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The Number One Muggle Tour: See the magic of Harry Potter on the streets of London

| Hidden London, Kids, Things to do | 30/09/2013

Brit Movie Tours
Brit Movie Tours

Brit Movie’s Harry Potter themed tour of London film locations is a charming and interesting tour experience. For Harry Potter enthusiasts the tour provides the opportunity to visit and view several film locations dotted around London, such as the Millennium Bridge, the exterior of the Leaky Cauldron and Grimmauld Place, culminating where else, but King’s Cross Station and Platform 9¾. Though the tour was well organised, informative and to an extent entertaining, at its end you’re left wanting more. That’s not because you want more, but because you expected more.

Millennium Bridge

Millennium Bridge

The tour guide (on this tour particular tour was Celia) was informative, knowledgeable and ensured that there were no awkward silences, whether that was on the bus, or out on location. Her knowledge on the Harry Potter franchise was certainly impressive; quirky little facts like the 62442 (just enter the numbers into your mobile to reveal the magical secret) passcode that Arthur Weasley enters in the phone box to transport himself and Harry to the Ministry of Magic, revealed that even the most ardent of Harry Potter enthusiasts may not actually know it all.

Tours like this one have the potential to quickly become a nightmare. However, all that could have gone wrong did not. The tour guide as already written was well versed in all things Harry Potter, the DVD clips of the locations we visited all worked perfectly. And the bus driver Steve (on this tour), with the aid of his handy satnav did not stray onto the wrong track.

If tours were measured just on the ability of the tour guide and the driver’s ability not to get lost, this tour would rate quite highly. As it is the actual locations of the tour are very important, if not integral to the touring experience. To say that I felt a little let down and underwhelmed by the locations we visited, may be too harsh a criticism to make. The two hour long tour did take us to numerous destinations, such as Old Scotland Yard, Borough Market and Leaden Hall Market. But you feel that possibly not all avenues were fully explored.

Old Scotland Yard

Old Scotland Yard

Though, the tour being restricted to the city of London does mean that you’re high expectations will most certainly not be met. On a positive note, this tour could easily be promoted as a tour of London; whilst on the road you do take in some of London’s great tourist sites, such as St Paul’s Cathedral, the Houses of Parliament, and you even drive past Downing Street.

Like all great things they have to come to an end. And there is no more fitting an ending for a Harry Potter tour in London than the famous platform 9¾ at King Cross Station. With her wand in one hand, Celia led us not to the platform, because though it exists we discovered it doesn’t – and not for the reason that you’re currently thinking of. (The shots of platform 9¾ were actually taken on platforms four and five, because between platform’s nine and ten runs a railway track- a small mistake by author J.K. Rowling) But instead Celia led us to the entrance of the Platform 9¾ shop at King’s Cross Station, a fitting ending to an enjoyable tour.

King's Cross Station Platform 9¾

King’s Cross Station Platform 9¾

The Brit Movies Harry Potter tour of London does bring a sense of magic to the otherwise quite ordinary streets of London. If you think you know London, and you’re a Harry Potter fan, then this muggle tour of London will make you think again. For you’ll never look at London the same again, and the same could be said for the movies. This tour probably won’t blow your mind, but for any Harry Potter enthusiast (especially if you live in London) it is a must.

Written by Sandip Kana
(For more reviews follow @SandipKana)

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