry Potter attractions London has to offer…

 

Visit Warner Bros. Studio Tour

The Warner Brothers Studio Tour – The Making of Harry Potter, is an exhibit offering a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the Harry Potter films.

At the studio, visitors are able to visit real film sets from the franchise, including Hogwarts Great Hall, the Forbidden Forest, Diagon Alley and the Hogwarts Express, as well as seeing many of the authentic movie props and original outfits worn by the cast.

You’ll also learn all about the special and visual effects which went into bringing the magic alive on screen as well as how the costumes and sets were originally designed.

Plus, there are some great photo opportunities so don’t forget your camera!

Harry Potter Warner Bros Studio, diagon alley and the great hall at Hogwarts

How to get to the Warner Brothers Studio Tour from London?

Despite the fact that the Warner Brothers Studio Tour usually tops lists of the best things to do in London for Harry Potter fans, did you know that the studio is not technically in London?

The Warner Brothers Studio is actually located in Watford, just to the north of London. However, it is easily accessible from central London by either:

  • The train from London Euston to Watford Junction (20 minutes) followed by a regular shuttle bus (15 mins) to the studios.
  • The official Golden Tours bus service from London Kings Cross or Victoria (around 1 hour).

 

Watch Harry Potter and the Cursed Child at the Palace Theatre

Another absolute must for fans of Harry Potter in London is watching Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Part One and Part Two at the Palace Theatre.

The West End production is based on an original story by J. K. Rowling and takes place nineteen years after the final Harry Potter book. The story follows Harry’s youngest son, Albus Severus Potter, during his first year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

The Harry Potter show, which is split into two halves, has won multiple awards for its impressive on-stage theatricals creating the illusion of real-life ‘magic’ for the audience.

Nearest tube stations: Leicester Square and Tottenham Court Road.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child show in London's west end

 

Take on a Harry Potter Escape room

The School of Witchcraft and Wizardry by Enigma Quests is a magic-themed escape room where players take on themed challenges and tasks in order to ‘pass all exams and defeat the dark forces’. And yes, you even get to wear a robe!

Nearest tube station: Liverpool Street.

Alternatively, try The School of Magic by London Escaped for another magic-themed immersive escape room full of wizardy clues and puzzles.

Nearest tube station: Aldgate East.

Harry Potter Escape Room London

Photo credit: The School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

 

Drink ‘Potions’ at a Harry Potter bar

The Cauldron is an amazing immersive cocktail making experience in London in which guests don a robe and receive a magic wand before brewing their own ‘potions’ from a large selection of magical ingredients.

Well that’s one way to live out your Harry Potter fantasy as an adult!

Nearest tube station: Dalston Kingsland.

Harry Potter Bar London, cocktails in beakers and cauldrons

Photo credit: @thecauldronpub Instagram

 

Go for a Harry Potter themed afternoon tea

Upgrade your Harry Potter in London experience by paying a visit to Cutter & Squidge’s Secret School of Wizarding Alchemy.

Here you’ll be able to learn the art of potions with a real-life potion master, before enjoying your concoctions alongside a lavish Afternoon Tea.

Harry Potter afternoon tea with finger sandwiches, cakes, tea and champagne

 

Pop by Hoxton Street Monster Supplies

Hoxton Street Monster Supplies is the essential London shop for monstrous foods, gifts and accessories (aka fun novelty Harry Potter-esque items).

If there’s a particular spell you need ingredients for, Hoxton Street Monster Supplies will be sure to have it, such as tears of anger, tinned fear and bottled daylight. Or for a gift for the ogre in your life, pick up organ marmalade, toasted bone chunks or cubed earwax.

Harry Potter Shop - Hoston Street Monster Supplies

 

Take a Harry Potter Tour of London

If you’re the kind of person who likes to explore somewhere new with a guide, then a pre-arranged guided tour is a great way to explore the best Harry Potter sites in London. Not only will you not have to navigate the city yourself, but you’ll also have a knowledgable guide to give you plenty of interesting facts along the way.

Here are some London Harry Potter tours to choose from:

 

Visit House of MinaLima

House of MinaLima is the design studio behind the props that required graphic design or artwork in both the Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts films, founded by Miraphora Mina and Eduardo Lima.

They designed everything from Harry’s acceptance letter from Hogwarts and the Maurader’s Map to all of the newspapers, posters, signs and books used throughout the movies.

The studio is now a gallery and store situated in the heart of Soho where you can see their original designs and buy some of the coolest Harry Potter stuff in London.

Nearest tube stations: Leicester Square, Covent Garden and Tottenham Court Road.

 

Shop at Tottenham Court Road Primark

Primark on Tottenham Court Road has to be home to one of the biggest collections of Harry Potter things in London. And the best part? You can buy them all!

So rather than waiting to visit the Warner Brothers Studio Shop and having to fork out a fortune on Harry Potter memorabilia, make sure you pay a visit to Primark first.

From robes and wands to pyjamas, socks, bedding, keychains, bags and more, Primark pretty much has Harry Potter themed everything in stock in it’s extravagantly decorated Harry Potter section (it’s pretty hard to miss!).

Cauldron surrounded by books and candles

 

Stay in Georgian House Hotel’s Wizard Chambers

The Georgian House Hotel is a charming boutique hotel in London Westminster with an unsuspecting secret. Hidden away within the hotel’s walls are it’s famous Wizard Chambers themed rooms.

With dated furniture, brick fireplaces, dusty glass goblets lining shelves and bedsheets in Grifindoor’s house colours, every little detail of the Wizard Chambers will have you believe you’re falling asleep inside Hogwarts itself.

Book Georgian House Hotel here.

Nearest tube station: Victoria (convenient for the Warner Bros. Tour).

