For the better part of the past two decades, the Harry Potter books and films have enriched the lives of millions of readers across the world. They have also introduced foreign readers and moviegoers to the wonderful country that is England. From the gorgeous film locations showcasing some of the country’s most magical places to J.K. Rowling’s amazingly detailed stories about life (both magical and non-magical) in Britain, Harry Potter has provided a wonderful introduction to the United Kingdom, and to its capital London.
London has played a big part in the Harry Potter universe. It’s the fictional home of some of the most astonishing places in each book, such as the Ministry of Magic, Platform 9 ¾ and Diagon Alley. London was also emphatically used in the Harry Potter movies to bring the magical universe of these novels to life. Today, you can still find many of the wondrous Harry Potter locations from the books and the movies in London. These locations aren’t just great fun to visit for Harry Potter fans, but also provide visitors with the chance to discover some fantastic lesser-known landmarks in London they wouldn’t necessarily see otherwise. We’ve compiled a list of our top 10 Harry Potter locations in London to inspire you to go on a magical exploration of the city!
1. Platform 9 ¾ at King’s Cross Station
2. The Reptile House at the London Zoo
Another defining moment for Harry took place at the London Zoo in Regent’s Park in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. While visiting the Reptile House with the Dursleys, Harry found out he could talk to snakes, and accidentally released a huge boa constrictor. The first Harry Potter film also shot this scene in the Reptile House, and you’ll find a plaque beside the tank that held the snake in the movie, but in reality is home to a black mamba. Also be sure to explore the other parts of the London Zoo, which is a great attraction for kids. For more family-friendly activities, see Visit London with the Kids.
3. Diagon Alley at Leadenhall Market
4. Gringotts at Australia House
5. Grimmauld Place at Claremont Square
To see what it’s like to stay in one of these gorgeous townhouses, check out this 1-bedroom apartment on Elgin Crescent in Notting Hill. This loft apartment has access to a magical private garden, the likes of which you can only find in London. Furthermore, by staying in an apartment during your visit to the city you’ll get to see what it’s like to live in London like a local! Have a look at our other vacation rental apartments in London to see our whole selection.
6. London City Hall
The Harry Potter movies added some beautiful modern landmarks that weren’t mentioned in the books. London City Hall, the headquarters of the Greater London Authority, was featured in one of the first scenes of the film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. The unusually shaped building is located next to Tower Bridge on the south bank of the River Thames. In the movie, employees of City Hall witnessed a Death Eater attack on the Millennium Bridge, which is the next modern landmark on this list.
7. Millennium Bridge
In the books, only an attack on a (different) bridge is mentioned. However, in the 6th movie of the series moviegoers get to see how the Death Eaters destroy the Millennium Bridge, a pedestrian bridge crossing the River Thames in London. Luckily, in reality the Millennium Bridge is still very much intact, and provides a wonderful view of the River Thames, Tower Bridge and the nearby St Paul’s Cathedral.
8. Surbiton Railway Station & Westminster Tube Station
In the movie Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Harry reads about the attack on Millennium Bridge while sitting in a café inside a train station, which is also where he is picked up by Dumbledore. The café and platform are both inside the Surbiton Railway Station, southwest of London in the suburbs. If you find the station to be a little too far out of the way, the Westminster Tube Station is a great alternative. This London Underground station was featured in the 5th movie, as Harry and Mr. Weasley pass through it on their way to the Ministry. This station is right outside the Big Ben and Houses of Parliament, so it’s a nice place to visit if you want to check out some of the most famous landmarks in London.
9. Professor Flitwick’s Classroom at Harrow School
Tiny professor Flitwick teaches Charms at Hogwarts. The Charms classroom used in the movies is actually the Fourth Form Room at real-life boarding school Harrow. The ancient school for boys dates back to the 16th century, and the building and grounds are absolutely gorgeous. During a tour of Harrow School you won’t only visit the Fourth Form Room, but also discover how top-notch boarding schools in Britain operate. You can easily travel to Harrow from King’s Cross Station.
10. No 4, Privet Drive, Little Whinging at 12 Picket Post Close, Berkshire
Bonus: Warner Brothers Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter
We hope you’ve enjoyed this list of Harry Potter locations in London! If you’re looking for more movie magic while in the city, have a look at our Landmark Cinemas in London. Have you ever visited one of the Harry Potter locations in London?