Are you a Harry Potter fan heading to London? If so, this is the guide for you.
Like you, I’ve read the books and seen the films many times. The fantasy novels are a pop culture happening extraordinaire, full of heroism and villainy.
The good news is that you can find wizarding magic all over London. I’ll tell you how to uncover all the Harry Potter filming locations and places to visit in London.
Many of the filming locations used in the Harry Potter movies are actually famous attractions in London in their own right. So you can geek out while checking items off your London bucket list.
Where was Harry Potter Filmed?
The Harry Potter films were filmed in the United Kingdom and Ireland.
Many real-world locations were used for scenes in the movies. All of the eight Harry Potter movie have scenes that were filmed in London
Other scenes were filmed at the Warner Brothers studio just outside of London.
Harry Potter Tours in London
To make sure you see all the Harry Potter filming locations, you may want to book a guided tour. The guides are incredibly well informed and make it a fun adventure.
There are several options:
- 2.5 hour guided Harry Potter walking tour
- 2 hour private walking tour
- 3 hour private Harry Potter tour (for families & kids)
- 3 hour private Harry Potter walking tour
- 3 hour guided bus tour
You can even book a Harry Potter photoshoot.
Guide To 20+ Harry Potter Places & Filming Locations In London
Here’s my list of 20+ must visit Harry Potter filming locations and places in London. It’s no Marauder’s Map.
But you can just wave your magic wand and be transported to these Potterhead destinations. You may feel like you’re in the movies.
I also give you tips for visiting other Harry Potter filming locations right outside London.
1. King’s Cross Station
King’s Cross Station is one of the main train stations in London. The station opened in 1852 and has since been renovated and expanded.
You’ll see this tube station in virtually all the Harry Potter movies. It’s the magical place where Hogwarts students board the Hogwarts Express train to Hogwarts.
2. St. Pancras Station
St Pancras is a high-speed railway terminus. It’s the station you go to for transport to other countries, including Belgium, France and the Netherlands.
St Pancras is right next door to Kings Cross Station. The exterior of St. Pancras station doubles as the exterior of King’s Cross Station in the movies. It’s a much prettier facade than King’s Cross.
You’ll see it in Chamber of Secrets. When Ron and Harry miss the Hogwarts Express at the beginning of the movie, they steal the family car. They take off just outside of the beautiful St. Pancras station.
3. Platform 9 3/4
The 9 3/4 platform is a secret platform that only wizards can use to board the Hogwarts Express. Today, it’s just a trolley in a wall at King’s Cross Station.
It’s located between platforms 4 and 5 in the main atrium. And it’s a full on tourist attraction, which opens at 8:00 am.
It’s not the original trolley used in the movies. That was displaced during construction.
Naturally, there’s the proverbial gift shop next door and people offering to take your “professional” photo with a Harry Potter scarf. Unfortunately, you will likely have a 30 minute to one hour wait for a photo op.
4. Leadenhall Market
Leadenhall Market is another Harry Potter place in London. It’s an old covered market in central London used as a Harry Potter filming location. It dates back to the 14th century.
It has Victorian style architecture with a beautiful glass roof and cobbled floors. It’s located smack in the middle of the financial district, so it’s a busy place.
The market appears in The Philosopher’s Stone. Harry and Hagrid are on their way to Diagon Alley via the Leaky Cauldron, the immortal wizarding pub.
They enter the glass roofed market and approach the store at 42 Bull’s Head Passage, which is the entry to the Leaky Cauldron. It’s now an optician’s shop.
5. Borough Market
In Prisoner of Azkaban, the entrance to the Leaky Cauldron moved to Borough Market. The Leaky Cauldron is actually Chez Michele flower shop.
This is probably my favorite market in London. It combines beauty and delicious food. You’re spoiled for choice. I like the Curry stall and the Ethiopian stall. Oh, and always expect crowds.
In the movie, Harry gets dropped off by the Knight Bus. We see him disembark on Stoney Street, between Park & Southwark, at the southeast edge of Borough Market.
6. London City Hall
As you’ll recall, right before the Death Eater rampage, there’s an opening shot in the movie showing Muggles peering out the window.
