- 30 Jan - 05 Feb, 2021
Magic In The Muggle World
- 31 Aug - 06 Sep, 2019
- Travel Diaries
To the ones who grew up in the anticipation of another book, another movie, another adventure, another Horcrux until… it finally ended. Spaced out over a decade between seven books, re-read by fans for sweet nostalgia, and eight movies, which can be recited scene by scene, the epic fantasy fiction series gelled our childhood with a belief in magic, friendship and love. If you too waited for your letter from Hogwarts on your tenth birthday, played infinite make-believe games and chanted spells and got those nerdy statement Harry Potter glasses, then here’s everything to fuel the fan in you. Are you brave enough to walk over a bridge that’s been snapped in half by Death Eaters? Best take your wand, just in case. There are so many Harry Potter film locations hidden in London, and every single one is worth your visit. Step into one of those classic red phone boxes, dial 62442, and try to sneak into the Ministry of Magic or take a wander around Piccadilly Circus and the South Bank. Here’s the world behind the red brick wall….
Sip a butterbeer in The Three Broomsticks
Ever wondered what butterbeer tastes like? Well, you can actually try a glass (or two) during a Warner Bros studio tour in London. And that’s just the start of an epic day of Harry Potterness. During the studio tour, you’ll walk through the Great Hall, wield a wand, and whizz around on a broomstick. Sure, the latter is with the help of a green screen, but us muggles need a bit of assistance. Real props are scattered all over the studio, and the seekers among you should keep an eye out for 15 hidden snitches.
Hogwarts (THE dream)
It’s every Potterhead’s fantasy to study at Hogwarts, and students at Oxford University are pretty much doing just that. Many of the university’s age-old buildings were used as filming locations for Hogwarts. Luckily, this walking tour means you don’t have to be an Oxford student to stroll through the opulent halls, gardens, and libraries that Harry & co frequented. Scenes of students and teachers in and around Hogwarts were filmed in a number of different locations across the UK. One of them was Lacock Abbey. If you take a look at its cloisters, you'll certainly recall some of the scenes from the films. The first one that comes to mind is the scene in The Chamber of Secrets, where Harry walks along the corridor and hears the Basilisk crawling inside the walls. Multiple scenes of the Harry Potter series were filmed in and around the Alnwick Castle. In particular, they were the scenes, where Madam Hooch introduced first-year students to the science of flying the brooms and where Harry learnt the rules of playing Quidditch from Oliver Wood in The Philosopher's Stone.
4 Privet Drive, Little Whinging, Surrey
Only true Potterheads will take a trip to the suburbs to visit Harry’s childhood home. 4 Privet Drive was where we first met Harry and the unpleasant Dursley family in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. Technically, the home for the movies was filmed in Berkshire, so you’ll find all the crowds taking their pictures at 12 Picket Post Close in Martins Heron.
Platform 9 ¾
Harry might have had trouble finding it but you won’t. Tribute to the series at King’s Cross station, is our fictionally famous platform with half a trolley through the wall. Visit platforms 4 and 5, which were used for filming, and take a photo pushing a trolley through to a magical world at the wall marked Platform 9¾.
Book your ticket on the Hogwarts Express (or boringly put, The Jacobite, Scotland)! This train runs from Fort William to Mallaig, and will take you across the “bridge to Hogwarts”. The Hogwarts Express route has been open for over a year now and you can get your ticket starting at only £30.00. The view that you so vividly imagined reading those books as a child will not disappoint.
Georgian House Hotel, London
Want to spend a night at Hogwarts? Book a stay at Georgian House Hotel. They offer Harry Potter-themed rooms decorated with spell books, potions, cauldrons, trunks, and faux castle details such as stained glass windows and stone walls. To make sure you get the full Harry Potter experience, the hotel also offers a walking tour of London attractions that were featured in the Harry Potter series and “The Making of Harry Potter Tour” – at Warner Bros. Studio London.
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
Don’t believe in magic? You’ll soon be rethinking this stance after watching the Cursed Child in London. The two-part play will immediately get you under its spell as you watch Harry’s middle child, Albus, and Draco’s son, Scorpius, go on an incredible adventure. You’ll be mesmerised by the magic performed on stage. Also, try not to be too scared by the Dementors – they look eerily real as they float around. Show’s running at Palace theatre, getting tickets might be a little hassle but worth it!
J.K. Rowling’s inspiration
It takes talent, imagination, and inspiring scenery to create an amazing world (we’d call it a novel but that would be utter disrespect). Let's start with the place, where it all began. The place J.K. Rowling was frequently visiting to write the first novels about Harry Potter and the wizarding world. This place is called "The Elephant House", and the people who work there are very proud of being such a cosy and inspiring place for Rowling. They even stated on their website that they served as an inspiration to the writer and put a sign that says "Birthplace of Harry Potter" near the entrance into the cafe.
Do you remember when Harry went into Hogwarts’ library undetected due to his invisibility cloak? Well, the Duke Humfrey’s Library, the oldest reading room in the Bodleian Library, was where all that magic was filmed. To see this part of the library you’ll need to book a private tour, unless you have an invisible cloak like Harry did! The Bodleian Library was also the site of the infirmary in four of the Harry Potter movies.
Diagon Alley is where the who’s who of the wizarding world mingle – and who can blame them with such a great selection of bars and shops. The closest us muggles can get to the likes of The Leaky Cauldron, Ollivanders, and Flourish & Blotts is by wandering around London’s Leadenhall Market and Borough Market. Leadenhall is a covered Victorian market in the City of London. Home to a selection of stalls and shops, it features in several Potter films. It's used for Harry Potter's Diagon Alley, and sharp-eyed fans will recognise the blue door of the opticians in Bull's Head Passage as the entrance to The Leaky Cauldron. Every Harry Potter fan needs to experience the magic of these two locations, which doubled for Diagon Alley.
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