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A Self-Guided Harry Potter London Tour

A step-by-step itinerary to explore the most magical Harry Potter sites in the capital

Harry Potter’s birthday took place on July 31 and in his honour, we’ve created this detailed itinerary across London so you can visit these wonderful locations in person.

This walking guide aims to be a comprehensive compilation of the Harry Potter filming locations in the capital. We’ve mentioned some of these places and fun facts in our book and hope you get to see them with your own eyes sometime. If you have more time and wish to explore further, make sure you extend your visit to Oxford, Edinburgh and — of course — the Warner Bros. Studios.

The Harry Potter books and movies are one of the coolest literary works of our times and visiting the key places in person is pretty amazing! On the other hand, we assumed you read the books and watched the movies because if not… spoiler warning.

Without further ado, hold your wands, adjust your broomsticks and let’s begin our guide to finding Harry Potter in London!


If you’d like to see these and more Harry Potter film locations in real life, join our walking Harry Potter Tour.


1. Piccadilly Circus

Harry Potter Piccadilly Circus
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part 1

MovieHarry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part 1 (2010)
Location: 1–7 Shaftesbury Ave, W1D 7ET
Description
: Though there are no metallic fences anymore, one can quickly recognise the beautiful buildings around Piccadilly Circus and the traffic island where Ron, Hermione, and Harry narrowly avoided being hit by a London bus. Number 19 to be precise, which is quite frequent. Piccadilly Circus, a hugely busy location, was a challenge to film. In fact, it was closed to the public from midnight to the early morning hours in order to be able to film the scene (which is 28 seconds only). The shopkeepers left the lights on in their stores to make the scene more realistic while filming 😂

2. Trafalgar Square

Harry Potter Trafalgar Square
Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince (2009)

MovieHarry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince (2009)
Location: 1–7 Shaftesbury Ave, W1D 7ET
Description
: In the summer of 1996, Fenrir Greyback and a small group of Death Eaters flew across Trafalgar Square on their way to Diagon Alley, where they kidnapped Garrick Ollivander. The opening scene of the movie starts at London City Hall with incredulous workers looking at a very dark sky. Across the sequence, one can see other important buildings such as St Martin-in-the-Fields and Centre Point. Fun fact: We know the name of Ollivander thanks to the books, as it is never mentioned in the movies. By the way, the inspiration behind his name is this theatre.

3. Scotland Place

Harry Potter Scotland Place
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007)
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 (2010)

MovieHarry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007) and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 (2010)
Location: 15 Scotland Pl, SW1A 2BD
Description: Scotland Yard — known as the Metropolitan Police headquarters — is where Harry and Arthur Weasley enter the Ministry of magic (using the guest entrance). The phone box, which is the entrance to the wizard worlds authoritative body, doesn’t actually exist, it’s a prop. On the contrary, all the bollards were removed for the scenes but were installed back after the filming was over. Scotland Yard appears a second time on Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 just before Harry, Ron and Hermione use Polyjuice Potion to enter the Ministry undetected.

4. Ministry of Defense

Harry Potter Ministry of Defense
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1

MovieHarry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 (2010)
Location: Horse Guards Ave, SW1A 2ET
Description
: After Ron, Harry Potter and Hermione transform into Reginald Cattermole, Albert Runcorn and Mafalda Hopkirk respectively, they head to the Ministry of magic in order to steal one of Voldemort’s Horcruxes, Salazar Slytherin’s Locket, which is in the possession of Dolores Umbridge. For it, they go to the underground toilets in Whitehall. The perspective of the scene is brilliant as the “GENTLEMEN” iron railings were located on top of a statue (which obviously couldn’t be moved). Although the street is real, there’s no sign whatsoever. 🚽

5. Westminster Tube

Harry Potter Westminster Tube
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007)

MovieHarry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007)
Location: Westminster, SW1A 2JR
Description
: Harry and Mr. Weasley travel through Westminster Station on their way to the Ministry of Magic. When reaching the ticket barriers at the exit, Mr. Weasley gets somewhat confounded and tries to tap his hand instead of an Oyster card (ha, it would have been nice to be able to tap just your hand to get through!). Fun fact: they exit the tube station by going downstairs. Who has ever exited a station by going down? Does the tube fly in the sky? 🤔 Ok… Canary Wharf does that.

6. Lambeth Bridge

Harry Potter Lambeth Bridge
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004)
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004)

MovieHarry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004)
Location: Lambeth Bridge, SE1 7SG
Description
: The Knight Bus, a purple triple-decker that assists stranded individuals of the wizarding community, is actually real. You can see it in person at the Warner Bros. Studios. Harry Potter, after being rescued from another terrible holiday with the Dursleys, speeds over Lambeth Bridge, squeezing between two regular London double-deckers. If you pay attention, you’ll be able to spot the stunning Lambeth Palace too.

7. Cecil and Goodwin’s Court

Harry Potter Real Diagon Alley
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (2001)

MovieHarry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (2001)
Location: Cecil Ct, Covent Garden, WC2N 4HE
Description
: Cecil Court is believed to have inspired Diagon Alley but the nearby Goodwin’s Court has also similarities to the picturesque, pedestrian-only little street. This 17th century alley houses original bow windows and gaslight lamps, which are mirrored in Diagon Alley’s shop fronts too.

