This series is dedicated to all the potter heads who relished the movies and want to extend the fun through having the actual feeling of magical mystiques surrounding them in muggle world. Spreading across Britain, number of locations used as Harry Potter sets that can be accessed free of cost or at nominal price are going to be listed starting from London. So, start riding your brooms without any further delays:
1. King’s Cross Station
None other than King’s cross station can be given the highest importance while mentioning about the places to visit to have real life Harry Potter experience. Surely, the point where harry began his journey to unravel the magical world is a perfect start for your trip. The celebrated platform 9 ¾ is situated at station’s west side at the entrance of platforms 9,10 and 11 and is indicated by the presence of a trolley half pushed inside the wall; depicting its entrance inside the magical world. Not only that, you can also have your favorite house’s scarf from potter world staff present right there and have your photo taken with the trolley, scarf and a wand. You can also participate in the quiz while waiting in the queue for your photo to win exciting souvenirs, where I actually won a ticket to Hogwarts express. To have a further glimpse of how it actually looks like:
2. Pancras International Railway Station
Remember the flying scene of Weasley’s Ford Anglia in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets? Right in front of King’s Cross Station is St Pancras International from where the car had its flight in the movie after Harry and Ron miss the train to Hogwarts.
3. Reptile house
The Reptile House visited by Harry and Dudley in the Philosopher’s stone where Harry identified that he can speak to snakes is actually the ZSL London Zoo also known as Regent’s Zoo. Holding a gang of 698 animal species (one of the largest in UK); the zoo can be accessed 7 days a week (Check the timings before visiting).
4. Diagon Alley
Starting from the Philosopher’s Stone, Leadenhall market has been the part of movie sets to be utilized as Diagon Alley. Apart from being Harry Potter’s set location, the market itself is an amazing hangout place. Coming from 14th century, Leadenhall Market is the oldest market situated on Gracechurch Street, financial district London. The market is a covered one and provided with vehicular access via Lime Street from South and East and Whittington Avenue from North. Pedestrians can additionally access this place via various tapered passages
5. Gringotts wizarding bank
The exterior of Gringotts Wizarding bank shown in multiple parts of Harry Potter Sequel is none other than Australia High Commission located in Australia House, Strand London.
6. Tower Bridge
Order of the phoenix shows the flight of Harry and friends on broomsticks over river Thames to reach 12 Grimmauld Place. The bridge shown in the scenes is Tower Bridge which is a combination of suspension and bascule architecture and close to the Tower of London it crosses River Thames. Lower deck of bridge is open to general pedestrians and vehicles free of cost, however, the twin towers, upper level walkway and Victorian Engine rooms are accessible at nominal charges.
7. Westminster Station
While taking Harry to the Ministry of Magic for hearing of charges to Violate Decree for the Restriction of Underage Sorcery, Mr. Weasley used the Westminster Tube station in Harry Potter and the Order of Phoenix. The part where the scene was shot can be accessed publicly to date.
8. Ministry of Magic entrance
The exterior of Great Scotland Yard building was used as the entrance to the Ministry of Magic for the first time in Harry Potter and the Order of Phoenix when Mr. Weasley used a phone booth to enter the ministry and secondly in Deathly Hallows Part 1 when Ron waits for ministry workers to kidnap them. The phone booth has been displaced but street corner is still the same.
9. Number 12 Grimmauld place
Number 12 Grimmauld place or Sirius’s residence; later became the headquarters for the order of phoenix, was a place at Lincoln Inn fields. Constructed in 1630s Lincoln Inn Fields is the biggest public square of London and used as the set of Grimmauld place throughout the series.
10. Millennium Bridge:
One of the most famous bridges of London over river Thames is Millennium Bridge which has been shown in Half Blood Prince destroyed by the death eaters at the beginning of the movie. The rushed suspension bridge made of steel that links City of London with bankside is perfectly intact and can be explored by anyone anytime.
11. City Hall London
Right along the destruction of Millennium Bridge, dome shaped interior of London City Hall was shown in Half Blood Prince where the govt. officials observe the upcoming storm of strange nature. The egg shaped glass building is partly open to public on weekdays and terrace at rooftop can also be visited on occasional basis to enjoy spectacular views of River Thames and London skyline.
12. Lambeth Bridge
The sixth bridge from the Millennium Bridge over river Thames is Lambeth Bridge where the shrinking knight bus is shown in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. The knight bus takes Harry to Leaky Cauldron after he had a fight with Uncle Vernon on blowing Aunt Marge.
13. Piccadilly Circus
Ron, Hermione and Harry narrowly missing the hit by a London bus after apparition in Deathly Hallows 1; the scene was shot at Piccadilly Circus. Built in 1819, Piccadilly Circus is a road junction connecting Piccadilly and Regent Street at West part of London.
Don’t forget to have a look at the thrilling movie scene!!
In the upcoming sequel, Harry Potter locations in rest of the Britain will be mentioned. All these sights from London can be visited in a day or two as they are all literally very close and easy accessible by walk, buses, tubes and trains. Cherishing Harry potter sights has been one of the most memorable adventures of my life and must be experienced by true potter heads at least once. With this note, the touristing to be continued…! Ciao!!!