Calling all my fellow Potterheads out there because if you’re looking for the ULTIMATE list of Harry Potter things to do in London, then this is the guide for you!
Because in all seriousness:
Anyone who knows me in real life knows that I am a HUGE Harry Potter fan.
I went to Barnes and Noble at midnight and attended a wand making party when the fifth book first came out level obsessed.
My Harry Potter addiction is pretty serious. And I for one am totally okay with that.
Hey, at least it’s not crack!
Am I right? Of course, I am!
Because let’s be honest! The muggle struggle is all too real!
We all need a little extra Harry Potter awesomeness to bring joy into our otherwise, slightly dull lives, especially when you’re in an amazing city like London!
There are so many amazing Harry Potter things to do in London, that it’s kind of hard to know just where to start! Especially if you’re planning a five days in London itinerary.
Do you enjoy a Harry Potter themed afternoon tea at Cutter and Squidge, rock out at the Harry Potter Studio Tour, or check out one of the many different Harry Potter filming locations in London?
Because yes people, THESE really are the most important decisions in life.
And I’m only half-joking about that.
However, since you’re a busy witch (or wizard) who probably needs to mosey on over to Diagon Alley for a new Nimbus 2000, I’m gonna keep it short and sweet (Seeker pride right here. Even though I’d actually probably be more of a chaser, but I digress).
Mind the gap as you board the tube (You could also grab a portkey or use some floo powder since my broom is currently out of commission). Because we’re about to embark on one hell of a whimsical journey, where we discover all of the most fantastically wonderful Harry Potter places to visit in London. Who knows, I might even throw in some awesome Harry Potter experiences in the UK too.
And real talk? It is going to be 100% epic!
Dear reader, since I am incapable of making it rain money, there’s a high probability that this post may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure for more information. As an Amazon Associate, I earn a small commission from qualifying purchases.
1. Visit King’s Cross Station and Platform 9 and 3/4
The first rule of being a diehard Harry Potter fan?
Umm, you’ll have to go to Platform 9 and 3/4, where you can catch the Hogwarts Express to, DUH, Hogwarts!
And I’m not gonna lie:
I had been waiting for this moment since the Sorting Hat first put me in Hufflepuff (No, I’m not smoking crack. I really did go to a Harry Potter exhibit in NYC where the Sorting Hat actually did sort me into Hufflepuff).
One of the very first Harry Potter London sites that I visited was King’s Cross Station, where you’ll find both Platform 9 and 3/4 AND King’s Cross Station, an iconic, Harry Potter filming location.
Even though Platform 9 and 3/4 is a full-on tourist attraction, complete with a designated queue area, pro photographers eagerly waiting to take your picture (for a not-so-nominal fee of £10 per photo), and gift shop, it’s still a ton of fun and a must-see for any die-hard Harry Potter fans out there, especially if you’re looking for the best things to do in London with kids (You can also take your photo at Platform 9 and 3/4 while on the Harry Potter Studio Tour. So you definitely don’t NEED to make a special trip here).
To visit for yourself, just make your way to King’s Cross Station, which is a very real, very working railway station.
I’m not referring to either St. Pancras or the King’s Cross Underground station since Platform 9 and 3/4 isn’t in either of those locations.
Because believe it or not:
You’ll actually find this gem of a Harry Potter attraction inside the main atrium of King’s Cross Railway Station. It’ll be all the way to the left of the electronic departures board, right before you enter any actual train platforms.
If you’re directionally challenged like me, just look for the huge line of people.
You can’t miss the hordes of Harry Potter fans waiting here to take their picture with a trolley that is stacked with a tattered suitcase and an owl’s cage. Which is just one of the many reasons why you should probably try and get here early.
Like right when they open at 8:00 am early.
If you’re a very un-morning person like me, then you can always just stop by later in the evening since the platform is officially open until 10:00 pm.
You’ll also be delighted to know that this is one of those very fun, totally free things to do in London! HOORAY!
No need to break into Gringotts just to see one of the most iconic Harry Potter attractions in London.
***Fun little factoid for you! The one external shot of King’s Cross Station in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets is actually NOT of the station itself! In fact, the film maker’s used the exterior of the much prettier, St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel to represent the station instead! As for the scenes in which the interior of King’s Cross was used, most of those scenes were taken at platforms 4 and 5 of King’s Cross Station.***
Address: Pancras Rd, Kings Cross, London N1 9AP, United Kingdom
Hours: Open Monday through Saturday from 8:00 am to 10:00 pm and Sunday from 9:00 am to 9:00 pm.
Price: FREE! Or, £10 if you want a professional photo taken.
How to Get There: Take either the Circle, Piccadilly, Hammersmith & City, Northern, Metropolitan or Victoria line to King’s Cross Station. From here, it’s about a 5-minute walk to the platform upstairs.
2. Stop By the Leaky Cauldron
Umm, who doesn’t want to chillax, sip on a Butterbeer, and kick with Hagrid at the Leaky Cauldron?
I know I do!
Well, you totally can, sort of.
So, in truth, the Leaky Cauldron doesn’t actually exist.
Sorry, but the only Butterbeer that you’ll be ingesting is at the Harry Potter Studio Tour, but more on that later!
You can still visit the filming location that was used as the entrance to the Leaky Cauldron in the first Harry Potter film.
Located at 42 Bull’s Head Passage:
This store is actually an optometrist’s shop, known as The Glass House, and is still painted in that iconic shade of bright blue that you’ll see in the first movie (While you’re here, you can also visit Leadenhall Market since it’s literally two seconds away and another one of the most iconic, Harry Potter filming locations in London).
But wait. because it gets better!
See, 42 Bull’s Head Passage isn’t the only place that was used to represent the Leaky Cauldron in the Harry Potter films.
For Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, a store in Borough Market actually became the entrance to the immortal, wizarding pub.
If you wanna see where all the Leaky Cauldron, wizarding magic happened in the third film, then head on over to Chez Michele flower shop, just under the railway bridge, at 7 Stoney Street in Burrough Market (The food here is so delicious that this place is well worth a visit, even if you’re not into Harry Potter).
While you’re here:
You can also swing by number 8 Stoney Street since the exterior of this building served as the site of The Third Hand Emporium in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (It’s the scene where Harry first meets Lucius Malfoy and the not-so-talented, lame AF, Gilderoy Lockhart).
***Psst…Another fun little factoid for you! In the Harry Potter films, the Leaky Cauldron is actually located on the very real, Charing Cross Road. A place where you can find a ton of London theaters, as well as a series of quaint little, second-hand bookshops that are well worth exploring.***
Address: 42 Bull’s Head Passage and 7 Stoney Street at Burrough Market
Hours: While both stores have official hours, you can obviously stop by any time of day to pictures of the exterior of both shops.
Price: Both are FREE! Unless you wanna buy something from either shop!
How to Get There: To get to Burrough Market and 7 Stoney Street, take the tube to either London Bridge, Borough, or Southwark stations. To get the 42 Bull’s Head Passage, you can take the tube to either Monument, Bank, or Liverpool Street stations.
3. Visit Leadenhall Market
This place is straight-up awesome on so many different levels.
