For many of us, London is not just Big Ben, Nothing Hill or Hyde Park; for many, London is Diagon Alley, Platform 9 and ¾, Gringotts and the Leaky Cauldron. Welcome to Hogwarts (or almost...).
One of the things to see and do in London if you are a fan of the Harry Potter saga is to visit the film sets of the movies with the Warner Bros. tour. Be careful! The tickets to the Harry Potter Studios Park are in high demand so booking them in advance (I recommend a month and a half minimum) is a must.
Entrance to the studios and transfer from London
The perfect option to take the worry out of your trip and enjoy the Warner Bros. studios dedicated to the Harry Potter films to the fullest. Round-trip airfare from London is included in the price.
This is the preferred option for all those who visit the Harry Potter Studios during their visit to London. Since the transfer from central London is included, you don't have to worry about how to get to the Harry Potter Studios from London; your only goal is to enjoy the experience.
When booking online, you will be able to choose between different time slots; I advise you to go as early as possible to avoid crowds once you arrive at the park and, if you can, avoid the weekend. You will receive an email with all the available information about the meeting point where an air-conditioned bus will take you to the park.
Once there, get ready to walk through Diagon Alley, visit Ollivanders store, Gringotts bank and of course, learn interesting facts about the saga and the making of the films.
- Recommended if... you want to visit the Harry Potter Warner Bros Studios during your trip to London
Tour of Harry Potter locations in the city of London.
As you stroll through the streets of London, an expert guide will show you places that appear in or inspired the Harry Potter films.
The city of London is full of places that have to do with the Harry Potter films and with this tour you will not miss them. A guide will show you Platform 9 and 3/4, Diagon Alley or Gringotts Bank while you walk around London like a Muggle.
This tour is also in small groups of (at most) 25 people. This means that the guide can focus on the explanations you ask for in a more personalized way. The guides who do this type of tour have two qualities: they know London inside out and they are also fans of the Harry Potter books and movies. Take the opportunity and enjoy every moment of the tour!
- Recommended if... you want to enjoy the Harry Potter universe at a reduced price or you are left wanting more after seeing Warner Bros. Studios.
Here's the Harry Potter tour of Warner Bros. Studios
During this tour, in addition to seeing the set design and costumes from the films, you will learn more about the saga and how the films were made, including special effects. Taking into account muggle details, the recommendation is to book tickets for Warner Bros. studios in advance due to the large influx of visitors and hire transportation to and from there, as they are far from the center. A word of advice: be careful if you are offered resale tickets for the Harry Potter studios.
If you want to make sure whether or not it is worth visiting the Warner Bros. studios for the Harry Potter tour, I will give you a small sample of what you will find there. For starters, I'll tell you that the studios are divided into interiors and exteriors and the sets in both places not only have original props from the films, but also cinematic information on how they were made. But step by step.
What's more, London's Harry Potter studios aren't just for watching: in many of them you'll be able to work magic by waving a wand or lifting a broom.
What you'll see in the indoor studios
- Start the tour in the Great Dining Hall, where you are greeted by the figures of the professors from the head table as they do every year with Harry, Ron and Hermione, or at least the years when no one crashes a flying car into a boxing willow (which, by the way, you will also see on this tour).
- After this it's time to walk through the corridors of the school, including the staircases that change places; in them you will see many pictures of former heads of Hogwarts houses including the Fat Lady.
- You will follow the typical tour of the beginning of the course passing through the common room and then to the Gryffindor dormitory.
- The professors' offices are also waiting for you during your visit, as well as showcases where you will find all the information you want about the sport of Quidditch.
- You will visit Lucious Malfoy's house (creepy), the Weasley's living room or a very elaborate forbidden forest full of creatures, visual and sound effects.
