Harry Potter and the Tour of London

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…!


    • brad3091

      That you do! Bits of Borough Market are also used as Diagon Alley, but it’s harder to spot them…

      Next post, I’ve got some pics of another place that inspired Diagon Alley…

  1. Dalmatien

    “Lincoln’s Inn Fields was the filming location for 12 Grimmauld Place.” > Actually, it isn’t. There is no filming location for Grimmauld Place, it was entirely built in Leavesden Studio. It could be said that it provided inspiration, but so could any Georgian square in London ;) Which explains also why it was hard to recognise the place.

  2. Anna

    Hey, great to meet you at TOWIB today… Do you know that they actually have a Platform nine and three quarters at Kings Cross with a baggage trolley halfway in to the wall so you can pose running at it :)

    It is one of the best places to sit and people watch. Kids, tourists, nervous grown ups shy to have their picture taken looking goofy. With commuters rushing about them oblivious.

    • Stu Bradley

      Thanks, nice to meet you too! Agreed, it’s a cool place to check out; when I wrote this they were the middle of moving it (again!) and Platfrom 9 and 3/4 is now located inside King’s Cross!

  3. Emma Cuthbert

    Hello. I came across your blog via comments on Vice.com, and have shared your IWD post on Facebook as it’s rather fabulous.

    London Walks do a good Harry Potter walking tour (and taxi safari, if you’re that way inclined): http://www.walks.com/London_Walks_Home/Harry_Potter/default.aspx

    I don’t work for them or know anyone who does, but I’ve done a few of their walking tours and they’re lovely people (often actors or professional guides) and give good walk. Each one is only £7. They’re a great way to get to know London if you’re newish in town.

    • Stu Bradley

      Cheers for the kind words, and cheers for the link; ‘fraid since I haven’t tried them I can’t put the NSLL stamp of approval on them, but if anyone wants to give them a go the links are right there!