Please note this is a self managed Harry Potter London walk so you can begin it at any time that suits you.
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WATCH THIS SECTION OF THE WALK ON OUR VIDEO
The Harry Potter Tour begins outside Exit One of Leicester Square Underground Station on Charing Cross Road.
WATCH OUT FOR THE DEATH EATERS!
Exit One of Leicester Square Station features in the opening scene of Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince when the Death Eaters swoop down over Trafalgar Square and head off along Charing Cross Road leaving a trail of death and destruction in their wake.
WHICH PUB COULD BE THE LEAKY CAULDRON?
It is through the Leaky Cauldron that the wizard community access Diagon Alley.
The Leaky Cauldron is a small shabby-looking inn on Charing Cross Road that is sandwiched between a record store and a large book shop.
There are several pubs along Charing Cross Road, none of which exactly fit the description, so why not play a little game and decide for yourselves which one you think could be the Leaky Cauldron?
Turn right out of Exit One of the Station and go immediately right along Cranbourne Street.
CHALLENGE ONE - SPOT THE DIFFERENCE
At the end of Cranbourner Street swing right, go over the crossing and, on its other side, veer right along St Martin’s Lane.
Keep ahead and go left along New Row where, a few doors along on the left you will find:-
HARDYS - STEP INTO HONEYDUKE'S
Stepping inside Hardy's you are surrounded by shleves stacked with jars filled with all manner of sweets.
The shop is just like Honeyduke's and they sell a number of Harry Potter themed sweets.
You can even buy a specially made up bag full, which includes chocolate frogs and wizards, every flavour beans (including bogie and vomit flavours!), liquorice wands, jelly basilisks and Sherbet Lemons.
Continue along New Row then first right into Befordbury.
A little way along on the right go through the passageway between 23 and 24 and enter:-
GOODWIN’S COURT - A SECRET LONDON LOCATION
This tucked away little alley, with its glorious Georgian facades, has a genuine aura of magical secrecy about it.
At night the alleyway is even lit by the flickering glow of gas lamps.
CHALLENGE TWO - QUESTION
What did Goodwin's Court used to be called?
HARRY POTTER DIRECTIONS
Continue to the other end of Goodwin's Court and cautiously cross over St. Martin's Lane, the traffic will be coming from your right on this one way street. Veer left on its other side and go first right into Cecil Court.
CECIL COURT - THE REAL DIAGON ALLEY?
Cecil Court, being "just off Charing Cross Road" and with its curious mix of bookshops and antique shops, is widely believed to be the real Diagon Alley, or at least the thoroughfare on which Diagon Alley was based.
There is certainly a mysterious air about this delightful little thoroughfare, and the first shop on your right is even called The Witch Ball! Although the window displays change, several of the shops display curious antique books in their windows and some of the shop signs themselves are very colourful, not to say magical, in their own rights.
A particularly colourful one is David Drummond located a little way along on the left, whilst Watkins Books at number 19 on the left claims to be the oldest occultist and mystical bookshop in the world.
MAGIC MONEY - HARRY POTTER AND FRIENDS
Colin Narbeth and Son Ltd, situated at number 20 on the right side of Cecil Court, has even decided to, quite literally, cash in on the huge number of Harry Potter fans who make pilgrimages here and has a window display of Gringotts Bank Notes featuring Harry Potter and his friends and enemies!
Continue to the end of Cecil Court and go right along Charing Cross Road.
FOLLOW THAT DEATH EATER!
You are now following the route taken by the Death Eaters in the opening sequence of Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince as they fly away from Trafalgar Square leaving a trail of destruction in their wake.
TO THE NEXT STOP
Keep ahead past Wyndham’s Theatre and, when you arrive back at Exit One of Leicester Square Underground Station, go left and over Charing Cross Road via the traffic light crossing.
Veer right on the other side and go immediately left into Leicester Square.
Keep ahead through the square and then just keep going straight until you reach Shaftesbury Avenue where you should cross to the small island in the middle of the road.
Turn so that you are facing the Statue of Eros (the winged figure on the island opposite) and then look down at the crisscrossed yellow line on the road to your right immediately in front of you.