 

Harry Potter Filming Locations in London:

The best Harry Potter London sites you can visit for yourself…

 

Kings Cross (Platform 9 3/4)

Kings Cross St Pancras is definitely one of the most popular Harry Potter London attractions, being home to platform 9 3/4 itself.

The original scenes were supposedly filmed between platforms 4 & 5, however, the location has become such a major tourist attraction that close to platforms 9 & 10 there is now a signposted wall with a half a luggage trolley positioned against it where you can snap some cool photos as you pass through the magical gateway to catch the Hogwarts Express.

Plus, don’t forget to visit the Platform 9 3/4 Harry Potter shop right next door.

Nearest tube station: Kings Cross.

London Platform 9 3:4

 

Reptile House at London Zoo

Back at the very beginning of the first Harry Potter film, before Harry even knows about his magical abilities, he speaks parseltongue to a Burmese python inside the reptile house at London Zoo before accidentally setting it free from its display case.

This scene was filmed on location at London Zoo and you can visit the exact display inside the reptile house where the filming took place. It’s not difficult to find thanks to the special board right next to it with details about the scene and the python.

Nearest tube station: Camden Town.

 

Leadenhall Market (Diagon Alley)

Leadenhall Market is an impressive covered Victorian market in the City of London which was used for the original shots of Diagon Alley in the very first Harry Potter movie, The Philosophers Stone.

While exploring the market, see if you can find the door in Bull’s Head Passage which was originally used as the doorway to the Leaky Cauldron pub.

Nearest tube stations: Bank and Monument.

Leadenhall Market London

 

Borough Market (also Diagon Alley)

In Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, the filming location of the entrance to Diagon Alley was moved from Leadenhall Market to Borough Market.

After riding the Knight Bus across the city, Harry disembarks at Borough Market and walks into the Leaky Cauldron pub, which in real life is the market’s charming Chez Michele flower shop.

Nearest tube station: London Bridge.

 

Goodwins Court (Knockturn Alley)

While Goodwins Court in London’s West End is not technically a Harry Potter filming location, it is rumoured to be the inspiration behind Knockurn Alley, Diagon Alley’s more sinister alternative.

Visiting the narrow alleyway, with its dark 17th-century houses and dim streetlights, it’s pretty easy to imagine Bellatrix Lestrange lurking in the shadows on her way to buy some contraband magical items.

Nearest tube station: Leicester Square.

Dark Harry Potter alley London

 

Picadilly Circus

Only the more hardcore Harry Potter fans will probably remember this, but during Deathly Hallows Part One, Harry, Hermione and Ron are fleeing from the Death Eaters and end up rushing through Picadilly Circus and down Shaftsbury Avenue where they narrowly avoid being hit by a red London bus.

Although this is only a very brief moment out of the entire Harry Potter franchise, Picadilly Circus is a location on most people’s London bucket list anyway so shouldn’t be a tough one to tick off.

Nearest tube station: Picadilly Circus.

Piccadilly Circus London

 

Old Scotland Yard (Ministry of Magic)

If you stand at the intersection of Scotland Place and New Scotland Yard in Westminster, you’ll probably recognise it as the spot where Harry and Mr Weasley enter a red phone box which transports them inside the Ministry of Magic in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.

Unfortunately, the phone box was just a prop and is not there in real life, however the location is still an interesting place to visit in London for Harry Potter fans and features in most Harry Potter tours.

Nearest tube stations: Embankment and Charing Cross.

Scotland Place London

Photo credit: Wikimedia commons.

 

Australia House (Gringotts Bank)

Australia House on the Strand is was where the interior scenes of Gringotts Bank were filmed, with its grand central hall, marble pillars and impressive chandeliers.

As the name suggests, Australia House is home to the Australian Embassy so is not open to the public. However, you can take a quick peep through the door to see the recognisable marble banking hall.

Nearest tube station: Temple.

 

Millennium Bridge

In Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, the death eater chase sequence in which Ollivander is kidnapped sees the camera span through numerous locations in central London, including Nelsons Column in Trafalgar Square and Charing Cross Road.

But the most iconic scene in this sequence is when the death eaters tear apart Millennium Bridge, twisting the metal railings before collapsing it completely into the Thames underneath as muggles scramble for their lives.

Nearest tube station: Blackfriars and Mansion House.

Millennium Bridge, London

 

Harry Potter trips from London:

Other Harry Potter filming locations in the UK…

 

Hogwarts in Oxford

There are numerous Harry Potter filming locations in Oxford, therefore a day trip to the city is an absolute must.

The city’s gothic architecture and impressive college buildings made it the perfect spot for filming many of the scenes inside Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

A few of the Harry Potter locations in Oxford include:

  • Christ Chuch Dining Hall -> (the inspiration for) Hogwarts Grand Hall
  • Bodleian Library’s Duke Humfrey’s Library -> Main Hogwarts Library
  • The Divinity School -> Hogwarts Hospital Wing
  • Christ Church Cloisters & New College Cloisters -> Hogwarts Hallways
  • Bodley Tower Staircase -> Hogwarts Staircase

Oxford Christ Church College

 

Also read: When is the best time to visit the UK?

 

Origins in Edinburgh

Most superfans will know that Edinburgh is the city in which J K Rowling originally dreamed up the idea of Harry Potter, which is evident in the way the settings in the franchise reflect the medieval architecture and general feel of the city.

You can even visit The Elephant House Cafe in which the author wrote much of the first books.

 

Train tracks in Scotland

Other than Edinburgh, another not-to-miss Harry Potter location in Scotland is the Glenfinnan Viaduct in Lochaber, which is more recognisable as the Victorian Railway Bridge which the Hogwarts Express travels over on its way to Hogwarts.

Check out even more Harry Potter filming locations in Scotland here.

Scotland Railway from Harry Potter


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