JK Rowling’s Harry Potter book series brought magic to life. The series and subsequent movies are loved by millions around the world. I myself am no exception. I credit my older sister with this as she left me her copies of the first three books to read after a visit back home. In my travel’s I have only seen three HP related places: Platform 9 3/4 at King’s Cross Station in London, Grey Friars Cemetery in Edinburgh (where Rowling drew inspiration for several character names), and walking past the Elephant House Cafe in Edinburgh where Rowling penned much of her books. In my future travels to the UK I plan on seeing some more. And there is no lack of selection! Let’s take a look at some of what is available.
- Warner Bros. The Making of Harry Potter Studio Tour – Step behind the scenes to see how the books were brought to life. You can visit the sets, see props and costumes, learn about special and visual effects, and how the it was all came together. What a way to spend a day! Tickets must be purchased in advance.
- Tour for Muggles: This award-winning walking tour takes participants around London to seek out HP-related locations. Booking in advance required.
- Brit Movie Tours: Offering a number of HP-related tours they are bound to have something for everyone. Walking tours and mini-bus tours offered in London; walking tours in Oxford; visits in Glouchester and Lacock; and the WB Studio Tour are among their highlights. Advance booking highly recommended.
- The Jacobite Steam Train – Ride aboard the Hogwart’s Express while taking in the history and splendid scenery of Scotland. This is a 2-night tour with advance tickets required.
- Harry Potter and The Cursed Child, Parts 1 & 2 theatre production – The Palace Theatre in London is now showing the lastest story in the HP world. Tickets are required.
- Platform 9 3/4 – As mentioned above, I did see this HP site at King’s Cross Station in London. I did not wait to have my photo taken as the lines were long, though I did snap a photo or two of my own. There is also a HP store nearby.
- Durham Castle (a.k.a. Hogwarts) – Durham Castle in Durham was one of the movie locations for HP and served as one of the many castles used as Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Tours of the castle are available. Admission fee for tours, castle entry by donation (without tour).
- Alnwick Castle (a.k.a. Hogwarts) – Alnwich Castle in Alnwich, North Umberland was another location used for Hogwarts. Tours are available and other activities such as broomstick training. Tickets can be purchased in advance or at the admissions office.
This is not an exhaustive list by any means. There are many tour operators and other locations and places that have connections to this wildly popular book and movies series. I hope this list gives you a bit of an idea of what is out there for Harry Potter fans of every age.