YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED
QUESTIONS ABOUT PLATFORM 9¾
Platform 9¾ is located at King's Cross Railway Station in London.
However, in the Harry Potter films, despite the fact the interior of King's Cross was used for filming, the actual exterior that purports to be King's Cross is, in fact, the exterior of the adjacent St Pancras Station.
Although the secret entrance to the platform from which which pupils bound for the Hogwarts departs is meant to be situated between Platforms 9 and 10 of King's Cross, the actual wall used in the Harry Potter films was one between Platforms 4 and 5.
There most certainly is a Platform Nine-and-three-quarters, or, at least, there is now.
In J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter books, the fictional Platform 9¾ is entered through the brick wall of an arch situated between Platforms 9 and 10 of King's Cross Station.
This gave the film-makers a problem when filming for the movies, since Platforms 9 and 10 were not adjacent to each other at King's Cross Station. Their solution was to re-number platforms 4 and 5 as Platform 9 and 10 and use the brick wall of an arch between these two platforms as the wall through which the students bound for Hogwarts pass to reach Platform 9¾ to board the Hogwarts express.
However, those awfully nice Muggles who look after King's Cross Station have since come to the rescue and have embedded a trolley in a wall close to Platform 10 of King's Cross Station, so you can now get your photograph taken pretending that you are a pupil on your way to board the Hogwarts Express.
How cool is that?
The Harry Potter train Station is King's Cross Station in London, albeit in the films they actually used the exterior of neighbouring St Pancras Station for the exterior shots of King's Cross Station!
A wall between Platforms 4 and 5 was actually used as the entrance to Platform nine-and-three-quarters in the Harry Potter films.
The scenes on the platform itself, from those bound for Hogwarts board the Hogwarts Express, were filmed at the far end of the Platform, far away from the gaze of curious Muggles!
To visit Platform 9¾ you will need to make your way to King's Cross Station. This is situated on the Northern, Victoria, Piccadilly, Circle, Metropolitan, and Hammersmith and City Lines of the London underground network, so you can get a direct tube there from many parts of London.
Once there, exit the underground and follow the signs for King's Cross Station. Go past the Ticket Office, and you will see Platform 9¾ directly ahead of you on the right beneath the overhead footbridge.
There is nearly always a long line of people queuing to have there photographs taken by the trolley that has been embedded into the wall beneath the Platform 9¾ sign.
QUESTIONS ABOUT DIAGON ALLEY
It is not known for certain what actually inspired the creation of Diagon Alley. However, it is widely believed that two London alleys have the potential for having inspired its creation. Those two thoroughfares are Cecil Court, off Charing Cross Road, and Goodwin's Court, of St Martin's Lane.
In real life, Diagon Alley was a film set, which is now part of the Warner Bros Studio Tour, The Making of Harry Potter. However, it is believed that this iconic wizarding thoroughfare was inspired by two London thoroughfares, Cecil Court and Goodwin's Court.
Diagon Alley was actually filmed on a film set at the Leavesden Studios.
You can find Diagon Alley by paying a visit to The Making of Harry Potter. However, if you wish to visit the London locations that are believed to have inspired the creation of it, then a visit to Cecil Court and Goodwin's Court is a must.
Diagon Alley is reached through the Leaky Cauldron, which is on Charing Cross Road. It is believed that its creation was inspired by Cecil Court and/or Goodwin's Court, both of which are atmospheric alleyways relatively close to Charing Cross Road.
Leadenhall Market was used in Harry Potter, but not, as is often claimed, as Diagon Alley.
In fact, in Harry Potter And The Philosopher's Stone, Harry and Hagrid make their way through Leadenhall Market to enter the Leaky Cauldron. Since Diagon Alley is behind the Leaky Cauldron, which is on Charing Cross Road, then that means that Leadenhall market was Charing Cross Road.
QUESTIONS ABOUT THE LEAKY CAULDRON
In the Harry Potter books, the Leaky Cauldron is a pub on Charing cross Road.
However, for the films, three locations were used.
In Harry Potter And The Philosopher's Stone, Harry and Hagrid enter the Leaky Cauldron via what is now the Glasshouse opticians shop, in Bull's Head Passage, Leadenhall Market.
In Harry Potter And The Prisoner of Azkaban, the Knight Bus drops Harry by the railway bridge on Stoney Street, by Borough market, where the entrance to the leaky Cauldron was a doorway in the wall under the bridge.
The interior of the Leaky Cauldron, however, was a film set at the Leavesden Studios.
There is no reason, so far as I can see, why Muggles shouldn't go into the Leaky Cauldron - if they know where to go, or, to be more precise, where to look.
It's worth remembering that in the film version of the Philosopher's Stone, as Harry and Hagrid approach the Leaky Cauldron, its sign is black, its name only appearing as they get closer to the door, suggesting that only the magical community can see it.
In Chapter 13 of Harry Potter And The Half Blood Prince, Dumbledore tells Tom Riddle how to get from the orphanage to the Leaky Cauldron and explains that, "...You will be able to see it, although Muggles around you - non-magical people, that is - will not."
The Leaky Cauldron is described as a shabby pub on Charing Cross Road. There are a few pubs on Charing Cross Road that might fit the bill, but the problem is that Muggles cannot see the Leaky Cauldron, so we just have to fall back on clues in the books, if we are to find it.
In Harry Potter And The Philosopher's Stone, a passage about the Leaky Cauldron states that, "...The people hurrying by didn't glance at it. Their eyes slid from the big book shop on one side to the record shop on the other as if they couldn't see the Leaky Cauldron at all..."
So it's somewhere near a big book shop and a record shop. I would suggest that the "big" bookshop is Foyles, so if you look in its general vicinity for wizardy looking folk entering a building that you can't see, then you are probably on the right track!
However, you should keep in mind that the original Foyles bookshop was demolished in 2015, possibly as a ruse by the Ministry of Magic to stop us Muggles working out where the Leaky Cauldron actually was!
GENERAL QUESTIONS ABOUT HARRY POTTER LOCATIONS
Although many websites claim that the Grimmauld Place scenes in the Harry Potter movies were filmed in Claremont Square, this is not actually true.
Producer, David Heyman, quoted in Harry Potter Page To Screen stated that:- "
"Originally, we were going to film in a square in Camden, but ultimately the cost of shooting on location at night, and the lack of flexibility it offered, made it prohibitive. So we decided to build Grimmauld Place on our backlot."
Set designer, Stuart Craig, based his design on the Georgian Squares that are to be found all over London, and the set was then built on a backlot at the Leavesden Studios.
So, although the design may have been based on Claremont Square, the filming wasn't actually done there.
Although the exterior of Gringotts Bank was a film set at the Leavesden Studios, in Harry Potter And The Philosopher's (Sorcerer's) Stone the interior of the bank, where the goblins are shown working at their desks as Harry and Hagrid make their way through the grand banking hall, was filmed inside Australia House, on Strand.
You can watch the scene on this youtube video.
Australia House is the home of the Australian High Commission in London and is not open to the public. However, if you arrive here Monday to Friday between 10am and 5pm, the doors will be open and you can at least look through them to see the chandeliers, which will be instantly recognisable from the Gringotts Bank scenes in the film.