The beautiful hidden London alleyway that 'inspired Harry Potter's Diagon Alley'

Goodwin's Court, a narrow alley in Covent Garden with houses dating from around 1690
-Credit: (Image: Getty Images)


Living in London, we can sometimes overlook the beauty that surrounds us. This grand city often serves as a backdrop for major films and TV series, playing as significant a role as some of the main characters.

Certain spots in London have even inspired locations for fictional works. Harry Potter enthusiasts will recognise many of JK Rowling's iconic settings in the wizarding world, but they might be excited to discover that some of these places can be visited without a trip to the Warner Brother studios.

Rumour has it that one particular alleyway in London provided the inspiration for Diagon Alley, the cobbled wizarding shopping district. However, it's believed that the alleyway was too narrow to accommodate the necessary filming equipment.

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Goodwin's Court is one of London's best hidden gems
Goodwin's Court is one of London's best hidden gems

Tucked away in Covent Garden just off St Martin's Lane, you'll find Goodwin's Court. This beautifully preserved slice of London history evokes images of Charles Dickens, with an alley lined by a slender stretch of ornate window fronts and gaslight lamps.

The row of shops down this alleyway were established in 1690, predating Fishers Alley. At one point, it would have housed some unique and elaborate displays.

However, when these became unprofitable, the alleyway was taken over by offices.

These days, you'll often spot photographers and creatives down this alleyway, seeking out a unique city location.

To find Goodwin's Court, you'll need to hop on the Tube to Leicester Square, then head east down Cranbourn Street before taking a right onto St Martin's Lane. Continue southbound until you reach New Row, then turn left onto Bedfordbury.

Keep an eye out for two black-framed windows with a tucked-away alley in between - that's where you'll find the hidden gem of Goodwin's Court. Take a wander down and you'll feel as though you've been transported straight into the magical world of Harry Potter.

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