This scene was shot in the London City Hall, right on the Thames. London City Hall is the home the Mayor of London and the Land Assembly. It was designed by Norman Foster.
Its bulbous design stands on the South Bank. Like many London business buildings it has a nickname, the “glass testicle.”
While City Hall isn’t a big tourist draw in and of itself, it does offer wonderful views of the beautiful Tower Bridge.
7. Millennium Bridge
Millennium Bridge is an iconic Harry Potter filming location in London. The death eaters destroy the Millennium Bridge in the beginning of the Half Blood Prince. It snaps and breaks as a result of the attack and falls into the Thames.
You can see the London Eye during this opening scene as well. Millennium Bridge was named Brockdale Bridge in the books.
You’ll definitely want to walk across this bridge in London. It connects the Tate Modern with St. Paul’s Cathedral and offers up spectacular views.
8. Lambeth Bridge
In Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Harry takes the triple-decker Knight Bus when he runs away from home.
This happened after a fantastic opening scene when Harry mischievously used his wizarding powers to make his wretched aunt bloat up and float away.
In the scene, you’ll see the Night Bus squeeze between two double decker muggle buses on Lambeth Bridge.
9. Spiral Staircase In St. Paul’s Cathedral
St. Paul’s Cathedral is an Anglican cathedral that acts as the seat of the Bishop of London. Built by Christopher Wren in the late 17th century, it’s one of the top attractions in London.
If you hike up to the tip top and enter the Golden Gallery, you’ll have beautiful panoramic views of the city.
The cathedral is also a place Potterheads need to visit. In the Half-Blood Prince, the dome of St. Paul’s was used as a backdrop for the scene where the Death Eaters destroy Millenium Bridge.
There’s also a secret spiral staircase in the cathedral bell tower. The staircase was used in the Prisoner of Azkaban. It was the Divination Staircase used to gain access to Professor Trelawney’s Divination classroom.
You can’t access the staircase on a standard visit to St. Paul’s. You will only see it on a guided Harry Potter tour or a private tour.
The key to unlock the staircase is massive and clunky, something you’d expect to see in the Harry Potter movies.
10. Claremont Square
Claremont Square is another Harry Potter filming location. It’s just a short walk from King’s Cross Station.
The houses on the square served as 12 Grimmauld Place in the Harry Potter movies. There’s no street with that name IRL.
Grimauld was the ancestral home of Sirius Black and the headquarters of the Order of the Phoenix. In Harry Potter lore, 12 Grimmauld Place is in a Muggle neighborhood and protected by a Fidelius Charm. Only magical wizards can see the house.
Eventually, Harry inherited 12 Grimmauld Place from Sirius and it continued as a hideout for the Order. The official address for this Harry Potter filming location is Number 23-29 Claremont Square, Islington, London N1 9LX.
11. Scotland Yard
The exterior of Scotland Yard served as the exterior for the Ministry of Magic in the Harry Potter films. You’ll find the building between Scotland Place and New Scotland Yard. Filming was done on Great Scotland Yard.
In the movie Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, Harry and Mr. Weasly enter the Ministry of Magic through a red phone booth in the real life area of Scotland Place.
The phone booth that served as the entry was a prop brought back just for filming. The original had been removed because it drew too many tourists. You can see the actual holes in the building where it once stood.
12. Westminster Station
This tube station was used in the Order of the Phoenix. Harry and Mr. Weasley use it to travel to Harry’s hearing at the Ministry of Magic.
Mr. Weasley is baffled as to how to use the ticket machines.
13. Trafalgar Square
Trafalgar Square is in the very heart of London. It’s the location of the National Gallery of Art, one of the top attractions in London.
In the Half Blood Prince you can see the death eaters flying above the square, on their way to Diagon Alley.
14. Piccadilly Circus
Piccadilly Circus is located close to many of the biggest shopping and entertainment centers in London. It appears in Deathly Hallow Part I.
We see our three intrepid heroes arrive there after they escape the death eaters crashing Bill and Fleur’s wedding.
They land amid tacky souvenir shops and chain stores. As they rush through the bustling area, they’re almost hit by a double decker bus.
This is not a part of London you need to put on your itinerary. But you may walk through here en route to other places or to see a show.
