If you’ve been wondering ‘where's Diagon Alley?’ in real-life, then we have you sorted! This wizarding-inspired guide showcases various destinations across the UK where one can experience the magic and mystery, including spots which might well have inspired JK Rowling to have come up with shopping street of Diagon Alley.
All ever-so-photogenic, they’re the kind of streets you’ll wish to have a coffee in, look for unique souvenirs, or just snap photos of! Even though you bring your non-wizarding enthusiast friends, they’re certain to enjoy these unusual Harry Potter locations in England and Scotland…
Where is Diagon Alley in Devon?
Gandy Street, Exeter
Pretty and situated just a little off the main high street which snakes its way with the heart of the city, Gandy Street is a quirky street home to independent shops and quirky eateries. Best-seen on the grey day when you are able almost imagine people on broomsticks swooping ahead, the cobblestone street dates back centuries, and you can tell.
Until recent years, there is even a wizarding themed bar with imaginative cocktails inspired by various characters from the Harry Potter universe. Today, the secretive street is situated approximately the High Street and also the Royal Albert Memorial Museum and it is well worth a wander along when visiting Exeter. Nearby, Parliament Street is alleged to be among the narrowest streets in England.
Where is Diagon Alley in London?
Cecil Court, London
It might surprise many Harry Potter fans, but if you’re wondering ‘where is Diagon Alley in London?’ there are actually at least two contenders for that real-life alleyway. The very first of these is Cecil Court, a pretty cobblestone pedestrian street between Charing Cross Road and St Martin’s Lane.
Often referred to as the new Booksellers’ Row because of the sheer number of antique sellers and book vendors located along the Victorian frontage street, it’s really worth a wander along if you’re ever in the area, particularly for those in search of a unique London souvenir to keep in mind their time in the town!
Thanks to Cecil Court’s narrow nature, as well as the beautiful pastel shop facades, it’s no real surprise that many people believe this secret London location served as (at least part of) the inspiration for Diagon Alley. If you’re thinking about visiting whilst in the UK capital, make sure to visit earlier in the day and mid-week if possible because the crowds are fewer when this occurs!
Leadenhall Market, London
Located within the City of London district of London, Leadenhall Market is an attractive Victorian arcade that’s characterised by its overhead skylights and deep tones. The place to find a plethora of pubs and independent shops, the best time to visit is on the weekend once the City largely empties and you’ll get the place much to yourself.
But what may well surprise people to this late 19th-century bit of engineering would be that the history of Leadenhall Market actually dates all the way to the 14th-century. Today, the Harry Potter link with Leadenhall Market is clear: in certain of the wizarding films, Leadenhall Market actually starred because the entryway into Diagon Alley.
Other movies to have been filmed inside the walls of Leadenhall include The Imaginarium of Dr Parnassus and Lara Croft: Tomb Raider. Entirely free to visit, I definitely recommend visiting this Diagon Alley of sorts when in the area, especially if you’re looking for the best indoor activity on a rainy day!
Where is Diagon Alley in Edinburgh?
Victoria Street & Candlemaker Row, Edinburgh
Thanks to the fact that JK Rowling lived in Edinburgh for the entirety of the time that she wrote the Harry Potter series, there’s no shortage of Harry Potter locations in Edinburgh. From the names of the gravestones in Greyfriar’s Kirkyard to the very suite in the Balmoral Hotel where Rowling finished the series, Potterheads is going to be thrilled to go to Edinburgh during whenever of the year.
As imaginable, lots of people have alleged that there’s at least one Diagon Alley inspiration location in the city. Victoria Street can be found just steps away from the ‘Royal Mile’ (a road connecting Edinburgh Castle to Holyrood Palace) and it is home to pastel storefronts and quirky shops.
Set across two levels thanks to the hilly nature of the city, the cobblestone lane leads on to the Grassmarket, an area which was when a market square and is now home to several pubs, taverns, and inns. Nearby, the Vennel is another quirky passageway that could also pass to be an inspiration for that ‘Diagon Alley’ of Harry Potter.
Where is Diagon Alley in York?
The Shambles, York
The city of York in Northern England is really a beautiful destination best-known because of its centuries-old cathedral, unusual shopping opportunities, mouthwatering foodie scene, as well as its insightful alleged Harry Potter inspiration locations. As a result, if you’re searching for a wizarding-inspired weekend escape from London, I couldn’t recommend a visit to York more!
Otherwise, although there is no specific confirmation from Harry Potter writer JK Rowling herself, many people believe that The Shambles in York is among the key inspiration streets for your of Diagon Alley. All independent stores and timber-framed buildings, the medieval street is also said to have inspired the Diagon Alley street filming occur the wizarding films.
How to go to the real-life Diagon Alley
Warner Brothers Studio Tour
Easily among the best day trips from London, the Warner Brothers Studio tour is essential for all Harry Potter fans. Home to the particular real-life Diagon Alley film set, stroll along the shopfronts and envision yourself immersed inside the wizarding world. Fun fact: many of the storefronts the thing is today were also tweaked so they could feature because the village of Hogsmeade in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.
It’s important to note that the set is decked out with assorted decor across the seasons and with respect to the date, particularly at Christmastime when decorations can be found in abundance. As such, plan your visit to be able to take your real-life Diagon Alley photos to coincide with your favourite time of the year! Purchase your Warner Brothers Studio Tour excursion from London here in advance.