We have been on a Harry Potter weekend in London and it was mind-blowing (at least for me – but it’s safe to say Simone enjoyed it). From brunch to a late night visit to the exhibition in London – not forgetting a bus tour and the Harry Potter Warner Bros Studio – we have done everything we could cram into our 48 hours in the city! Here’s our report and tips and where to go and what to do!
To note: We went to London from Saturday mid-day to Monday morning, but you can definitely adjust to make it a Friday night/Saturday morning – Sunday night kind of weekend!
Harry Potter experience in London
A magical weekend
Saturday: Harry Potter bus tour + vegan dinner + Harry Potter exhibition at the British Library
Bus tour of the filming locations
We went straight from the Eurostar to Temple Station, where we started our Harry Potter bus tour of the filming locations in London. It was the best way for us to see all the sites in London, since we didn’t have that much time and we were pretty tired by the week. We didn’t have to do any research, planning or walking: everything was taken care of by BritMovieTours and being driven around is a huge plus when you know you have a full weekend planned! Considering we would have had to pay for the metro if we did it ourselves, it was well worth the price (even though we’ve been invited on this tour by the company). It was the occasion to visit some must-see for any Potterhead in London, including both locations of the Leaky Cauldron (Borough Market and Leadenhall Market), Diagon Alley (Leadenhall Market), the Ministry of Magic, the Wibbly-wobbly Bridge, etc. It took around 3 hours and ended in King’s Cross station at the Platform 9 3/4 wall.
Read more about our Harry Potter bus tour in London
The Platform 9 3/4 at King’s Cross
The line is usually pretty huge and it doesn’t look like you could take your time taking many pictures. That’s the reason we only recommend you do it IF you don’t visit the WB Studio. Over there the Platform 9 3/4 has been reconstructed and you will have all the time in the world to take 300 pictures if you feel like it (there’s three spots with carts, so plenty enough for everybody).
Don’t miss the shop of the Platform, which will surely turn your wallet upside-down. But do keep some money for the rest of the weekend!
Vegan diner at Mildred’s
While it didn’t have anything to do with magic, we had dinner with a friend at Mildred’s. We went to the one close to King’s Cross Station since we had to be at the British Library by 10:30pm for the exhibition. The vegan dishes were delicious and we indulged in a bottle of wine which wasn’t bad at all! They tend to be pretty busy at night so be prepared to have to wait a little.
Harry Potter Exhibition at the British Library – ended on the 28th of February 2018
We went on this Harry Potter weekend in London on the last weekend of the exhibition on purpose. There was absolutely no way I missed this exhibition. To be honest, it wasn’t the first time I planned a trip to London according to an exhibition schedule: the last time I was there was for the Viking exhibition at the British Museum.
There was very little spots left for this weekend, but fortunately we landed two tickets for the 10:30pm slot – and it was not empty!! Unfortunately there was a zero picture policy, but I took a lot of notes. That was probably the activity that seemed the longest to Simone: being a former student in Medieval Studies I was completely absorbed into each and every little object, manuscripts, scrolls, etc. I stayed for pretty long in, and with stars in my eyes the whole time! If we weren’t going on a van trip and leaving our apartment and sedentary life behind I would have bought the exhibition book without question but now I’m not too sure it’d be the best of ideas. If you missed the exhibition, I strongly urge you to buy it!
Sunday: vegan brunch at Farmacy + Daunt bookshop + Harry Potter Studio
Vegan Brunch at Farmacy in Notthing Hill
If you join us just now, you might not know we are pretty lazy (in the morning) and – thanks to our life schedule during the week – we usually don’t wake up too early. So we took our time on Sunday and only got out of bed to go to Farmacy for a vegan brunch with a magical side!
The way there was pretty cool – we took the bus – as it was a beautiful day and Notting Hill is such a peaceful area. We had to wait half an hour to get a table – so we had tea somewhere else – but it was worth it! The place is not linked per-say to Harry Potter or any magical anything, but as you might have guessed with the name it felt a bit like we were in an apothecary. The little phials in the middle of the restaurant looked like what we were about to find in the Potions Classroom at the Harry Potter Studio (one of my favorite sets at the Studio!) and that was perfect for our Harry Potter weekend experience!
We shamelessly indulged and got fancy drinks and shared three plates because why limit ourselves?! Also: it was delicious!
Daunts Books: a travel bookshop
Our bellies full, we took off to visit the famous and gorgeous Daunts Books. It came highly recommended when I asked what we shouldn’t miss during this Harry Potter weekend and we were not disappointed at all! The place in itself is assuredly beautiful, and it also happens to be a travel bookshop! Did someone say “Paradise“?! We didn’t buy anything, but we found what to use for our upcoming van trip to the South of Europe and spent a little time reading in one of the comfortable chairs – to save up energy before going to the Studio.
Harry Potter Warner Bros. Studio Tour
The Harry Potter Studio is really not that hard to reach by your own means from London. Take the bus from Euston, arrive in Watford Junction, take the Warner Bros shuttle. Then you arrive, and the magic begins!
From start to end I could barely contain my excitement. I wasn’t sure if the Studio would be worth our time and money, but indeed they Exceeded my Expectations – I could even say it was Outstanding (see what I’ve done here? 10 points to Gryffindor/Slytherin/Ravenclaw/Hufflepuff!). It takes at the very least 3 hours to see everything so do allocate enough time. It’s very well done, fun for everyone at every ages, and whatever you find most enchanting in the Harry Potter (movies) world will be there just waiting for you to observe, capture, and dream.
That was the last spot of our Harry Potter weekend in London and we have to warn you: going back to the Muggle London is pretty tough after so much magic!
Have you been to London for a Harry Potter weekend? Are you planning one? Do you think we missed anything? Please tell us in the comment section below!