Sooo, if you’ve ever spoken to me for more than five minutes, you’ll be aware that I’m something of a Harry Potter fan. Now that I live in London, I decided to go on a mission to find all the locations of the movies. Although there a bunch of sites with some locations on, I struggled to find a website with an easy walking tour you could follow. So I was like, ‘ok, I’ll make one’.
Dismount at King’s Cross, Platform 9 3/4 (even though it says 5 on the sign…)
This looks familiar…except they act like it’s the exterior of King’s Cross in the movies, even though it’s really St Pancras.
Still St Pancras. Ok, let’s get the Underground to Monument.
A short walk from Monument is Leadenhall Market, used as the first Diagon Alley! Hagrid and Harry not pictured.
42 Bull’s Head Passage – This was the first Leaky Cauldron, but now it’s an optician’s. How unbelievably depressing. If I come across some money I’ll totally buy it, make a theme bar and name cocktails after the characters. (Don’t hold your breath.)
Cross London Bridge and you’ll see this – remember them flying past all that stuff on their broomsticks?…
…and you’ll also come to Borough Market where (at 7 Stoney Street) you’ll find Leaky Cauldron Number II. Now it’s a flower shop. I hope you can buy ‘Harry Potted plants’ and ‘Dumbledore Dahlias’ but I didn’t check.
If you stroll down the bank of the Thames, you’ll reach Millennium Bridge. At least where it used to be until the Death Eaters destroyed it.
Oh no, wait there it is. Ok, cross it, and head right to Mansion House Underground station. Take it to Westminster…
These are the Westminster ticket gates that gave Mr Weasley some trouble. There was a load of Chinese people having trouble with them the day I went. They didn’t look like wizards though.
It’s a bit of a hike to Lambeth Bridge, to be honest, but if you want to see the place where the Knight Bus went really narrow…this is it! You also get to walk past the Houses of Parliament if you want a bit of non-Harry Potter related culture. IF.
To the Ministry of Magic – guess you’ll have to take these since…
…the phone-booth entrance (located in Scotland place) is gone I blame that Colin Farrell movie.
From there, get the Underground from Embankment to Leicester Square which is pretty close to Shaftesbury Avenue. This is where the gang head to in Deathly Hallows Part 1 before getting attacked by Death Eaters in a cafe. I wanted to go in to do some sort of elaborate trick where I made my coffee cup float using a piece of string, but the cafe isn’t even real, hmph.
It’s an easy walk from there to Holborn Underground station, which is pretty close to Lincoln’s Inn Fields. I know it looks totally different, but Lincoln’s Inn Fields was the filming location for 12 Grimmauld Place. There were a bunch of dogs running around in the park when I was there, but none of them responded to the name Sirius.
Back to Holborn, and it’s only a couple of stops back to King’s Cross! I constructed this tour a couple of weeks ago, and it only took me a few hours to do (with a mixture of walking and getting the Underground between locations). Two things really struck me – the first was how much things had changed in the decade since shooting started on the first movie; parts of King’s Cross used in the original are totally gone, and Lincoln’s Inn Field is pretty hard to recognise as Grimmauld Place. The second is how spread out everything is – so much kit is used on film shoots, it must have been a nightmare moving it all over London. Then again, I did go see locations used in all eight films in one day…
That’s it for today, though I do view this post as a work in progress (I haven’t even spell-checked it…and that’s an unintentional pun) – I want to add a map with the route I took on it at some point and comparison shots with stills from the movie. Oh, I also have a bunch from another Harry Potter related trip I’ll be posting soon…!