the Victinerary to: London for Harry Potter Fans

London is an incredibly interesting and diverse city that you could spend weeks visiting and still feel like you haven't seen everything. To help make planning a trip there a little less daunting, for my next few Victineraries I'll be focusing on some specific areas that could be fun additions to your next trip!

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First up is something near and dear to my heart: Harry Potter. For anyone that holds this amazing series in fond regard, London is the perfect place to visit to relive famous movie moments, not to mention the WB Studio Tour London (aka the ultimate fan experience) is an easy and quick train trip away. Most of my Victineraries are step-by-step resources for planning an afternoon or a full day in a certain location. However, for this specific theme, I'll be sharing a few HP activities and information on how to incorporate them into a longer itinerary.


What To Do if you want to pretend it's september 1st

  • Everyone remembers watching Harry's bewilderment as he realizes his entrance to the the train to Hogwarts is through a wall. You can visit the famous wall to Platform 9-3/4... or at least the reconstruction of it at Kings Cross Station and grab a keepsake photo to remember your own mad dash, then grab a few souvenirs at the official shop next door. 
    • Kings Cross Station is accessible via the London Underground on the Circle, Hammersmith & City, Metropolitan, Northern, Piccadilly, and Victoria Lines. 
    • You'll find the Platform photo-op and gift shop on the right hand side of the main atrium on the way to the entrance to the trains. 
    • There is a line to get to the platform entrance, and an official photographer. You can get prints in the shop next door, or you can just have a friend take your own shot. They have wands and scarfs for all of the houses available for your use. 
    • Photo pricing: Single large print with access to the online version, £15

WHERE TO GO if you want to see some famous film spots

  • St. Pancras Train Station - The Weasley's car was parked outside the station... before Harry & Ron stole it to fly to school in the Chamber of Secrets. 
    • Stop out here after visiting Kings Cross, which is next door
  • Parliament & Big Ben - In the Order of the Phoenix, Harry and some Order members fly through London along the Thames and pass by this famous London building lit up at night. 
  • Millennium Bridge -  This is the pedestrian bridge that collapses in the opening scenes of the Half-Blood Prince as the Death Eaters attack. 
  • Piccadilly Circus - When Harry, Ron, and Hermione are on the run and make a quick escape during the Deathly Hallows, one of the locations they run through is this famous square. 
    • Visiting this spot will put you right in the West End theater district, so check this out on your way to catch a play
    • You could even try to get into see Harry Potter and the Cursed Child... you never know... there could be tickets available! 

what to do if you are a really big (or even not so big) fan

  • The  Making of Harry Potter WB Studio Tour is an absolutely amazing way to experience the Harry Potter universe all over again. This expansive site holds everything from costumes and endless props to full size sets and sound stages. The website suggests about 3.5 hours for  a typical visit... or you can be like me a stay for over 5. There are so many things to see, so let your inner fan rejoice and explore to your heart's content! 
  • Getting There: 
    • Grab a train north from London Euston station to Watford Junction, check available times on the National Rail website. Prices & times vary, but the average time is 20 minutes, and round trip can be as cheap as ₤20. 
    • At Watford Junction, exit the train station and wait for the Harry Potter themed bus to pull up (you can't miss them). Pay on board for the ₤2.50 round trip ticket (cash only!) and they will bring you right to the front door! 
    • If you have a car simply drive directly to the studio and on-site parking is free. You will need to show your ticket confirmation info to get into the lot, so make sure to have it either printed or on your phone. 

 

  • Tickets: 
    • BIG NOTE: You MUST purchase tickets ahead of time for this, so use the website and plan accordingly. 
      • Tickets are ₤39.00
    • You purchase tickets based on an entrance time, so give yourself plenty of time to take the train up from London, catch the shuttle bus, and line up before going in. 
    • They do have a dining area part-way through the tour, so if you get hungry remember to try a butterbeer! 
    • I recommend going earlier in the day if possible so that you can decide for yourself if you only want to spend a few hours or stay on longer. That way you can head back to London for any additional evening activities. 

I got into Platform 9-3/4!

The Gryffindor common room

Dumbledore's office, with both actors represented 

Diagon Alley

Ron...

Neville, Hermione, the Author...

and Voldemort

The master 1:24 scale model of Hogwarts, updated for every book and movie to include every new detail. 


What to do if you want even more

  • Plan an overnight trip to Oxford where you can eat breakfast in the Great Hall and visit some more famous film locations. 
  • For full details on how to get there, where to stay, and what to do, check out my Oxford Victinerary.

The Map


I hope you enjoyed this selection of ways to include Harry Potter into your trip to London, and that it inspires you to find a bit of magic. If you follow my footsteps or even just use one of the suggestions, please let me know in the comment section below about your experience! 

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Thanks for coming along, and check back every week for a new Victinerary to help plan your next adventure!

 

~ V

 Photos taken with: Nikon D5300, Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 10-24mm f3.5-4.5 Lens (Rented from BorrowLenses.com), Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 35mm f1.8 Lens, & Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-140mm f3.5-5.6 Lens


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