No question; London’s one of the most filmed cities in the world. It’s been – and continues to be – used as a location for countless major movies down through the decades. None more so than the big-screen Hollywood adaptations of the marvellously magical Harry Potter novels. Now, many people are aware – many of them, of course, unreconstructed ‘Potterheads’ – that on a visit to London, you can travel just a few miles outside of the capital to the Warner Bros. Studios to set foot on the very sets that served as the films’ interiors. But what’s perhaps less known is that you don’t have to leave Central London at all to sample terrific Potter-tastic locations.
Indeed, should you fancy checking out the wondrous cobbled greatness that’s Diagon Alley, then you should head towards London Bridge and venture into the vicinity of Borough Market (which frankly, on its own, is well worth visiting as a foodie and eatery haven, should you be taking advantage of London hotel offers by staying at, say, the Park Grand Central Paddington London. Here are the Potter delights it boasts…
The Leaky Cauldron
(2/ 7 Stoney Street SE1 9AA)
Famed as the wizarding watering hole at the entrance of the hidden-away Diagon Alley, The Leaky Cauldron (or, at least, its outside) has been portrayed on screen by three separate addresses in the UK capital. The first and second are those listed above, whose frontages were together used in the movie version of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban; in reality, the first is a hip florist’s and the second a trendy oyster and shellfish bar. Admittedly, the third on-screen incarnation of the Muggle-less pub isn’t located anywhere near Borough Market; you’ll find it in East London’s Leadenhall Market (2-3 Bull’s Head Passage ECV3 7NA), where in our world it’s somewhat unspectacularly an optician’s.
The Third Hand Emporium
(8 Stoney Street SE1 9AA)
Just down the cobbled street from the first two aforementioned establishments is one that, being a pub in real life, ironically enough didn’t double as The Leaky Cauldron but as Diagon Alley’s ‘Third Hand Emporium’ – in the second Harry Potter silver-screen escapade, The Chamber of Secrets. Specifically, it’s through the doors of this pub – The Market Porter – that our Hogwarts hero supposedly first met his flamboyant but useless professor, Gilderoy Lockhart. Moreover, in The Prisoner of Azkaban adaptation, Harry departs the notorious Knight Bus outside the Leaky Cauldron – in the real world, this moment was also filmed directly outside this pub.
Broomsticks at the ready!
Unfortunately, as we’re all Muggles – well, unless anyone can prove differently! – hopping on a broomstick, kicking-off and flying your way to Borough Market’s not actually the best way to get to these locations. Disappointingly, it’s better to rely on conventional public transport to get to the lively, thriving Borough Market area, which you’ll find near the famous London Bridge, just east of the South Bank.
And, in the UK capital, public transport means the London Underground (or The Tube, as it’s known) – the nearest station, London Bridge, is just a few, short minutes’ walk away and is on both the Jubilee line and the Northern line (Bank branch) – or the bus (routes 43, 131, 149 and 521 are undoubtedly best). However, if you do find travelling by broomstick an effective way to get to across London to Borough Market, feel free let us know – it’s surely something the world needs to be made aware of!