Not only is it the oldest market in London, with origins that date all the way back to the 14th century, but this covered market is truly stunning to behold and features charming, cobblestone streets that are perfectly paired with red and green, Victorian-style architecture.
Couple all this aesthetic beauty with the fact that Leadenhall Market actually made an appearance in the first Harry Potter film, when Hagrid and Harry first arrive in London and pass through the market to get to the Leaky Cauldon, and you have one hella awesome place!
Because Leadenhall Market is located right smack dab in the middle of London’s busy financial district, you may want to avoid this place around lunchtime/5:00 pm on weekdays, when many local bankers flock here for lunch and/or happy hour.
Try to visit either early in the morning or on the weekend, when the atmosphere here is much more relaxed.
Address: Gracechurch St, Langbourn, London EC3V 1LT, United Kingdom
Hours: Open 24 hours a day.
Price: FREE (Unless you want to visit some of the quaint shops and delicious restaurants in the area).
How to Get There: To access the market’s main entrance on Gracechurch Street, get off the tube at either Monument or Bank station.
4. Enjoy a Potions Making Class with A Harry Potter Themed Afternoon Tea at Cutter and Squidge
Who doesn’t want to dress up like a wizard, wave a “magical” wand around, and brew edible potions, of varying degrees of deliciousness, for two glorious hours?
Because truth be told:
This Harry Potter obsessed individual right here totally does!
If I’m being totally honest, I was a little skeptical before I experienced this quirky afternoon tea in London for myself/
My 90’s era was dying to know if this place really would be all that…and a bag of chips.
I am delighted to inform you that Cutter and Squidge does not disappoint.
Because not only is this beyond awesome, themed afternoon tea held in an entirely separate room from the upstairs bakery but is also fully bedazzled in all things Harry Potter, to look just like Snape’s potions class.
Your seat in the class really will come fully equipped with one standard, full size, pewter cauldron.
And as if that wasn’t cool enough:
Your kickass, wonderfully enthusiastic professor will also stand in front of the class and lead everyone through a mock potions class.
Since all that potion making is incredibly daunting work, you’ll obviously need some libations and sustenance to get you through the class!
You’re in luck because this Harry Potter themed afternoon tea has got you covered.
Between the leek and potato pie (definitely the best savory item on the menu), Yorkshire pudding, scones with clotted cream, and an avocado roast vegetable sandwich, there is no way that you will leave hungry (Vegan, vegetarian, wheat-free, dairy-free, and children’s menu options are also available upon request, at the time of booking, you magical muggle you).
And then there are the desserts!
Because not only do you get to indulge in decadent butterscotch sandwich cookies and gloriously traditional English trifle with whipped cream, but a full-on, dessert trolley will actually stop by your table and give you some desserts to take home with you.
Just in case you hadn’t already had enough wickedly wonderful dessert action in your life.
My favorite dessert had to be the slab of caramel cake (Yes, it was so big that it was an actual caveman size slab and not a piece) that I received at the end of the lesson, just in case I got hungry while on the way back to my hotel.
So moist and delicious that I had to actively present myself from licking the crumbs off my plate.
if you’re looking for some Harry Potter things to do in London, then definitely check out this wonderful, Harry Potter-themed afternoon tea experience with Cutter and Squidge.
All the cool Potterheads really are doing it.
Address: 20 Brewer St, Soho, London W1F 0SJ, United Kingdom
Hours: Their Potions Room Afternoon Tea is an immersive, 2-hour long experience that is offered every day at 12:00 pm and 6:00 pm, with an additional 3:00 pm class available on Saturdays and Sundays (Be sure to make your reservation at least a month in advance since spaces fill up FAST! Like, Harry whizzing past on his Nimbus 2000 level fast).
Price: Prices start at £49.50 for adults and £39.50 for kids, with VIP packages available that include alcoholic beverages.
How to Get There: Take the tube to either Leicester Square (Northern and Piccadilly line) or Piccadilly Circle station (Bakerloo and Piccadilly line).
5. Buy Some Harry Potter Merchandise at House of Mina Lima (or Hardy’s or Primark)
Wanna take some Harry Potter swag home with you after your trip to London?
GIRRRL (or guy), I am so right there with you!
I mean, who doesn’t need an 11′ wand, with a Pheonix tail core, from Olivanders to help them cast wicked awesome spells like “Accio”, “Petrificus Totalus”, “Nox”, and “Lumos”?
I know I do!
And while you may be tempted to go on an impromptu shopping spree during the Harry Potter Warner Brothers Studio Tour, don’t.
Because not surprisingly:
The merchandise here is incredibly expensive and just not worth the high price tag.
Visit other super-fab, retail establishments in London, that are brimming over with all things Harry Potter, like The House of Mina Lima.
Located right in the heart of Soho (near the Covent Garden tube station), inside a rickety, four-story house that was built in the 1700s:
This fine purveyor of all things Harry Potter is beyond awesome because this London store was actually founded by Miraphora Mina and Eduardo Lima (AKA MinaLima), two individuals who actually did graphic design work for the Harry Potter films.
The unique, one of a kind merchandise that they create is LEGIT with a capital “L”.
You’ll discover super snazzy things here like an Advanced Potions Making Journal, A Bellatrix Lestrange wanted poster, limited edition prints, and more.
Even if you’re not actually in the market for any Harry Potter related goodies (Because yes, those luggage fees really can be beyond brutal), this is still a fun place to stop, look around, and marvel at all the enchanting, Harry Potter-themed decor.
And if you can:
Swing by on either a Monday or a Tuesday, when the store offers free, Harry-Potter themed, guided tours throughout the day.
Address: 26 Greek St, Soho, London W1D 5DE, United Kingdom
Hours: Open daily from 10:30 am to 7:00 pm.
Price: FREE to look around.
How to Get There: Take the tube to Covent Garden station (located on the Piccadilly line).
***Other Harry Potter stores in London include Hardy’s (an old-fashioned candy store that sells all the confectionary candies that were featured in the films, like Bertie Bott’s Every Flavor Beans, Jelly Slugs, Chocolate Frogs, etc.) and Primark (A local clothing store, right across the street from Tottenham Court Road tube station, with a reasonably priced Harry Potter clothing section near the back right of the first floor. You’ll know you’ve arrived when you see a flock of white owls hanging from the ceiling).***
6. Stay in the “Wizard Chambers” at the Georgian House Hotel
So before my most recent trip to the UK, I was doing a bit of research and stumbled upon this one-of-a-kind experience while looking up various Harry Potter things to do in London.
And not gonna lie:
I may have squealed like a pig (with glee) when I realized that I could stay in an actual wizard chamber at the Georgian House Hotel!
Like, full-on, four-poster beds, wood floors, plaid as far as the eye can see, owls on every surface imaginable (but in a cute, tasteful kind of way), and various other types of Harry Potter inspired decor.
Not only do you get an ultra-vintage skeleton key (with an owl keychain on it) to enter your room, but you’ll also be able to hear the Harry Potter audiobooks playing just outside, in the hallway.
You know, just for a bit of mood music.
