This post not only lists the top 10 London Harry Potter attractions but also contains detailed information and links on how to plan your visit and make the most of them – be sure to bookmark and share!
And scroll to the bottom for a FREE INFOGRAPHIC with maps of all the Harry Potter locations for you to print and take with you.
The series of books and films may well have finished, but Harry Potter remains a cherished part of many childhoods and continues to be discovered by fresh generations of spellbound youngsters.
Whether you seek to tread down your own memory lane or a fun family holiday, London is home to many Harry Potter attractions. From shooting locations to places which inspired the books, here we take a look at the top 10 London Harry Potter attractions for you to enjoy.
1. Wizard Chambers at The Georgian House
Have you (or your little ones for that matter) ever wanted to be a wizard just like Harry? This new offering from The Georgian House Hotel in Victoria is possibly the closest you can get, whilst being awake anyway.
The Hotel’s ‘Wizard Chambers’ opened in late 2014 and are decorated in the style of the wizards’ rooms at Hogwarts, with potions, cauldrons and more.
It’s a perfect base to stay while visiting the rest of the attractions on our list, and the hotel can arrange many of these for you when you book (though it should be noted that none are included as standard). Prices as of late 2014 were around £209 per night for two people, including breakfast. Additional guests can be added for an extra £20 each.
Make it happen: Visit http://www.georgianhousehotel.co.uk/offers/Wizard-Chambers-London.asp for further information and pictures. Reservations: Call 0207 834 1438. Email firstname.lastname@example.org
2. Warner Bros. Studio Tour – The Making of Harry Potter
The Warner Brothers Studio Tour really is a must-do for any Potter fans staying in the capital.
The tour takes place at the studios where all of the Harry Potter films were made, just outside of London in Leavesden, and is home to the largest collection of memorabilia from the series that you’re ever likely to see.
You’ll walk through original sets and soundstages from the films, and come face to face with animatronic creatures and props. You’ll even have the chance to ride a broomstick, with a little help from some green-screen wizardry.
Make it happen: If you’re staying at the Wizard Chambers above, you can ask the hotel to arrange your tour and transportation. Otherwise you can buy tickets from http://www.wbstudiotour.co.uk/your-visit/ticket-information.
Adult prices (16+) are £31, children’s tickets are £23.50 and under-fours can get in for free. Location: Leavesden – http://www.wbstudiotour.co.uk/your-visit/getting-here
3. Tour the film locations
Many key scenes from Harry Potter were filmed in locations around London.
You can of course track some of these down for yourself, but you can save a substantial amount of time and see more of them by going on an organised tour. One of the most popular tours is the Muggle Tour, which starts near London Bridge Station and finishes at Leicester Square.
The expert guides on the tour will take you to the entrance of the Ministry of Magic, to the hidden entrance of the Leaky Cauldron, to medieval streets that inspired some of the film sets and to the setting for action sequences such as the attack of the death eaters in Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince.
If you don’t feel like walking and you forgot your broomstick, you can also take a bus tour which will whisk you away to many of the most interesting sights from the films. The ‘Harry Potter Bus Tour of London Locations’, for example, will take you to many key locations from each of the films. The tour starts at Temple Tube and ends at King’s Cross Station.
Make it happen: You can book the tours via their official websites:
http://www.muggletours.co.uk/ – £12 for adults, £10 for children + 79p booking fee pp.
http://britmovietours.com/bookings/harry-potter-london-tour/ – Adults £26, children under-15 £19.
4. Leadenhall Market for entrance to the Leaky Cauldron
If you’d rather see the sights in your own time, they’re easy enough to find if you know where to look.
Head to Leadenhall Market, for example, to discover the entrance to the Leaky Cauldron, as featured in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. You’ll find the entrance outside an otherwise unassuming optician’s in Bull’s Head Passage.
Keep your eyes peeled while visiting the market and you may also recognise it as the setting for some of the exterior scenes in Diagon Alley in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.
Make it happen: https://email@example.com,-0.084782,16z.
Nearest Tube: Monument
5. Kings Cross Station, Platform 9 ¾
It might not take you all the way to Hogwarts, but at the lovingly created ‘Platform 9 3/4’ you’ll find a luggage cart embedded part way in the wall, as if Harry and friends have just boarded the Hogwarts Express.
