Harry Potter Walking Tour London
This post is a guide to Harry Potter tours and sights in London. We offer a guided tour of film locations as well as a self-guided tour to do on your own.
Learn how to stay at a Harry Potter-themed hotel or how to get to the Warner Bros. Studio Tour, as well as other Potter sights outside of the nation’s capital.
- Free Guided Tour
- Self-Guided Tour
- Warner Bros. Studio Tours
- Other Harry Potter Tours
- Harry Potter Tours Beyond London
- Harry Potter Tours (Edinburgh)
FREE TOUR OF HARRY POTTER LONDON FILM LOCATIONS
Whether you received your invitation to Hogwarts or not, everybody knows the magical world of Harry Potter.
Not only does Harry journey to and through London throughout the 8 movies, but most were filmed right here in the capital of the U.K.!
Your expert guide will take you through London, pointing out sites and locations from the Harry Potter film series.
Come follow in the footsteps of the world’s most famous wizard on our Harry Potter Tour!
Always enchanting, often interesting, and each one easy to get to, what follows is a guide to the real-life counterparts of many of the magical locations you have seen on the big screen.
See the buildings that contain the Ministry of Magic, walk through the Underground barriers Harry and Arthur Weasley traveled through on their visit to London, stand on the bridge blown up by Death Eaters, and walk through the real Diagon Alley!
You’ll also get a chance to see the grandiose ‘Palace Theatre’, now home to the 8th installment of the Harry Potter series- ‘Harry Potter & the Cursed Child’. Tickets?
The tour will be filled with fun facts and film references, and take you into London’s theatre-land, across to London’s Southbank or through it’s labyrinthine Old City – depending on the day.
The journey will take you by foot and also via the London Underground.
Sites Visited On The Harry Potter Walking Tour
- Westminster Tube (closest tube to the Ministry of Magic as seen in The Order of the Phoenix)
- Cecil’s Court (aka Diagon Alley)
- St. Paul’s (Geometrical Staircase as seen in the Prisoner of Azkaban)*
- Godwin’s Court (aka Knockturn Alley)
- The Palace Theatre (home to the ‘The Cursed Child’ – the 8th story in the Harry Potter franchise) – Tickets*
- Horseguards Avenue (Ministry of Magic Staff Entrance as seen in Deathly Hallows Part 1)
- Millennium Bridge (rebuilt after the attack by the Death Eaters! (then a walk past Shakespeare’s globe)
- Scotland Yard Place/Horse Guards Avenue (Ministry of Magic Visitors entrance as seen in the Order of the Phoenix and Deathly Hallows Part 1)
- Trafalgar Square (Location of the final Harry Potter film premiere)
- Downing Street (Muggle Prime Minister’s Office and location of communication between the Muggle PM and the wizarding world)
Note: Depending on your guide and the day/time, the tour will finish at either Leadenhall Market or Borough Market (both sites have been used as the entrance to the Leaky Cauldron (as seen in the Philosopher’s Stone and Prisoner of Azkaban onwards respectively.)
*Please note that though we do stop at St. Paul’s Cathedral and the Palace Theatre, we do not go inside.
Meet your guide next to the statue of Winston Churchill in Parliament Square. This is located a few meters from Westminster Underground Station.
From Westminster Station, take the exit for “The Houses of Parliament” and cross the street. When walking out of the station, Parliament Square is the grassy area on the right. (map)
The tour ends at Borough Market.
Tube: This tour uses the London underground- please make sure you have a prepaid ticket or oyster card to the value of a 1-day travel card or £3.00GBP and are ready to travel.
Duration: Approximately 2.5 hours.
- Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays at 14:00 (2:00 pm)
- Mondays at 19:00 (7 pm)
- You can take this tour anytime with our GPS-enabled audio tour app.
This tour is free to take, and you get to decide what, if anything, the tour was worth when it’s done. A name-your-own-price tour is a tour for anyone’s budget.
If you can’t make our tour, don’t worry! You can use this guide below to Potter locations in London.
Or you can try our GPS-led audio tour, which you can take any time you wish. Here’s a sample.
So whether you’ve memorized the books, seen the films, or proudly own every bit of Potter paraphernalia around – join us as we dive into the magical world of Harry Potter!
This particular route will focus on film sites to the north part of London, so grab your travelcard, lace up your trainers (or grab your broom!) and follow us!
