Many years have past, since I first read the Philosopher's Stone, became obsessed, read every book, watched every movie at the cinema then introduced all three of our children to Harry Potter. We are all huge fans, so yesterday I took my son to Harry Potter on Location's photographic exhibition at the London Film Museum in Covent Garden, it was a great afternoon out.
We've visited Warner Brother's Studio tour three times in the past - this is obviously much smaller in comparison but you'll still see some props alongside behind-the-scenes photographs from the movies. It cost me £20 for myself and £14 for my son - so not the cheapest afternoon out, but if you're a fan it's well worth it.
The museum is on Wellington Street which is just behind the main piazza square in Covent Garden. It is easily reached on the Piccadilly Line you can walk from Leicester Square or Covent Garden tube station.
You can book a time slot online and save the tickets to your phone, as you enter you'll see the Ford Anglia suspended from the ceiling along with lots of flying Hogwart's letters. After you have had your bags checked and tickets scanned you'll head downstairs and into the exhibition. The staff are all very friendly and know plenty of facts about the Harry Potter films and books.
The exhibition is all on one floor and will lead you through various parts of the movie, with huge photographs, a few props and costumes and a green screen area where you can fly a broomstick or "travel" to the Ministry of Magic via phone box - there is also a chance to have a Hogwart's ID card made. This is all optional and the pictures are available to view and buy if you wish to. The cheapest option is £15 and as we have pictures from previous Warner Brother's visits we didn't buy any.
Once you've finished looking through the exhibition you can have a Butterbeer in London’s only bottled Butterbeer bar. In the bar there are cute little booths that you can sit in as well as tables and chairs in the centre, there is a canteen style area which has kid's lunchboxes that look like the purple Knight Bus as well as Harry Potter themed cakes and brownies. If you do decide to have a Butterbeer you will get a plastic tankard to keep and a glass bottle, this was £6.95 but worth it to see my boy with his tankard sitting in the booth with his friends. There is an area to wash these out before you take them home.
The gift shop has Harry Potter themed sweets like Bertie Botts Every Flavour Beans and Chocolate Frogs - I think the Butterbeer is £4.95 or you can buy a four-pack for £12.95. There's also stationery, wands, keyrings, clothing and soft toys.
We spent around an hour inside the exhibition, it wasn't busy inside and there were a mixture of ages visiting. I would say it is probably more suited to children aged 6 and upwards who are fans of the films and books and will appreciate everything that is there.
There is plenty within walking distance if you are having a full day out. Covent Garden is great, it's colourful, there are street performers, the market and lots of places to sit and people-watch. Leicester Square and Chinatown are a short walk away - you're in the heart of the West End! You can also walk down to the Thames via The Strand through the Victoria Embankment Park and cross the Millennium Bridge. You'll end up on the South Bank area next to the London Eye where there is also the Jubilee Park and lots going on.
If you don't want to go on the underground you can walk to Waterloo station where there are plenty of train links available. Next to the London Eye you'll also find the Sealife Centre and Shrek's Adventure.
There are other Harry Potter activities in London - Platform 9 3/4 is at Kings Cross station and there are also walking tours of various filming locations. Mischief Managed!