Winding Through the Wizarding World

London

Based on the bestselling novels by author J.K. Rowling, the “Harry Potter” films remain to be some of the most iconic franchises to hit the big screen. As in the books, the box office hits follow the story of titular character Harry (portrayed by Daniel Radcliffe) and his struggles against dark wizard Lord Voldemort (played by Ralph Fiennes). Over the years, “Harry Potter” has become a pop culture phenomenon that has garnered millions of “Potterheads” the world over. The legacy of “Harry Potter” persists today, seeing fans from across the globe eagerly travel to England if only to visit its real-life filming locations. Whether you’re going through the Floo Network, taking your broomstick, or using a Portkey, join us as we visit some of the unforgettable spots in London that made Rowling’s words jump from page to screen. Spoilers ahead, but you’ve probably already seen the movie more than once!

Updated a year ago

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Reptile House (London Zoo)

Recommendation posted 4 July 2018

London Zoo’s Reptile House makes an appearance in “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” where Harry unknowingly speaks Parseltongue (the language of snakes and other serpent-like creatures). Completely surprised that he’s able to talk to snakes, he casually strikes up a conversation with a Burmese python. He also ends up releasing it by accident due to his undiscovered magic. Drop by to see the exact spot where the scene was filmed, but don’t go freeing the reptiles on display! Explore the other parts of London Zoo, too, to meet giraffes, penguins, and other rainforest animals!

+443442251826

Outer Circle, Regent's Park, London, United Kingdom

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King's Cross Station

Recommendation posted 4 July 2018

Pretend as if you’re on your way to board the Hogwarts Express at King’s Cross Station! In all eight movies, students run through an arched brick wall between Platforms 9 and 10 to take the train going to the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. It departs from Platform 9 ¾, which you’ll see when you get to the station’s main concourse. Look for the luggage trolley logged in the wall and notice how it appears like it’s already disappearing into the wizarding world. Taking photos with your camera is free of charge, but a professional photographer is on standby every day between 9:00AM to 9:00PM to capture your Harry Potter moment—with a scarf in your house colors to match! Claim and purchase your pictures at the Harry Potter shop right next to the platform where you’ll also find other merchandise.

+443457114141

Euston Road, London, United Kingdom

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Leadenhall Market

Recommendation posted 4 July 2018

Marvel at the jaw-dropping Victorian architecture of the Leadenhall Market, which was used as the exterior for both Diagon Alley (a magical shopping street) and the Leaky Cauldron (a popular wizarding pub and inn) in “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.” It is one of the oldest and most loved markets in London, selling flowers, meat, and fish as far back as the 14th century. Leadenhall Market is dotted with boutiques, restaurants, and pubs, so take your sweet time going around—you’ll never run out of things to do and look at!

+442073321523

Gracechurch Street, London, United Kingdom

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Australia House

Recommendation posted 4 July 2018

Scenes featuring the Gringotts Wizarding Bank (the only known wizarding bank run by Goblins) were shot inside the majestic Australia House on Strand. As the name suggests, the building is home to the Australian High Commission, which is the diplomatic mission of Australia in the United Kingdom. It is not open to the public for obvious reasons, but try asking the security guards nicely if you can take a quick peek inside. If that fails, you’re still allowed to fangirl and take a few photos in front of the building’s marvelous white facade.

+442073794334

Strand, London, United Kingdom

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St. Pancras International

Recommendation posted 4 July 2018

In the films, St. Pancras International’s neo-Gothic exterior stood as the entrance to King’s Cross Station. It appears in two movies: once in “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets” where the Weasley family’s flying Ford Anglia takes off as Harry and Ron Weasley (played by Rupert Grint) attempt to “drive” it. Then in “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2,” Harry and his friends watch their children leave for Hogwarts 19 years later. The station is quite the stunner, considered to be one of the most beautiful in the world. After capturing some panoramic shots, head inside and wander through the shops and restaurants. St. Pancras also happens to house Europe’s longest champagne bar, so enjoy a few glasses of bubbly while you’re here!

+442078437688

Pancras Road, London, United Kingdom

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Lambeth Bridge

Recommendation posted 4 July 2018

“Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban” features one of the most memorable scenes in the entire film series. In the movie, Harry rides The Knight Bus en route to the Leaky Cauldron. It dashes through London’s busy streets, then proceeds to squeeze itself between two regular double-decker buses on Lambeth Bridge. During the day, you’ll notice that the bridge is painted red to represent the House of Lords—one of the two houses of the Palace of Westminster. Go for a pleasant stroll at dusk, and you might even get to see the Big Ben from here!

Lambeth Bridge, London, United Kingdom

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Claremont Square

Recommendation posted 4 July 2018

Make your way to Claremont Square, which served as the exterior of 12 Grimmauld Place in “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix” and “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1.” Situated in the London Borough of Islington, 12 Grimmauld Place is known to be the ancestral home of Sirius Black (portrayed by Gary Oldman) and his family, as well as the Order of the Phoenix’s headquarters. In real life, however, it used to be a water reservoir back in the 18th century. These days, Potterheads from flock to Claremont Square to snap countless photos, channeling their inner Harry, Ron, or Hermione Granger (played by Emma Watson)!

Clerkenwell, London, United Kingdom

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Millennium Bridge

Recommendation posted 4 July 2018

“Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” begins with a thrilling sequence of the Millennium Bridge collapsing, caused by the attack of Lord Voldemort’s Death Eaters. Thankfully, the bridge still stands to this day, serving as a footbridge for pedestrians crossing the River Thames. Fun fact: Londoners used to call it the “Wobbly Bridge” because it was built without the usual supporting columns! The wobbling has stopped since then, but the nickname has stayed.

Thames Embankment, London, United Kingdom

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Piccadilly Circus

Recommendation posted 4 July 2018

Last on our list is Piccadilly Circus, which also appeared in “Deathly Hallows Part 1.” In the film, we see Harry, Ron, and Hermione successfully escaping the Death Eaters as they apparate to the bustling streets of Central London. Remember when they almost got hit by a double-decker bus as soon as they reappeared? Yup, it happened right here! Piccadilly Circus is a famous tourist attraction, known for its massive illuminated signs and notable buildings. Roam around to see the Criterion Theatre, the London Pavilion, and the iconic Shaftesbury Memorial Fountain while you’re here.

Piccadilly Circus, London, United Kingdom

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