The Ultimate Harry Potter London Trip
So you're as big a Harry Potter fan as I am, are you? Well you're in for a treat today! I'm going to be detailing how you can have the perfect Harry Potter experience on your trip to London. I will warn you, London is not a cheap place to visit, but obviously you can mix and match all of these experiences to your price point, interest level, and the amount of time you have.
Arrival Day - Hotel & Dinner
So you've arrived in London - welcome to this beautiful and iconic city! You'll likely want to head to your hotel straight away to drop off your bags. I recommend The Georgian House Hotel. This is a normal hotel, but offers unique wizarding-themed rooms for an aspiring witch or wizard. A typical night at this hotel in one of the themed rooms will run you between £250-£380 (not cheap, like I said). A traditional English breakfast is also included in this cost. If you're looking for a slightly cheaper option, there are Harry Potter-themed Air BnBs near Leavesdon Studios, where the Warner Brothers Studio Tour is (more information further down the page).
Once you've checked in and explored your abode, it'll be time for dinner. If you wish to
feel like you're dining in Hogwarts, check out St. Pancras Rennaisance Hotel's Booking Office Bar and Restaurant. For a cheaper fair, try out many of the local British pubs in the Kings Cross area, such as the modern The Lighterman, for thoroughly British food (if you're visiting on a Sunday, I always recommend a roast dinner)!
Once you're full from dinner, head across the road to King's Cross Station to get your picture taken at platform nine and three quarters. There's also an amazing Harry Potter shop right next door, but be warned, it does get pretty crowded!
I then recommend heading back to your hotel for a lesson in potion making (it's really a cocktail making class), for a magical end to a magical first day.
Note: To get to and from the Georgian House Hotel and St. Pancras/King's Cross you could walk (it will take just over an hour), or get the tube from Victoria Station to St. Pancras/King's Cross Station using the Victoria Line.
Day Two - Warner Bros. Studio Tour
The Warner Bros. Studio Tour is really the piece de resistance for Harry Potter fans. Apart from maybe Universal Studios in Hollywood and Orlando, this tour is really the best thing for a Harry Potter fan. I've been a fair few times now, and I love it more and more every time.
You walk through the many different set pieces of the movies, while learning about how they did hair, makeup, costumes, props, special effects...it includes everything you could possibly want!
You would probably need to commit to a full day here, as there's so much to be seen, with more and more added all the time. Halfway through the tour there's a cafe where you can get some lunch, or you can wait until the end of the tour where you can dine under the floating candles of the Great Hall. The shop at the end of the tour is amazing; you could spend an hour in there easily!
For dinner, I recommend getting the Warner Bros. Shuttle Bus to Watford Junction (the train station in the neighbouring town of Watford), and then walking into the town centre for multiple dining options.
If you're visiting on a Thursday, why not make it back to London in time to watch Act 1 of the Cursed Child, and then watch Act 2 the next day? The Cursed Child is a play inspired by events after the Harry Potter series ends, and trust me, it's amazing! I don't particularly like the plot, but the special effects are spectacular - you truly feel like you're watching real magic in front of your eyes. The play is split into two separate performances that you can either see in one day or split over two days, depending on the day of the week.
Note: To get from London City to Warner Bros. you will need to get the train from from London Euston Station to Watford Junction. You will then be collected by the Warner Bros. Shuttle Bus. You can find more information here.
Day Three - A Day in London
Begin your day with a Harry Potter walking tour. There are many to pick from in London, and most will take you around some of the filming locations during the Harry Potter series. It's a fantastic way to step right in to the movies!
From there, take a break with some afternoon tea at the Potion Room. I haven't done
this myself but it's often on many 'Must Do' Harry Potter London trip lists! Not only does it give you an immersive HP experience, but afternoon tea is a quintessential British must-do!
Why not take a whistle-stop tour around London Zoo, where Harry released the Boa Constrictor in the Philosopher's Stone? It's not a huge zoo, so you could cover it within an afternoon if you're not fussed about seeing everything.
Note: You can get from the Potion Room to London Zoo by taking the Bakerloo Line from Oxford Circus to Baker Street, and then walking around Regent Park, or by then taking the 274 bus to the zoo.
From there I recommend doing a bit of shopping. There's loads of shops in London that
sell Harry Potter items, such as:
But I highly recommend visiting Minalima. They are the company that designed a lot of the designs seen in the Harry Potter film, and now sell replicas of their products.
For dinner, why not check out one of the many restaurants around the Covent Garden area? Yes, they might not be Harry Potter themed, but there are some amazing finds there!
And that's it for your trip to London to explore the many wonders of Harry Potter! This obviously is not an exhaustive list, but I think it creates a pretty magical long weekend. I would love to know if you're a Harry Potter fan, and if so, what house are you in? I'm a Slytherin!