As I sit here writing this article, I’m wearing my Ravenclaw Pyjamas and sipping tea from my Hogwarts mug (what can I say, I’m a super-fan!). Like many millennials around the world, I’ve been waiting for my Hogwarts acceptance since age 11 with eager anticipation. Sadly, that day has not yet come. However, in the meantime, there are plenty of Harry Potter locations across the world, just waiting to be discovered. One place where the wizarding magic is particularly prevalent is in London. So Alohomora here’s your complete guide to unlocking the secrets behind the filming locations and book inspiration for Harry Potter in London!
Platform 9 3/4, King’s Cross (In the books and films)
Platform 9 and 3/4 is where the magic truly happens! Kind of. Though there is usually a large queue of tourists waiting for their picture to be taken with the Harry Potter luggage sticking out of the wall, if you head to King’s Cross earlier or later in the day, you’re sure to find fewer people waiting in line.
Harry Potter Shop at Platform 9 3/4, King’s Cross
No guide to Harry Potter’s London would be complete without the chance to shop for at least a few Hogwarts school supplies. Right next to the Platform 9 and 3/4 photo op, you’ll find the Harry Potter merchandise shop. Inside, there’s a whole array of clothing, stationery and other wizarding goods. More information about the shop can be found on its website.
London St Pancras as King’s Cross Exterior (In the films)
Situated along Euston Road, the beautiful red brick architecture of St Pancras is hard to miss. So beautiful is this building, that the decision was taken to film the exterior of the hotel and label it as King’s Cross station in the film. So despite confusing tourists ever since, head to St Pancras if you want to see where ‘King’s Cross’ was filmed in the movies.
Millennium Bridge as Brockdale Bridge (In the films)
In the Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince film, Millenium Bridge is shown to be destroyed by Fenrir Greyback and some Death Easters. This is in spite of the fact that the real Millenium Bridge was only completed in 2000 and the Half-Blood book was based in the year 1998. In the book, it was Brockdale Bridge (a fictional bridge that has never existed) that was destroyed.
Australia House is Gringotts (In the films)
Currently home to the Australian High Commission, the wonderful architecture of Australia House was used as inspiration for Gringott’s Bank in the first Harry Potter film, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s/ Sorcerer’s Stone. Construction of Australia House began in 1913 and was officially opened by King George V in 1918 (building took longer than originally planned as a result of WWI) and its prominent location along the Strand means that it’s hard to miss on any trip to London. Just a little along the road, you’ll find the Fake Roman Bath House of London.
Leadenhall Market is home to the Leakey Cauldron
Of all the Harry Potter in London locations, Leadenhall Market may well be the most beautiful. After all, the stunning Victorian architecture and cute shops of Leadenhall Market are well worth a visit in of themselves and are one of the secret spots in London. In the first Harry Potter film, Leadenhall Market is used as an entryway into Diagon Alley.
Borough Market is [also] home to the Leakey Cauldron (In the films)
Much like you’d imagine the secret entryways to the Leakey Cauldron change in the wizarding world, the filming location for the Leakey Cauldron actually changed in real life. In later films (ie, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban), Borough Market is home to the Leakey Cauldron and the entryway to Diagon Alley. The precise location for The Leakey Cauldron when it moved to Borough Market was under a bridge overpass at No. 7 Stoney Street.
Borough Market, via Garry Knight, Flickr
Piccadilly Circus (In the films)
Iconic and world famous, Piccadilly Circus was used in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows I during a scene where Harry, Ron and Hermione are fleeing from the Death Eaters.
Westminster Tube Station (In the films)
If you want to see one location for Harry Potter in London, but are short on time, then Westminster Tube Station is a good introduction to Harry Potter’s London. After all, it’s directly opposite the road from the Elizabeth Tower (which houses Big Ben) and so you’ll get to see two iconic London sights at once! Westminster Tube Station was used as an entryway to The Ministry of Magic during Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.