What you'll see at the exterior studios
As for the outdoor studios, they are also full of surprises. In them you will see the Dursley' s house on Privet Drive (stairwell included), the night bus, platform 9 and ¾, Ollivander's store and many more corners. The only bad thing about this visit is that, once you leave the studios, it will be difficult to mingle with Muggles again.
Book transport to the studios from London
It is not recommended to hire the transportation without having secured the tickets, since their availability is very limited and you run the risk of getting there and they are sold out. In addition, many options for tickets to the park also include travel from London.
In any case, if you have already purchased your ticket and what you want is to hire a shuttle service that will drop you off at the gate, you can take a look at this post about how to get to the Harry Potter Studios from London.
The Harry Potter walking tours of the Harry Potter locations in London
If after the visit to Warner Studios you are left wanting more, throughout the city of London you have different places that inspired the books and movies. Years ago fans had to locate them on their own, now there are expert guides who show them to you on a walking tour of the Harry Potter locations while telling you interesting facts about the saga.
This two-hour walking tour (available in English and Spanish) during which a guide, specialized not only in the saga but also in the history of London, showed us Harry Potter locations in London such as the following:
Platform 9 and ¾ at King Cross Station
At King Cross station you can find a corner where the famous platform has been recreated with a luggage trolley going through the wall. You can take pictures on it and then go through the Harry Potter souvenir store while the guide tells you how this tourist spot was enabled after the success of the films and how J.K. Rowling used this station to set the scene for her books. The pity is that you won't be able to take the Hogwarts Express...
Diagon Alley in Leadenhall Market
This is one of the oldest markets in London and is inspired by the famous Diagon Alley where Harry bought books, potions and, of course, Ollivander's wands. It is one of the longest and most special stops on the tour; you will discover how reality inspires fiction and how fiction transforms this reality as well. Your guide will tell you all about Knockturn Alley or the Leaky Cauldron Inn and then leave you a few minutes to explore the area at your leisure.
Gringotts Bank and Australian Embassy
The famous goblin bench that appears in several of the movies is inspired by the Australian Embassy in London, perhaps you had passed by and didn't notice the striking resemblance, but to give you a clearer picture of it, your guide will show you pictures from the movies that prove that indeed the wizarding bench was inspired by this building.
The Premieres and Trafalgar Square
Not everything on this tour revolves around the locations of the films, you will also learn anecdotes about the actors and the significance of the saga and Trafalgar Square will probably be the place that the guide will choose to tell you. It is precisely from there where thousands of fans lived the end of the saga as well as other moments related to the release of the films.
Other options to enjoy the Harry Potter tour of London: private tours, interactive tours or bus tours
If the two-hour tour is not enough for you, I recommend that you consider the possibility of a private tour of the locations of the saga in which the guide will be dedicated exclusively to you and the group you are traveling with. This tour lasts three hours, is fully adaptable to your preferences and is available in English, Spanish and French.
It is a highly recommended option if you travel to London with children, since you can ask the guide to alternate during the tour locations of the film with other emblematic sights of London. And speaking of children, also for them there is a type of tour that will make them enjoy every step of the way: the interactive tours: this is a type of tour in which the guide proposes contests, quizzes and games during the tour to immerse themselves even more in the magic of the saga.
Finally, you should know that the Harry Potter landmarks are distributed in different parts of London, so it is possible that the walking tour is tiring: look for the option of bus tours if the walking tour is too tiring for you. They are also guided and are an even more comfortable way to enjoy the tour.
Tips for your visit to Warner Bros. Harry Potter Studios
If, like me, you are a real Harry Potter fan, you have probably been waiting for this tour for a long time. To make the most of it I'm going to give you some tips:
- How to get there: Transportation to Warner Bros. studios is an important detail to take into account. Don't forget that they are far from the center of London so it is best to hire it in advance for the outward and return trip. From Watford Junction train station there are direct buses to the studios.
- Duration of the visit: Take your time in each of the spaces of the Warner Bros. studios. Don't be in a hurry to see everything; the details are so well taken care of that it will be worth your while to recreate yourself in every nook and cranny. To see everything well, I recommend that you reserve between 3 and 5 hours for the visit.
