A Muggle's Guide to Wizarding London - Harry Potter London Attractions

A Muggle's Guide to Wizarding London - Harry Potter London Attractions


Posted 2012-08-26 by Summer Grantfollow
Ever since Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone magicked its way into bookstores King's Cross Station has become a place of pilgrimage for every Harry Potter fan, yet over the course of the franchise many other places have been added to the list of Harry Potter locations.

If you're on a budget the best place to focus is London and it only costs £7 to get everywhere you need for the whole day, not to mention the fact that you get to do it at your own pace.

It's best to start off at London Victoria, because it has a train station, an underground and a huge collection of buses it's easy to get to your destinations.

The first stop that should be made is King's Cross itself, there's no better way to start a Harry Potter journey than at Platform 9 ¾. You can catch a bus, not the knightbus but it'll do, outside Victoria train station. When you pass don't get confused, St Pancras is next to it and while it poses as the outside of the station in the films it's not actually part of it.

Once inside just follow the signs and eventually the plaque and trolley will come into view. There might be a queue, which depends mainly on the time, but if there isn't step forward, clasp the bar of the trolley in your hands and if you fall through the wall congratulations; Dobby didn't block you from the platform.

Once finished head back outside, while St Pancras, seen at the start of the 19 Years Later epilogue in Deathly Hallows part two, might not be King's Cross in real life it's still a location in the films and it wouldn't be right to head off without admiring it for a while. Any fan of architecture might want to linger; it's a beautiful building.

When done with this head to the nearest mode of transport, if you don't have your broomstick handy, and visit Leadenhall Market, this location was transformed into Diagon Alley for the outside scenes. For those who went by underground get off at Monument, turn right, so you're going past the monument, and then turn right again and you will see some toilets in the middle of the road. They look similar to the ones used as the employee's entrance to the Ministry of Magic in Deathly Hallows part one so feel free to pretend that there's a whole magical world teeming beneath the pavement.

Not much further on there's a cobbled street with buildings packed on either side and an elegant roof stretching out above.

This is Leadenhall Market, there might be a lack of wand shops and apothecaries but it is very Harry Potteresque. It is also here that one of the entrances to the Leaky Cauldron can be found (there were two, this one can be seen in Goblet of Fire), while it's blue instead of dark and dingy and belongs to an optician instead of a pub it's almost like being there.

The best time to explore this part of the wizarding world is at the weekend, it's absolutely dead. No one is about and being able to wander around unnoticed makes this one of the best places to go to, it's not often you can be in the centre of London with hardly another person in sight.

When that's done it's time to head to the next destination; the Millennium Bridge. It might not feature in the books but the brilliant opening scene of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince includes apparating Death Eaters destroying the landmark. Thankfully it's still standing and as you're walking along it there's a great view of London Bridge (which featured in Order of the Phoenix) in the distance.

At the base of the bridge there is often someone playing Jamaican steel drums and it's always good to hang around and listen for while, it might have nothing to do with the films but remember this is all about having a good day out. A little way up from the bridge (not on the side with the Tate Modern) is Australia House, it was in this building that inside scenes of Gringotts Bank were shot.

There's one more place that's an important part in the films to go to, although it means more money it would be difficult to leave London Zoo behind. Taken there for Dudly's eleventh birthday it is in the Reptile House that Harry learns that he can talk to snakes. There's a plaque that can be found boasting of its part in the franchise but it also reveals that instead of chatting away with a boa constrictor, as in the books, Harry is in fact talking to a python. It's probably best to make this a whole different trip though; the zoo itself is worth a whole day.

Leicester Square is home to the cinema that has hosted all the premieres and the square outside was packed full of people for every single one, except for the last, there's not much of Harry Potter to see now but back when the films came out the cinema was decorated in posters promoting the film.

A little down from there is Trafalgar Square the triumphant site of the Deathly Hallows part two premiere; it's claimed its place in history as the biggest premiere ever which is yet another proud achievement for the Harry Potter franchise.

It's only a swift bus journey from here to Victoria, it's time to go back home and look back fondly on your Harry Potter day out.
How you get to London Victoria is up to you but if you decide to go by coach the further you book in advance the cheaper it is.

Once you're there be sure to head to the train station and purchase a zone one and two travel card, this will allow you to travel by underground and bus for the entire day and these zones have everything you need to see.

61408 - 2023-01-20 01:17:46


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