Like myself, I am sure many of you love the Harry Potter franchise and have seen the movies countless times. I always admired to beauty of Hogwarts’ setting and marvelled at the magic of Quidditch and Platform 9 and 3/4. Well, lucky for us Harry Potter fans, many of these sets are real places and you can actually go and visit them. I’m going to list of just a few places you should be sure to visit if you have a love of these magical movies.
Elephant House Cafe and Tom Riddle’s Grave
Now, where better to begin than with the place where the magic was born. Over 20 years ago, JK Rowling sat down in a little cafe in Edinburgh and started to write what would become one of the most successful book series’ of all time. This cafe in Scotland’s capital has since become a hub for HP fans to come and revel in. Sometimes queues stretch out the door onto the street, with eager fans waiting to see where this story about a young wizard all began.
Another fun, Harry Potter gem that can be found in Edinburgh is actually the grave of a real Tom Riddle. Hidden among the other headstones in Greyfriars’ graveyard, is one marking the spot of a Thomas Riddle, and this is actually where Rowling got the inspiration for Voldemort’s real name. This too has become a spot popular spot for fans to come and take their picture.
If you want to find out more about Edinburgh and what an amazing city it is, click here
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The setting surrounding Hogwarts is undeniably beautiful and it is actually Glencoe in Scotland that you’re seeing. It is unsurprising that they chose the stunning Scottish highlands, as the dramatic mountains and glimmering lochs help to create a picturesque backdrop for the grandeur of the school itself. Driving through Glencoe is truly breathtaking and it’s fun to imagine that Hogwarts could be hidden round the next corner.
The iconic bridge that the Hogwarts Express crosses on the journey to school is also real, and is located in Glenfinnan in Scotland.
If you visit Alnwick Castle, you will realise a lot of it looks familiar and this is because lots of scenes in the first two films were shot here. This was the main set for the Quidditch lessons and also where they filmed other famous scenes like when Harry and Ron crash the flying car into the Womping Willow. It’s a great place to go to experience some of the magic.
King’s Cross Station
Of course, King’s Cross station in London was the home of platform 9 and 3/4, where student got on the Hogwarts Express. In the real King’s Cross they have replicated this platform complete with a trolley disappearing into the wall. You can take your photo here with your choice of Hogwarts house scarf, but just be prepared to queue as it can get very busy. Also, if you want your photo you need to go into the Harry Potter shop next to the platform to purchase it – in this shop you can also buy lots of HP merchandise but just watch out for the prices and some are pretty steep. It is still a wonderful homage to the film and worth going to check out.
Warner Bros Studio Tour
Something definitely worth visiting for any avid Harry Potter fan is the Warner Bros Studio Tour: The Making Of Harry Potter. Here you can walk through many of the most iconic sets from the film, including the Great Hall and Diagon Alley, as well as seeing lots of the films’ props and costumes. You’re truly transported to the magical world seeing all these genuine artefacts from the films. You can even try some butterbeer while you’re there! It’s just twenty miles north of London and makes for the perfect, fun day out with family and friends.
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Universal Studios, Wizarding World
At Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida you can experience the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, an area of the park entirely based around the HP world. You can walk through Hogsmeade and wander in and out the shops there, go inside Hogwarts, and experience a whole host of magical rides. You can even ride on the Hogwarts Express. For any Harry Potter fan, or just someone looking for a great day out, this park is a must.
These are just some of the places you can go to get a taste of these wonderfully magical movies. The entire wizarding world is open to us fans now, from the place where it all started, right to the huge parks and tours where you can experience the magic for yourselves.
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