London Day 7 – A trip down Abbey Road and Harry Potter Land!

I’m a huge Harry Potter fan so one of the things I knew I needed to do was to visit the Harry Potter studio tour in Leavesden. It was definitely worth it and pretty much exceeded all of my expectations! We changed our date about a month before so we got an evening ticket but we ended up staying almost till closing. Since we went so late, we visited some of the museums in the South Kensington area, went to the Borough Market, and walked across the famous Abbey Road.  

 

macaron meringue from the Borough Market
macaron meringue from the Borough Market

After museum hopping we went to the Borough Market for lunch. It was really really crowded but the food was worth it. I had a halloumi veggie burger as well that was pretty tasty. I had been wanting to buy one of these for a while because they looked so cool and I discovered that it’s pretty much a puff of crunchy sugar. Not too sure what else I was expecting. 

Everyone trying to cross Abbey Road
Everyone trying to cross Abbey Road

Abbey Road is located a few blocks from the exit to St. John’s Wood. The street crossing was crowded with tourists like us trying to take pictures walking across the street as cars angrily honked at everyone trying to cross. It was probably the only spot that we visited that hadn’t really been capitalized on by companies looking to make money and it was refreshing and fun to visit. The studios are located across the street and are covered in Beatles themed graffiti. The signs that say “Abbey Road” are kind of hard to find. I’m guessing it’s because so many people have tried to steal them. If you look high up (like almost to the second story) on the surrounding buildings you’ll be sure to spot one. 

Diagon Alley!
Diagon Alley!

The Harry Potter studio tour was probably the highlight of my entire trip! If you go be sure to book months in advance especially for weekends because they sell out fast! It was really nice that they controlled the amount of people they let in so there weren’t suffocating crowds everywhere. The first part of the tour takes you through some sets, props, and costumes used in the making of the movies and the second part leads you through the creature shop and right down the real Diagon Alley! It was really impressive to see everything up close and in real life. A lot of things that looked computer generated were actually real like the door to the Chamber of Secrets and the door to Bellatrix’s Gringotts vault. 

HOGWARTS
HOGWARTS

The last surprise is the real Hogwarts itself! They used a model for all the external shots so there’s a giant room that houses the entire school! It was really cool to see it in person and it was extremely breathtaking and beautiful. Pictures really don’t do it justice. You need to come see it for yourself.

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London Trip #2

After realizing that some places are closed on Sundays, I decided that I needed to make another trip on a Saturday. Started at Marble Arch, walked across Hyde Park to the Science and Natural History Museums, took the tube to London Bridge for the Borough Market, walked back across the Thames along the Millennium Bridge, saw a taping of Dr. Who in front of St. Paul’s Cathedral, walked to the British Museum, walked to Oxford Circus and Carnaby Street, walked to Buckingham Palace, walked to Victoria Station, then bussed home. I mapped the distance that I walked and it came out to around 10 miles. Phew!

Started in Hyde Park
Started in Hyde Park
Walked over to the Science and Natural History Museums
Natural History Museum
Took the Tube over to the Borough Market and got an olive bread stick
Olive Bread Stick
Walked from the Borough Market to the British Museum then to Oxford Circus and Victoria Station
Part of the Parthenon Exhibit at the British Museum