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Ever wondered about the most famous Harry Potter places in London?
Much of the Harry Potter franchise was filmed in and around London (my husband was an extra in some of the movies!) and Harry Potter in London is still an iconic character even all these years on.
While there are popular Harry Potter walking tours in London (I prefer this one), there are lots of Harry Potter sets in London that you can see on your own without the help of a guide.
If you just want to go on a self-guided tour or if you want to hit a few stops during your stay in London, but not all at once, here are some of the most famous Harry Potter filming locations in London and Harry Potter attractions in London that even the most casual Potter fan will love.
The Absolute Must-Knows (from a Londoner)
1. Leadenhall Market: one of the best Harry Potter Locations in London
Check out one of London’s oldest markets, Leadenhall Market, to see some of the spaces that inspired the look for Diagon Alley.
A couple of the exteriors were used as exteriors in Diagon Alley for the first film, including the entrance to the Leaky Cauldron which you can find if you head to Bull’s Head Passage.
Marvel at the ornate design at this gorgeous market and you’ll instantly feel like you’re in the Wizarding World.
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2. King’s Cross Station: Harry Potter sites in London
How could you forget a stop at King’s Cross Station while on a self-guided Harry Potter tour?
It’s here that the Hogwarts students would push their way through Platform 9 3/4.
Nowadays, Platform 9 and 3/4 isn’t found right in between Platform 9 and 10 as King’s Cross is a working station and the Londoners don’t need Harry Potter fans getting in the way of them making their train!
Instead, you can find a photo op in the main concourse, complete with the option to pay for a professional photographer to get a snap of you pushing your way through the wall.
Is it a tourist trap?
Is it a must-see for Harry Potter fans?
As long as you are going in knowing that it’s a tourist trap and you’re happy about that and ready to see the train station that is mentioned in the books and movies, then enjoy!
3. Australia House
You may be able to guess, by the name of this building, that it houses the Australian Embassy, but did you know that it was also used for some interior shots of Gringotts bank?
You can’t go inside, sadly, due to embassy security measures, but you can marvel at it from the outside and know that your favorite Harry Potter stars probably walked over the same patch of sidewalk you have to get in the building!
This is one of the most iconic Harry Potter filming locations in London, so make sure to check it out!
4. Millennium Bridge
At the start of the sixth movie, the Death Eaters are ripping apart London and one of the most iconic scenes is where they tear apart Millennium Bridge, which is silver and looks a bit futuristic.
You can walk across and enjoy the cool vibes behind Millennium Bridge, as it very much still stands (sorry Death Eaters!)
London Zoo, near Regent’s Park, is a London gem and the Zoological Society of London takes their job in animal conservation very seriously.
But Harry has also been here, speaking to the snakes in the Reptile House in the first movie when he set it free.
Fans will instantly recognize the interior and the large window that today houses some of the zoo’s biggest reptiles, like the Black Mamba.
You know the scene in Prisoner of Azkaban where Harry gets on the Knight Bus and it squeezes in between other buses?
That takes place on Lambeth Bridge, which you can easily spot!
7. St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel
This gorgeous hotel right near King’s Cross St. Pancras was actually used for some of the exterior shots of King’s Cross Station in the movie, despite the fact that…well, it’s not!
The magic of movies!
8. Piccadilly Circus
Head to Piccadilly Circus and look around to recreate one of the scenes in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 where the trio end up in Piccadilly Circus after apparating and get very close to being hit by a bus!
9. Great Scotland Yard
Great Scotland Yard had its first Harry Potter film appearance in the fifth movie, as it was used as the entrance to the Ministry of Magic.
It’s not actually a “yard,” but rather a street that’s quite famous in real life for its associations with UK detective investigations and policing.
However, in the Harry Potter movies, they put a telephone booth along the street which was the “secret” entrance to the ministry.
10. Thames Path
The Thames Path is essentially a walking path that follows the route of the River Thames through Central London, and while the path itself doesn’t feature in the Harry Potter movies for a London filming location, it’s the best path to take to see the route of the river that Harry and the gang follow in the Order of the Phoenix when Harry is flying along the Thames with the rest of the order.
Their route started at Tower Bridge and kept going to the west of the river up to the Houses of Parliament, so walk it from this direction if you want to recreate the magic.
One of the most beloved characters, Arthur Weasley, has a scene in the Westminster Underground Station where he can’t get the tube ticket to work in The Order of the Phoenix.
Hopefully you can get your own card working, but make sure to add this iconic London tube station to your London Harry Potter walking tour list.
In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part I, Horse Guards Avenue is used as the entrance for the Ministry of Magic that the trio use when they’re using Polyjuice Potion to pretend to be ministry employees.
They appear to enter via some public restrooms, and you can see the street behind them in the movie.
13. City Hall
London’s City Hall is one of the most unique looking buildings around, and it was actually featured in the beginning of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, showing “muggles” working in the building and being used as a backdrop for sweeping views of the city.
The funny part, of course, is that technically the Harry Potter films are set prior to when City Hall was actually built, but, hey, it’s part of the magic.
14. Clermont Square: Harry Potter London places
Ever wanted to visit the home of Sirius Black, 12 Grimmauld Place?
In London, you can!