We also have a guide to Harry Potter locations across London, which includes many more places for you to visit.
Tour starts at Liverpool Street Station
Take the Exit for Bishopsgate and when you step out of the station, turn RIGHT onto Bishopsgate.
Continue walking in this direction until you reach Leadenhall Street and turn LEFT.
Take the first RIGHT into Leadenhall Market. For directions from each stop, use the map or audio tour.
1. Leadenhall – Diagon Alley/Leaky Cauldron 1
Leadenhall Market has sat in this location since the 14th century (map)!
However, most of what you can see today dates from the late 1800s and served as another filming location for Diagon Alley and the Leaky Cauldron.
In Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, this is the location that was used for the filming of Diagon Alley. In fact, at 42 Bull’s Head Passage you will spot a storefront for an optician.
However, this shop front – painted blue – was used to serve as the entrance to the Leaky Cauldron in the first Harry Potter film.
Read our full post on finding the real Diagon Alley in London.
2. Borough Market, 7A Stoney Street Diagon Alley/Leady Cauldron 2
In the muggle world, this shop is a charming florist with a prime location in the historic and popular Borough Market (map).
But in the world of Harry Potter, this is actually the entrance to the Leaky Cauldron, as seen in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.
It is just outside of this shop that the Knight Bus slams to a halt and drops Harry off (via Palmers Green and Lambeth) just outside the pub on Diagon Alley, setting off a car alarm in the process!
The interior shots of the Leaky Cauldron were filmed on a soundstage, however, so it’s just the facade that was used during filming. See our full post on Harry Potter in Borough Market as well as finding the real Diagon Alleys.
While you are here, take our self-guided food tour to fill up your belly.
3. Millennium Bridge – Site of Death Eater Attack
Watch out for Death Eaters as you make your way from the north to the south bank of the Thames over the Millennium Bridge (map).
Originally intended to be opened in the year 2000, the bridge was not structurally sound and it had to be closed for a further 2 more years.
From 2002 it remained in place, spanning the river until a gang of Death Eaters battled on top of it and completely destroyed the entire structure!
Well…in the Harry Potter universe that is.
This bridge served as one of the scenes of the dramatic air-borne broomstick battle in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.
Learn more with our full post on the Millennium Bridge.
4. Australia House Gringotts Wizarding Bank
The longest continuously occupied diplomatic mission in the U.K., (built entirely with marble shipped all the way from Australia), Australia House served as the setting for Gringotts Wizarding Bank (map).
Unlike other sites on this tour, it is the interior of this building that was where scenes were filmed for Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.
It’s here that Hagrid takes Harry to the wizarding bank for the first time.
The scene was filmed in Australia House’s Exhibition Room which is, unfortunately, not open to the public.
A polite word with the security officers at the door may reward you with a peek through the windows, but this is not always guaranteed.
5. Lincoln’s Inn Fields – Number 12 Grimmauld Place 1
A charming square with buildings now occupied by lawyers and surgeons, many believe that Lincoln’s Inn Fields holds the inspiration for the outside of Number 12 Grimmauld Place (map).
Muggles may have trouble viewing the house, of course, since there are a number of charms placed on it to protect its’ exact location.
However, if you take a look near number 13 you may just see a glimmer out of the corner of your eye that will clue you into the houses’ precise location.
6. Piccadilly Circus – Where the Trio Go On the Run
On the run from Death Eaters at Bill and Fleur’s wedding in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Harry, Ron and Hermione apparate straight to central London.
In the books, they arrive on Tottenham Court Road and go into a nearby restaurant.
For the Deathly Hallows Part, I film, however, the trio turns up right in front of a passing No. 19 bus in the middle of Piccadilly Circus (map).
Hermione tells us “I used to come here with Mum and Dad”.
They arrive at night with Piccadilly’s world-famous electric lights on display which lend a little magic of their own to this popular London destination!
Just off Piccadilly Circus up Shaftesbury Avenue, you can spot a row of stone pillars that the trio walk past as Hermione explains to the boys where they are.
Somewhere along this road is the cafe where the trio stops to have a rest and end up in a violent duel with Death Eaters…so mind your step!
7. Cecil Court and Goodwin’s Court – The inspiration for Diagon Alley? Or…the REAL Diagon Alley?
A small alleyway just off the bustling Charing Cross Road, Cecil Court is believed by many to have been the inspiration for Diagon Alley (map).
