The ultimate muggle guide to discover Harry Potter in London!
Calling all Harry Potter fans for this one! J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter‘s author, is British and spent most of her life in London, Edinburgh and Porto.
These 3 places became part of the inspiration for the books and later on the movies.
The Harry Potter movies were mainly filmed in London, in the Warner Bros studios (Watford) and in central London.
If you are going to the capital soon, there are many activities that will help you discover the world of Harry Potter in London.
Most of these activities can be fitted on a weekend so if you fancy becoming a wizard during your weekend in London, this article is for you!
We have put together a set of Harry Potter activities in London for all budgets.
Ready? Take your broomstick and let’s roll! (or maybe fly in this case?)
We will tell you everything you need to know about Warner Bros Studios, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child play, Harry Potter tours and filming locations.
Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning I get a commission if you decide to make a purchase through my links, at no extra cost for you!
Warner Bros Studios: The Making of Harry Potter
If you are a true Potterhead, the Harry Potter Studios in London should be at the top of your bucket list!
For over a decade, the Warner Bros Studios in Watford were the home of the Harry Potter crew. Once all the movies were finalised and released, Warner Bros opened their studios to the public.
This gives you a unique opportunity to discover how the 8 Harry Potter movies were filmed. It is a truly unique experience whether you are a fan or not.
If you’ve been to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando or California, you will quickly see that it’s not comparable at all. The Warner Bros Studios aren’t a theme park but almost a Harry Potter museum!
The Making of Harry Potter tour has been specifically designed to show you how the movies were made from A to Z. It’s extremely informative while very entertaining.
You can choose to go at your own pace. Although you book a time slot to start the tour, you’re more than welcome to stay until they close (at 10 pm) if you wish.
PRO TIP: Always book the first slot available so you get more time on-site! If you want to leave early it’s not a problem but if you want to stay longer, you will get to do so.
You will go through the main sets such as the great hall, the forest, the Gringotts bank, diagonal alley… and discover everything about the movies.
Several packages are available but the standard admission price is £47 for adults and £38 for children.
There are also some gift options available. You don’t need to choose a date and the gift will be sent to the person of your choice in a Harry Potter envelope or box.
If you choose to book your tour with transfer included, it will cost between £70 and £90. You can head here for more information and bookings.
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child play
Who says London, says theatre and musicals! If you are a Harry Potter fan, going to see the Harry Potter play in London West End is a must-do! Especially since this play is only performed in a few cities in the world and London is one of them.
This is a 2-part play and to make the best of it, you need make sure you are booking both parts.
The play is performed every day. There are two performance, a matinee and an evening one.
Although this may sound a bit long, it’s not! Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is one of the best theatre show you can see. Magic, cliffhangers, funny sentences… there is a bit of everything.
Even people who aren’t Harry Potter fans are amazed by it!
Prices range from £15 (at the back in the balcony) to £80 for VIP seats. Obviously, the more expensive the ticket is, the better the seat is but even the £15 tickets are good.
Getting tickets for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child London can be a bit tricky. New dates are released each quarter and tickets generally are sold out for the next 6 months, so it’s better to plan in advance.
You can book your tickets on the ATG theatre website and Nimax Theatres website.
Take a photo at Platform 9 3/4
In the Harry Potter movies, platform 9 3/4 is located in King’s Cross Station. Well, we have good news for you! In real life as well!
You can find it at the entrance of the station, just next to the Harry Potter shop.
No need to buy a ticket to access platform 9, they made it easy for you and you don’t need to go that far.
It’s also important to note that this is one of the rare free Harry Potter things to do in London.
You can easily get there with the tube however, make sure you walk from the tube station to the actual train station. It’s pretty well indicated but if you have a doubt, just ask someone. Everyone knows where it is.
It’s important to note that this is a busy location. Visitors from all around the world come to London to see this specific spot. To beat the crowds, make sure to come in early. Otherwise, you will have to wait in line for a long time before you get your photo taken.
You do not need to pay for the professional photo but no matter what, there will be a member of staff from the shop giving a scarf of the house of your shop. S/he will also hold it so it looks like it’s flying on your photo. You just need to put your hands on the trolley and that’s done!
If you are travelling alone, be careful when you ask someone else to take your photo as the area is known for its pickpockets as well. Nothing to be overly concerned about but always good to know.
