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It is no secret that London plays the backdrop to many films, television shows and books. The city is practically brimming with culture and has a perfect mix of old architecture and modern now buildings. With Harry Potter And the Cursed Child still performing to sell out shows, I wanted to put together a walking tour of London that any Harry Potter fan could enjoy. Across the 7 books and 8 movies, Harry, Hermione and Ron, explored various magical locations, all based on and filmed in real places in London. So whether you are a huge Harry Potter fan or just a fan of walking tours, this self-guided Harry Potter walking tour around London will get feeling like a wizard in no time.
Self-guided Harry Potter Walking Tour around London
Start – Liverpool Street Station
Liverpool Street Station is fed by several overground and underground public transport lines and is a perfect place to start your self-guided Harry Potter walking tour. Take the exit for Bishopsgate and turn right onto Bishopsgate. Continue walking in this direction until you reach Leadenhall Street. Once you get here, turn left and then take the first right into Leadenhall Market.
First stop – Leadenhall Market
Leadenhall Market served as the location for Diagon Alley (in the Philosopher’s Stone) and the Leaky Cauldron in the movies. One of the oldest covered markets in London. Leadenhall Market has been in this location since the 14th century. The majority of what you can see here today does date back to the 1800s though. You can find the entrance to the Leaky Cauldron at 42 Bull’s Head Passage. Thanks to the magic of the films, they managed to make the current shop look nothing like the Leaky Cauldron’s entrance.
Moving onto the next location – You can go down either Ship Tavern Passage or Bull’s Head Passage onto Gracechurch Street and turn left. When the road ends at Monument Station, continue forwards onto King William Street. King William Street eventually becomes London Bridge. Cross the River Thames on London Bridge (don’t forget to look to you left for a great view of HMS Belfast and Tower Bridge). As London Bridge turns into London Bridge Road, continue going forward and as the road curves to the right, stay on the right and turn right into Stoney Street.
Second stop – Borough Market
Borough market also severed as the filming locations for Diagon Alley and the Leaky Cauldron (Prison of Azkaban). The market in real life is a fantastic food and flower market. On weekends, you will have to brave the crowds but it is well worth it. With locally produced foods and fresh grown veggies, Borough Market is a delight for any foodie. If you are here for lunch, be sure to check out Arabica Bar & Kitchen. You can find our review here. Now before anyone gets too excited, the interior shots of the Leaky Cauldron were filmed in a studio but Borough Market, was used for the exterior.
Moving onto the next location – Walk down Stoney Street until the road ends at Clink Street (home of the notorious medieval prison ‘The Clink’.). Turn left and continue down the path that takes you to the River Thames. To right to walk along the river until you reach the Tate Modern Museum. From here, walk to Millennium Bridge.
Third stop – Millennium bridge
No self-guided Harry Potter walking tour would be complete without a visit to the site of the Death Eater Attack. The Millennium Bridge was originally intended to open in 2000 but, due it construction issues, it wasn’t opened for another 2 years. The Bridge was also used as a filming location for the dramatic air-borne broomstick battle in Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince.
Moving onto the next location – Walk across Millennium Bridge. When you get to the other side, head down the stairs onto the Thames Path running underneath the bridge. When you are standing under the bridge and facing the river, turn right and continue down the river until you reach Temple Underground Station. When you reach Temple Underground Station, turn right and walk past the entrance up the stone steps. Continue in that direction until you reach Arundel Street. Once you reach the top of the street, on the right is the Australian Embassy.
Fourth Stop – Australia House
Australia House is the site for Gringotts Wizrding Bank. Did you know that Australia House is home to the longest continuously occupied diplomatic mission in the United Kingdom? The building is built entirely with marble shipped across from Australia. Unlike other locations on this tour, Australia House was used as the interior of Gringotts Wizarding Bank.
Moving onto the next location – Turn right and walk down The Strand until you can see the statue of King Charles I & Admiralty Arch in front of you and Trafalgar Square to you right. The statue of King Charles on horseback is facing down a long main road, Whitehall. Turn down Whitehall and walk along whist keeping Trafalgar Square behind you. Turn left onto Great Scotland Yard and stop when the corner of Scotland Place is on your right.
Fifth stop – Old Scotland Yard
Whitehall and Old Scotland Yard were used as the facades of the Ministry of Magic during the Polyjuice potion scenes in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. You will also notice that this location was also used for the trip that Mr. Weasley and Harry take in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. Unfortunately, you won’t see the red telephone box using in the films as this was a stage prop.
Moving onto the next location – Turn around and walk back down Whitehall Place. Turn left onto Whitehall and walk down until you read the corner of Whitehall and George Street. From here, to you left you should see Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament and in-front of you should be a statue of Winston Churchill. Turn left and head into Westminster Station. After you purchase your ticket, jump onto the Circle and District Line (heading east) and alight at Monument Station. Follow the signs for the Northern Line and get on the Northern Line north. Get off once you arrive at Angel Station.
When you exist Angel Station, you will be on the main road. Turn left and walk until you reach a big traffic junction. Cross the street south and then turn right so that you on the opposite diagonal corner. Start walking down the road whilst keeping the shops and restaurants on your left. Head down the main road, Pentonville Road, until you reach Mylne Street. Turn left and this will take you to Claremont Square.
Sixth Stop – 23-29 Claremont Square
This quiet street is home to the location used as Sirius Black’s family home, Number 12 Grimmauld Place. In the Harry Potter universe, the building was inherited by Harry and used as the headquarters of the Order of the Phoenix. This location was used in two films, Older of the Phoenix and the Deathly Hallows.
Moving onto the next location – Head back to Pentonville Road and turn left. Continue down the road until you reach Kings Cross Station. Go through the station’s main entrance (with the brown stone) and head into the atrium where the shops and departure boards are. Once you are here, walk straight ahead. Right before you reach the edge of the station, you will see Platform 9 ¾ on your right.
Seventh stop – Kings Cross Station
As alluded to above (and as every Harry Potter fan knows), Kings Cross Station is the home to Platform 9 ¾. This location completes the self-guided Harry Potter walking tour. The very last scene in the final film is actually set right here. You may have to wait in a queue, but you can have your photo taken with the luggage trolley that is halfway between platforms.
Addition self-guided Harry Potter walking tour stops
Do you have any other stops you would include on a self-guided Harry Potter walking tour? Let us know the locations (and ideally a way to get to them) in the comments below!