Calling all Potter heads! Did you know that Bethnal&Bec is located just a stone’s throw away from an incredible variety of Harry Potter filming locations? Situated just outside London in the beautiful county of Hertfordshire, there’s an unbelievable world of Harry Potter magic at your fingertips. Explore locations close by like Ashridge Woods (where the Weasleys and Harry bump into Cedric Diggory on the way to the Quidditch World Cup in The Goblet of Fire), venture into central London to find Platform 9 ¾ at King’s Cross Station, and of course, step into the wizarding world of Warner Bros. Studios in Watford, just a 40-minute drive from Bethnal&Bec. We have compiled a helpful itinerary, so you can enjoy a muggleicious weekend full of mischief and magic – keep reading…
Arrival Day: Explore Local Harry Potter Filming Locations in Hertfordshire
The glorious county of Hertfordshire is the home of many different filming locations in Harry Potter. On your way to your wonderful weekend or magical weekend-break at Bethnal&Bec, we highly recommend checking out the below:
Ashridge Woods (Ashridge Estate, Berkhamsted)
A smooth one hour drive from Bethnal&Bec lies Ashridge Woods on Ashridge Estate, the woodland area where the Weasleys and Harry bump into Cedric Diggory on the way to the Quidditch World Cup in The Goblet of Fire. The 5,000-acre site is located between Hemel Hempstead and Aylesbury, where visitors can enjoy a charming woodland walk, famous for its bluebells in spring and its ancient trees.
Keen fanatics may also recognise the 400-year-old Queen Beech tree sitting in the estate as the Whomping Willow Tree, featured in The Prisoner of Azkaban.
Weston Hills (Baldock)
A mere 10-minute drive or a leisurely one hour walk from Bethnal&Bec will take you to the historic market town of Baldock, where scenes from The Deathly Hallows Part 1 were filmed. Filming for scenes set in earthy forests took place in the Weston Hills.
Day 1: Take a Trip to Warner Bros. Studio in Watford
A Harry Potter stay wouldn’t be complete without a trip to Warner Bros. Studios in Watford – just a 40-minute drive away from Bethnal&Bec! Wizards, squibs, and even muggles can discover the magic of Harry Potter at these jaw-dropping studios which were used to film all eight movies. Take a journey through famous sets of the Forbidden Forest, Hogwarts’ Great Hall, and Diagon Alley, pose in your favourite scenes, taste some delicious Butterbeer, and step onto the Hogwarts locomotive that transported thousands of students to and from Hogwarts.
Parking is provided free of charge in the car park directly outside the studios. A number of blue disability badge parking bays are available close to the main entrance.
If you’re travelling to the studios by taxi, there is a designated pick up and drop off point which you can navigate to using the postcode WD25 7LF or the What3Words app with the keywords ///grabs.intent.movies.
Just a few minutes’ walk from the Warner Bros. Studios is Dowding Way, where Harry is famously picked up by the double decker Knight Bus after fleeing Privet Drive in The Prisoner of Azkaban. It’s well worth the short journey to see this iconic Potter location!
Credit: Warner Bros. Studio Tour London
Day 2: Discover the Top Harry Potter Filming Locations in Central London
Multiple locations in Central London were used to shoot the Harry Potter films – we recommend taking a day trip to London to discover all the mugglelicious sights on offer! You can explore all the locations below by foot or tube; or if you’re not comfortable navigating Central London, you could take a designated London Harry Potter Tour for Muggles with one of the Hogwarts students as your guide!
Platform 9 ¾ (Kings Cross Station)
Leave your luxury accommodation at Bethnal&Bec behind and drive just 20 minutes to Stevenage Train Station, where you can hop on a fast train that takes you directly into London King’s Cross Station. You’ll immediately find yourself in one of the most iconic Harry Potter filming locations, Platform 9 ¾. Just as the film portrays, there is a wall between platforms nine and 10, with a luggage trolley positioned against it for a great photo opportunity that is not to be missed.
12 Grimmauld Place (Claremont Square)
Whilst you’re in the King’s Cross area, we highly recommend taking the 10-minute walk up to Claremont Square AKA 12 Grimmauld Place. This was the home of Sirius Black and the HQ for the Order of The Phoenix in the film of the same name.
Diagon Alley (Leadenhall Market & Borough Market)
First appearing on screen in The Philosopher’s Stone, Diagon Alley is Harry’s first introduction to the wizarding world. Presented as an exciting arcade of intriguing shops and emporiums, the original shots for Diagon alley were shot at Leadenhall Market, which is in walking distance from Monument. The beautifully preserved Victorian architecture can be seen in exterior shots of the alley and an empty shop (now an opticians) was used as the doorway to the Leaky Cauldron pub.
