Harry Potter's Diagon Alley apparates onto Street View

The teenage wizard's local high street can now be explored through Google's virtual exploration tech.

Merlin's beard! Harry Potter's Diagon Alley has been mapped on Google Street View, giving hopeless muggles a chance to explore the teenage wizard's local high street.

The cobbled thoroughfare, where Potter purchased his first wand, is supposed to be secreted in the heart of London. Google's edition actually takes you to Hertfordshire, however, and indoors to the Warner Bros Harry Potter studio tour.

Ambling virtually down the Alley -- which Potter himself incompetently pronounced 'diagonally' in a first Floo powder fumble -- I spied wizarding hotspots such as Slug & Jiggers apothecary and Flourish and Blotts bookshop.

The Weasley twins' practical joke emporium is rendered in a lurid orange, promising 'shenanigans for all' and topped off with a huge top-hatted, waving mannequin. It certainly beats WH Smiths.

Eeylops Owl Emporium is also featured, though if you don't have the means to make it to London, the ever-useful Harry Potter wiki says there are outlets in Glasgow and Leeds too. You can also get a Street View glimpse at the Warner Bros tour ticketing lobby, and virtually walk around the canteen, if that sounds appealing.

Google sent its Street View snappers underwater last year to capture a coral reef panorama , though the search giant was recently warned that it had to delete personal Wi-Fi data its camera-equipped cars controversially harvested.

What have you spied in Potter's Diagon Alley? What's your patronus? Do you feel that the Sorting Hat system wields too much influence on young wizards' and witches' ultimate careers and demands immediate reform? Conjure your thoughts in the comments, or on our mundane Facebook wall.

About the author

Luke Westaway is a senior editor at CNET and writer/ presenter of Adventures in Tech, a thrilling gadget show produced in our London office. Luke's focus is on keeping you in the loop with a mix of video, features, expert opinion and analysis.


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