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Published February 20th 2013
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For avid Harry Potter fans yearning to get their magic fix, London is the perfect place. While America may have The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, London's Harry Potter sites have a special aspect of authenticity to them. If you're a witch or wizard who misses Hogwarts, make sure to check out some of the best live representations of J.K. Rowling's magical creation.
Platform 9 and 3/4 at the King's Cross tube station is the easiest, cheapest, and most accessible Harry Potter location. Just hop on the tube on the Hammersmith & City, Circle, Metropolitan, Northern, Picadilly or Victoria line and you'll easily get a slice of Harry's world. Appropriately located near platforms 9, 10, and 11, Platform 9 and 3/4 awaits fans with a trolley that is stuck halfway through the brick wall. You can take your own photos or have your photos taken by a friendly staff member dressed as a Hogwarts Express conductor.
After reenacting your journey to Hogwarts with your favorite pose, you can check out your photos at the gift shop nearby. You can also purchase all sorts of Harry Potter accessories and apparel, or you can simply end your journey with your lovely photo.
Before we get to the last and most anticipated Harry Potter attraction, the film locations tour is another fun experience. With Richard Walker as your guide, this tour takes you to some of the very places where the actors and crew of the famous franchise spent their time. Discovering these places is perfect if you want to revisit them and reenact more of your favorite scenes. The tours conveniently run on Sundays and Mondays so that the locations will be less crowded and more personal.
Finally, the attraction we've all been waiting for is the film studio tour. As the ultimate tear-jerker for Harry Potter fans, the studio tour is an entire museum dedicated to the props, sets, costumes, and so much more featured in our favorite magical movies. The tour is very straightforward to get to from the tube to Euston Station and the overground to Watford Junction. They even have convenient shuttle buses that take you directly to the tour for only two extra pounds.
Before you even begin your tour, you are welcome to walk into the gift shop and look at some of the props hanging form the lobby ceiling. The beginning of the tour guides you through the Great Hall, but afterwards, you are free to explore on your own for as long as you wish. The tour is difficult to sum up in a few sentences, and there is so much to see that everyone has their own unique experience. You can see everything from the actual costumes used in the films, including Hermione's Yule Ball gown, to the very models of mythical creatures who live alongside Harry and friends. Meet Buckbeak and Fawkes, and even Aragog if you're not afraid of giant spiders.
Anyone who has visited the studio tour can go on forever about all there is to see. But, I'll conclude by mentioning the outdoors section of the tour where you can see Harry's house, the Knight Bus, and the front of the maze used in the Triwizard Tournament.
If you're a Harry Potter fan living in or visiting London, these three attractions are a crucial part of your trip. You will have a wonderful time exploring that places used in the films and brought to life by the books. The most emotional may be the surprise at the end of the studio tour, so you don't want to miss it.