Dodging Death Eaters And Disapearing Through Walls
As well as exploring the streets of London, you’ll also enjoy the opportunity to step inside some of the locations that you will encounter en route.
How about, for example, trying to dodge the Death Eaters at several locations where Harry, Ron and Hermione encountered them?
Or, standing outside the exact doorway through which Harry and Hagrid entered the Leaky Cauldron.
Then, there is a shop, hidden away from the main London thoroughfares, that was set up by two graphic artists who worked on creating several of the magical props used in the Harry Potter movies.
It occupies three floors of an old 18th century property and, to be honest, it would be more at home in Diagon Alley than in the backstreets of London.
But it’s there, and you can visit it, and Diagon Alley’s loss is London’s gain.
All these treasures await your discovery on a tour that will, most certainly, fill the unforgiving minute with sixty seconds worth of distance run!
You’ll visit this magical shop on your Harry Potter tour.
Go Behind The Scenes And Discover Secrets About Harry Potter
Your tour will start at Westminster Station and here you will retrace the journey taken by Harry and Mr Weasley on their visit to The Ministry of Magic.
From here your magical guide will lead you through Westminster past the home of the non magic Prime Minster. Then its on to the secret entrance to the Ministry of Magic as seen in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. Magic folk may spot it. If youre not magic then you may not. Not far from here you will see the spot where Harry, Ron and Hermione had to hide in a scene from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1.
As the locations are spread far and wide you will need to take a short tube journey. So you need either an Oystercard, a contactless card or a Travelcard valid to travel in Zone 1.
After the tube journey you will arrive in the City of London. See the magnificent cathedral with the magical spiral stairway that leads to Professor Sybil Trelawneys Divination classroom. You may also recognise it from the spin off movie Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.
Make sure you hold onto your wand as you cross the the wobbly bridge destroyed by the flying dark evil spirits in Harry Potter and the Blood Prince. You dont want to fall into the River Thames.
There Are Lots Of Free Things
In addition I hope to include a section that parents will be able to use to locate other great, low cost or free places to visit in London.
As a parent myself, I am well aware of how expensive a day out with the kids can be. But as a travel writer who specialises in London, and as a London Tour guide with over 35 years experience, I am also aware of how many great things this city has to offer that cost little or nothing.
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Harry Potter Themed Hotel
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 0 834 1438 and/or email: .
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.
Harry Potter Walking Tour
While the name of this Airbnb Experience is perhaps the least creative or inspired, it is another of the most popular Harry Potter walking tours offered on the platform. Starting at Kings Cross and Platform 9¾, host Geoff will help you make your way south into the heart of Central London to see magical Harry Potter sites all along the way.
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Harry Potter Studios Tour London: Your Experience
A tour of the Harry Potter Studios is the perfect escape from the muggle world. Sip on some delicious butterbeer and grab a wand before heading to explore the beautiful sets of locations like the Great Hall, Platform 9 ¾ and Dumbledores office, along with getting an up-close, personal look at props, popular character costumes and creation of magical creatures like Buckbeak the hippogriff. Each location is designed to bring iconic moments from the movies to life — a thrill for every true fan.
How It Came About
The idea for a free magical tour came to me in July 2007 when my wife, Joanne, and I took our two sons, Thomas and William, for a day out in London.
We did the usual “sights” and, no doubt like many parents, we were struck by just how expensive London was.
After all, we were a family of four, yet to visit just a few places and have lunch cost us well over £100. Still, we had a great day and the boys certainly enjoyed themselves.
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I Want To Keep It Free
It is out of a genuine desire to make this aspect of London available to anybody who wants to discover England’s Capital that I have put this website together.
The Harry Potter London Tour and Treasure Hunt is the first of, what I hope, will be series of free self guided London tours for families.
London is a great City, but some of its best attractions are often overlooked.
Massive advertising campaigns by attractions with deep pockets, can result in some of London’s most awe-inspiring, yet absolutely free attractions, rarely featuring on a visitors itinerary.
Yet, as Hagrid might say, if you know where to go, you can entertain the kids everyday for a week or more and spend next to nothing doing so.
