MUGGLES AND MINISTRIES
A HARRY POTTER TOUR IN WESTMINSTER
HARRY POTTER WALKING TOUR DIRECTIONS
Go down the steps and keep ahead, passing to the left of Nelson’s Column.
LONDON TREASURE HUNT CHALLENGE FOUR
Can you spot the difference?
HARRY POTTER WALK DIRECTIONS
Having passed to the left of Nelson's Column, cross the road via the pedestrian crossing heading for the trees on Northumberland Avenue ahead. Keep ahead along the left side of Northumberland Avenue until, on the left, you arrive at:-
THE SHERLOCK HOLMES PUB
You might like to stop off and enjoy a lunch or a coffee here. Its walls are adorned with numerous bits of Sherlock Holmes memorabilia, old Sherlock Holmes movies play on a TV in the main bar, whilst upstairs there is an exact replica of Sherlock Holmes's sitting room at 221B Baker Street.
The pub makes a nice place to take a break before moving on to the next section of your Harry Potter Tour, which will take you through Westminster.
Spot the Difference
Exit the Sherlock Holmes Pub and go over Northumberland Avenue via the crossing. Bear left on the other side and go first right into Great Scotlland Yard.
Pause opposite Scotland Place, the next corner along on the left.
THE ENTRANCE TO THE MINISTRY OF MAGIC
It was along Scotland Place that Harry and Mr Weasley walked as they made their way to the Ministry of Magic for Harry's hearing on charges of using magic in front of Muggles in The Order of the Phoenix.
The arch ahead of you is clearly visible in the scene. The phone box which descends, and of which Mr Weasley comments "I've never used the visitors entrance before. Should be fun," was located here on the left.
The phone box itself was a prop specially brought in for the scene and removed once filming was complete. A second arch was constructed here (at least a portion of an arch was!) and this too was removed once filming was complete.
HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS
This corner was also used in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part One in the scene when Harry, Ron and Hermione need to infiltrate the Ministry of Magic to retrieve the locket from Dolores Umbridge.
They do so by taking Polyjuice Potion and assuming the appearances of three Ministry employees - Mafalda Hopkirk, Albert Runcorn and Reg Cattermole.
For the film the grey shutter to the left of the Scotland Place sign was replaced with a brown wooden shutter with a small brown door on its left side.
The scene begins with Ron peeking round the corner of the wall opposite the grey shutter and looking along Great Scotland Yard in the direction you just walked from.
Mafalda Hopkirk crosses Great Scotland Yard from the corner of the brown brick wall on the opposite side of Great Scotland Yard. As she passes the shutter Hermione, wearing the cloak of invisibility, hits her with a stunning spell and she falls to the ground.
They then drag her inside the loading bay behind the shutter where Albert Runcorn and Reg Cattermole are already laid out unconscious. Hermione proceeds to pluck a few hairs from Mafalda’s head, and she, Ron and Harry then take the Polyjuice Potion and are transformed into the three ministry employees.
We then see them step out of the little brown wooden door and line up against the shutter – Harry to the right, Ron to his left and Hermione to the left of Ron. From here they then set out to infiltrate the Ministry of Magic.
Proceed under the archway, go left along Whitehall Place, cross to its right side and go first right along Whitehall Court.
At its end, go right along Horse Guards Avenue, passing the statue of the Ghurkha and, on arrival at the junction with Whitehall, cross to the centre of Horse Guards Avenue to stand at the back of Spencer Compton’s statue and look back along Horse Guards Avenue.
THE STAFF ENTRANCE TO THE MINISTRY OF MAGIC
It was in the centre road just in front of you that the film makers erected the staff entrance to the Ministry of Magic for the filming of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part One.
This entrance was, in fact, a Gentleman’s toilet.
The scene only shows a close up of the "Gentlemen" sign as this, like the phone box, was a prop specially brought in for the scene and then taken away once filming had been completed.
Having transformed themselves into Hopkirk, Runcorn and Cattermole we see them walking over the diagonal white lines on the road directly in front of you.
The next scene, shows them in the toilet where they enter the Ministry by the ingenious (or disgusting!) method of flushing themselves down the toilet!
TO THE NEXT LOCATION
Go right along Whitehall and then veer immediately left over the pedestrian crossing. Turn left on its other side. A little way along pause on the right by the gates of Horse Guards.
THE HORSE GUARDS - THE HOUSEHOLD CAVALRY
If you arrive here between 10am and 4pm as their will normally be two soldiers on horseback here.
They belong to the Queen's Household Division. Two regiments of the Household Cavalry alternate the guard here.
If the guards are dressed in scarlet they belong to the Life Guards. If they are wearing blue they belong to the Blues and Royals.
Both Price William and Prince Harry were members of the Blues and Royals, whilst the singer James Blunt was a member of the Life Guards (I bet people told him he was beautiful!)
The guard change takes place on Horse Guards Parade, beyond the arch ahead at 11am Monday to Saturday and at 10am on Sunday.
At 4pm the Commanding Officer's inspection of the guards takes place and is well worth attending.
HARRY POTTER WALKING TOUR DIRECTIONS
Go under the arch and pause on the other side on Horse Guards Parade.
HORSE GUARDS PARADE - TROOPING THE COLOUR
It is on this parade ground that the Trooping of the Colour takes place every June to mark the Queen's Official Birthday. Look to the left at the building behind the wall and trees this is in fact the back garden of 10 Downing Street the home of the Prime Minister.
THIS WAY TO THE NEXT STOP
Return to Whitehall and go right along it. The grand building on the corner opposite is:-
THE BANQUETING HOUSE
This was the only part of Whitehall Palace to survive a disastrous fire in 1698. It was designed by Inigo Jones and was completed in 1622. In 1635 Charles 1st commissioned Peter Paul Rubens to paint the ceiling inside. It really is spectacular and this alone makes a detour to visit the Banqueting House well worth while.
It was on a specially constructed scaffold outside the Banqueting House that Charles 1st was beheaded on January 30th 1649, an event commemorated by a bust of him above the door on the left side of the building.
Continue along Whitehall pausing on the right to look through the gates into Downing Street. 10 Downing Street, the home of the Prime Minister, is located to the right, although Downing Street itself is not open to the public.
Keep ahead as Whitehall becomes Parliament Street and, having crossed over King Charles Street, you will find a line of four phone boxes.
YOUR VISITORS ENTRANCE TO
THE MINISTRY OF MAGIC?
Since the phone box featured in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix was a prop specially brought in for the filming, you might like to use one of these phone boxes to get a photograph of yourselves preparing to descend in to the Ministry of magic. Be careful though, just in case the phone box you are in actually does begin to descend!
Continue to the end of Parliament Street and, just before the entrance into Westminster Underground Station, veer left to cross via the crossing (there are toilets in the subway down the steps should they be required although these cost 50p!).
Pause in the middle of the road for a wonderful view of the Houses of Parliament and the world famous clock Tower, better known as Big Ben - although Big Ben is in fact the name of the bell that chimes inside the Clock Tower.