Discovering the Harry Potter Filming Locations in London
A lot of scenes in the Harry Potter movies were filmed in London. If you want to make the best of your stay in London, go on a little Harry Potter hunt. Here are some Harry Potter filming locations you should check out:
- London Bridge and the Tower of London
- Piccadilly Circus
- Kings Cross station and St Pancras International
- London Zoo & Reptile House
- Millennium Bridge
- Charing Cross Road
- Leadenhall Market
- Australia House
- Westminster Tube Station
- Lambeth Bridge
You can go check out those amazing Harry Potter filming locations in London by yourself or go on a tour. To make the best of the experience, I’d recommend going on a HP tour with cruise!
During the tour, you will get to discover the best of the wizarding world of Harry Potter in London and enjoy some beautiful views from the river Thames! Ideal for those who want to hit two birds with one stone! For more information and bookings, check out this page.
It’s important to note that if you go to all these locations, you will get to see all the best attractions in London!
Harry Potter walking tour London
If you are truly interested in Harry Potter in London, you should opt for a walking tour.
Here is how it works. You will be meeting your guide at Southwark View Point and start walking to all the Harry Potter locations in London.
All guides are huge Harry Potter fans and know absolutely everything. It’s quite entertaining and they will sort you into the different Hogwarts houses and keep scores. By the end of the tour, one house will be the winner!
You will discover absolutely everything related to Harry Potter in London which includes filming locations but also places of inspiration such as the real-life version of Diagon Alley in London.
It lasts about 2 hours but can be a bit longer if you book the Thames cruise option.
All in all, that’s an excellent way to spend your time in London and hit two birds with one stone. You’ll learn plenty about Harry Potter but will also discover the famous landmarks.
Magical Cocktail Making Class at the Cauldron
This is such a fun Harry Potter thing to do in London if you are a foodie and love cocktails.
London is home to some Harry Potter themed bars. Amongst them is the Cauldron. Located in Shacklewell, this potion bar is a must-see for any Harry Potter fans!
You can grab a drink and discover the magical universe they created but for the full experience, make sure to book a potion cocktail making class.
You will learn how to make delicious cocktails that look like potions!
Escape room at the School of Witchcraft and Wizardry
Enigma Quests is an escape room located just behind Liverpool Station. They offer several types of escape room experiences but they are famous for their Harry Potter themed one.
It lasts 1 hour and you will need to be minimum of 3 people to play.
Like any escape room, you will be given some clues and puzzles to solve to escape the room (although, as a little Wizard that you are you may not want to leave!).
Everything is Harry Potter-themed which means you’ll feel like you are in Hogwarts!
Wizard robes, feathers, spell books… it truly has it all and is the perfect thing to do if you are looking for a fun Harry Potter activity to do in London with friends.
Harry Potter themed Afternoon Tea
This is another Harry Potter activity in London for foodies! Cutter and Squidge is a small bakery located in the heart of Soho, central London.
They offer a fully Harry Potter themed afternoon tea! The room is entirely decorated and will make you feel like you are in Diagon Alley.
This is a very wholesome experience as you will get an afternoon tea of course, which includes sandwiches and drinks but will also be welcome by the cocktail master who will teach you how to make potions.
You’ll be given a wizard robe as well which is perfect for photos!
Harry Potter Scavenger Hunt in London
If you love outdoor games, this Harry Potter scavenger hunt will be perfect for you!
Here is how it works. You will be given access to an app where you can find the game. There are several puzzles and clues. Each one will lead you to a new place. This is a great way to discover the best Harry Potter locations in London in a fun and interactive way.
If you don’t really like walking tours and listening to a guide, that’s a great alternative.
It’s also worth noting that you can do it whenever you want so it can be fitted in any schedule or itinerary.
Harry Potter Bus Tour
London is quite a big city and walking all around it can be quite tiring. If you don’t feel like walking that much but still want to see all the Harry Potter sites, you can opt for a bus tour.
You will get to discover the Ministry of Magic, Platform 9 ¾, the place where the Knight Bus squeezed through the oncoming double-decker buses, the entrance of the Leaky Cauldron and the Gringotts Bank.
Visiting House of MinaLima
Located in Soho, the House of MinaLima is a gallery and shop that showcases all things Harry Potter. As you are roaming around London, you may just walk past it. If not, it’s well worth a detour.
The facade is Harry Potter themed so you can’t miss it.
Inside, you’ll find flying letters from Hogwarts, the Marauder’s map and plenty more!
The shop is run by two designers who worked on the Harry Potter movies which means that their work is original and as close as you can get from the props you can see in the studios.
You are welcome to just swing by and have a look around but if you want to buy some souvenirs, this will be an excellent place to do so. They also offer a free guided tour of their museum.