15. Inspiration for Diagon Alley
You’ll find the actual Disgon Alley at the Warner Brothers Studio. But I had two different guides show me lanes in Covent Garden that may have been the inspiration for Diagon Alley.
One is Cecil Court. It’s a quaint lane that leads off from Charing Cross Road and is said to be J.K Rowling’s favorite street in London. Cecil Court is home to many obscure book shops selling books about witchcraft and magic
The other possible inspiration for Dragon Alley is Godwin’s Court. It’s a small alley dating back to 1627 lined with small shops.
One guide told me that the movie producers even took measurements on the street to help build the film set in the Warner Bros. Studio. Godwin’s has beautiful 17th century terrace houses, gaslit lamps, and bulging windows.
16. Australian Embassy Interior
Another, quite secret, Harry Potter filming location in London is found at the Australia House on the Strand. I only found this spot because I was on a private tour of London hidden gems.
The glorious marble interior of Australia House served as the interior for Gringotts, the wizards bank run by goblins in the Harry Potter films.
Or at least the inspiration for it. Some say Gringotts was modeled on the Vaults Nightclub in Exeter.
You can’t enter Australia House or take photos. But you can ask one of the security guards if you can walk in and take a peak through the glass door. You’ll see the giant crystal chandeliers from Gringotts.
17. Reptile House At London Zoo
The London Zoo is located just north of central London, and is the oldest scientific zoos in the world.
The London Zoo is where Harry first discovers he can talk to snakes in The Sorcerer’s Stone. He’s in the Reptile House.
When Harry starts speaking in parsletongue, the window to the snake enclosure disappears. A Burmese python is set free and Dudley falls into the pit.
18. House Of MinaLima
Need some Harry Potter gear or souvenirs? Head to the House of MinaLima on Greek Street in Soho. The shop was founded by two individuals who did the graphic design work for the Harry Potter films.
MinaLima showcases graphic art and merchandise based on the Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts films. It’s all set amid a Potter-themed decor.
19. National Portrait Gallery
Did you know there’s a J.K. Rowling portrait in the National Portrait Gallery? This is a great museum with world famous portraits of Queen Elizabeth, Sir Thomas More, and Ann Boleyn.
In her portrait, Rowling is seated at a table. The setting suggests the place where the author famously wrote her first novel.
20. Harry Potter and The Cursed Child
Are you a theater fan? You can head to the theater district to see the two part play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. It’s a stage play written by Rowling and others that follows the adventures of the children of Harry, Ron, and Hermione.
It’s set 19 years after the events in the Deathly Hallows. The play is very long, so will take most of your day. Part 1 is 2:40 and Part 2 is 2:35.
21. Harry Potter Statue
Did you know that there was a Harry Potter statue in Leicester Square?
In 2020, a life size statue of Daniel Radcliffe, as the fictional wizard Harry Potter, was unveiled in Leicester Square.
It captures the first moment Harry took flight on his Nimbus 2000 broom over the Hogwarts quidditch pitch in the series first film, The Philosopher’s Stone.
Leicester Square in London is famous for hosting big film premieres. This statue is close to where The Philosopher Stone had its world premiere back in November 2001.
22. Harry Potter Themed Afternoon Tea
Last but not least, there’s a Harry Potter activity for foodies!
The Soho bakery Cutter & Squidge offers an immersive Harry Potter themed afternoon tea.
It’s in their “Potions Room.” You’ll get cloaked up and take your seat at the school style desks.
A Potions Master will have you whisking up potions and all manner of concoctions. You’ll also have sandwiches, pastries, and tea.
Whether you take a tour or venture to all the best Harry Potter places in London on your own, you’re sure to have a great time.
However, once you see all the Harry Potter locations in London, one tour you simply must take is the Warner Brothers Studio Tour. I discuss that below.
Harry Potter Themed Hotel In London
With the public adoration of Harry Potter, it’s no surprise that there is Potter-themed hotel in London. If you want such a one-of-a-kind immersive experience, you can book at the Georgian Hotel.
It’s a boutique hotel with specially designed Enchanted Chambers and Wizard Chambers. The rooms are inspired by the film sets. You’ll be given a vintage skeleton key with an owl keychain to open your door.