Best of all, because you can do all these things on foot you really will be green and leave your footprints on the pavements rather than on the environment.
Australia House Gringotts Wizarding Bank
The longest continuously occupied diplomatic mission in the U.K., , Australia House served as the setting for Gringotts Wizarding Bank .
Unlike other sites on this tour, it is the interior of this building that was where scenes were filmed for Harry Potter and the Philosophers 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.
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A Film Locations Self
Welcome to the free guide to Magical London that features the sights of London and includes the Harry Potter® London film locations. It is brought to you by London Blue Badge Tourist Guide and author Richard Jones with the intention of providing you with a free DIY walk that will enable you to explore some of London’s hidden away and most fascinating places at little or no cost.
In short you will be able to enjoy a truly magical day out in Central London.
Millennium Bridge & The Death Eaters Attack On London
After we squeezed through the narrowest point of Brydges Place, Tom led us around a couple of corners, and suddenly Trafalgar Square spread out before us.
As you may recall from the beginning of Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, one of the most gripping challenges for Harry Potter and his fellow wizards begins when the Death Eaters throw a dark storm over London as they fly over Trafalgar Square and storm through Diagon Alley to kidnap Ollivander, the wand shop proprietor, for the evil Voldemort.
To catch him by surprise, they sneak through a back alley at 12 Great Newport Street leading to the back of his shop.
Tom showed us the alley, but the iron gate to it was locked – no doubt a smart move to keep muggle tourists from invading this private residential space.
After capturing Ollivander, the Death Eaters zoom down the Thames and destroy the Millennium Bridge, a steel foot bridge across the river, on their way back to Malfoy Manor.
Since many Londoners hated the Millennium Bridge when it first opened in 2000, they may have considered the destruction a good deed – but now, a couple of decades later, the bridge has gained lots of fans.
We walked across the bridge and continued along the South Bank to our next destination: Borough Market at the foot of London Bridge.
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Cecil Court And Goodwins Court
A small alleyway just off the bustling Charing Cross Road, Cecil Court is believed by many to have been the inspiration for Diagon Alley .
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 Harrys world on Diagon Alley.
Goodwins Court is much smaller and the buildings are kind of wonky giving it a surreal feeling.Its easy to imagine that this little courtyard path could be an entrance into Harrys 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 Philosophers 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.
TIP: Read our full post on finding the real Diagon Alleys
Stop Five Tower Bridge
Address: Tower Bridge Rd, London SE1 2UP
From Leadenhall Market, its a relatively short zip to Tower Bridge.
Ill be honest, Tower Bridge only makes a fleeting appearance in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix and another in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince but its always worth taking a peek at, particularly when its on our way to our next stop anyway.
Remember the scene in The Order of the Phoenix when Harry flies past Tower Bridge on his journey along the Thames along with the rest of the order?
Of course you do.
They make their way from Tower Bridge, following the path of the Thames under London Bridge and past the Houses of Parliament.
Away from Harry Potter, Tower Bridge has had a long and eventful history. Want an example? The two walkways that now form the Tower Bridge experience used to be one of Londons informal red light districts.
Not only that, in the fifties a bus had to jump between the opening sections when the bridge started to open with it on it.
Turns out that Tower Bridge is pretty magical even without wizards zipping around it in the air. Who knew?
From here, you can also glance over to City Hall on the left the glass asymmetrical globe that looks like its leaning away from the river.
City Hall also pops up at the beginning of Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince when the Death Eaters cause havoc, wreaking destruction on the area. The office workers stand up and look at the tumultuous events taking place outside.
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Be Adventurous And Save Money
There are lots of similar tours on offer in London – and the prices range from manageable to exorbitant, whilst the quality varies.
Even the so-called “free” guided tours are not actually free, since the guides will be pressurising you to tip them throughout the tour, and you’ll end up forking out around £20 or more for a service that is advertised as “free”, which, if you think about it, is somewhat misleading, the sort of stunt Tom Riddle might have pulled!
Richard Jones’s free Magical London tour, on the other hand, is exactly what it says it is – 100% free.
