The story of the boy beneath the stairs who learned to harness magic and use it with his friends to save the world from Voldemort gripped readers all over the world. No wonder then that so many Potter fans flock to London to see sites across the city that were either directly contained within the books or became immortalised when used to film the resulting movie franchise. The best way to see as many as possible is on a guided Harry Potter tour.
Tours range from guided walking tours, to full-day trips that head north to Watford, just outside London, where the Warner Bros. Studio is located. There are many official and unofficial Harry Potter tours and below are five of the best in London based on itineraries, value for money, authenticity and the review scores from previous guests.
FROM: £15/per person
There aren’t many Central London walking tours that start off with a Sorting Hat to work out which House you belong to. Then again, this isn’t any ordinary tour. Heading through Diagon Alley and passing Gringott’s Bank are two of the 20-plus sights that you will encounter over the course of two and a half hours. Many of them are directly related to the Harry Potter world, however some are just along the way and well worth a look, like Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre.
From £14.75/ per person
Another option for a tour in central London (please note: neither of these tours includes the Warner Bros. Studio, which lies outside the city), is the Muggles walking tour. Many of the main Central London locations as the previous tour are covered, including a look at the location used for the Leaky Cauldron and other filming locations used in the Harry Potter movies. Tours are run by a fellow Muggle, last two and a half hours, and usually take place in any weather.
From £320/ per person
For groups of up to four people, this handy package day trip to visit the Warner Bros. Leavesden Studio on the edge of London is a handy way to minimise planning and the chances of getting lost. Meet a pre-arranged bus near Victoria Station for transfers to the studios, where you will have around five hours to explore the sets and props made famous by the Harry Potter films. Visit the Great Hall, ride the Hogwarts Express train and learn how to ride a broomstick. This family option includes entry tickets and transportation costs.
From £83/ per person
If you’re looking to pay for your own ticket for a trip to the Warner Bros. Studio, with transfers included from Victoria in Central London, then this is a good alternative. Over the course of six hours you will get to travel to the set used for many memorable scenes from the Harry Potter world, left just as they were in the films. These include Dumbledore’s office and the Hogwarts Express train. There is also an opportunity to go behind the scenes of the films and learn how special effects helped bring the magic to life for the big screen. Entry and transport are included.
From £310/ per person
You can combine two of the must-try London experiences in one with the Harry Potter black cab tour. The price covers a three-hour trip for up to five people in the back of an iconic London taxi. Top sights include the real Grimmauld Place, Platform 9¾ at Kings Cross train station and a chance to follow the route taken by Harry and Ron when heading to the Ministry of Magic. Your driver/guide will also provide commentary and facts about Hogwarts along the way.