How to Experience Harry Potter’s World in London

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Warner Brothers Studio Tour the Making of Harry Potter Harry Potter Tour LondonOn our way from Ljubljana, Slovenia to Ilfracombe on England’s North Devon coast, we stopped in London for a week. A city that big is a little overwhelming to tackle in 5 days (two of our days were traveling to and from London), so we took it easy. We saw some of the sights London is most famous for and spent a lot of time just wandering around, meeting with friends, and tasting brews at the pub.

In retrospect, I wish we had planned a little better and seen more things (we missed the real Diagon Alley!), but it was nice to not feel rushed. I think when there is too much to do, it’s best for us to just decide up front that we won’t see it all. And that’s ok.

It also cemented why we normally spend a month in each place we visit. Even then, there are always things we don’t get to, but we can still do a lot at a leisurely pace. If you only have a week or two to travel, of course you want to do everything. Since we have a year, there is no way we can maintain a vacation-pace. Nor do we want to.

But, I digress. The first of three videos from four of our days in London follow. And links to some of the places we visited.


London Day 0.5 and 1 – Harry Potter Tour

 

Warner Brothers Studio Tour the Making of Harry Potter

Make your reservations now if you are planning to be in London. Maybe it was because the school kids in England were on half term break while we were there, but it took me several tries to get tickets and I started almost 4 weeks before we wanted them. I never did get the time I wanted.

It was well worth the effort, however. The Harry Potter Tour is in the actual studios where the eight movies were filmed. We got to enter through the Great Hall, see the Gryffindor Common Room, magically stir a pot in the Potions Classroom, stand on the Knight Bus and so much more. As huge Harry Potter Fans, this was crazy fun.

You cannot show up without tickets, so reserve your spot here. If you aren’t driving, take the underground to Watford Junction and ride the private Harry Potter bus from there (£2.50/person return, cash only). Or use their Journey Tool to figure out your route.

Need to read the books in preparation for your tour? Buy the Harry Potter books on Amazon here. Or watch the movies.Warner Brothers Studio Tour the Making of Harry Potter Harry Potter Tour London


Explore Harry Potter’s London

Want to see more inspiration for the Harry Potter books and movies? Several companies offer guided walking tours to London locales that inspired JK Rowling. Tours for Muggles, Brit Movie Tours, Viator, and others take you to the entrance of the Leaky Cauldron, alleys that inspired Knockturn and Diagon Alleys, and many other places featured in the books and movies.

Free Tours by Foot offers a name-your-own-price tour of film locations.

Or take a free, self-guided walk around the Harry Potter film locations.


Stay at a Harry Potter Hotel

At the Georgian House Hotel in London, Potter fans can stay in the Wizard Chambers.


London Capital Ring Walk

We stayed at a hotel in the historic Dockside area near the South London Airport because it was pretty affordable, offered a big breakfast, and was adjacent to the Royal Albert DLR station (a train that we took to the Underground). Fortunately, we couldn’t hear the airport traffic at all and there were a few interesting sights right there. One we took advantage of the first day was the London Capital Ring Walk. A section of it could accessed from a bridge between our hotel and the DLR station. We only walked a little bit, but it was nice to stretch our legs and see the outskirts of London, a couple parks, and tiny petting farm.


Stay

We stayed at the Holiday Inn Express and it worked out really well. Click the link below and search “Holiday Inn Express London – ExCel.”



Eat

Because it was so close to our hotel, we ate at Fox at Connaught. I like the pub atmosphere and it was in a cool building, but the fish and chips were bland. Super convenient and easy, though.

The next couple of nights we picked up salads and sandwiches from Pret a Manger (they are EVERYWHERE in London) and brought them back to our hotel. We got beers from the bar and ate in the lobby.Warner Brothers Studio Tour the Making of Harry Potter Harry Potter Tour London


How to plan a trip to London's Warner Bros. Studio -- the Making of Harry Potter. Plus, the Capital Ring Walk.This article may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase after clicking on one of these links, I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. You will never pay more when buying a product through our link. And we only recommend products that we truly love! Thank you! I appreciate your support!

18 thoughts on “How to Experience Harry Potter’s World in London

  1. Hendrik

    This is cool! I had no idea about this Harry Potter tour in London. Sounds great, this will be something for my next London trip! We love Pret-a-manger, they are fantastic. I wish they would have this here in Switzerland too.

  2. Louiela

    Wander slow… and sometimes I also regret for wandering TOO slow… I admire how you shared your story with the Harry Potter Tour, for sure it was really a magical experience.

    Hope to read your Slovenia experience as well.

  3. Only By Land

    I’m not a Harry Potter fan but I have watched all the movies, I must be a Harry Potter fan in denial, or a closet Potter fan! It must be so popular if people are booking it so far in advance, I must note to book my tickets early if I decide to admit that I’m a Potter fan and go. The capital ring walk sounds interesting too, there must be brilliant viewpoints of London.

    1. Mel Post author

      Ha ha! Sounds like you ARE a Harry Potter fan. If you like the movies this tour is pretty interesting since it is totally movie-focused.

  4. Nadine

    This sounds so cool. I am a huge harry potter fan and I definitely want to do this tour. Thanks for the tip with buying the tickets in advance. I never heard of pret-à-manger before but will make sure, I will eat there at some point. Cool guide!

  5. Christina

    This is definitely one of the main reasons I want to go back to London. Good to know about the advance booking. Normally, I don’t have much leeway when I travel so I try to book as much in advance as possible to avoid disappointment. Too bad you were not able to make it to Diagon Alley. Just another reason to go back.

  6. Bhushavali

    I didn’t take the Harry Potter tour when I was in London! Too bad I missed it! Anyways, thanks for this virtual tour. Looking forward for the rest of your London posts.

  7. Jacklyn

    Couldn’t help but comment about Ljubljana first – such a beauuuuutiful city! And as a completely ironic sidenote, I’m actually watching Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire on a plane right now!! I love this post – I also had no idea there was a REAL Diagon Alley, I’ve added a few things to my bucket list after reading this 🙂

    1. Mel Post author

      So funny that you were watching Harry Potter! He is everywhere… And Ljubljana is so lovely. I hope we make it back there!

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