If you want to book somewhere else in central London, where most of the Harry Potter places are located, these are some great options:
- Corinthia (gold leaf interior and an amazing spa)
- The Bloomsbury (elegant red brick building with a well stocked library)
- Rosewood London (restored Edwardian luxury)
- Ham Yard Hotel (cool boutique hotel in Soho)
- Dorchester (English country house style with a killer afternoon tea)
- Savoy (true luxury in the city center)
Need More Harry Potter Places To Visit?
If you’d like to visit more Harry Potter filming locations, you’re in luck. You can head to Warners Bros. Studio in Leavesden, Lacock, or Oxford. They’re all easy day trips from London.
1. Warner Bros. Studio
The Warner Bros. Studio is where the majority of the eight Harry Potter movies were filmed. When shooting was complete, Warner Bros. decided to turn the property into a tourist attraction.
And it’s an amazing place for Potterheads. The studio is home to an epic assortment of iconic sets, props, and costumes used during filming.
You’ll see original set pieces, like the Great Hall, Diagon Alley, the Forbidden Forest, and a model of Hogwarts. You can sip a butterbeer at the onsite cafe.
Click here to pre-book a ticket the the studio. They’re expensive, but it’s an incredibly unique experience. You can’t purchase a ticket onsite. You have to do it online.
You also have several options for guided day tours to the studio from London. You can book:
- a private 7 hour day trip tour from London
- a 5 hour small group tour from London
- a 5 hour making of Harry Potter tour
- a 7 hour guided tour with transport from London
- an 11 hour guided walking tour of London + Warner Bros Studio tour
Lacock is a quintessential English village just 25 minutes from Bath. The bite-sized townscape is dotted with centuries old half timber houses and stone cottages. Lush flower boxes are overflowing with colorful blooms.
Three of the eight Harry Potter films used Lacock as a filming location. As a result, Lacock is a pilgrimage site for die hard Potterheads.
Lacock is home to Lily and James Potter’s House in Godric’s Hollow. Lacock Abbey’s scenic cloisters doubled as Hogwarts and as Snape’s Potions Classroom in several films.
Oxford is home to more Harry Potter filming locations. You can easily visit Oxford on a day trip from London.
The Christ Church College is a stunning architectural gem in Oxford. The Tudor Great Hall was used as inspiration for the Hogwarts Great Hall. With its long table and high ceiling, you can see why. It’s just missing floating candles.
You can actually visit the Grand Stairway where Professor McGonagall meets Ron, Hermione, and Harry for the very first time.
The cloisters were used for some Hogwarts corridor scenes. For example, this is where, in the Sorcerer’s Stone, Hermione shows Harry the Quidditch trophy that his father won as a seeker.
The magnificent Bodleian Library in Oxford was also used extensively in many of the Harry Potter movies. The Bodleian’s Duke Humphrey’s Library was used as the Hogwarts’ Library through the films. This is also where Harry first used his cloak of invisibility.
The Divinity School is attached to the Bodleian Library. Its medieval interiors made it the prefect Harry Potter filming location. This is where Harry recuperated in the Hogwarts Infirmary in The Philosopher’s Stone.
Filming in Oxford also took place at the New College. In the college cloisters, Harry meets Malfoy in the Goblet of Fire. Malfoy tries to curse Harry, but Mad Eye Moody turns him into a ferret.
You can book a 3 hour walking tour of Oxford that includes the Bodleian Library. You can also do a mega 12 hour guided tour that combines Warner Bros. Studio and Oxford on a day trip from London.
And that sums up my guide to Harry Potter filming locations and places to visit in London. You may enjoy these other London travel guides and resources:
- 3 Day Itinerary for London
- 5 Day Itinerary for London
- Tourist Traps To Avoid in London
- Free Museums in London
- Virtual Tours of London
- Guide to the Tower of London
- Guide to the Churchill War Rooms
- Guide to The Wallace Collection
- Guide To Free Museums in London
- Guide To Hampton Court Palace
- Guide To the National Gallery of Art
If you need a guide to finding Harry Potter in London, pin it for later.