Harry Potter Bus Tour in London with BritMovieTours

by Alice
Magical view of Leadenhall Market used as Diagon Alley in the Harry Potter movies

Harry Potter Bus Tour in London

The very first part of our Harry Potter weekend experience in London was to get on a bus tour of Harry Potter locations with BritMovieTours. We had already been on a great Game of Thrones bus tour in Northern Ireland with that company, so we had high expectations. We’re happy to say this Harry Potter bus tour did not disappoint and that we’re glad that BritMovieTours hosted us for this review!

What you have to know about BritMovieTours’ Harry Potter Bus Tour in London

The London bus tour and the guides

We left around 2pm as planned, and it was very easy to find our guides: they presented themselves and had magic wands and Harry Potter scarfs, hard not to spot them!
Hand of the Guide (holding a wand) of the BritMovieTours Harry Potter Bus Tour in London
The bus was full, which made us a bit apprehensive… We couldn’t get seats at the front of the bus and we got worried we might miss some things by not hearing them. But BritMovieTours had planned everything very well: the chatting on the bus was done via a very good mic, and the bus was divided in two (hence the two guides) for the stops. We could also perfectly see and hear the screens showing some clips of the movies to put us in situation before and after each stop – which we thought was a great idea!
The screen on the bus of the BritMovieTours Harry Potter tour in London

The guides explained from the start that the tour could last between 2:30 hours and 3:30 because the London traffic can be quite unpredictable! We honestly didn’t notice the traffic, even if our guides told us a few times that they had to find another way to the next stop because of diverted routes. Which showed their professionalism and perfect knowledge of the area! It also allows you to do somewhat of a London bus tour while catching all the Harry Potter locations, not bad for the (grand)parents who might not be total Potterheads!

In the end, our Harry Potter London bus tour took a bit less than 3 hours, not including the Platform 9 3/4 since it’s where the tour ends and is not included in the experience (which is good, and you should absolutely skip it if you’re planning to go to the Warner Bros Studios!). Special thanks to our group’s guide, who was very talkative (something you should look for in a guide!), extremely knowledgeable, and quite funny!

Let the Harry Potter London bus tour begin…

Driving by Gringotts Wizarding Bank and the Savoy Hotel

Our tour started by driving by Australia House which was used to film Gringotts Wizarding Bank. The place is not open to the public – except sometimes on a weekend in September – and we didn’t get out of the bus to take pictures. We also passed by the Savoy Hotel, a beautiful place where lots of very famous artists have spent a consequent of time and lived, as did Richard Harris – the original Dumbledore from the two firs Harry Potter movies.

The Ministry of Magic : Scotland Place

Our first stop out of the bus was Scotland Place, which you might recognize as the Ministry of Magic in The Order of the Phoenix and The Deathly Hallows. It’s actually a very popular area for filming, so it might remind you of other films or series. Our guide gave us interesting and funny information, asked questions to give us the opportunity to earn points for our Hogwarts House (10 points to Gryffindor!) and showed us pictures from the movies so we could make our own. Don’t be shy, and take the picture. It’ll be great memories, personally I laugh every time I see this picture!
Scotland Place - The Corner from the Ministry of Magic in Harry Potter Movies The Guide of BritMovieTours showing the spot of the Ministry of Magic in Scotland Place

Driving by Westminster Station and the Lambeth Bridge

Westminster Station has been used in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, and is the place of a few funny moments as Arthur Weasley tries as well as he can to pass as a Muggle.
The Lambeth Bridge is the bridge crossed by the Knight Bus – as it squeezes to pass in-between two buses – in The Prisoner of Azkaban.

Second Stop: St Paul’s Cathedral and the Wibbly Wobbly bridge (Millenium Bridge)

We started at the Millenium Bridge, the one the Death Eaters destroyed in The Half-Blood Prince movie. Its architecture  – and the fact that it’s already somewhat wibbly wobbly in real life – perfectly fit the visual effects they wanted to achieve in the movie. You’ll also have a great view on the London bridge, so take a few moments to admire the landscape – but avoid Death Eaters at all cost!
The Wibbly Wobbly Bridge destroyed by Death Eaters Millenium Bridge that collapsed in The Half Blood Prince movie
A staircase in St Paul’s Cathedral is used in the movies as the staircase leading to the Divination classroom. We didn’t get inside the Cathedral (but you could come back anytime during your stay, as you might want to explore the place in depth) but learned a few interesting facts about it. Will you spot the Phoenix?!
Guide of BritMovieTours leading to St Paul's Cathedral during Harry Potter Bus Tour in London

The two locations of the Leaky Cauldron : Borough Market and Leadenhall Market

On our way to the first location of the Leaky Cauldron, I’m proud to say that I earned 10 points to Slytherin by answering right to a question!