The Court here is lined with original Victorian shop fronts and sells a wide variety of antique books, with a few shops fittingly providing a supply of books on the subject of magic!
In fact, the first shop on the right is actually called The Witch Ball!
On Cecil Court, you will also find Watkins Books which claims to be the oldest occultist and mystical bookshop in the entire world!
Harry Potter fans with an eagle eye may also spot a large display of Gringotts banknotes located in one of the shop windows here.
It is safe to say that Cecil Court has a touch of magic to it, easily believable as the entrance into Harry’s world on Diagon Alley.
Goodwin’s Court is much smaller and the buildings are kind of wonky – giving it a surreal feeling.
It’s easy to imagine that this little courtyard path could be an entrance into Harry’s magical world.
Because of this, many people believe that this is the exact place Rowling was trying to recreate in the Potter books.
Harry and Hagrid walk down Charing Cross Road itself in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.
Whilst Harry is on the Knight Bus in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban he travels down Charing Cross, and Ministry cars drive down the road in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.
8. Trafalgar Square – Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II Film Premiere
It was here in Trafalgar Square (map) on the 7th of July 2011 that the final Harry Potter film began its premiere celebrations.
On a huge stage erected near Nelson’s Column stood Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, J. K. Rowling, and dozens of others who spoke to the crowd of thousands.
From the Square, the cast and Rowling herself then walked the world’s longest red carpet to Leicester Square where the film debuted simultaneously at three different cinemas!
Trafalgar Square is also glimpsed during the opening flight battle of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince as the Death Eaters fly over central London.
9. Old Scotland Yard – The Ministry of Magic
Home to muggle politicians, both Whitehall and Old Scotland Yard (map) were used to represent the magical counterpart to our muggle organizations.
Here you will find the exteriors used for the Ministry of Magic during filming for the Polyjuice potion scenes in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
Shots taken here are also used for the trip that Mr. Weasley and Harry Take in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.
In the books and the films, there is a red telephone box outside the Ministry of Magic that wizards use to access the Ministry.
From the phone box, one must dial ‘62442’ and the phone booth acts as a lift, taking visitors down underneath the ground to the Ministry.
The red phone box used in the film was actually a prop brought in specifically for shooting so sadly, no journeys to the Ministry can be made any longer!
10. Number 10 Downing Street – Direct link to the Minister for Magic
It is inside the Prime Minister’s office at Number 10 Downing Street (map) that the first chapter of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince takes place.
It is revealed that there is a portal from the wizarding world to that of the muggle world so that the Prime Minister of the U.K. and the Minister for Magic can occasionally speak.
It is also here that Kingsley Shacklebolt works during his time as bodyguard to the Muggle Prime Minister.
11. Westminster Underground Station – Tube Station for Ministry of Magic
It’s the Westminster Underground Station that Mr. Weasley and Harry go to when visiting the Ministry of Magic in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.
At the station, (map) Mr. Weasley struggles at the barriers, not sure how to work the exits properly – much like many of us during our first visit to London!
For the filming of this scene, Westminster Underground Station was closed for an entire day (a very rare occurrence)!
12. No. 23–29 Claremont Square (No. 12 Grimmauld Place 2)
Tucked away on an unassuming street in Islington lies Claremont Square (map), the location of Sirius Black’s familial residence, Number 12 Grimmauld Place.
The house eventually is inherited by Harry and used as the headquarters for the Order of the Phoenix.
This square was used for filming on Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
The muggles that live in the square have long come to accept the mistake in numbering the buildings here, what with 11 and 13 being right next to each other.
Don’t feel bad if you can’t spot Number 12, it’s kept under wraps by the Fidelius Charm, meaning only Secret-Keepers can access the building.
13. Kings Cross (Platform 9 ¾)
Every Potter-head knows that Platform 9 ¾ is the location of Kings Cross Station (map) that the Hogwarts Express departs from (on the 1st of September every year).
In fact, the very final scene in the last book/film is set right here on the most famous train platform in the world.
For Harry Potter fans, a visit to London wouldn’t be complete without a visit to Kings Cross – and the station does not disappoint.
Now, owing to the layout of the station, it’s not actually possible to pass through a barrier between platforms 9 and 10.
First, for the muggles among us, we would never be able to see it. The second, and the more likely reason, is that there is no actual barrier between the two platforms.
Fret not, however, as the designers of the new Kings Cross Station have got us covered, having installed an entrance to Platform 9 ¾ around the corner from the platforms being used for other railway traffic.