I also found some coffee mugs inside my room that may or may not have been Hocruxes (#justsayin’).
I loved the fact that all of the special, Harry Potter themed rooms here were outfitted with antique furniture, a wood fireplace, vintage paintings, old school rugs, and dark, tile walls; all of which made it feel as though you were actually inside a castle (AKA Hogwarts) and not just inside another hotel in London.
And while the Georgian House Hotel does have a variety of different sized wizard chambers for you to choose from, some of which are suitable for couples and families, I opted for a smaller room since, well, it was just me, myself, and I during this particular trip to London.
But wait, it gets better!
Because also included with the price of your stay is a very delicious, Harry Potter-themed English breakfast.
Which makes since well, breakfast isn’t really breakfast unless your baked beans on toast are served to you with a wand and a scroll.
Yup, talk about every Harry Potter, fan girl’s dream.
However, the real question is, “How much is all this Harry Potter awesomeness gonna cost you?”.
I hardcore splurged and spent £255.00 ($335) for a blissful evening amidst an oasis of Harry Potter wonderfulness.
And I have no regrets. Even if I did cry a little when I saw my bank statement.
While I wouldn’t spend an entire week in these wizarding chambers since, well, I just can’t afford it, I definitely think this would be an amazing, one night experience for any of my fellow Harry Potter lovin’ fools out there.
Address: 35-39 St. Georges Drive, London.
Hours: The front desk is open twenty-four hours a day and the staff here are super lovely and helpful.
Price: Around $335 per night if you book a designated Wizarding Chamber, with larger rooms being slightly more expensive. Breakfast is also included in the price of your room.
How to Get There: Take the tube to Victoria Station (The Victoria Line, Circle Line, and District Line all connect to this station) and walk to the hotel from here.
7. Take a Harry Potter Walking Tour of London
Muggles of the world…UNITE! Because you’re about to go on the tour of your life.
In all honesty, that was a bit of an exaggeration. Because while this tour is lovely, it definitely isn’t a life-changer.
If you can’t make it to any of the free tours offered by the House of Mina Lima, then definitely hop aboard this Harry Potter walking tour of awesome.
Not only is this tour a quick and easy way to see many of the Harry Potter filming locations that I’ve listed here, but you’ll also get to enjoy a ton of fun little factoids about all things Harry Potter along the way.
What, still not convinced?
Well, this budget-conscious muggle did it and thought that this 2.5-hour tour was well worth the $26 per person price tag.
Not only did I not have to worry about Google maps going rogue and leading me into the Thames, but my tour guide was SUPER nice, sorted me into a Hogwarts House (they got it right and sorted me into Hufflepuff) even before the tour started, and was beyond fun and informative.
I also got to see a ton of different sites in London that not only inspired J.K. Rowling’s writings but that were also used in some of the films.
Super cool places like Shakespeare’s Globe Theater, St. Paul’s Cathedral, King’s Cross Station (to see the one and only Platform 9 and 3/4), Trafalgar Square, and so much more.
So, what are you waiting for?
Hop on the nearest Thestrel and get your butt on over to this Harry Potter walking tour now.
Address: Meet your guide outside the Palace Theatre (Shaftesbury Avenue, London W1D 5AY). He or she will be wearing some uber-fab, GetYourGuide attire and holding a red GetYourGuide flag (Try to arrive about 15 minutes prior to the start of your tour).
Hours: Tours are 2.5 hours long and are offered at 10:00 am and 2:00 pm on weekdays and at 10:00 am, 10:30 am, 11:00 am (sometimes), and 2:00 pm on the weekends (Tour start times can vary by week, so be sure to do your research before booking a tour).
Price: $26 per person
How to Get There: Take the tube to Covent Garden Station (on the Piccadilly line) and walk to the theater from here.
8. Visit the Reptile House at London Zoo
Who doesn’t remember that immortal scene in the film, The Sorcerer’s Stone, when Harry all of sudden starts speaking parseltongue and BOOM, the window to the snake’s enclosure at the zoo totally disappears?
I know I’ll never forget that scene. LOL!
Especially since lame old Dudley falls into the snake’s habitat while the snake goes on a nice little jaunt through the zoo.
Throw in some hordes of screaming school children in the background and you have an iconic, Harry Potter moment that no one will soon forget.
Oh Harry, you saucy little Minx you.
But, aside from making us all super jelly that we can’t sick a Burmese Python on a relative that we’re not-so-fond of, this is yet another, super snazzy Harry Potter filming location in London that you can visit.
Located just a short, 15-minute walk from the Camden Town tube station:
London Zoo has been in the North of Londo since ye olde 1847 and was actually started when all of the animals from the Tower of London Menagerie were transferred here and added to the zoo’s collection.
As you can imagine:
The zoo’s assortment of wildlife has grown immensely since then and now includes more than 720 different species of animals.
Kids of all ages will love a trip to the London Zoo.
Because once here:
Visitors can explore a variety of different historic heritage buildings, as well as several wonderfully innovative wildlife exhibits that are home to various species of animals like gorillas, penguins, and more.
If you’re here to see the Reptile House where the Sorcerer’s Stone was filmed, then you might as well use your admission ticket to marvel at the menagerie of animals that are on display here.
Once you finally do get to the immortal reptile house, you’ll actually find a nifty little plaque that sits right where the scenes for the film were shot.
Look a little closer and you’ll even see some juicy little details about the shooting of this scene and the Burmese Python that was used in this shot.
And if you can:
Definitely purchase your tickets for the London Zoo online, in advance, since you’ll not only skip the queue but you’ll also get to enjoy a nice little discounted rate of $30 per person.
Avoid visiting on the weekend when the crowds here are next level insane.
Since you’re in the area anyway, might as well stop by Primrose Hill after your trip to the London Zoo. Not only will you get some epic views of London’s skyline from here, but you’ll also love the fact that this park is just a hop, skip, and jump away from the zoo.
Address: Outer Cir, London NW1 4RY, United Kingdom (at Regent’s Park)
Hours: Open every day from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm.
Price: Tickets are $30 for adults, $20 for children, and $27 for seniors.
How to Get There: Take the tube to Camden Town station and walk between 10 and 15 minutes to the zoo from there. You could also take the 274 bus to the Baker Street bus stop.
9 See J.K. Rowling’s Portrait at the National Portrait Gallery
This one is a bit of a stretch and is really only for those of you out there who are total, die-hard, Harry Potter fans to the core.
I’m gonna mention the National Portrait Gallery anyway since it would be a really neat place to visit, even if it didn’t have a portrait of J.K. Rowling (author of the Harry Potter series of books, in case you aren’t in the know) hanging within its hollow walls.
Because after all:
It is the oldest portrait gallery in the world and is home to the portraits of some insanely famous, uber-important famous people like Queen Elizabeth, Rembrandt (a self-portrait), Sir Thomas More, Anne Boleyn, Ed Sheeran, and more!
Before you swing by to see Rowling’s official portrait in person, do note that many of the portraits here are rotated in and out of public display.
Depending on when you visit, you may or may not be able to see Rowling’s portrait for yourself, which is totally fine since there are literally like 10,000 other paintings and sculptures here for you to enjoy.