Ahem, back to the tour!

Did you know that two different locations in London have been used to film the Leaky Cauldron? Well, now you do! One is at the very lively Borough Market – it’s now a Mexican Restaurant.

The entrance of the Leaky Cauldron at Borough Market in London
The second is at the beautiful Leadenhall Market. It’s the one used for the first Harry Potter movie: find the blue door and that’s it!
Alice in front of the blue door in Leadenhall Market leading to the Leaky Cauldron
Leaden Hall also happens to be one of the filming location of Diagon Alley, and the spirit definitely is there! The place is beautiful and completely deserted – I’m not joking, completely deserted – during the weekend! Plenty of time and space to take all the pictures you want and bask in the magical atmosphere.
The entrance to Leadenhall Market aka Diagon Alley Magical view of Leadenhall Market used as Diagon Alley in the Harry Potter movies Leadenhall Market Corridor where the shops of Diagon Alley would be in the Harry Potter movies A dragon statue in Leaden Hall Market during the Harry Potter bus tour in London with BritMovieTours
Did you know that if you stand there and do – on an Android phone in English – a Google search for “lumos“, the light of your phone will turn on? And now, 10 points to your house if you answer right: what should you say to turn off the light?!

Driving by 12 Grimmauld Place: Claremont Square

Next we drove to Islington, where can be found the place that inspired the Blacks’ house at 12 Grimmauld Place. Check out the names of the streets on the way, you’ll see a few that sound very closely like some names used by J.K. Rowling in Harry Potter.

End of the Harry Potter Bus Tour: Kings Cross St. Pancras:
Platform 9 3/4

You’ll get off at Kings Cross St. Pancras, giving you the opportunity (especially if you didn’t arrive in London by train) to see the station that was used for the filming. But don’t make any mistake: it’s St. Pancras’ building that has been used to depict Kings Cross. I know, confusing – but you’ll understand why once you see the place!
St Pancras Station used to picture King's Cross Station in the Harry Potter movies
It’s where you’ll have to say goodbye to the great bus tour staff (guides and amazing driver), but it’s not necessarily the end of your tour or of your Harry Potter experience. If you have the time and courage – and only if you don’t go to the Warner Bros Studio later on – you can do the line to get your picture with your cart at Platform 9 3/4. If you’re going to the Studios, don’t bother: there’s a replica (actually, three) over there and it’s much less crowded!! However, going to the Studios or not, check out the shop and try your best not to spend all your galleons!!
The shop at platform 9 3/4 in Kings Cross Station in London - the end of the BritMovieTours Harry Potter bus tour in London

Last word: how really was the Harry Potter bus tour with BritMovieTours?

It was great!

The big advantage of a Harry Potter bus tour – apart from not getting lost and not losing any time – is that the guides are incredible! They know everything there is to know – especially anecdotes you might not be aware of – and are hilarious! Also the bus tour is great when it’s cold outside. We had a whole Harry Potter weekend planned – and we knew we were going to walk A LOT, so the bus tour really was our best option (especially as it was freezing outside). It was comfortable and we got to see a lot of locations without any hassle!

Note that BritMovieTours also offers a Harry Potter walking tour that we haven’t tested but as this second experience with them has been a great success, we’re pretty sure you can trust them with all of their tours!

We’ve been guests of BritMovieTours for this tour of Harry Potter locations in London, but as always, all opinions are our own.
Harry Potter bus tour in London | Harry Potter filming locations in London | Harry Potter experience in London | Where is #DiagonAlley | Where is the #LeakyCauldron in #HarryPotter | Ministry of Magic Ron scene | #HarryPotterLondonTake this bus tour to discover all the filming locations of the Harry Potter movies! | BritMovieTours Harry Potter tour review | Check out Diagon Alley | The Leaky Cauldron

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Maike 3 March 2018 - 18 h 26 min

I love love love love love Harry Potter. I did almost the same tour but without a guide. It is so great to see all this spots. I´m glad you enjoyed it.

Alice Cardy 3 March 2018 - 18 h 45 min

So happy to have found another fan! 😉 What did you do differently? Any spot you missed, one we haven’t seen?!

Lucy 3 March 2018 - 18 h 35 min

Sounds like an absolute dream for a Harry Potter fan. And I love Ledenhall Market; I’m always surprised by how empty it is!

Alice Cardy 3 March 2018 - 18 h 44 min

It was!! We had never been to Leadenhall Market and it was incredible how empty it was! I’m really wondering why tourists aren’t crowding this beautiful place…

VRITHI PUSHKAR 4 March 2018 - 1 h 49 min

Sounds amazing. My husband is the biggest Harry Potter Fan i know. He is going to love this.

