The Real Diagon Alley
This post explains how to get to the 2 locations for Diagon Alley in London with some background information. There are two contenders here for the REAL Diagon Alley and many Potter fans are split as to which is the ‘real’ Dragon Alley… Harry Potter’s first introduction to the wizarding world comes when Hagrid takes him through The Leaky Cauldron Pub and into the secret back entrance to Diagon Alley – and Potter-heads from all over the world have been coming here ever since to try to find this magical alleyway themselves! Here we’ve got all the information that you need to take a trip to Diagon Alley yourself! Be sure to take our pay-what-you like Harry Potter Tour of London or our GPS-enabled Harry Potter audio tour.
There are 2 locations known for being the ‘real’ Diagon Alley in London: Cecil Court and Godwin’s Court. 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 map for directions to Cecil Court. Goodwin Court is a few minutes away.
Nearest Underground Station: Leicester Square Station
Buses: 24, 29, 176
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 it’s multitude of book shops – 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 is lined with book shops and antiquarian storefronts. Because of it’s association with magical literature and bric-a-brac, many believe that this is the REAL Diagon Alley. Given the items that line the store fronts, 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. Below is a Google photo sphere that you could use to get a round about view of the 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. 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 confident that this is the REAL Dragon Alley!
Diagon Alley in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone:
The beautiful 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. 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 map 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 Dragon Alley movie set lies at the Warner Brother’s Studios in Leavesden. Visitors can walk along the actual set of the alley where the actors filmed some of the movies most iconic scenes.
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