Dav and I went on a Harry Potter Black Cab Tour last Saturday. It was a lot of fun and also help bring back memories about the book/ movie before we visit the Harry Potter Studio at the end of the month.
We were picked up from the Park Plaza County Hall Hotel by a professional cabbie and started our private guided tour on a sunny day. We visited key film locations from all 6 Harry Potter movies in 2 hours. Not only was the cabbie knowledgeable about London roads, he was very knowledgeable about the Harry Potter movies (essential!) and he also knew a lot of London history.
The tour started off by visiting Gringott’s bank. Who knew Australia House on The Strand was Gringott?? So near to my office. Then we went to Lambert Bridge which was Brockdale Bridge , as featured in the Prisoner of Azkaban. This is the bridge where the treble decker night bus squeezes past the two oncoming red buses.
From Lambert Bridge, we can see the river Thames, which Harry flew along on his broomstick, in the Order of the Phoenix. Harry also flies above Westminster Palace on his way to Grimmauld Place.
Next we headed to to the entrance of the Ministry of Magic, where Arthur Weasley takes Harry to the disappearing phone box. There is in fact no phone box in the location. The phone box was put there for the purposes of the movie.
After that we continue on to Leadenhall Market where we saw the Leaky Cauldron and stroll through Diagon Alley where the wizards meet, drink and buy their books owls and Nimbus 2000 broomsticks. The alley is also home to Ollivanders where Harry buys his Phoenix wand. We also saw Third Hand bookshop, where Potter met Gilroy Lockhard, his future tutor.
From the City, the tour continues to the Millennium Bridge , as featured in the Half Blood Prince.
Finally we visited King Cross Station where Harry and Ron first meet and then disappear through the brick wall at Platform 9 ¾! Plus we also saw St Pancras station over which Ron and Harry fly in their blue Ford Anglia.
At the end of the tour, we found out from the cabbie that there’s also a London Underground & Tube. It will be interesting to see the abandon stations! Maybe that will be our next activity.