Across the river, Borough Market was also later used as the entrance to the Leaky Cauldron. The entrance to an ordinary flower shop became the front doors to the pub for the scene in which Harry arrives on the Knight Bus in The Prisoner of Azkaban. Borough Market can be found on the Southbank of the river and is a short walk from London Bridge tube and train station.
Die-hard Potter heads will remember the scene from The Deathly Hallows Part 1 when Harry, Hermione and Ron face an attack from a group of death eaters! They flee to Piccadilly Circus, which is one of London’s biggest tourist hot spots, known for its large display of digital advertising screens. Piccadilly Circus is easy to access from Piccadilly tube station, exiting towards Shaftesbury Avenue.
Ministry of Magic (Great Scotland Yard)
Great Scotland Yard, located on the north side of the river near Embankment, was used as a filming location when Harry and Arthur enter the Ministry of Magic in The Order of the Phoenix. Unfortunately, there’s no great photo opportunities at the phone box which is the entrance to the wizarding world’s authoritative body, as it doesn’t actually exist!
The phone box which appeared in the film was a prop; however, you can walk in Harry and Arthur’s footsteps. All you have to do is arrive at Embankment or Westminster tube station, and you’ll find Whitehall and Great Scotland Yard just a short walk away.
Gringotts Wizarding Bank (Australia House, The Strand)
The grand building Australia House on The Strand is home to the Australian High Commissioner. You may visit the house if you need an Australian visa. However, it’s also famously known as being the filming location for the interior shots of Gringotts Wizarding Bank!
You may not find a hidden railroad to your bank vault here, but the building really does look as grand as it does in the films. The Strand is very easy to find and is just a six-minute walk from Covent Garden or Temple tube station.
Before Harry really understands his wizarding capabilities in The Philosopher’s Stone, he manages to speak to a Burmese python and frees it from its reptile house display in London Zoo.
Since the location was used for filming, signage has been put in place indicating the exact area filming took place, with fascinating details about the scene and the Burmese Python. The zoo is based in Regent’s Park, and is easily accessible with a 10-15 minute walk from Camden Town tube station or from Baker Street bus stop on the 274 bus.
Lincoln’s Inn Fields
Lincoln’s Inn Fields is a gorgeous public square located in Holborn. But did you know that it’s also the ancestral home of Sirius Black in The Order of the Phoenix? Now, the building is not meant to be discovered by anybody because of the security spells placed on it… but it’s actually very easy to find!
In reality, the street is populated by solicitors’ offices. To find the location, take the tube to Holborn, and a 3-4 minute walk south east will lead you to Lincoln’s Inn Fields.
The Three Bridges
London Bridge is one of the city’s most iconic sightings, and in The Order of the Phoenix, the broomstick chase scene sees Harry fly past the magnificent bridge which stands over the Thames. It’s incredibly easy to access at just a 3-minute walk from London Bridge tube station.
In The Prisoner of Azkaban, the Knight bus squeezes between two regular London buses whilst crossing Lambeth Bridge. The closest tube station to Lambeth Bridge is Pimlico – the bridge is a further 20-minute walk from the station.
The third bridge used in the Harry Potter films is Millennium Bridge, which is destroyed by Death Eaters in The Half Blood Prince. Thankfully, the bridge still exists and can be easily accessed from Blackfriars or Mansion House tube station.
Departure Day: Explore Local Harry Potter Filming Locations in Hertfordshire
The magic doesn’t have to stop just because you’ve checked out! After a long morning lie-in on departure day, we highly recommend stopping by the below locations to complete your Harry Potter themed escape:
Hatfield Park, a gorgeous estate located just a 35-minute drive from Bethnal&Bec, was another of the county’s many filming locations for the Harry Potter film franchise. Scenes for The Deathly Hallows Part 2 were filmed on the estate’s grounds, and the estate was also featured in another of Daniel Radcliffe’s films, Victor Frankenstein (2015).
Ever wanted to live out your witch or wizard Yule Ball fantasy? A visit to the exquisite Knebworth House will see you greeted with the sweeping staircase that featured in this very scene in The Goblet of Fire, and also in The King’s Speech (2010). Knebworth House is easily accessible from Bethnal&Bec at just a 25-minute drive away!
Relax & Unwind at Bethnal&Bec Luxury Stays
After days packed full of exciting adventures exploring all the Harry Potter filming locations, you’ll need a luxury base in a convenient location to unwind and relax. A stay at Bethnal&Bec could be just what you’re looking for! Situated in north-east Hertfordshire, our award-winning, self-catering accommodation is adult-only with a chic home-away-from-home vibe, where you’re sure to get a good night’s rest. Take a soak in our double baths or outdoor jacuzzi baths, breathe in the fresh air of a mild summer evening in our private gardens, and sink into the sumptuous king size bed for a peaceful night’s sleep. Book your Harry Potter adventure break with Bethnal&Bec today!