Platform 9 3/4

A Harry Potter fan’s guide to London

In this article, you'll learn the following:

London is a magical place where you can see wizards on broomsticks, Death Eaters soaring over the River Thames, and supersonic double-decker buses…in the Harry Potter films.

London was one of the most-used filming locations for the Harry Potter series, so visiting the capital is a must for die-hard Potterheads. Grab your broomstick and explore our muggle’s guide to a Harry Potter-themed tour of London.

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Visit Warner Bros. Studio Tour

Harry Potter costumes at Warner Bros studio tour

Warner Bros. Studios is where all eight Harry Potter films were produced. It opened to the public in 2012 (peak times welcome up to 6,000 visitors a day). Walking into Warner Bros. Studios is like passing through a magic portal (like running through Platform 9¾). You’re transported to a wondrous place – home of the wizarding world.

Go behind the scenes to discover the magic of set, costume and prop design. Find out how special and visual effects artists waved their wands to make the mandrakes move and charm the stone snakes on the Chamber of Secrets door.

Alongside temporary exhibits, the studio has several permanent sets. Visit the Great Hall, home to iconic scenes like the Sorting Ceremony and the Yule Ball. Or wander along the cobblestones of Diagon Alley, seeing it for the first time like Harry in The Philosopher’s Stone.

Price: £53.50

Don’t forget to check SWR Rewards for 10% off your visit to Warner Bros. Studios when you book directly with us!

How to get to the Warner Bros. Studio from London

From London Waterloo, catch the Northern line to Euston. Hop on the train to Watford Junction. Find Watford Junction Railway Station Stop 6 and catch the 10 bus to Ashfields. It’s a 7-minute walk from there to Warner Bros. Studios.

See the Harry Potter and the Cursed Child theatre production

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child theatre building

Visit the Palace Theatre in London for Jack Thorne’s award-winning Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. Thorne’s play brings the cinematic world of our childhoods to the West End stage. It’s based on J. K. Rowling’s sequel to the Harry Potter series, set 19 years after the Deathly Hallows. It brings in fresh-faced actors and a new cast of characters, including the teenage descendants of Harry, Ginny, Ron, Hermione and Draco.

The stage show rivals the movie’s sets without the mechanised special effects. Suspenseful and replete with theatrical flourishes – puffs of smoke, floating bowler hats – Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is a must-see for fans of the films.

Price: Tickets start at £30. For the best prices, book in advance.

Harry Potter filming locations in London

Borough Market sign

London is your best starting place if you’re searching for the most iconic Harry Potter filming locations. While the movies are set in a magical, fictional Britain, many scenes were filmed on London streets.

In the spirit of Harry’s hunt for the seven horcruxes, we’ve listed seven Harry Potter filming locations in London for you to discover (although this should be easier…and won’t take as long)!

Australia House: Gringotts Bank

The first stop on our list is Gringotts, the goblin-governed wizard bank where Hagrid brings Harry to get money for his wizarding supplies. Australia House, on the Strand, was used for the building’s interior. It’s a beautiful building with towering pillars and marble-patterned floors, which serves as the London headquarters of the Australian High Commissioner. You can’t go inside the bank, but you might sneak a peek of the inside through its glass doors.

How to get there: Australia House is a 21-minute walk from London Waterloo. Alternatively, catch the 1 bus from Stop K, getting off at Aldwych Kingsway Stop F. It’s a 3-minute walk from there.

Leadenhall Market & Borough Market: Diagon Alley 

After Gringotts, Harry enters Diagon Alley through the Leaky Cauldron pub (now London Migraine Clinic, Bull’s Head Passage, Borough Market).

How to get there: Borough Market is a 25-minute walk from London Waterloo. Or take the Jubilee line to London Bridge, walking 3 minutes to the market.

Diagon Alley is the wizarding community’s bustling shopping hub where Harry gets his first wand, cauldron and owl, Hedwig. It was filmed in Leadenhall Market, a great spot to rest your legs on a Harry Potter filming locations walking tour. Grab a bite from one of the many restaurants – you’ve all the world’s cuisines to choose from.

How to get there: Take the Waterloo & City line to Bank from London Waterloo. It’s an 8-minute walk from there.