- Schedule: when you buy your ticket (always in advance, since in the studios you can only redeem it), you can choose the day and time of visit. I recommend you to choose the first shift to avoid crowds. Keep in mind that you have entrance hours, but not exit hours, so more and more people will accumulate in the facilities.
- Take the audio guide: it costs about five pounds, but it is worth it, while you immerse yourself in the magical world, they tell you details you did not know about the film, the actors and the saga.
- If you go with children they will be fascinated by the tour, but the younger ones might be scared by the realism of some scenarios or the visit to the Forbidden Forest. Just keep this in mind in case you want to avoid these rooms.
- Where to eat: Don't forget to stop by the bar if you want to try the famous butterbeer or the Frog café if you want a chocolate frog. In the surroundings there is no place to eat, so if your visit coincides with lunchtime, you will only have the opportunity to eat in the restaurant set up by the studio where the price will not be very cheap.
- Souvernirs: The gift store is also a must, even if it is only to get our teeth long. Here you will find all the merchandising of the saga available. You can take pictures, but don't let the camera spoil the experience; better to live it than to record it.
Organize your own tour of Harry Potter locations in London
If you decide to take a guided tour of the Harry Potter universe in London, whether it is in a group or if you have chosen the private tour, you have to take into account some details:
- As the tour is on foot, it is logical that you will not visit all the locations as London is a huge city and many of them are quite separated from each other.
- The meeting point will always be in a central location that you can easily reach from your accommodation. If you have any questions you can ask your guide once you have booked your place or ask for a surcharge to be picked up from your hotel.
- Tours last between two and three hours, so be prepared to walk. They depart almost every day of the week and the best time to go will depend on the weather.
- You will have the chance to buy Harry Potter souvenirs at many of the stops on the tour as you will pass Harry Potter stores in different parts of London and the guide will leave you time to do so.
- If you have the London Pass, you will have included a tour where you will see locations from Harry Potter and many other movies that were filmed or inspired in London such as Mary Poppins, Sherlock Holmes or James Bond. You have more information about the city passes in this article about the London Pass. London Pass.
- Take a look at the theater listings when you have decided on your trip to London. If you are lucky, you may be able to see a performance of Harry Potter and the Cursed Legacy.
If you are interested in a tour of Harry Potter London, you may also be interested in
If you enjoyed the Harry Potter walking tour experience, be sure to take the London walking tour during your visit to the capital of the United Kingdom. You may think that the Muggle world does not have as much charm as the magical one, but remember that London is also the city of Sherlock Holmes or Peter Pan and that, by itself, has many stories to offer you without resorting to fantasy.
As I say, this was my favorite, but the truth is that the offer of guided tours in London is endless and I have written a guide to help you sort out all the ideas, which are the best tours and why. You can read it in this article about Top 10 Tours and Excursions in London.
If it's not your first time in London and you decide to go out and see the rest of the country, you don't need a long trip. Nowadays there are very well organized tours that allow you to discover both charming villages and majestic cities of England that you should not miss if you want to know a little more about life outside a big city like London. I leave you here an article about 9 Best Day Trips from London so you can see my favorite options.
Frequently asked questions
Are actual film locations visited in this experience?
Yes, you visit Millennium Bridge, Westminster tube station, King Cross station, and real-life locations that inspired the sets of Diagon Alley, the Ministry of Magic or the Leaky Cauldron pub.
Can I take a picture of myself on platform 9 ¾?
Yes! The Harry Potter Store staff will be able to take a professional photo of you wearing a Hogwarts house scarf of your choice or you can take your own photo.
Do any of the Harry Potter experiences include a visit to Hogwarts?
You can visit a scale model of Hogwarts Castle at the Warner Bros. studio, which was used for many of the aerial shots in the films.