Luckily for us, the Ministry of Magic has come up with a clever way to allow visitors to experience the magic of Platform 9 ¾.
It is here that they have frozen a luggage trolley partially the way through the magical barrier.
Those of us who have sought out the platform will be rewarded with an opportunity to get their photographs taken right outside the barrier.
Find out even more by reading our detailed blog post.
TIP: Next to the photo opportunity is the fabulous Platform 9 ¾ Shop, filled with sweets and scarves, wands and wizards, books, and bludgers!
TOUR ENDS HERE AT KINGS CROSS STATION
Optional Stop – London Zoo (map)
In the book Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, it is a local zoo that Harry is taken to for his cousin Dudley’s 11th birthday.
At the zoo, Harry comes face-to-face (literally!) when the glass separating him from a boa constrictor disappears and the snake spills out onto the floor.
Harry accidentally causes the removal of the glass as well as speaking to the snake in the rare language known as parseltongue (although Harry has no idea about this until much later on in the series).
It is the reptile house at the London Zoo that was used during the filming of this scene. This has led many people to – incorrectly – assume the Dudley family had taken Harry to London Zoo.
However, when Harry travels to Diagon Alley with Hagrid for the first time, Harry tells him that he has never been to London before, which means the zoo must’ve been somewhere else.
The actual tank used for filming currently holds a black mamba, although in the film the snake is said to be a Burmese python, with a strange departure from the original text.
For those who have made the effort to both get to the zoo and pay for entry, you will be rewarded with a small plaque placed inside the Reptile enclosure that commemorates the spot where the actual filming took place.
Be sure to read our detailed post on Harry Potter locations throughout London.
It’s easy to get to Warner Brothers Film Studios in Leavesden, a 200-acre complex where all the Harry Potter movies were filmed.
It’s a 20-minute train from London’s Euston Station to the Watford Junction railway station where you can catch a Harry Potter shuttle bus to the Warner Bros. Studio.
The studio tour starts with a live guide introduction to the Harry Potter theme and then guests are brought to the sets.
From there it’s a self-guided experience through the two sound-stages and outside lot.
If you choose to go it alone, you will probably want to rent a digital guide for £4.95 for a richer experience. Not including travel time, plan on spending about 3 hours at the studios.
When: Tours run almost every day of the year. The first tour and last tour of the day depends on the date, so check their calendar. Note: Tickets must be purchased in advance and are not sold at the Studio.
This ticket does not include transportation from London with return (see below).
- Free – 4 and under
- £47 – Adult (16+ years)
- £38 – Child (5-15 years and must be accompanied by an adult)
- £56.95 – Complete Studio Tour Package Adult
- £47.95 – Complete Studio Tour Package Child
- £150 – Family Package (includes either two adults with two children or one adult with three children).
Warner Bros. Studio Tour: The Making of Harry Potter – Dedicated tour Guide and transportation included
There are several tour operators that offer packages that include your ticket to the studio with timed entry and also transportation from London by coach or train.
Typically, these tours cost approximately £86 per person (less for children). Some of these companies play Harry Potter movies on the bus ride to warm you up for your studio visit.
For die-hard Harry Potter fans, this might be the way for you to go.
Included in the price:
- admission with the timed entry
- dedicated studio tour guide
- headsets when appropriate
- transportation to and from the meeting point in Central London
- one butterbeer per guest.
When: check their calendar for availability.
Cost as of 2020:
- £85 – Adult (age 16+)
- £75- Child (age 5-15)
- £40 – Infant (age 3-4)
- Free – 2 and under
- More information and to book here
Tip: Book at least a month in advance as this tour sells out quickly.
Below are a schedule and description of various free and paid Harry Potter London walking tours. We also list bus and taxi tours.
TIP: If you are considering purchasing a multi-day, hop-on, hop-off bus ticket, keep in mind that Big Bus Tours offers a free, daily Harry Potter Walking Tour with any 2 or 3-day ticket.
Harry Potter Walking Tour by Brit Movie Tours
This tour covers all the major sites and is 2.5 hours long.
- Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays at 2 pm (Jan – Dec)
- Daily at 2 pm (School Holidays and 1 Jun – 30 Sep)
Cost as of 2020: £15 – Adult | £10 – Child (under 16)
This tour is offered at 20% off if you purchase the London Pass.