And I pinkie promise that they all really are insanely beautiful.
Address: Trafalgar Square, Charing Cross, London WC2N 5DN, United Kingdom
Hours: Open every day from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm.
Price: FREE (My favorite price)!
How to Get There: Take the tube to Charing Cross Station (on the Bakerloo and Northern lines) and walk to the National Portrait Gallery from there.
10. See Harry Potter and the Cursed Child in the West End!
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past four years:
Then I’m sure you know that Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is kind of a thing.
And if you really have been living under a rock:
Then it’s basically a stage play, written by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne, and John Tiffany, that follows the adventures of the children of Harry, Ron, Ginny, Hermione, and Malfoy, nineteen years after the final moments of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
At this point in the story, Harry is gainfully employed at the Ministry of Magic and his son, Albus Severus Potter, is about to start his first year at Hogwarts.
This post will remain spoiler-free since you really should see this show for yourself.
But don’t take my word for it!
Let the sold-out shows, numerous awards, and rave reviews, since the show debuted in July of 2016, speak for themselves!
Just don’t be like me and inadvertently book tickets for the show in NYC when you’re actually in London.
Yup, epic travel fail.
But whatever, I still absolutely loved the show and had an amazing time. I was even able to get cheap(ish), last-minute tickets with killer views of the show.
I would definitely not recommend doing this, especially if seeing Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is a total must for you since shows routinely sell out weeks in advance (I just got lucky since I only needed a single ticket).
Every week, starting at 12:00 am Monday (London time), TodayTix opens up a lottery where customers can enter to win one of 40 tickets to see Harry Potter and the Cursed Child the following week.
These really are tickets for some of the best seats in the theater, tickets that cost just £40 for both parts of the show (or £20 per part).
This play is so long that it actually consists of two distinct parts (FYI: Part one is two hours and forty minutes long while part two is two hours and thirty-five minutes long), parts that can either be seen on the same day or on two separate evenings (I’d opt for the later, just to make the Harry Potter awesomeness last a little bit longer. Plus, seeing a show that is more than five hours long in a single day may be a bit much).
Plan on spending two solid nights (or one long day) watching Harry, Ron, and Hermione…all grown up.
Please remember that you will have to pay for each part separately, so seeing this show can get pricey since you’re essentially paying for two, full-price tickets to see a show on the West End (Depending on how far in advance you book your tickets and where your seats are in the theater, tickets can start at £35 per part and go all the way up to £160 per part).
It’s totally worth it since this show is incredibly fun and exceptionally well done. So much so that I might actually see this show again when I’m back in London.
Crazy I know but what can I say?
I have Hufflepuff blood running through my veins!
Address: 113 Shaftesbury Ave, Soho, London W1D 5AY, United Kingdom
Hours: Shows start at 2:00 pm and 7:30 pm on Wednesdays and Saturdays, at 7:30 pm on Thursdays and Fridays, and at 1:00 pm and 6:30 pm on Sundays (There are no shows on Mondays and Tuesdays).
Price: Tickets can cost anywhere between £35 ($46) and £160 ($212) per part.
How to Get There: Take the tube to Leicester Square station (on the Northern and Piccadilly line) and walk to the theater from here.
11. Cecil Court (AKA Diagon Alley)
Cecil Court isn’t an actual Harry Potter filming location in London.
It is said to be J.K. Rowling’s favorite street in the city and, as such, is thought to be the inspiration behind Diagon Alley.
If you go up north to Edinburgh and take a Harry Potter-themed tour there, guides will quickly inform you that Victoria Street, not Cecil Court, was the REAL inspiration for Diagon Alley.
Regardless of which street did, in fact, serve as J.K. Rowling’s creative muse, Cecil Court is still a fun place to visit in London since it’s a charming little pedestrian street with all of these quaint bookstores; bookstores that are adorned with these fantastic, Victorian-era storefronts.
Which is also why this street has been locally known as Booksellers’ Row since the 1930s.
Come, see the beyond enchanting bookstores that line this street, and leave as the happy muggle that I know you are.
Address: Cecil Court (a pedestrian road that links Charing Cross Road to St Martin’s Lane).
Hours: Open twenty-four hours a day, unless you want to visit any of the bookstores along this street.
Price: Free to visit, unless you want to buy some books. OBVI.
How to Get There: Take the tube to Leicester Square Station (on the Northern and Piccadilly line) and walk to Cecil Court from here.
12. Lambeth Bridge
Probably one of the lesser-known Harry Potter things to do in London, Lambeth Bridge is actually featured in the third film.
Remember when Harry catches the Knight Bus after inadvertently blowing his aunt up (whoops)?
As the Knight Bus picks him up and takes him to the Leaky Cauldron, the mythical wizard bus actually crosses over the very real, Lambeth Bridge (You’ll know it’s Lambert Bridge from its distinct red color).
That scene where the Knight Bus has to squeeze in between two double-decker buses and that weird AF shrunken head keeps saying, “Hey guys, why the LOONNGG faces?”.
Yeah, clearly I’ve seen these movies one too many times,
Let’s just pretend like I was watching the films purely as a form of “research” for this post (insert a winkie emoji here).
Lambert Bridge is so awesome that it was also featured in another Harry Potter film.
In the fifth film, when Harry Potter and his homies from the Order of the Pheonix actually fly under Lamberth Bridge as they make their way to the Order headquarters at 12 Grimmauld Place.
Cool right? Or as Ron would say, “Wicked”.
Address: Lamberth Bridge
Hours: Open twenty-four hours a day.
How to Get There: Take the tube to Westminister Station and Lamberth Bridge will be about a 10-minute walk away.
13. Goodwin’s Court (AKA Knockturn Alley)
Once you find St. Martin’s Lane:
Walk up an easily overlooked set of stairs, through a low-roofed arch, and continue around the corner to Goodwin’s Court, a perfectly preserved piece of London that heralds from yesteryear.
Resembling something straight out of a Dickens novel:
Goodwin’s Court was first built in 1690 and is lined with a series of 17th-century terrace houses that are outfitted with ornate window facades and antique, gaslight lamps.
That’s why it is absolutely shocking to no one that this small court near Covent Garden was used as the design inspiration for Knockturn Alley in the Harry Potter films.
That iconic place where dark wizards do dark deeds and skulk around under the cover of night.
Or an invisibility cloak, whichever is more convenient, Sadly though:
Because this court is so narrow, film maker’s couldn’t actually use it as a shooting location since well, there was no way that entire crew could fit inside this tiny corridor.
Being the ingenious individuals that they are, creators of the Harry Potter films decided to build an exact replica of the alley and just film any Knockturn Alley scenes in the relative comfort of Warner Brothers Studios.
Yup, true story!
Address: Goodwin’s Court
Hours: Open twenty-four hours a day
How to Get There: Take the tube to either Trafalgar Square station or Charing Cross Station and walk to Goodwin’s Court from there.
14. Brew Some Very-Adult Beverages at The Cauldron
Looking to get your drinky, drank on but wanna do so with a bit of Harry Potter flare?
