The UK is the home of the Potterverse and there’s so much for fans to see and do, from film locations and shops to tours and even a visit to the famous Warner Bros Studio Tour – The Making of Harry Potter (sometimes called ‘Harry Potter World’). Here are some must-do activities for any Potterhead, as suggested by British TIPS’ own Harry Potter fan, our senior consultant, Jenni.
Take a themed walking tour
There are several excellent walking tours that visit film locations, including our favourite by Evan Evans’ tours. These take you to some of the many spots in the city that you will recognise from the films and which featured in the books.
Visit Platform 9 ¾
Yes, it’s real (but, sadly, it won’t get you to Hogwarts!). Head to King’s Cross TRAIN station (not the Underground station) and, just alongside the main departures board, you’ll find the famous trolley embedded in the wall. This is a major tourist attraction and queues can be long so we suggest going early in the morning or in the evening after rush hour.
Have your photo professionally taken (for a fee) or get one of your friends to snap it for you. Right next door is a Harry Potter merchandise shop.
Stroll across the Millenium Bridge
Right at the beginning of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Fenrir Greyback and the Death Eaters destroyed this pedestrian bridge across the Thames. Fortunately, in real life, it’s still there and you can get great views of the South Bank and St Paul’s Cathedral.
Pop in at Leadenhall Market
Leadenhall Market served as the entrance to Diagon Alley in the films. Walk through the market’s charming Victorian architecture and imagine yourself getting ready to stock up on grimoires and cauldrons.
Watch Harry Potter & The Cursed Child
Make sure to catch this award-winning play, set nineteen years after the events of the books. This play is a two-part theatrical extravaganza that continues the story of Harry Potter and his friends and it is best to do both parts in one day, so you’ll need to set aside a day for this.
Visit the Warner Bros Studio Tour – The Making of Harry Potter
Last but most definitely not least, is the simply spectacular Warner Bros Studio Tour – The Making of Harry Potter (sometimes called “Harry Potter World” or “The Harry Potter Experience”). Located just outside London, this visit takes you behind the scenes of the iconic film series.
Be awestruck at the Great Hall, delight at the real costumes, props, and film sets, stroll quirky Diagon Alley, marvel at the magnificent Gringott’s Wizarding Bank, and even step inside the Hogwarts Express. You can sample butterbeer at the cafeteria too. Even if you’re not a Harry Potter fan, you’ll still enjoy seeing all the fascinating behind-the-scenes stuff of one of the most successful movie franchises ever.
TIP! This sells out VERY quickly so book in advance (at least 2 – 3 months is best, more at peak times like Christmas, Halloween, anniversaries of movie or books, and school holidays).
PS: there are plenty of other Potterverse places to visit outside London. We recommend heading to the university city of Oxford (it’s just 1 hour by train). Magnificent Christ Church College provided inspiration for Hogwarts’ Great Hall and many scenes from the films were filmed in Oxford, such as the Bodleian Library and the New College. Although you can’t visit the Great Hall itself, the college’s dining hall bears a striking resemblance. If you can, we suggest taking a guided tour to learn more about the connections between the college and the Harry Potter movies. York, Edinburgh, Lacock Village, and Alwick (pronounced Annick) Castle, and the Jacobite Express train are all linked to the famous films, so keep those in mind too.
Whether it’s visiting the Warner Bros Studio Tour or exploring film locations, there is no shortage of magical experiences. So, what are you waiting for? Get in touch to book your tours and visits at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’re looking forward to helping you experience some of that Hogwarts magic.