8. Australia House, Strand

Harry Potter Gringotts BankMovieHarry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (2001)
Location: Australia House, Strand, WC2B 4LA
Description
: Though you would have never guessed from the outside, all the scenes for Gringott’s Bank were filmed inside the Australian High Commission’s Exhibition Room. The building, designed by Scottish architects, Alexander Marshall Mackenzie and his son, Alexander George Robertson Mackenzie was completed in 1918. Unfortunately, visitors are not allowed to enter the building, but it’s well worth snapping a picture of the exterior of this glamorous structure.


Note: You can easily arrange the previous locations on a walking itinerary. After this point, you’ll need other means of transport as distances are bigger.

9. Millennium Bridge

Harry Potter Millennium Bridge
Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince (2009)

MovieHarry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince (2009)
Location: Thames Embankment, SE1 9JE
Description
: If you’ve read page 198 of our London Guide, you’ll know that Millennium Bridge, built in 2000 by Foster + Partners, had some issues on the opening date. It turns out that it was unstable and it moved. In the architectural world dear wizard, movement and water are like “He Who Must Not Be Named” — dangerous. Fenrir Greyback and a small group of Death Eaters destroyed the bridge (in the movie that is). In fact, in the book it was the fictional Brockdale Bridge that was destroyed so David Yates was responsible for the joke.

10. Leadenhall Market

Harry Potter Leadenhall Market
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (2001)

MovieHarry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (2001)
Location: Gracechurch St, EC3V 1LT
Description
: This location is featured in several different movies, the first time during Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (2001). Harry Potter and Hagrid walk in front of Leadenhall Market — one of London’s oldest markets dating back to the 14th century — on their way to Diagon Alley. Which leads us to The Leaky Cauldron…

11. Bull’s Head Passage

Harry Potter Leaky Cauldron
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (2001)

MovieHarry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (2001)
Location: 41–42 Bull’s Head Passage, EC3V 1LT
Description
: This unassuming opticians shop is used as the entrance to The Leaky Cauldron, a favourite hangout for the magical community. Though the real shop’s door is no longer black but blue, one can quickly see the similarities. If you remember, the rear of the Leaky Cauldron opened up onto a chilly courtyard that contains the entrance to Diagon Alley.

12. Borough Market

Harry Potter Borough Market
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004)

MovieHarry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004)
Location: 8 Southwark St, SE1 1TL
Description
: The Leaky Cauldron actually has two filming locations: Leadenhall Market and Borough Market. Two of the oldest and most historical markets in London. During Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004), and just after going over Lambeth Bridge with the Knight Bus (see point 6 of this list), they arrive to the Leaky Cauldron, real life Borough Market (which is nowhere near the bridge). Funnily, the bus’s height posed a challenge as the vehicle was required to pass underneath bridges. To solve this problem, the top of the bus was designed to be removable 😱

13. King’s Cross Station

Harry Potter King's Cross Station
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (2001)

MovieHarry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (2001)
Location: Euston Rd, Kings Cross, N1 9AL
Description
: What’s so interesting about King’s Cross station is that if you actually go to the platforms, neither 9 nor 10 exist. The filming had to be done between platforms 4 and 5. In a 2001 BBC interview, J.K. Rowling admitted that because she was living in Manchester when she was writing the first Harry Potter novel, she had unknowingly confused Euston Station with King’s Cross Station. And indeed Euston Station has both platforms 9 and 10. Our favourite fact of King’s Cross though? It has quite a unique platform of its own, number 0. But you won’t be able to snap a photo of it unless you’re boarding a train to leave London. Don’t miss the official Harry Potter Shop at Platform 9 ¾ in King’s Cross.

14. St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel

Harry Potter St Pancras HotelMovieHarry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002)
Location: Euston Rd, Kings Cross, NW1 2AR
Description
: After Harry and Ron couldn’t make it through King’s Cross Hogwarts Express, they decided to fly Ron’s car to the school. The Neo-Gothic façade of the St Pancras Renaissance Hotel can be seen in the background while Harry and Ron fly past St Pancras in the Weasley’s Ford Anglia 🚙

15. The River Thames

Harry Potter The River Thames
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007)

MovieHarry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007)
Location: Several locations across the river
Description
: Harry and his friends wildly fly along the river Thames on their broomsticks. Canary Wharf is seen on the background and the following scenes include Southwark Bridge, Tower Bridge, HMS Belfast, London Bridge, Blackfriars Bridge, Westminster Bridge and Parliament narrowly avoiding a cruise ship as they fly in the darkness.

16. London Zoo

Harry Potter London Zoo
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (2001)

MovieHarry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (2001)
Location: Outer Cir, NW1 4RY
Description
: And last but not least, London Zoo, where Harry and the Dursleys spend Dudley’s birthday. It’s in the zoo’s reptile house where Harry discovers he can speak to snakes (Parseltongue) while standing next to a tank housing a Burmese python. In fact, a plaque next to this enclosure was added afterwards to commemorates the iconic scene. Nowadays, a black mamba is currently in that allocated space 🐍

If you’d like to see these and more Harry Potter film locations in real life, join our walking Harry Potter Tour.


These and other amazing locations on Architectour Guide of London

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