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The Real Diagon Alley

Updated: February 23, 2024
 By Margaret

Whenever we're offering our pay-what-you-like Harry Potter Tour of London, one of the most common questions we hear (and answer) is about the actual location of Diagon Alley.

Technically there are 2 locations that you'll want to see if you're a fan of the franchise.

This post explains how to get to each filming location for Diagon Alley in London with some background information.

We'll also include a selection of helpful suggestions from locals and travelers that we've found on our London Travel Tips group on Facebook.

Don't forget that we also offer a Harry Potter audio tour


There are two contenders here for the REAL Diagon Alley and many Potter fans are split as to which is the ‘real’ Diagon Alley. 

Fortunately, both are very centrally located near Leicester Square. There are several different buses that frequent the area, as well as a nearby tube station.  

We recommend using this Google Maps link for directions to Cecil Court.

Map of Diagon Alley London Harry Potter

The other contender, Goodwin Court, is a few minutes away.

Nearest Underground Station: Leicester Square Station

Buses: 24, 29, 176

For those unfamiliar with the London Underground, we have a post on how to master the system.

If you are considering a hop-on-hop-off tour while in London, then keep in mind that all have stops a short walk away from both locations.

Let Us Bring You Here

We run several pay-what-you-like Harry Potter tours each week.

Both Diagon Alley locations are stops on our Harry Potter audio tour. Here's a sample.


In the Wizarding World, The Leaky Cauldron (which holds the entrance to Diagon Alley) sits just off Charing Cross Road.

In our world, Charing Cross Road is known for its multitude of bookshops - many of which specialise in magic and the occult.

It’s clear to see why J. K. Rowling decided that the entrance to Diagon Alley would be here!

There are two contenders here for the REAL Diagon Alley and many Potter fans are split as to which is the ‘real’ one.

There are also two locations used for the door to Diagon Alley, one in Leadenhall Market and the other in Borough Market.  

Cecil Court

Cecil Court is lined with bookshops and antiquarian storefronts.

Because of its association with magical literature and bric-a-brac, many believe that this is the REAL Diagon Alley.

Given the items that line the storefronts, the tarot card readers that work here, and the magical lamps running down the centre of the alleyway, this is definitely a contender to be the real deal.  

Godwin’s Court

Less well-known and hidden away sits Godwin’s Court. Lined with topsy-turvy buildings, crooked houses, and bulging windows, Godwin’s Court is every inch, Diagon Alley.

Godwins Court Harry Potter Diagon Alley

In fact, the set of Diagon Alley built at the Warner Brother’s studios bears a VERY strong similarity to Godwin’s Court - leaving some confidence that this is the REAL Diagon Alley!  


Diagon Alley in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone: 

The beautifully covered pathways of Leadenhall Market stood in for Diagon Alley in the first Harry Potter Film.

Hagrid and Harry walk through the market and then enter the Leaky Cauldron Pub through a blue door.

Leaky Cauldron Entrance Leadenhall Market

The blue door (down Bull’s Head Passage) is still there and is easily spotted among the reds and greens of the rest of the Market which means it’s easy for you to find the entrance to the Leaky Cauldron yourself!  

Use this Google Maps link to get directions.

After this first film, the entrance to The Leaky Cauldron was filmed in Borough Market.


And it’s always worth a mention that the Diagon Alley movie set lies at the Warner Brothers Studios in Leavesden.

Visitors can walk the actual set of the alley where the actors filmed some of the movies' most iconic scenes.

Tips From Locals and Travelers

While we do our best to provide all the information you'll need while sightseeing, there's always a chance we might miss something, and that's where our Facebook Group comes in handy.

The London Travel Tips group is a great place to ask any question you might have related to travel. With over 160,000 users, you can usually expect to get an answer for almost any query you could have.

Here are a few of the more helpful tips we found related to Diagon Alley.

This is perhaps the one thing most people don't realize when they come to London looking for this filming location.

Technically, the actual Diagon Alley was merely based upon the area near Leicester Square, and the actual set can be found when taking the Warner Brothers Harry Potter tour.

Many fans will already be planning to take that tour, so it probably won't be a problem for most, but it should be noted that tickets for this activity do sell out months in advance and it makes sense to buy them well ahead of time.

This is another thing to consider. While our directions focus on the buses that will take you directly to the filming locations, it's worth noting that you can get here quite easily from Trafalgar Square using bus 91.

For even more helpful advice, make sure to check our London Travel Tips group on Facebook.


About The Author


An American simply by accident of birth, Margaret moved to London over 16 years ago and hasn’t looked back since! With a keen interest in History – and a BA degree to match – Margaret prides herself on her knowledge of the amazing city she calls home and she's been guiding here now for nearly a decade. Social history is her real expertise, with sound understanding of the day-to-day lives of Londoners over the past centuries. Read More...
Updated: February 23rd, 2024
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