The Harry Potter books by J.K. Rowling are one of the most popular series of all time which means that they have a lot of fans from all over the world. Many of these fans will either end up in London at some point or another in their lives or maybe even go there simply because that is where Harry Potter was written and takes place. Although a great deal of it takes place in Scotland as that is where Hogwarts is located, there are still plenty of Harry Potter related sights to see in London as well. Here are some of the best ones for a Harry Potter fan.
King’s Cross Station
King’s Cross is one of the busiest tube stations in London and also happens to be where Harry and his friends start their journey to Hogwarts. While you can’t actually enter platform 9 ¾ by walking through the walls between platforms 9 and 10, the city has set up a trolley that appears to be going through the wall leading to platform 9 ¾. Keep in mind, however, that this trolley is not actually located exactly where the platform would be so true fans may want to take a picture with it and then another between platforms 9 and 10. Because it is one of the largest train stations in London, King’s Cross station is on several tube lines, including Victoria (light blue), Piccadilly (dark blue), Northern (black), Hammersmith and City (pink), Circle (yellow) and Metropolitan (purple) meaning that the station is easily accessible from any point in London.
King's Cross station is one of the most used stations in the city by everyone, not just HP fans, but it is almost an every day thing that at least some fans will be there taking a picture. If you see them taking a picture of platform 9 ¾ make sure o say hi or wave your wand.
Charing Cross Road
Everyone knows that Diagon Alley is one of the most important places in wizarding London and that one of the easiest (and most popular) ways to get there is through the Leaky Cauldron. Although we muggles can’t actually see the Leaky Cauldron, we can visit the street it is on: Charing Cross Road. In the book, the Leaky Cauldron is between a record store and a book shop so if you happen to see those two shops next to each other, look carefully to see if you can find any wizards walking by. You will be able to recognize the wizards because in some cases they just do not know how to wear muggle clothes.
Tottenham Court Road
You may remember in the 7th book when the Death Eaters interrupt Bill and Fleur’s wedding. Tottenham Court Road is where Hermione takes Harry and Ron when they attack and they hide out in a muggle café. Although you won’t be able to find anything specifically Harry Potter related here, some fans simply want to see the road they escaped to.
If you are a movie fan, you will notice that in the 7th movie instead of heading to Tottenham Court Road, the trio can be found in Piccadilly Circus (which also happens to be one of the main places to visit in London). That means that this is another great place to visit, but only if you are a movie fan. If you are a tourist, then you will probably want to go there anyway so might as well enjoy the site with an extra incentive that it is a Potter related place.
Another must see for Harry Potter fans in London is the London Zoo, specifically the reptile house. This is where Harry first discovers his ability to speak Parseltongue by speaking to a snake who wants to see Brazil. Although die-hard Harry Potter fans will note that this could not have taken place in London Zoo as Harry grew up in Surrey, the film was shot here so fans of the movies should stop by.
St. Pancras International
If you are a fan of the movies, you will recognize St. Pancras International Station (conveniently located right next to King’s Cross) from the Chamber of Secrets. That is because when Harry and Ron can’t get onto platform 9 ¾, this is where they get into Mr. Weasley’s Ford Anglia and start their journey towards Hogwarts in the flying car.
Westminster Tube Station
Another place for movie fans to visit is Westminster tube station, which is on the Circle (yellow), District (green) and Jubilee (gray) line. This tube station is found in Order of the Phoenix when Mr. Weasley takes Harry to the Ministry of Magic for his hearing. Interestingly enough, they not only change lines at this station, but they also exit here, a fact that only Londoners would notice. The Westminster station is one of the most visited by all types of tourists because it is the one that you have to go when you want to visit Parliament, Big Ben and other major attractions in London.
Movie fans will remember the opening scene of Half Blood Prince where the Death Eaters wreak havoc on Millennium Bridge, destroying it and injuring countless muggles. That makes this a site that fans may want to visit. Just keep in mind that the 6th book occurs in 1996 and 1997 so this bridge wasn’t even built yet when the story actually takes place.
Harry Potter fans are of course interested in Gringotts Wizarding Bank and if you want to see where the scenes taking place in it were shot (in Philosopher’s/Sorcerer’s Stone), simply head to Australia House on the Strand.
For die-hard fans of the Harry Potter movies, taking a tour of the Warner Brothers studio in London where many scenes were shot is a must. This includes seeing sets, props and costumes, making it a one of a kind experience.