MIND THAT BUS
When the Death Eaters launch the attack on Bill and Fleur's wedding in Deathtly Hallows Part OneHarry, Hermione and Ron escape by apparating out of there.
They re-appear on this section of road directly in front of an approaching number 19 bus.
Moving quickly out of its path they press up against the railings that used to be on the edge of the pavement opposite to your right.
The semi-circular windows above Gap are clearly visible in the scene.
Cross towards the building encased in scaffolding and veer right along Shaftesbury Avenue.
HERMIONE AT THE THEATRE
Having narrowly missed being hit by the bus, Hermione, Harry and Ron walk along the section of pavement that you are now walking along pushing their way through the crowds.
As they reach the line of grey, round columns, which will be on your left, Ron asks "Where are we?" "Shaftesbury Avenue," replies Hermione, "I used to come to the theatre here with Mum and Dad."
They then pass the silver tables of the café you pass on your left, after which they bear left and continue along the other side of the round, grey columns passing the display stands outside the last shop.
This scene differs from the book in that, in the book, they apparate to Tottenham Court Road.
Cross over Denman Street. Veer right and then cross Shaftesbury Avenue via the pedestrian crossing and pass beneath the Cineworld Cinema sign to walk through the arcade with the large globe lights overhead.
CHALLENGE THREE- SPOT THE DIFFERENCE
WE FORGOT YOUR BIRTHDAY HARRY
Having encountered and battled the two Death Eaters in the café in Deathly Hallows part One, Harry Ron and Hermione are walking through this arcade when Hermione suddenly exclaims that they didn’t celebrate Harry’s birthday.
Harry responds that he appreciates the thought but "...given that they were almost killed by a couple of Death Eaters a few minutes ago..."
Ron then interrupts, telling them "we need to go somewhere safe," and so they head to 12 Grimauld Place.
At the end of the arcade go left along Coventry Street and keep ahead towards the trees which will bring you back to Leicester Square. Proceed clockwise around Leicester Square until you arrive outside the Odeon Cinema.
THE HARRY POTTER FILM PREMIERES
This is the cinema at which the Harry Potter films had their London premieres. Watched by thousands of screaming fans, the stars would arrive, sign autographs and then walk along the red carpet into the cinema.
WATCH OUR FILM OF THIS PART OF THE TOUR
However, for the last instalment of the Harry Potter film franchise, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part Two, which took place on 7th July 2011, space was a little tight, owing to the building work that was going on in Leicester Square to prepare it for the 2012 Olympics.
In addition, it being the last ever Harry Potter film, Warner Bros was determined to pull out all the stops with a premier that would exceed all others.
So the stars arrived, not in Leicester Square, but in nearby Trafalgar Square, where thousands of fans - suitably attired in Hogwarts robes, or else dressed as their favourite Harry Potter characters - braved the typical London summer weather, and camped out for several days in the pouring rain to greet the stars and to watch and cheer the speeches.
Then, via the longest Red Carpet in cinema history, the stars made their way to Leicester Square, where the film was shown simultaneously at THREE cinemas.
Just how impressive that Red Carpet was is about to become apparent as this next section of the walk follows its route to Trafalgar Square.
TOUR DIRECTIONS TO THE NEXT LOCATION
Keep ahead past the Odeon, follow the road as it swerves right (you should be heading clockwise around Leicester Square) and, having passed the Half Price Ticket Booth on your right, turn left along St Martin’s Street.
Keep ahead towards the National Gallery, which is clearly visible in the distance.
Go left when you arrive at the gold lettering that reads “The Hampton Site,” then go right through the black gates and keep ahead to go left into Trafalgar Square.
Cross diagonally left and pause at the top of the steps looking towards Nelson’s Column.
THE STAGE FOR THE DEATHLY HALLOWS PREMIERE
It was directly ahead of you, just in front of the column, that the stage was erected on which the stars of the film assembled and addressed the thousands of fans who had assembled in the square for the Premiere of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part Two.
WATCH THE HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS PART TWO FILM PREMIER
LOOK OUT HERE COME THE DEATH EATERS!
Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince begins with the Death Eaters launching a destructive attack on London from the air. Part of that opening sequence shows them swooping down onto Trafalgar Square.