Then why not check out The Cauldron, a Harry Potter-themed pop-up bar in London.
To do so:
Just pre-book your tickets online (at least if you want to guarantee your spot) and enjoy a 1 hour and 45 minute, immersive, cocktail making experience where you can brew a series of fantastical elixirs that are of the very adult variety.
Grab an Olivander’s wand of your choice, don a super snazzy wizarding robe, and wield your magical might to create two separate potions of your choice (and not to worry because alcohol-free, gluten-free, and vegan options are also available).
And while this experience is largely self-guided (That’s why this Harry Potter experience in London is better done when with a group of friends):
A super savvy potions professor will be on hand to help you with all of your magical needs.
Because after all:
You really don’t want to blow yourself up like Seamus Finnigan, now do you?
Eye of rabbit, harp string hum, turn this water into rum. A not-so-effective transfiguration spell that Seamus used to try and, you guessed it, turn water into rum.
You also have the opportunity to enjoy this other-worldly experience inside either the Castle Realm, a ground-floor space with castle-themed decor, or the Dungeon Realm, a darker, danker, basement space with dungeon-themed decor,
I’d opt for the Castle Realm but alas, that’s just me being the pseudo-diva that I am. LOL.
***Looking for another, uber-magical bar in London? Then visit the Blind Pheonix, a wizard-themed, speakeasy bar near Dalston Junction that actually requires you to have an entry code to get inside (Just visit their website and register for their mailing list to get an entrance code). While you’re here, enjoy the whimsical decor and a series of delicious molecular cocktails from within this beyond fantastical bar/art gallery (And while this bar is awesome, it technically has no affiliation with Harry Potter. It’s just a super fun place for fantasy and sci-fi enthusiasts of every variety to check out.***
Address: 79 Stoke Newington Rd, Stoke Newington, London N16 8AD, United Kingdom
Hours: Open Tuesday from 5:00 pm to 1:00 am, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 3:00 pm to 1:00 am, Friday from 12:00 pm to 1:00 am, and Saturday from 11:00 am to 1:00 am (Closed Mondays). However, you will book a specific time slot when you order your tickets online,
Price: Tickets start at £29.99 per person for off-peak seatings and £34.99 per person for peak seatings. All tickets include one welcome drink (a beer, cocktail, or mocktail), two cocktails, and the interactive experience,
How to Get There: Take the Overground to Rectory Road station and walk about ten minutes to the bar.
15. The Westminster Tube Station
I’m not gonne lie:
Westminister Tube station is probably one of my least favorite, Harry Potter things to do in London.
It’s a regular old tube station. So, how exciting could it really be to visit?
Since it is indeed an actual, Harry Potter filming location in London, I felt compelled to add it to this seemingly, never-ending list of Harry Potter things to do in London.
Just in case you can’t quite remember which film this tube station is featured in, it’s actually The Order of the Pheonix.
When Harry is summoned to a hearing at the Ministry of Magic, for using a Patronus Charm to protect his cousin Dudley from a group of rogue Dementors, both he and Mr. Weasley do a very Muggle thing and use the tube to get to the Ministry of Magic,
As the pair exit the tube and make their way to the Ministry, you’ll see Mr. Weasley cautiously get off the escalator and desperately attempt to use an Oyster Card to exit the station.
And that station Is none other than Westminister Station, in all of its glory.
However, I still think that a trip here really isn’t all that exciting since this is just a regular old, every day, working London tube station.
But per usual, I’ll let you decide that for yourself.
Address: Westminster, London SW1A 2JR, United Kingdom (found along the Circle, District, and Jubilee lines)
Hours: The London Underground generally operates between 5:00 am and 12:00 am, Monday through Saturday, with reduced hours of operation on Sundays.
Price: A single journey ticket on the London underground will cost you £4.90. In contrast, a single ride with an Oyster card will cost £2.40 for a ride within zone 1, £2.90 for a ride within zone 2, and £3.30 for a ride within zone 3.
How to Get There: Take either the Circle Line, District Line, or Jubilee Line to Westminister Station.
***Visiting London for the first time? Then check out all of my secret, expert tips on how to make the most of your magical time in this amazing city.***
16. The Building at the Corner of Great Scotland Yard and Scotland Place (AKA the entrance to the Ministry of Magic)
So in film five, right after Harry Potter and Mr. Weasley exit the aforementioned, Westminster Station, they beeline it straight for the Ministry of Magic, or this building at the corner of Scotland Place and Great Scotland Yard.
Now, because of this scene in the Order of the Pheonix:
You may turn up here and expect to find the super snazzy phone booth that Harry and Mr. Weasley used to gain access to the Ministry.
One does not exist. In reality, the telephone booth was created specifically for the film and was just a prop.
You can follow in this dynamic duo’s footsteps by riding the tube to Westminster Station and taking a short walk from here, along Whitehall, to Great Scotland Yard.
***PSST: The side of the building that faces Scotland Place is also featured in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part I. It’s in the scene where Harry, Ron, and Hermione stun three Ministry of Magic employees in an attempt to gain access to the Ministry by using Polyjuice Potion to impersonate them.***
Address: At the corner of Great Scotland Yard and Scotland Yard.
Hours: Open twenty-four hours a day.
How to Get There: Take the tube to Westminster station and walk to this street corner from there.
17. Millennium Bridge
Probably one of the prettiest places in London:
Millennium Bridge can actually be seen in the opening scenes of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.
Deatheaters are shown terrorizing Muggles who desperately cling to this pedestrian walkway as this bridge collapses and falls into the Thames below.
A scene that is beyond ironic since Millenium Bridge really did wobble when it was first opened in 2000.
The bridge was immediately closed and quickly repaired.
In contrast though:
Deatheaters didn’t actually destroy Millenium Bridge in book number 6.
Fictitious Brockdale Bridge was annihilated by these magical miscreants, which makes a lot of sense since the series takes place between 1991 and 1998 and Millenium Bridge wasn’t opened until June 10, 2000.
Go forth and win Who Wants to Be a Millionaire with all of this genius-level, Harry Potter trivia.
***Another fun little factoid for you. Believe it or not (and you should always believe me) there is actually a Cruikshank Street in London. And if that name sounds familiar, it’s because Hermione’s cat was named Crookshanks. Coincidence? I think not!***
Address: Thames Embankment, London SE1 9JE, United Kingdom
Hours: Open twenty-four hours a day.
How to Get There: Take the tube to Mansion House Station (on the Circle and District Lines) and walk to Millenium Bridge from here.
18. Visit Claremont Square (AKA No. 12 Grimmauld Place)
Most Harry Potter fans out there know that 12 Grimmauld Place is the address of one place, and one place only. And that place is the headquarters for the Order of the Pheonix.
This delightful little house is also the private residence of the Black family and was only converted into the Order headquarters after Voldemort came back to power and the resistance needed a safe place to meet.
And while the 12 Grimmauld Place that you saw in the fifth film was not actually visible from the street (I mean, after all, it is expertly protected by a series of spells and enchantments that hide it from prying muggle and non-muggle eyes alike), the real-life Claremont Square where this scene was filmed totally is!
