This is a virus who must not be named (and we’re entirely sick of hearing about) friendly outing. I’d been to a lot of the locations before but going back and actually looking at the filming angles and how much work went into the making of it makes it’s all the more exciting!
Writing this blog made me feel a lot like this entire scene from Brooklyn 99.
Although Sean and I didn’t pose quite like that ^, you can see me skipping in the video. And my inner Harry Potter nerd is having a whale of a time writing this.
But before I let it out…
I need to make it abundantly clear that I don’t agree with any of the bigotry coming out of JK Rowling. I’ve made a donation to the Mermaids Trust charity, which helps gender diverse children and their families.
This blog and tour don’t put any money into JK Rowling’s pocket.
Back to it!!
Obviously, you are welcome to use this tour as a fun self-guided day out but using the locations for an engagement shoot would make it SO much better!! Just think about it, you can make it as nerdy as you want it to be. You could dress up, bring your wands or pop on your muggle outfits and only you and true Harry Potter fans would even notice!
If you haven’t figured out if you want an engagement shoot then find 7 reasons you should consider an engagement shoot here.
Good news, Sean and I also filmed the tour, so you can watch it below!
Harry Potter Film Locations Tour
1) Borough Market, London Bridge, Park Street – The Leaky Cauldron (Prisoner of Azkaban) & Diagon Alley inspiration
You can find the entrance to The Leaky Cauldron in the Prisoner of Azkaban (where the Knight bus drops Harry) – now known as The Wheat Sheaf Pub which has a cool covered outdoor garden. Next door is the shop that acts as the Third Hand Emporium where Harry meets Professor Lockhart in The Chamber of Secrets. Borough Market is also part of the inspiration for Diagon Alley in the films.
This is probably the busiest location for a shoot, but there’s always good angles to reduce the number of people in the background and sometimes tourists make the photos work anyway. Otherwise, an early morning shoot would work amazingly!
Nearest station: London Bridge
2) Leadenhall Market – Diagon Alley & Entrance to the Leaky Cauldron in Philosopher’s stone
Leadenhall Market is an absolutely stunning location even if you’re not a Harry Potter fan (aka a squib). It has such a strong Diagon alley feel to it! (Alexa, Play the Harry Potter theme tune). You can find the entrance to the leaky cauldron Harry and Hagrid use in the Philosopher’s stone here too!
Hands down the best location for your shoot, as you can tell in the photos it’s absolutely stunning. It feels like the first time you see Diagon Alley in the Philosophers Stone. A few of the restaurants also hold weddings, imagine having your wedding photos there too!!
Nearest station: Monuments and Liverpool Street
3) Millenium Bridge – Death eater attack in the Half-Blood Prince film (the bridge in the books is fictional)
I think this one is pretty obvious and everyone knows about it but it’s always nice to involve the classics even if it’s on-screen for less than 2 minutes of the franchise.
If it’s not for the Harry Potter reference, the architectural contrast of either the Tate or St Pauls Cathedral with the bridge will make your photos look above and beyond anyone else’s.
Nearest station: Blackfriars
4) Houses of Parliament – The Order of Phoenix film
They fly past Houses of Parliament while they move Harry, but Parliament looks horrendous at the moment as it’s covered in scaffolding (not just because of Brexit and the C-word). I’d probably give it a miss in a shoot while it’s not looking pretty.
Nearest station: Westminster
5) Great Scotland Yard/ Whitehall – Entrances to the Ministry of Magic in Order of Phoenix and Deathly Hallows Part 1
You’ll find the visitor’s entrance when Mr Weasley takes Harry to his Ministry meeting for using magic and again when Ron, Harry and Hermione use Polyjuice potion to find Umbridge’s locket. Also round the corner is Horseguards Avenue where the Ministry of Magic’s staff entrance was built as a prop.
This one was difficult to imagine as things were built in as props but it’s a great quiet location for photos. All the buildings have slightly different architecture too so the possibilities for backdrops here are endless!
Nearest station: Embankment or Charing Cross
6) Piccadilly Circus – Apparition Spot in Deathly Hallows Part 1
Where Hermione apparates her, Harry, and Ron during the death eater attack at Fleur and Bill’s wedding. I couldn’t get the exact angle due to almost getting run over just like in the film. So maybe not the best exact spot for your shoot, but definitely something we can work with.
Nearest station: Piccadilly Circus
7) Goodwins Court – Knockturn (Chamber of Secrets) and Diagon Alley inspiration
So, some say this is the real Diagon Alley, but it gave me the Knockturn alley creeps. It has topsy-turvy buildings, crooked houses and bulging windows. And everything is painted black.
I think this would be my second favourite place for an engagement shoot, after Leadenhall Market. The lighting and angles to play with would be SO much fun. There are loads we could work with and it’s reasonably quiet and well hidden.
Nearest station: Covent Garden
8) Australia House – Gringotts Bank in all the films
Below is a photo of the building, however, this is the only building you’d need to go inside. In the video (at the top of the page) at 1:40 you can see a photo I found on the internet of inside. Unfortunately, it isn’t open to the public. So I probably wouldn’t bother to include it in a shoot but since we included it in our tour I thought I’d give it a mention.
Nearest station: Temple
9) Claremont Square – Grimmauld Place – The order of the Phoenix and Deathly Hallows Part 1
You can see the outside of the headquarters of the Order of the Phoenix. The inside was constructed by Leavesden studios but the layout was still based on the floorplan of these houses.
SO many angles to work with in this location! I’m in love with these houses! Can you imagine living in one?!?
As we arrived it started to rain and went super cloudy, literally as if Voldemort had just attacked. We then had to cycle home in the worst rain I’ve ever been in without an umbrella. You can see it at the end of the video. Our undies were soaked through, I’m not even kidding.
Nearest station: Angel
There are SO many more film and book locations in London to explore! I’ll definitely be adding to this list as I visit more of them.
Now let’s talk about engagement shoots! I like to think of them as an adventure. We do a hell of a lot of talking. I won’t pose you awkwardly or tell you to do any cheesy shit. I also won’t let you stand there and feel like your having your school photo taken. We just talk, hang out and you’ll genuinely forget I’m even taking photos.
So, here’s the big question, Are you going to let your Harry Potter nerds dream come true?
You could enquire about your engagement shoot right now!
We could go to the locations above or explore some fresh ones together
All you’ve got to do is fill out the form below and tell me which locations are your favourite!
Or if you’re still thinking about it then you can find 7 great reasons to have an engagement shoot here.