Head to 23-29 Clermont Square, which was used as the exterior for his house in the Order of the Phoenix and the Deathly Hallows Part 1.
15. Charing Cross Road
Charing Cross Road is more of a Harry Potter reference from the books, as it is supposed to be the site of the Leaky Cauldron (the muggle side).
In reality, Charing Cross Road is a busy through road in Central London, but the actual filming site of the wizarding side of the Leaky Cauldron is in Leadenhall Market so you won’t actually find scenes that you recognize from the movies on Charing Cross Road.
16. Warner Brothers Studio Tour
Of course, the ultimate in the London Harry Potter experience is at the actual Warner Brothers Studio Tour in Watford, where they actually filmed the vast majority of the movies and sets.
Luckily for Harry Potter fans, they’ve kept the original sets and you can walk through the Great Hall, dorms, classrooms, and so much more.
I’ve got an entire guide on visiting the Harry Potter Studio Tour in Watford here so you can learn more about this must-do for Harry Potter fans and combine it with your own explorations of the London landmarks used for the movies.
17. Borough Market
Borough Market, an iconic London food market, was used as the entrance to the Leaky Cauldron in The Prisoner of Azkaban.
A small flower shop was turned into the entrance to the pub, and thus this famous London market earned its place in Harry Potter lore.
18. St. Paul’s Cathedral
Visit St. Paul’s Cathedral, the iconic London cathedral and a must-visit for anyone, to find a special staircase inside!
In the third movie, the Prisoner of Azkaban, the “Divination staircase” that lets the students and professors gain access to Professor Trelawney’s classroom is actually filmed in the spiral staircase at the top of St. Paul’s Cathedral.
It gets a little claustrophobic in there, so fair warning if you’re not a fan of small areas or heights, but it’s definitely worth adding to your Harry Potter London locations list.
19. Hampstead Garden
Hampstead Garden is a suburb of London, used for filming the exterior of Hermione Granger’s family’s home.
This is the location of the scene in The Deathly Hallows Part 1 where Hermione can be seen walking out of the house after erasing her parent’s memories and disappearing into the night so she can go fight Voldemort with Harry and Ron.
You’ll find the house at 16 Heathgate, Hampstead Garden.
20. Great Newport Street
There’s a very narrow alley in Great Newport Street between 12 and 13 that was used as the entrance to Diagon Alley in the sixth movie.
Today, you can walk down it yourself a nd pretend like you’re slipping into the magical world of enchantment.
21. Trafalgar Square
During the opening of the sixth movie when the death eaters have completely destroyed London, you see them start off in Trafalgar Square having demolished parts of it before they carry on to other parts of the city.
Luckily, this was just movie magic and the iconic pillars and fountains and statues are all still standing, ready to offer you a great place to hang out, eat a packed lunch, and even pop into the National Gallery where you’ll find priceless works of art.
Map of London Harry Potter Filming Locations
What else should I not miss in London?
If you’re visiting London soon, here’s a very brief rundown of a few of my other favorites to make sure you don’t miss anything!
- Hidden London Walking Tour – this tour is the absolute best if you want to see London in a different light and uncover hidden nooks, crannies, and histories that you won’t get on your normal, run-of-the-mill London walking tour. Click here to check prices and book.
- Historical Westminster Walking Tour with Churchill War Rooms – if you’re a history buff or even mildly interested in all of the insane things that have happened in London, particular during the wars, you have to book this tour which is an absolute bargain for the tour + entry to the Churchill War Rooms (basically two must-dos in one). Click here to check prices and book.
Want more helpful London guides? Check these out!
- 45 Things to Do in London at Night
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- 57 Quirky and Unusual Things to Do in London
- 11 Tourist Traps to Avoid in London
- 23 Best London Tours
- 41 Best Things to Do in London with Kids
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- 23 Best Afternoon Teas in London
- 25 Best London Museums
- 33 Free Things to Do in London
- 21 Best London Markets
- 21 Best London Apps
- 23 Best Pubs in London
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- 35 Things to Do in London in the Rain
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- 17 Famous London Filming Locations
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- 41 Things to Do in London Alone
- 16 Best London AirBnbs
UK Travel Planning Guide: the FAQs
🏥 Should I buy UK travel insurance?
Absolutely yes. Basic coverage is not expensive, and as a visitor you are NOT covered under the NHS. Compare policies and prices with Travel Insurance Master here, a big name in the travel insurance business, and cross that off your list.
🔌 Do I need travel adapters for the UK?
Yes, you do, otherwise you won’t be able to plug in your electronics/phone/lifelines. I recommend this one, which is all-in-one so you can use it in other countries.
🚗 What do I need to drive in the UK?
The first thing you need to check out if you’re planning on renting a car in the UK is this guide to driving in the UK for visitors – the roads, signs, and driving experience will likely not be what you’re used to and it’s essential to prepare yourself to stay safe and aware.
🛌 What’s the best way to book hotels in the UK?
📳 Will my phone work in the UK?
Yes – if you set it up right. Check out my guide on making your foreign phone work in the UK to ensure that you get the type of service you need.
🚿 Can I drink the water in the UK?
Yes, UK water is great and perfectly safe. But drink out of taps in any kitchen or use water fountains. Double check before drinking out of the taps in hotel bathrooms, though, as they may be on a different system.