In the fifth film, a group of kick-ass wizards come to get Harry Potter and escort him to his Godfather, Sirius Black, at 12 Grimmauld Place.
As this band of not-so-merry magic makers fly across the Thames (cue panoramic shots of Canary Wharf, Tower Bridge, the HMS Belfast, Blackfriars Bridge, and the Houses of Parliament), they conclude their journey behind a group of trees, from which they emerge, to open an iron gate that eventually reveals…12 Grimmauld Place.
Since this isn’t the address of an actual London home, filmmakers decided to use the townhouses along Islington’s Claremont Square to film this scene instead.
Yup, just another one of the many Harry Potter things to do in London.
***Believe it or not, Claremont Square actually has an incredibly funky shape that is due in large part to its use a giant, water reservoir throughout the 18th century. However, once a larger reservoir was built within the immediate area, what is now present-day Claremont Square was quickly emptied, filled in, and replaced with houses, houses, and, oh yeah, more houses!***
Address: Claremont Square in Islington
Hours: Open twenty-four hours a day.
How to Get There: Get off the tube at Angel Station (on the Northern line) and walk to the Square from there.
19. Take a Day Trip to the Cotswolds
If you’re from the United States, and Google tells me that most of you are, then you may not know what the Cotswolds are.
Which is fair enough since I had never actually heard of them before I became a travel blogger.
But shh! Don’t tell my two readers that. LOL.
In all seriousness though, the Cotswolds is actually an 800 square mile region in South/Central England that is home to the famous Cotswold Hills which start along the upper Thames and continue all the up through the Severn Valley.
Enchanting landscapes are not the only thing that the Cotswolds is famous for.
Because in addition to picturesque meadows and rolling hills, the Cotswolds is also home to a wealth of beyond charming, medieval villages that are the stuff Instagram legends are made of.
If you’re learning more about the Cotswolds and imagining quaint AF fairytale villages with picturesque country lanes that are lined with historic, stone cottages, complete with window boxes full of flowers, then you’d be 100% correct.
Because all of the towns in the Cotswolds are just so damn endearing, some of them were actually used as filming locations for various Harry Potter films,
Lacock Abbey, which is found inside Lacock Village, is a sprawling country house that was used as the beautiful backdrop for various corridor and classroom scenes at Hogwarts, including shots of the Mirror of Erised in the first film (FYI: The Crimes of Grindelwald was also shot here).
Because the Cotswolds is home to not one, but two different Harry Potter filming locations.
If you have time, venture on over to Gloucestershire and discover the Gloucester Cathedral with its exquisite, Norman and Gothic-style cloisters.
See, because of it’s awe-inspiring, historic beauty:
This church was also used as a filming location for various shots of the seemingly neverending corridors of Hogwarts Castle, including the door to the Gryffindor Common Room and the corridor where the words, “The Chamber of Secrets has been opened! Enemies of the Heir Beware!” and “Her skeleton will lie in the Chamber forever” were scrawled, in blood, in the second movie.
Some of the scenes featuring the rampaging mountain troll from the first movie were also shot here, as were the scenes from the sixth movie where Harry Potter overhears Draco and Snape discussing the unbreakable vow.
It’s not really all that surprising that J.K. Rowling was drawn to this filming location since Gloucester Cathedral is found in Gloucestershire, the exact town that the famous author grew up in!
Talk about a small world!
But you know what’s not a small feat (terrible segway but just humor me and go with it)?
Getting to the Cotswolds. Because in all honesty, the easiest way to visit this region is to simply rent a car and drive here.
If you don’t fancy speed racing through the area’s plethora of narrow, winding, country lanes, all while simultaneously acclimating to driving on the left side of the road, then you may want to take a day tour to the Cotswolds instead.
And while there is no guarantee that the tour will stop at either of the above filming locations:
It’s still a great way to quickly and easily experience the exquisite beauty and overwhelming charm of the English countryside.
Now, if it were up to me:
I’d opt for this Cotswolds Day Tour since it includes stops at Burford, Bibury, Bourton-on-the-Water, and Stow-on-the-Wold, four of the most stunning villages in the entire region.
Because unlike many other day tours to the Cotswolds:
This tour won’t have you visiting 10,000 other English cities along the way, giving you ample time to enjoy the medieval charm and beauty of the English countryside.
And while I know that this tour may seem a bit pricey at $126 per person:
You really do get what you pay for. Because this epic, 11-hour tour not only includes transportation to and from Victoria Coach Station but it also features a fantastic commentary from a professional guide, and a delicious, 2-course lunch at the immortal, Swan Hotel (Feel free to “oh” and “ah” at will here people).
Go on you Harry Potter lovin’ baller, and treat yo’self.
Because let’s be honest:
You totally deserve to rock out and enjoy every little bit of real-life magic that you can find as you frolic through the English countryside.
Address: This tour departs from Victoria Coach Station which is at 164 Buckingham Palace Road, London.
Hours: Tours depart almost every day at 8:15 am (check-in starts at 8:00 am) and return to London around 7:15 pm, depending on traffic,
Price: Tours are $126 per person.
How to Get There: Take the tube to Victoria Station and walk to the bus station from there.
20. Piccadilly Circus
Another one of my not-so-favorite Harry Potter filming locations in London.
Well, I dunno. I guess Piccadilly Circus has just never really been all that impressive to me.
It’s just a giant circular intersection, in London’s West End, that was built in 1819 to connect Regent Street with Piccadilly.
And while you may think of clowns, acrobats, and elephant parades when you see the word “circus”, in this context, it actually refers to a round open space in which you’d find a street junction.
This is also the place where, in the seventh movie (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part I), Harry, Ron, and Hermione nearly get run over by a double-decker bus as they attempt to flee from Bill and Fleur’s wedding, which was suddenly infiltrated by murderous death eaters after the Ministry of Magic fell to Voldemort.
Visit if you must but it really is just one giant, noisy, over-crowded intersection with lots of lights and flashing signs.
Address: Piccadilly Circus
Hours: Open twenty-four hours a day.
How to Get There: Take the tube to, DUH, Piccadilly Circus station.
21. Australia House on Strand (AKA Gringotts Wizarding Bank)
Forget those Benjamins.
Because here at Girl with the Passport, we’re all about those bronze Knuts, silver Sickles, and golden Galleons (FYI: There are twenty-nine Knuts in a Sickle and seventeen Sickles in a Galleon)!
And the only place to find them?
Why Gringotts Wizarding Bank of course. Especially since, as Hagrid would say, “There t’ain’t no safer place. Not one.”
If you’re looking to up your epic levels of wizarding swag with some hard-earned golden Galleons, then head inside The Australia House on Strand and marvel at the beyond exquisite interior of this building, which was used to film the inside of Gringott’s Bank in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (Even though the interior of Gringott’s is also featured in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II, the filming of these scenes was actually done at the studio, where the interior of The Australia House was recreated since the bank gets totally destroyed by a dragon in the film).
Okay, in truth:
This place is actually a working Australian embassy in London and not a super-chic, goblin owned and operated bank for the wizarding world.
