Platform 9 & Three Quarters From the World of Harry Potter

Harry Potter; whether you read the books or watched the films you can’t fail to have heard about Platform nine and three quarters that is said to be at Kings Cross Station, the busiest rail station in London.  For those few of you that have absolutely no knowledge of the Potter phenomenon, well platform nine and three quarters is a magical portal that only those born into the world of magic can access. Accessing the platform from which the only train that arrives there is the Hogwarts Express, a spectacular old school steam train, which will take all of those who are filled with magic on to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Gaining access to the platform is difficult, as it involves running through a brick wall.  Such a security feature can’t help but leave all of those without an ounce of magic in their lives, known as muggles, safely on the outside.

Photo by Karen Roe
Photo by Karen Roe


In order to get yourself to platform nine and three quarters simply take the tube to Kings Cross, once there head in the direction of Platform 8, this is an un-ticketed platform so you can wander around there quite freely. From Platform 8 walk along to the end and then turn in the direction of Platform 9, along the way you will see the sign positioned on a piece of brick wall for Platform nine and three quarters. The other give away of course is the metal luggage trolley that is embedded in the wall, as it seems that someone just wasn’t quite magical enough to make it through. However, the trolley does provide an excellent photo opportunity for those with the inclination to form the impression that they are going through the wall and on to Hogwarts.

Now you would reasonably assume that Platform nine and three quarters should be some way between Platforms 9 and 10, rather than 8 and 9, but there is a good reason for this. Firstly Platforms 9 and 10 and next to each other, leaving no space for a brick wall and a magical concealed entrance between them, and more importantly these platforms are not in the main station building, but rather in one adjacent. The book states that the platform is housed in the main station building which further explains its location.

Marks for Observation

If you really are a Potter fan, you probably already know that J.K. Rowling had Kings Cross and Euston stations mixed up when she wrote the story, and a visit to Euston will illustrate how well the description of the platform fits, however, there is still no space for the magical wall that marks the entrance between the two worlds. This oversight is down to the fact that at the time of writing the author was living in Manchester and unable to check the layout of Kings Cross Station for herself. For filming purposes the real platforms at the station were renumbered so that the location of the sign for the magical platform made perfect sense. If you were wondering why the outside of the station bears no resemblance to the outside shots in the films, this is because the outside images are of the more architecturally pleasing St Pancras Station!

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