From WANDSworth to POTTER’S Bar, London is full of Harry Potter, from immersive days out to locations and inspiration. Here are a few of the places you can head to to get the true Potter experience.
In true Harry Potter style, the adventure starts out at King’s Cross’s Platform 9 3/4. Like the Abbey Road pedestrian crossing, pop-culture has created an iconic location out of King’s Cross in the form of a bare brick wall. The magical location must be one of London’s most selfie’d spots and it’s entirely free, so the perfect first port-of-call as you begin your Harry Potter journey.
Where: Euston Road, Kings Cross, N1 9AL
Go full-on Professor Snape at The Cauldron for their Potter-themed (but-not-officially-for-legal-reasons) cocktail making classes. The classes see you wield a ‘working magic wand’ to create some molecular mixology magic throughout the 1hr 45m immersive experience in London’s Elephant and Castle.
Where: 7 Elephant Road, Elephant and Castle, SE17 1LB, UK
Harry Potter at The Palace Theatre
If you like Harry Potter that much, why not go and see him? Tickets for the two-part Harry Potter and the Cursed Child play in the West End are decidedly tricky to get a hold of, but there’s a new release of tickets coming on December 4th, so you’re in with a chance. There’s also a ballot for 40 tickets per show run every Friday.
Another carefully lawyered experience that’s Harry Potter but only on the DL. Officially, it’s the School of Witchcraft and Wizardry escape room, but the inference is clear: escape like Harry Potter (but best bring a Hermione). The escape room sees escapees putting their brains, teamwork and perhaps a little magic to work in a fun hour’s group entertainment.
Where: 2-12 Wilson Street, Liverpool Street, EC2M 7LS
The best thing to come out of Watford since Chris Stark (relatively niche joke), Warner Brothers’ Studio is where they made the actual Harry Potter films. And conscious of its place in history (and/or the touristic opportunity) the Hertfordshire location is now the Harry Potter Experience, allowing guests to be immersed in the world of Harry Potter as well as the seeing how the magic was transferred to the screen.
Where: Studio Tour Drive, Leavesden, WD25 7LR
They’re the only people offering walking tours JUST for Harry Potter tours, so they must be doing something right. What’s more, they really (really) know their stuff. Making this the ultimate tour for anyone looking to experience Harry Potter in London. See all the locations and hear all the facts.
Where: Near London Bridge tube station
If you’re after Potter bits and pieces then you could do no better than jump on the next available broomstick and head to Regent Street toy megastore Hamley’s. The shop has devoted a whole section of their ground floor to the wizarding hero and his magical friends, which makes this the place to bring children intent on getting their hands on Harry Potter toys.
Where: 188-196 Regent Street, Soho, W1B 5BT
Okay, so it’s not an actual Potter place, and it’s not in London, but if you want to really get to know Harry Potter then you could do worse than heading to Oxford and the college of Christ Church where the dining room serves as the inspiration for the great hall in Hogwarts! Unless you can get onto a tour it’s private (coz students), so be warned!
Where: St Aldates, Oxford, OX1 1DP
Another location, if a trip where you’ll be turned away from an Oxford college (not in the UCAS sense) isn’t appealing, is Leadenhall Market in The City. The 19th century market was used as Diagon Alley in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone with the Victorian covered market also featuring the door of a modern-day opticians as the entrance to The Leaky Cauldron.
Where: Gracechurch Street, The City, EC3V 1LT
If you’re a fan of the art in Harry Potter, then we’ve the place for you. It’s an exibition and shop of the graphic art of the Harry Potter films set over four floors and including the Marauder’s Map, The Daily Prophet newspapers and the bestseller Whomping Willow, all of which is presented alongside authentic film props on loan from the Warner Bros. Studio Tour in Leavesden.
Where: 26 Greek Street, Soho, W1D 5DE
With the possible exception of being that horse in Equos, this is the closest you’ll get to sleeping with Harry Potter. The Georgian House Hotel’s wizarding chambers. Obviously if there’s any copyright lawyers reading this isn’t an actual Harry Potter themed hotel, but, well, nudge nudge.