King’s Cross: Platform 9 ¾

After collecting his supplies, Harry passes through a portal at King’s Cross station between platforms 9 and 10 (Platform 9¾), which takes him to the wizarding world. There’s no such platform, but the station master at King’s Cross had a Platform 9¾ sign put up, and a trolley sticks out of the wall in the scene’s honour. It’s now a popular tourist spot where you can take your photo with the trolley as if passing through the portal yourself.

How to get there: From London Waterloo, catch the Bakerloo line to Oxford Circus, changing for the Victoria line to King’s Cross St. Pancras. The journey takes 18 minutes.

Surbiton station: Harry reads the Daily Prophet

The train station where Harry meets Dumbledore in The Half-Blood Prince is our very own Surbiton station. He’s seen in a café reading the Daily Prophet and tells Dumbledore he’s there because he likes riding around on trains; it takes his mind off things (we agree!).

Sadly, our trains never featured in the films, but Surbiton station does. It’s a beautiful Art Deco-style building, and we’ll take you there directly from London Waterloo.

How to get there: South Western Railway services take you to Surbiton from London Waterloo in just 20 minutes.

Scotland Place: Ministry of Magic

Scotland Place in Whitehall, just a stone’s throw from the Muggle Prime Minister’s home in 10 Downing Street, is the entrance to the Ministry of Magic. Harry descends into the Ministry through a lift disguised as a telephone box in The Order of the Phoenix. Although you won’t find an iconic red phone box here, there are hundreds dotted around London, so hop in one on your way to Scotland Place!

How to get there: From London Waterloo, Scotland Place is a 17-minute walk via Golden Jubilee Bridges.

Lambeth Bridge, Waterloo Bridge & the Millennium Bridge: Various scenes

London’s famous bridges feature throughout the Harry Potter series, producing some of the films’ most breathtaking scenes.

One iconic scene in The Prisoner of Azkaban sees Harry on the Knight Bus, squeezing between two double-decker buses. You’ll see plenty of these iconic red buses on your way to Lambeth Bridge, where the scene was shot!

How to get there: Lambeth Bridge is a 19-minute walk from London Waterloo.

In the opening scene of The Half-Blood Prince, we have a Death Eater’s-eye view of the capital as they fly over Trafalgar Square. They swarm the Millennium Bridge, which crashes into the Thames, taking hundreds of muggles with it. You can walk over the same bridge, safe, knowing that Death Eaters won’t swarm it.

How to get there: The Millennium Bridge is a 21-minute walk from London Waterloo. Or you can catch the Jubilee line to Southwark station, then walk 14 minutes to the bridge.

In The Order of the Phoenix, against the backdrop of London’s night-time skyline, Harry and the Order pass by Tower Bridge on their broomsticks.

How to get there: Tower Bridge is a 37-minute walk from London Waterloo. Or you can take the Jubilee line to London Bridge station, then walk 12 minutes to Tower Bridge.

Harry Potter-themed activities

Browse the Platform 9¾ shop

The Harry Potter Shop at Platform 9¾ in King’s Cross is a one-stop shop for your wizarding supplies. Choose your wand and a trunk to carry everything, and stock up on Butterbeer and Bertie Bott’s Every Flavour Beans before catching the train to Hogwarts!

Visit the House of MinaLima

MinaLima is the graphics company behind the Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts films. Browse Harry Potter merchandise in the shop and geek out over the graphics and props from the films in the gallery.

How to get there: Hop on the Northern line to Tottenham Court Road from London Waterloo. It’s a 6-minute walk from there.

Test your magic at a Harry Potter escape room

Escape rooms are all the rage right now – and rightly so! They’re fun, engaging and social. So, why not test your magic with loved ones at a Harry Potter-themed escape room? Enigma Quests has created the perfect escape rooms for Potterheads. Don your cloak, ready your wand and immerse yourself in the wizarding world.

How to get there: Catch the Waterloo & City line to Bank from London Waterloo. Walk 12 minutes to Enigma Quests.

Enjoy a Harry Potter-themed afternoon tea

Cutter & Squidge bakery serves Soho’s best Potter-themed afternoon tea parties! You’ll get unlimited sweet and savoury treats and bottomless tea, prosecco, and G&T. Set your wand aside and delight in delicious potions like Rum Butter Soda and Unicorn Sours.

How to get there: From London Waterloo, take the Bakerloo line to Piccadilly Circus. Walk 4 minutes to the bakery.

If you’re planning a weekend in London, book your train tickets in advance for the best prices. Browse our ticket types to find cheap train tickets and discover further savings with a Railcard or GroupSave.

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