Then there are the paid for tours, some of which will cost you upwards of £400 for a family of four, whilst, even the low cost London walks will set you back £26.
But, why pay to go on a scheduled tour?
Why throw money away, when you can do it yourself for free?
Goodwin’s Court A Diagon Alley Contender
Harry Potter Bus Tours
If you havent been doing your quidditch training and dont want to walk that much, you can also checkother types of Harry Potter London tours, like a bus tour.
This tour is riveting, and youll walk away with a wealth of knowledge. The guides not only share information about Harry Potter but about London and its buildings. You will get to see many other familiar landmarks along the way, such as St. Pauls Cathedral and the London Eye. The tour guide will share amusing details about each HP location and explain how and why the film crew shot scenes there.
Of course, youll get the chance to see how good your Harry Potter knowledge is. The guides have prepared HP quizzes and organized trivia challenges. Have your camera ready! The tour guides invite travelers to get off the bus to take pictures and see the locations up close.
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Magical Harry Potter Tour & Wand Battle
If you need yet another option, I recently discovered this Harry Potter walking tour on Airbnb Experiences. It follows the same route as many of the others, but includes several fun add-ons like a sorting ceremony and chance to participate in your own wand battle.
If youre not up for a Harry Potter walking tour, there are a number of other Harry Potter tours in London you might love instead including bus and taxi tours. Which of these Harry Potter walking tours do you want to do the most? Let me know in the comments, as well as any questions!
The Best Harry Potter Tours In London
See the places where the magic happened across London on one of these fantastic Harry Potter tours.
The story of the boy beneath the stairs, who learned to harness magic and use it with his friends to save the world from Voldemorts evil, gripped readers all over the world. No wonder then that so many Potter fans flock to London to see sites across the city that either influenced locations contained within the books or became immortalised on film. The best way to see as many as possible is on a guided Harry Potter tour.
Magical London Harry Potter Guided Walking Tour
This tour starts in the way any good Harry Potter walking tour should, with a Sorting Hat to work out which House you belong to. From there its out into the streets to the sites that inspired or became locations in the books and films. Wander through Diagon Alley and pass Gringotts Wizarding Bank, plus around 15 other locations. Many sites are directly related to the Harry Potter world, while others, such as Shakespeares Globe Theatre, contain a sense of magic and wonder that may have had an impact. From £15 per person.
A Tour for Muggles
Warner Bros. Studio Tour and River Thames Cruise
Warner Bros. Studio Tour and the Making of Harry Potter
Harry Potter Family Package with Transfers from London
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Warner Bros Studio Tour London
On this tour, youll travel to the Warner Bros. Studio just outside of London and enter the world thats behind the scenes of Harry Potter. Here you can walk the set of the Great Hall, Dumbledores office, Leaky Cauldron, and along Diagon Alley. Youll also learn some of the secrets of magical film animation that brought the many mythical creatures in the series to life.
Stop Seven Millennium Bridge
Address: Thames Embankment, London SE1 9JE
Now were on to the Millennium Bridge which you should walk over .
I think that we can all agree that those Death Eaters are a right nasty lot.
Its a pretty bad sign of things to come for poor muggle London when they destroy the Millennium Bridge in Harry Potter & The Half Blood Prince plunging all the people walking along it into the Thames.
Perhaps dont think about that too much while youre walking over the bridge though.
The name might be a bit of a giveaway, but the Millenium Bridge was built to commemorate the millennium in London.
Things didnt quite go to plan though when the bridge opened in the year 2000, it became the object of ridicule because it wobbled so much that it was deemed structurally unsound and it knocked over a fair few pedestrians as they tried to cross it in the process).
To cut a long story short, it had to close for another two years while they tweaked it to make it safe for public use.
Like Tower Bridge and London Bridge, the Millennium Bridge first makes its appearance in in Harry Potter & The Order of the Phoenix when Harry flies through London to Grimmauld Place.
But its really the scene of the Death Eaters striking the Millennium Bridge and causing it to fall and rip apart, toppling pedestrians into the river that really sticks with you.
Its a chilling start to the film and a sure sign that things are getting out of hand.
It cant be true !
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