Stacy|Familyofsixtravels.com 5 March 2018 - 18 h 50 min

We’d love to do this next time we’re in London. I’m a huge Harry Potter and may enjoy it even more than my kids! Pinning for future trip planning!

Hang Around The World 5 March 2018 - 22 h 02 min

London has its charm and we love this city so much! For a fan of Harry Potter this is a must and these spots are so beautiful…. Leadenhall Market is what has always intrigued us 🙂

Flo 6 March 2018 - 10 h 34 min

I can’t believe how little people there were at Leaden Hall! The interior is stunning and I’d love to check it out. The bus tour sounds like so much fun and I’d love to try it out the next time I’m in London – great tip about Platform 9 3/4, I had no idea there were so many other replicas at the studios!

Michelle 7 March 2018 - 4 h 44 min

That looks like a lot of fun. And sounds like the guides really make the experience, too.

Simone Cardillo 7 March 2018 - 15 h 53 min

It has been very fun! And believe me the guide made it even more!

Danijela 7 March 2018 - 8 h 59 min

I’m not really a fan of such tours, but this sure sounds like fun. It must have been nice to see clips from movies while touring around.
The Leaden Hall would be the place I’d love! It looks lovely, just like the movie set, right! 😀 So glad you such fun! 🙂

Simone Cardillo 7 March 2018 - 15 h 56 min

The Leaden Hall is the only place that our guide strongly suggested to go back!

Kate and Kris 7 March 2018 - 9 h 41 min

How cool! I love that you got wands. And amazing to see all the locations in real life. I’m interested in doing the walking tour.

Simone Cardillo 7 March 2018 - 15 h 57 min

At the beginning Simone thought it was the walking tour…..
Maybe next time we’ll do it!

Anna 7 March 2018 - 11 h 21 min

Seems like a lot of fun guys! As I am a big HP fan, I’ll surely join one of this bus tour next time when in London 🙂

Simone Cardillo 7 March 2018 - 16 h 02 min

If you are a fan it’s a must, if you are not you’ll enjoy it as well!
Take it from the one (Simone) of the two that is not the super fan.
Anyway I highly recommend this tour!

Biggi 7 March 2018 - 14 h 29 min

Merci Alice Cardy, ça donne envie ! D

Milkytravel 7 March 2018 - 18 h 03 min

oh God, i totally love it! read all Harry potter books at least 3 times. Would love so much to repeat your route 🙂 by the way shots are nice

Megan 7 March 2018 - 19 h 49 min

This is wonderful! We were in London, and made the trip out to Leavesdon, but we would have loved this bus tour. Wish we had known about it. 🙁 Oh well, guess we have a reason to return now!

Nathan 9 March 2018 - 15 h 34 min

As a fan of a movie or book series, nothing can be more amazing than seeing what is depicted and described in the film or novel come to life! I’m sure it must have been a fabulous experience entering the world of Harry Potter.

Christina 9 March 2018 - 20 h 19 min

I am usually not big on group tours, but after reading your post, this seems to be the perfect/right way to experience Harry Potter in London!

Preethika GN 11 March 2018 - 8 h 58 min

I have to admit that I am not a fan of Harry Porter but that did not stop me from watching all their movies. Few of my friends are hardcore fans and I can’t imagine how crazy they would get here. I would love to experience and explore a place like this – must have been awesome fun.

Bruce Schinkel 12 March 2018 - 1 h 18 min

what a fun experience! I’ve never done a movie tour, but did stumble upon some places from the Sound of Music while in Salzburg and that was really fun. This tour seems amazing, given the guides were so knowledgeable and fun

Sherrie Fabrizi Allbritten 12 March 2018 - 3 h 00 min

I have to catch up on the Harry Potter movies! This looks like so much fun, would love to do this next London trip! We are headed to Scotland in May and will be taking the famous train ride too.

Kellyn 12 March 2018 - 3 h 18 min

This is interesting. I’ve never heard of something like this before. Thanks for sharing. I’m heading to London with my children in October. This is definitely something to consider.

Adrenaline Romance 12 March 2018 - 4 h 28 min

This is pretty cool! It’s like stepping right into the movie. The wand is a nice thought. Wingardium Leviosa!

Punita Malhotra 12 March 2018 - 5 h 12 min

I’m not a Harry Potter fan, but I can relate to all the fun connected with movie tours, since we have done the Sound of Music tour in Salzburg. My niece lives and dreams Harry Potter, and this is something she would absolutely love. I will be suggesting it to her.


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