Here is the address: 157 Wardour St, London W1F 8WQ
Harry Potter and Fantastic beasts walking tour
If you love HP, chances are you also like Fantastic Beasts! If you want to discover both during your time in London, you may want to consider a walking tour that includes both.
It is pretty similar to the tour previously mentioned but the guides will also tell you a few things about Fantastic Beasts. No need to do both, just pick one or another.
Discovering Cecil Court and Goodwin’s Court
Located right off Charing Cross Road, Cecil Court is believed to be one of the streets that inspired Diagon Alley.
JK Rowling used to live in London at some point and although Victoria Street in Edinburgh is more similar to Diagon Alley, Cecil Court has some striking similarities as well.
The small street is home to fantastic book shops and their windows are very similar to some of the shops we see in the movies.
A bit further up towards Covent Garden, you’ll find Goodwin’s Court. This is a bit of a hidden gem in London. It’s a very small alley that is also believed to be one of the sources of inspiration. According to the guide from the Harry Potter walking tour, the producers of the movies even visited and took some measurements here to then build the set in the studios.
Harry Potter Themed Tour of London by Black Taxi Cab
This one is goodie for first timers. As you know, England is famous for its black taxis. As much as you can take them for a normal taxi ride, you can also opt for a black taxi tour and this one is entirely Harry Potter themed!
Basically, you will meet with your driver and he will bring you to all the Harry Potter spots in the city.
This is perfect if you are looking for something typically British and want to take awesome photos.
The tour lasts 3 hours and starts at the corner of Hyde Park.
Harry Potter shops in London
London is home to some of the best Harry Potter shops in the world! Here are the places where you can find the official shops:
– The Harry Potter Shop at Platform 9 3/4: Located inside King’s Cross Station, right by the Platform 9 3/4, this HP shop is a must for all fans! You will find all the wands in the world and many other related items! It very much feels like Ollivanders shop! This shop is accessible for everyone, you don’t need to buy a ticket or anything of the kind, just walk into the station and the shop!
– The Warner Bros Studio Harry Potter shop: This one is way bigger and you will definitely find everything you need there! One thing though, you need a ticket for the studios to be able to access it.
– Harry Potter merchandise shop at the Palace Theatre: If you go to see the HP play, you will find in the lobby of the Palace theatre some merchandise items to buy. That’s where I got my Gryffindor hat (the one you see on the photos in this article).
Stay in a Harry Potter-themed hotel in London
Staying at the Georgian House Hotel is the ultimate Harry Potter experience in London. At first sight, this is a normal hotel but they actually offer Harry Potter themed rooms!
They have many rooms for Harry Potter fans, featuring the different Hogwarts houses. Make sure to pick your favourite!
They are decorated like the Hogwarts dorm but are topped up with luxury amenities. Some are perfect for couples but you will also find Harry Potter rooms that are suitable for families or group of friends.
Pretty awesome right? Perfect for those who want to have the most awesome wizarding experience in London.
Harry Potter Pub Quiz
It’s no secret that the Brits always love a good pub quiz! As you stroll around London, you’ll notice that most pubs organise quiz nights and some of them are themed.
You will find quite a few pubs in London that offer Harry Potter pub quiz nights. Obviously, due to the nature of this event, the dates change and you never know when it will be on but you should check the Wizardry Quiz Nights as they organise both pub quizzes in London and virtual HP pub quizzes.
Harry Potter Day trip to Oxford
London is not the only Harry Potter location in the UK. There are many of them and one of the nearest to the British capital is Oxford.
This small town is known for its famous university and is also a great place to visit if you love Harry Potter.
Some of the colleges including New College, Christ Church and the Bodleian Library were used as filming locations in the Harry Potter movies.
You can easily get to Oxford by train from London. It only takes 50 minutes and is pretty cheap. See fares here.
Once you arrive in Oxford, you can explore the town on foot or opt for a guided tour of Oxford, Harry Potter version of course! Click here to see the prices.
Alternatively, you can opt for a day tour that includes both the Harry Potter Studios and Oxford. This is a great way to hit two birds with one stone and make the best of your time in London.
Harry Potter day trip to Gloucester and Lacock
If you are looking for another day trip from London, you may want to consider this Harry Potter tour to Gloucester.
It takes the entire day and includes transportation and entry fees.
You will be heading to the beautiful Cotswolds where you can find a couple more filming locations such as two Hogwarts classrooms (Professor Snape’s potion room and Professor Quirrell’s Defence Against the Dark Arts classroom).
It’s also a great opportunity to discover some of the most beautiful villages in the UK!
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