Harry Potter Bus Tour by Brit Movie Tours
This 2.5-3 hour bus tour features many of the film locations and inspirations from all 8 films in the series.
Some of the stops include Kings Cross Station, 12 Grimmauld Place, and the sites used for the Leaky Cauldron.
There is also an opportunity at the end of the tour to buy Harry Potter merchandise.
When: at 2 pm on the below days
- Wednesdays (during School Holidays and Feb- Oct)
- Thursdays (during School Holidays and Jul-Aug)
- Fridays (during School Holidays and Jul-Aug)
- Saturdays (Jan-Dec)
- Sundays (during School Holidays and Apr-Oct)
Cost as of 2020: £30 – Adult | £21 – Child (under 16)
This 2 ½ hour guided walking tour has excellent reviews on TripAdvisor. The company that operates this tour does nothing else but Harry Potter tours – that’s how good they are!
Group size is limited to no more than 20 muggles. This tour is a great value and family-friendly!
When: These tours run almost every day most mornings and afternoons, but be sure to check their calendar of tour dates.
Cost as of 2020: £18.36 Adult | £12.75 Child (11 and under)
Note: You will need to purchase a ticket for the London Underground as the tour travels by tube from Westminster to King’s Cross.
London Walks offers 2 Harry Potter tours, each covering a different part of London.
On the London Town tour, you’ll see the entrance to the Ministry of the Magic, the flight path of Death-Eaters, and other movie sites around the Thames, Trafalgar Square, and Piccadilly Circus.
The City tour includes sites like Diagon Alley and the locations used for the Leaky Cauldron as well as some famous London sites not part of the movies, like the ‘Gherkin’ and St. Paul’s Cathedral.
Cost as of 2020:
- £15 – adults
- £10 – super adults (65+)
- £5 – children, under 8 free
This is run by Brit Tours and is a 2½-3 hour tour is twice the price of their walking tour, but perfect for rainy days or for those who want to relax and enjoy the comfort of their luxury mini-bus to see many of the same sites listed above.
There are opportunities to get off the bus and take pictures as well. Guides are enthusiastic and informative.
When: at 2 pm on the following days
- Wednesdays (during School Holidays and Feb- Oct)
- Thursdays (during School Holidays and Jul-Aug)
- Fridays (during School Holidays and Jul-Aug)
- Saturdays (Jan-Dec)
- Sundays (during School Holidays and Apr-Oct)
Schedule changes seasonally so be sure to check their calendar.
Cost as of 2020: Adult (13 years+): £30 | Children (under 13): £21
London Taxi offers a small group tour in a 6 seater taxi. The flat rate for the tour is £260 for 3 hours, so if your group is 6 people, you’ll pay £43.33 per person.
That may sound like a lot but you are picked up and dropped off at your hotel (that saves you public transport money for 6 people!).
The taxis are air-conditioned in the summer and the fleet is made up mostly of the new Mercedes London taxi and is also wheelchair accessible.
Cost: £290 flat for 4 hours, £490 flat for 8 hours, maximum of 6 people.
This interactive tour is a “quest” to find Harry Potter who has been kidnapped as part of Voldemort’s plan to use CERN to hide all the Horcruxes, including Harry, in dimensions beyond our own, forever, guaranteeing his invincibility.
The only ones who can prevent this disaster are muggles – that’s where you come in. You must find Harry before it’s too late.
By sending and receiving texts, you will be given a series of tasks and clues that – if successful – you will save the world!
Because Quest tours are messaging based tours, you’ll need to be able to send and receive texts, picture messages, and go online during the tour to participate and complete the quests.
Therefore, you should make sure you have a good data plan for London or you will end up with a large phone bill!
Audio and video content is streamed to your device, so a pair of headphones is recommended.
The more participants in your group, the more savings in ticket cost you get. Tours start at a location in Central London and end in a top-secret location.
When: You choose the date and time.
Cost as of 2020: 1 player £20, 2-4 players £30 per person. Price decreases with the more players you have, however, 5 players or more starting from £25. It recommends no more than 4 people share one device.
At the Georgian House Hotel in London, Potter fans can stay in wizard themed rooms. You can’t book the rooms online, rather you need to contact the hotel for a quote.
Call them 0(207) 834 1438 and/or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The reviews on TripAdvisor concern the Wizard Rooms are generally very positive and a recurring comment is that these rooms are a real treat for fans.