Apart from Doctor Who, Natalie and I are both massive Harry Potter fans. Since we were in London, it was only natural that we had to stop at King’s Cross and visit Platform 9 3/4. Sorry to disappoint all the HP fans out there but IT. DOESN’T. EXIST. Seriously, look.
This was extremely devastating to me so I decided to do some research on what the !#^% JK Rowling was thinking fooling me like that. Back during an interview in 2001, she revealed that she misremembered the numbering of the platforms at King’s Cross Station. When the movie was filmed, they actually renamed platforms 4 and 5 to create the effect she was going for. Silly JK Rowling.
King’s Cross is an actual stop on the tube so it was very easy to get to. The easiest way there would be on the Victoria Line because it’s a direct stop. You’re also able to get there through the Northern, Hammersmith & City, Circle, and Metropolitan lines but have to cross over to the station from the outside.
Across from where Platform 9 3/4 should be lies a Harry Potter store with wands, clothes, and all other kinds of memorabilia. Next to that store is a fake Platform 9 3/4 where fans, like myself, are able to take pictures on our way to The Hogwarts Express.
Another one of my favorite movies that takes place in London is Notting Hill with Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant. Can you guess where we went next?!
Notting Hill Gate is also very easy to get to on the Circle, District, and Central lines. The minute you step off the train it is impossible to not fall in love with this little town. You almost immediately run into Portobello Road which is like three or four markets rolled into one. There are over 1,000 stands selling anything from art, silver wear, clothes, jewelry, records, fruits, and vegetables. Not only are there stands lined up all down the street but different stores exist behind them. It was truly unlike anything I’ve seen before.
The famous travel bookshop from the movie, unfortunately, no longer exists either. About a year ago it was bought out by a shoe store and is once again up for sale. When asking around about the filming of the movie, a lot of the locals said Notting Hill used to be a really affordable place to live. Once the movie came out (and at that point was the highest grossing British film), the price of living shot up and a lot of people had to leave the area.
We continued our last-day-extravaganza by grabbing some grub, checking out other local shops, and admiring all the Christmas decorations. We had until 7pm to make it back to our hotel room for the 50th anniversary episode of Doctor Who. Let’s just say between Custom House for ExCel and our hotel Natalie and I sprinted to make it on time. It was well worth it because we enjoyed 90 minutes of uninterrupted Doctor Who goodness.
I write this post about my final day in London while watching a Doctor Who marathon celebrating the great Matt Smith. Tomorrow is the Christmas episode and also his regeneration. You can definitely count on a post about that. 🙂