Recently, I wrote about a decision my husband and I made when we gave our kids and grandkids “memories” for Christmas instead of more stuff. I recently took my grandkids to Universal Studios Hollywood, and our favorite part was the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. They are huge fans of the books and movies, and the theme park didn’t disappoint! That got me thinking of my clients who might also be fans. Did you know there is a way to have the Harry Potter experience on vacation? Many of the locations in the book were inspired by actual locations in the UK. If you’re also a fan, this week’s blog is for you!
Calling all Harry Potter fans! If you’re an avid fan of the enchanting world of Harry Potter and dream of experiencing the magic firsthand, look no further than the United Kingdom. The birthplace of J.K. Rowling’s beloved wizarding saga, the UK offers an array of immersive locations that will transport you into the pages of Hogwarts. Prepare to embark on a spellbinding adventure as we take you through a magical Harry Potter-inspired itinerary.
Day 1: London – Diagon Alley and Beyond: Start your magical journey in London, where you’ll find numerous Harry Potter sites. Begin with a visit to Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter, located just outside the city. Explore the actual film sets, costumes, and props used in the movies, including the iconic Great Hall and Diagon Alley. Immerse yourself in the behind-the-scenes magic of the Harry Potter series—afterward, venture to the bustling Leadenhall Market, the inspiration for Diagon Alley’s vibrant shopping district. Explore the charming streets lined with quirky shops reminiscent of the wizarding world. Remember to stop by the Leaky Cauldron, a pub featured in the books and movies.
Day 2: Oxford – Hogwarts Inspiration: Travel to the historic city of Oxford, renowned for its prestigious university and picturesque architecture. Begin your day with a guided tour of Christ Church College, the site of several scenes from the Harry Potter movies. Wander through the Great Hall, which served as the inspiration for Hogwarts’ dining hall.
Continue exploring Oxford as your guide unveils other notable locations that inspired J.K. Rowling’s wizarding world. From the Bodleian Library, which resembles Hogwarts’ library, to the Radcliffe Camera, a distinctive landmark that influenced the design of the iconic wizarding school, you’ll be enchanted by the secrets hidden within this city’s walls.
Day 3: Edinburgh – Hogwarts Castle and More: Fly or take a train to the enchanting city of Edinburgh in Scotland, where J.K. Rowling wrote most of the Harry Potter series. Start your day with a visit to Edinburgh Castle, an imposing fortress that mirrors the grandeur of Hogwarts Castle. From its vantage point, you’ll enjoy panoramic views of the city that inspired Rowling’s imagination.
Next, wander down the atmospheric Victoria Street, believed to be the inspiration for Diagon Alley (although some would argue a street in York holds this honor). Explore the charming shops, including Museum Context, where you’ll find a vast collection of Harry Potter memorabilia. Unfortunately, you can’t conclude your day with a visit to The Elephant House café, where J.K. Rowling penned the early chapters of the series yet. It was damaged in a fire nearly two years ago and hasn’t reopened.
Day 4: Alnwick Castle and Northumberland – Travel to Northumberland and experience the magic of Alnwick Castle, the filming location for Hogwarts’ exterior in the first two movies. Discover the enchanting grounds, including the Lion Arch and the Courtyard, which served as the backdrop for broomstick flying lessons.
Don’t miss the opportunity to take part in broomstick training sessions and learn the art of Quidditch. Explore the impressive state rooms and medieval towers, and unleash your inner wizard or witch in this captivating castle.
Embarking on a Harry Potter-inspired itinerary in the United Kingdom is an enchanting adventure that will thrill fans of all ages. From exploring the bustling streets of Diagon Alley in London to discovering the inspiration behind Hogwarts in Oxford and Edinburgh, each location will transport you to the magical realm created by J.K. Rowling.
Indulge in the whimsical charm, relive your favorite moments from the books and movies, and create memories that will last a lifetime. So, grab your wand, hop on your broomstick, and embark on a journey that will make all your wizarding dreams come true!
Our bespoke itineraries are uniquely designed to completely immerse you in your destination, with delightfully unexpected surprises along the way.
We have a special passion for all things culinary—and we would love to introduce you to your destination’s distinct (and delicious!) food and wine traditions through one-of-a-kind culinary experiences. The best part? You won’t have to do a thing except relax, recharge, and create memories that last a lifetime!
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