It’s a great opportunity for a photograph and sometimes, particularly around Christmas, you’ll find helpers on hand who will even provide you with a Hogwarts scarf to wear for the occasion.
If you fancy your own scarf to keep, or a broom or wand, you’ll find all kinds of official Harry Potter merchandise in the shop next to Platform 9 3/4.
Nearest Tube: Kings Cross St Pancras. Once at the station you’ll find the platform on the main concourse – no ticket is required. Be prepared to queue for photographs during busy periods.
Platfom 9¾ shop: http://www.harrypotterplatform934.com/
6. St Pancras International for trips to Hogwarts
Head across the road from Kings Cross station and you’ll see another familiar sight, in the form of the unmistakeable neo-gothic stylings of St Pancras International Station.
In the films, the St Pancras façade (much of which is now incidentally the St Pancras Renaissance Hotel) was used for the exterior shots of the station that whisked Harry and friends away to Hogwarts.
Make it happen:
Nearest Tube: Kings Cross St Pancras
7. Watch Quidditch on Hampstead Heath
If you’ve read the books or watched the films and thought that Quidditch seemed like a supercool game, you’re not alone.
There are in fact several dozen Quidditch teams in the UK alone, many of them attached to universities, and at Hampstead Heath you’ll find the training ground for the London Unspeakables.
Every Saturday the team trains on the Heath, using a half deflated volleyball, several dodgeballs as ‘bludgers’ and PVC pipes as broomsticks. If you’re curious you can go along to watch, or you could even join the team yourself.
You can find out more and even join the team on the official London Unspeakables Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/UnspeakablesLDN
8. London Zoo’s Reptile House to converse with snakes
In Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, Harry discovers that he has an unusual talent for being able to communicate with snakes.
It was at London Zoo’s Reptile House that he first conversed with a strangely talkative Burmese Python, and you too can try to see if you’ve got the gift by visiting the reptile house during your stay. As well as a fine collection of snakes, you’ll see lizards, crocodiles and much more besides. Needless to say, the zoo is itself one of London’s must-see attractions.
Make it happen: Location: http://www.zsl.org/zsl-london-zoo/visitor-information/directions-to-zsl-london-zoo. Nearest Tube stations are Camden Town and Regent’s Park. You can book tickets to the zoo at http://www.zsl.org/zsl-london-zoo/visitor-information/directions-to-zsl-london-zoo.
Online ticket prices (November 2014- 14th February inclusive): £19.09 for adults and £14.09 for children. Children under three go free.
9. Bespoke Harry Potter experience at St James Court, A Taj Hotel
The St James’ Court Hotel makes a special effort to appeal to families with young children, offering a Kids@Taj service.
Part of the Kids@Taj offering is a ‘Bespoke Harry Potter Experience’ in which, “you and your family will be embraced by authentic sets, spellbound by bewitching special effects and made privy to behind-the-scene secrets of the Harry Potter film series”. The hotel also has a special dining menu for kids, who will receive a goody bag on arrival.
Make it happen: Location: http://www.stjamescourthotel.co.uk/About/location
Visit http://www.stjamescourthotel.co.uk/Experience/kidsattaj for more information and booking.
10. Visit the bridges of Harry Potter
A significant number of the major bridges in London have featured in the Harry Potter films at one point or another.
If you’ve got time, why not visit them all? Most have pedestrian walkways so you can even take a wander across. Here’s a breakdown of significant scenes from the films:
Tower Bridge: Harry flies over this iconic bridge in the second film, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.
Millennium Bridge: Destroyed by death eaters in Harry Potter and the Half-blood Prince. Of course, Potter book purists will tell you that this is impossible since the bridge wasn’t built until after the story was set, but it looks pretty spectacular nonetheless.
Lambeth Bridge – A ‘knight bus’ of an altogether different sort zooms between two double-deckers in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.
If you’ve got any time or money left at the end of all that, you can always head over to Hamleys on Regent Street and pick up some official Harry Potter merchandise to remind you of your trip.
And do let us know your favourite Harry Potter suggestions below!
NB. All stated prices current as of 30/12/14
Click the image below for a handy FREE INFOGRAPHIC with maps and useful info to take with you on your Harry Potter London tour!