Platform 9 3/4
Platform 9 3/4 London Reviews
Platform 9 ¾ - Kings Cross Station Feb 10, 2017
Having moved around a bit (always a problem with magic train platforms I guess) Platform 9 ¾ appears to have settled down now, albeit slightly out of place, at a spot to the right of Platform 9 on the New Western Departures Concourse at Kings Cross Station.
Those familiar with Harry Potter books or movies will be aware that Platform 9 ¾ is the departure point of the Hogwarts Express, a scarlet steam engine which takes students to the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. The train departs at 11am sharp on the 1st September each year. Access to the platform itself is gained by passing through the wall at the sign in my attached picture. Certain magical powers are required for successful passage but even then Mrs Molly Weasley advises that one should “do it at a bit of a run if you’re nervous”.
Access to platforms 9 and 10 are via a turnstile using a valid train ticket!
Subsequent to my visit here I read that long queues can develop during the day for the obligatory photo shoot of you trying to gain access to the platform. When I visited there was no one in sight. The fact that my visit was on very wet London morning at around 6.30am might explain the lack of a queue. This is a hint on how to avoid the queue!
During more sensible hours of the day professional photographers are on hand to kit you out in Harry Potter scarves and other Hogwarts gear and take your photo for you. They charge around GBP8 for this indulgence. You are otherwise permitted to take your own photos for free. Stopping to take a photo I did rather feel like a dork though had I done it at a more sensible hour I would not have been alone.
Close to the entrance to platform 9 ¾ and much more lucrative to the JK Rowling's empire is the Harry Potter Shop where you can pick up all those necessities for your life of wizardry such as Quidditch jerseys, wands, stuffed owls, Marauder’s Maps, train tickets for Hogwarts and robes to name but a few.
Interestingly, for me at least, is the fact that there is no wall divider between the real platforms 9 and 10 in Kings Cross and it is thought that while Rowling refers to Kings Cross in her writings she was in fact thinking of Euston Station where a wall does exists. Given this slight problem, during the Potter films platforms 4 and 5 are used.
This is clearly a must see site if you’re a Harry Potter fan, otherwise its a bit of fun anyway.
Kings Cross station is not the only London transport hub closely associated with literary works – readers may also be familiar with the following:
Paddington Station : Paddington Bear (see separate review)
Bakerloo: you can’t possibly miss the Sherlock Holmes connection here
Victoria Coach Station: In Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest, the title character was found as an infant in a handbag at Victoria Station.
I imagine there are many more.
Part of the United Kingdom - London travel blog
Part of the list United Kingdom - London
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May 09, 2005
Found at King’s Cross, Harry Potter fans will know what this is. In the book, students going to Hogwarts get to their train by going to this train platform. They run at the wall, pushing their luggage on the cart, and once they are about to hit the wall, they magically go through it and end up in a place where non-magical people can’t see into. Anyhow, this King’s Cross platform has a cart halfway in the wall. Harry Potter fans will get a kick out of it, however, I was expecting a bit more. Maybe more like what it looked like in the book. I thought it looked too much like a grocery cart.
Part of the London, 2005 travel blog
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