You can’t really go wandering around the building, gawking at the grandeur of this edifice’s opulent crystal chandeliers, stunning marble tile floors, and ornate marble columns with accents of gold at the top and bottom.
What you can do is discreetly look through the glass doors of the building and ogle at the magnificent chandeliers inside.
Address: Strand, London WC2B 4LA, United Kingdom
Hours: The Australia House is not open to the public but is open daily for business, Monday through Friday, from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.
How to Get There: Take the Tube to Temple Station (on the Circle and District Line) and walk to Australia House from there.
22. St. Paul’s Cathedral (AKA The Divination Stairwell)
Possibly one of the most famous churches in all of London:
St. Paul’s is an iconic, Anglican Church in London that serves as the seat for the Bishop of London.and pays homage to the apostle Paul.
Sitting atop the highest point in London, on Ludgate Hill:
This immortal cathedral stands with its iconic domed roof, which was designed by Sir Christopher Wren between 1675 and 1710 after much of the city was destroyed by the Great London Fire of 1666.
This church is kind of a big deal and a must-see in its own right, even if you’re not really into Harry Potter.
And while the exterior of this building is absolutely stunning (which makes sense since this church was modeled after St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican):
The real highlight of any trip to St. Paul’s is a journey inside, where you can marvel at architectural highlights like a large domed ceiling that is supported by eight columns, the Whispering Gallery (so named because when you speak into the wall of the dome, your words will be carried to the other side), the exterior Stone Gallery, and the Golden Gallery at the top, where you can enjoy unparalleled, panoramic views of London.
If you feel so inclined, you can also descend into the crypt and visit the more than 300 memorial tombs for important British citizens, like the designer of the church himself.
Although there is no fee for attending a church service here (If you’re backpacking London, this would be any budget traveler’s best way of seeing St. Paul’s for free), you will need to purchase a standard admission ticket if you want to visit the church at any other time than the ones listed below.
***If you want to attend a church service, you can stop by for the Eucharist Service at 11.30 am on Sunday or for an Evensong Service at 5:00 pm, Monday through Saturday, and at 3.15 pm on Sunday.***
Because St. Paul’s Cathedral is one of THE TOP attractions in London, I highly recommend ordering your skip-the-line entrance ticket online, in advance.
Because let’s be honest:
Ain’t nobody got time to spend their entire trip to London in a queue, waiting to get into St. Paul’s.
When you order your tickets in advance, you receive a nice little discount on the price of admission.
And I mean really, who doesn’t like saving money? Exactly, glad we agree.
Even with the aforementioned discounts, entrance tickets for St. Paul’s ain’t cheap They’re like $22.63 per person).
But, on the plus side:
Included with the price of admission is a super handy audio guide (so you actually know what you’re looking at), as well as full access to the cathedral floor, the crypt, the three upper galleries, and the top of the dome.
***FYI: Free, 1½-hour guided tours depart four times a day at 10:00 am, 11:00 am, 1:00 pm, and 2:00 pm. Just reserve a place at the tour desk if you want to participate and get your history-loving swerve on.***
Okay, in al honesty:
By now, you’re probably wondering something along the lines of, “WTH Girl with the Passport! Where is the Harry Potter goodness? Enough of your blabbering on about this damn church!”.
And that is totally understandable since this is a post about all of the Harry Potter things to do in London.
You’ll be beyond delighted to learn that in the fifth film, when Harry, Ron, and Hermione make the long, arduous journey up that giant stone spiral staircase to Divination Class, they’re actually ascending a set of stairs in St. Paul’s Cathedral that will take you to the whispering gallery!
Pretty epic huh? But wait, because there’s more! See:
This staircase was also featured in the fourth film, when “Mad-Eye Moody” (really Barty Crouch Jr. in disguise) gives Neville Longbottom a book entitled, Magical Mediterranean Water-Plants and Their Properties.
And while the fake Mad-Eye may seem like he’s being helpful:
We all know that he’s really just trying to lure Harry into the Triwizard Tournament so that he can use him to bring Voldemort back to life.
So sorry Barty Crouch Jr. but that is really, not-so-nice behavior.
However, St. Paul’s Cathedral is super nice, which is why you should 100% visit during your next trip to London!
Address: St. Paul’s Churchyard, London EC4M 8AD, United Kingdom
Hours: Open Monday through Saturday from 8:30 am to 4:00 pm.
Price: A discounted, online admission ticket will cost you $22.63 per person.
How to Get There: Take the Tube to St. Paul’s Station, on the Central Line, and walk to the Cathedral from there.
23. Go on the Harry Potter Warner Brothers Studio Tour!
Words fail me when it comes to describing the Harry Potter Warner Brothers Studio Tour.
It kind of felt like coming home and was without a doubt, the highlight of my trip to London.
Because I’m not gonna lie:
I may or may not have had shed more than a few tears when I first laid eyes upon the full-scale model of Hogwarts that is on display here.
Even if you are a Harry Potter fan of the smallest measure, you should still 100% take the Harry Potter Warner Brothers Studio Tour.
But before you do:
Here are a few tips to help you make the most out of your time there.
Book your tickets online, in advance (I feel like this is an ongoing theme with every Harry Potter activity that I mention) since lines to enter the studio are incredibly long and tickets routinely sell out weeks in advance (I’d try booking your tickets at least a month in advance, maybe even more if you plan on visiting during the summer).
The Harry Potter Studio Tour is NOT located inside of London and is actually about twenty miles northwest of the city, in Leavesden.
To get here on your own, it will take about 45-minutes (depending on where your hotel is located) and will require you to first take the tube to Euston Station.
Exit the tube and enter the train station, where you can get a round trip train ticket from Euston Station to Watford Junction.
Board the train and get off at Watford Junction, where you will then hop on the 311 bus and take it all the way to the studio (Don’t worry because the bus stop is literally right outside the station).
And while using public transportation to get to the Harry Potter Studio Tour may seem like one giant pain in the ass, it’s relatively easy to do and is a great way to save money on the cost of the tour.
If you can’t be bothered to use public transportation to get to the Studio, or are traveling with an unruly herd of children, then you can always just book a Harry Potter Studio Tour with a Transfer since this ticket option will include a road trip bus journey from Victoria Station to the Harry Potter Studios.
Also, if you can:
Try and reserve an early morning ticket.
You can take your time wandering through the Studio (This place is huge, so it will take you no less than three or four hours to walk through the entire place) and enjoy it without hordes of people all around you, at least for a little bit (PSST: When you’re in the Great Hall, try and be the last one out so that you can score some pictures without tons of people in them since tour operators always wait for everyone to exit the hall before they let the next group in).
But seriously, trust me on this.
You do not want to be rushing through this place, frantically trying to see everything before the Studio closes.
If you book an early morning ticket, you’ll be able to stop for a Butterbeer at the onsite cafe (A total must since this is one of the only places in the world where you can get “real” butterbeer and butterbeer flavored ice cream! Plus, the food here is actually pretty good and not as expensive as I thought it would be) and pursue through the merchandise at the gift shop without worrying that everything is about to close (Only look and don’t buy anything here since everything is ridiculously overpriced).
