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Sunday September 23rd 2018

Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban | 2004

Harry Potter location: Dowding Way, Leavesden, Hertfordshire
Harry Potter location: Harry catches the Knight Bus: Dowding Way, Leavesden, Hertfordshire

Harry Potter starts to grow up as director Alfonso Cuarón takes over the reins and brings a more sombre tone.

The scenery seems a tad more spectacular, too. Where did those mountains come from? Hagrid’s hut, which started out on the safe, flat fringes of Black Park, alongside Pinewood Studios in Buckinghamshire, is now perched on a steep hillside. But I guess that's magic, huh? The Hogwarts locations, this time around, were filmed in Scotland (the Glenfinnan Viaduct has already been seen in the earlier movies), around Glencoe, where ‘Hogwarts Lake’ is Loch Shiel.

But the lake where Harry sees the Hippogriff, and later confronts the Dementors, is Virginia Water in Surrey.

Harry Potter location: Green Lanes, Palmers Green
Harry Potter location: the Knight Bus careers through the night: Green Lanes, Palmers Green

There are some locations in and around London. After fleeing ‘Privet Drive’, Harry is picked up by the triple-decker Knight Bus on Dowding Way, off Aerodrome Way, a brand-spanking new housing estate opposite the Leavesden Studio in Hertfordshire.

Harry Potter location: Park Avenue, Palmers Green
Harry Potter location: the Knight Bus swerves left: Park Avenue, Palmers Green

The bus careers wildly south along Green Lanes, in Palmers Green, north London, from Bourne Hill, before swinging sharp left into Park Avenue, on its way to deliver Harry to the Leaky Cauldron.

Harry Potter location: Lambeth Bridge
Harry Potter location: the Knight Bus squeezes between the red buses: Lambeth Bridge

It’s on Lambeth Bridge that the bus squeezes between two oncoming double-deckers. But wait a minute, isn't it travelling in the wrong direction – crossing the Thames from south London to the north?

And did you recognise the spot as the ‘Moscow’ bridge at the beginning of Fast And Furious 6 – with a few colourful ‘onion’ domes added digitally? And the bridge makes it back to London in time for the climax of Spectre.

Harry Potter location: toney Street, Borough, London
Harry Potter location: the Leaky Cauldron, Mark II: Stoney Street, Borough, London

Yet its destination is south of the river, as Leaky Cauldron itself seems to have undergone a bit of a change.

In Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, it could be found in Leadenhall Market, at the foot of the Lloyd’s Building in the City. The new Cauldron stands beneath the railway bridge on Stoney Street opposite Borough Market. 7 Stoney Street became the Cauldron, while number 8, alongside, was transformed into the ‘Third Hand Book Emporium’.

On Stoney Street, Harvey Keitel watches a car go up in flames in Danny Cannon’s The Young Americans. This is a popular area for filming – here you can find locations for Bridget Jones’s Diary, Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, The French Lieutenant’s Woman, Howards End and Entrapment, among others.