Okay, phew!! That was a lot.
But, I’m glad we got all of those beyond boring details out of the way so that we can talk about all the good stuff…like the wizarding wonderfulness that is this beyond magical tour!
Because, as I said before, this experience really is amazeballs level awesome.
Even though you’ll be visiting the actual studio where the movies were filmed, this space has since been transformed into an impeccable, incredibly well-organized, museum-like experience that you can explore at your own pace, as you marvel at all of the film sets, costumes, props, and concept art that was used to make the world of Harry Potter come to life.
There are even several interactive experiences along the way where you can do fun things like try riding a broom or have your picture taken as you push your trolley through the wall, at King’s Cross, to Platform 9 and 3/4.
Other tour highlights include walking through the Great Hall, hopping aboard the Hogwarts Express, wandering through the Forbidden Forest, getting up close and personal with the Knight Bus, seeing a model of Hogwarts, exploring Number 4 Privet Drive, visiting Gringotts, walking through Diagon Alley, and so much more!
Because in all honesty:
If you only do one Harry Potter related activity in London, then this should be it!
***Since the Harry Potter Studio Tour will take up the better part of a day, I would suggest trying NOT to schedule any other activities for the day that you visit this Harry Potter mecca of sorts.***
Address: Studio Tour Dr, Watford WD25 7LR, United Kingdom
Hours: The Studio is open seven days a week from 8:00 am to 10:00 pm, excluding major national holidays.
Price: Tickets are £47 ($60) per person without a transfer and $118.50 per person with a transfer.
How To Get There: See ABOVE for full details.
***Looking for some more Harry Potter things to do in London? Then stop by The Golden Hinde at St. Mary Overie Dock in Bankside. Because docked here is a full-scale replica of the first English ship that sailed around the world. A vessel that is also thought to be the inspiration behind the design of the ship that Viktor Krum, and the other wizards from Durmstrang, used to travel to Hogwarts for the Triwizard Tournament, in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.***
24. Take a Day Trip to Oxford
London isn’t the only place in the UK that is home to a wealth of different Harry Potter filming locations!
And the crowd goes wild!
Because less than an hour away from London (at least if you drive or take an extra fast broom) is Oxford, a beyond charming city that is home to no less than three different Harry Potter!
1. Christ Church
And first up? Why, the beautiful Christ Church, a consultant college of the University of Oxford that was founded way be in 1525 by Cardinal Wolsey!
This institution for higher education has become an incredibly popular tourist destination since, well, it’s just so damn photogenic!
Lewis Carroll himself, the author of Alice and Wonderland, used to come here and picnic with the dean’s daughter, so clearly this place is a big deal (both literally and figuratively).
If you wanna swing by and see what all the fuss is about, then run, don’t walk, to the Great Tudor Hall, where you’ll immediately see the resemblance that this historic space bears to the Great Hall in the Harry Potter films.
The set for the Great Hall was actually designed to resemble this renaissance style space with its hammer-beam roof and ancient portraits of past students hanging all along the walls (FYI: The Great Tudor Hall is often closed to visitors at lunchtime, between 12:00 pm and 2:00 pm).
The College’s Grand Stairway (the fan-vaulted staircase that you just used to enter the Great Tudor Hall) was also used to film the scene in which Professor McGonagall first welcomes the dynamic trio, Harry, Ron, and Hermione, to Hogwarts.
And while there are tons of other things for you to see at Christ Church (like the onsite cathedral, meadow, and picture gallery), the only other part of the college that was used in the Harry Potter films were the ancient-looking Cloisters, which make a guest appearance in The Sorcerer’s Stone, when Hermione shows Harry the Quidditch trophy that has his dad’s name on it.
***If you want to learn more about the college and it’s connection to Harry Potter, then book a 2-hour, Christ Church Harry Potter Film Locations Tour for $66.56 per person. During this tour, you’ll not only learn about one of the world’s oldest universities, but you’ll also see some of Oxford’s most famous colleges (en route to Christ Church), explore the Divinity School film site, learn all about Lewis Carroll’s time at the university, and even receive free admission to the college itself.***
2. Bodleian Library
Bodleian Library, the main research library for the University of Oxford.
And while the library has been around since 1602:
Most people today have only recently become aware of the stunning, Gothic-style architecture here since Bodleian Library was used as the filming location for the Restricted Section of the Hogwarts Library in the first film.
Remember when Harry snuck into the Restricted Section to learn more about Nicholas Flammel?
Harry (AKA Daniel Radcliffe) was actually in the Arts End of the medieval Duke Humfrey’s Library, the oldest reading room in all of Bodleian.
Bodleian’s ties with Harry Potter don’t end there.
Because the Divinity School, with its Gothic vaulted ceilings, was also used as a shooting location for the Hogwarts Infirmary throughout many of the Harry Potter films.
All the students at Hogwarts really do seem to constantly be in the hospital, forever recovering from some ultra-rare, super scary, magical malady.
But as long as they don’t end like Moaning Myrtle then it’s all good.
3. New College
Yup, you guessed it, New College! It’s yet another constituent university (not that I actually know what that means) of Oxford and was founded in 1379, by William of Wykeham, with its full name being, St Mary’s College of Winchester in Oxford.
However, let’s be honest.
You’re not really here for a history lesson and but to learn about the college’s connection to all things Harry Potter.
So, let’s get to it!
Because the South Cloisters Walk of New College was used as a filming location for the scene in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire when Harry comes face to face with Malfoy, who jumps out of a large tree that actually sits in the New College Cloisters.
Once firmly back on the ground:
Malfory attempts to curse Harry while his back is turned, only to have “Mad Eye Moody” transfigure him into a Ferret as a form of punsihment; something that Professor McGonagall is none too happy about.
Before you go ahead and check out the college for yourself, please be aware of the fact that while the college is free to enter during the winter months (between October and March), you will be required to purchase a £5 admission ticket if you decide to visit during the summer months (between March and October).
Address: Oxford, England.
How to Get There: Getting to Oxford from London is relatively easy, thankfully. Just take either the Oxford Tube (which is actually a bus) or catch the train from Paddington Station. The journey should take no more than an hour and a half, depending on traffic.
***If you don’t want to visit Oxford on your own, you can always join a full day tour to Oxford from London. This five-hour tour costs just $55.92 per person and departs form Paddington Station. During this excursion, you’ll visit iconic, area highlights like Oxford University, the Ashmolean Museum, Trinity College, the pub where J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis once drank, Christ Church College, Radcliffe Square, and the Oxford Martyrs memorial monument.***
Check Out This Free Interactive Map Which Shows You Where to Find 24 of the Best Harry Potter Things to do in London!
Additional London Resources You’ll Love
There you have it my fellow Potterheads of the most epic proportion.
Because this concludes my list of 24 of the most amazing, super wonderful, Harry Potter things to do in London!
And if this article has left you jonesing for a pumpkin pasty, some Butterbeer, and a scenic ride aboard the Hogwarts Express, then you know what to do.
Just pin this article now so that you can read it again later.
Because I pinkie promise, this article is most definitely not a hocrux.