Since J.K. Rowling first gave the world a glimpse into the magical world of Harry Potter, fans young and old have fallen in love with his wizarding world.
We too have dreamed of receiving that magical letter, stepping off the train into Hogwarts and making friends with the same magical creatures. Although more than twenty years have passed since it was first released in 1997, the Potter phenomenon continues.
Better still, we Muggles can enjoy a piece of that magic by experiencing a Harry Potter trip of our own. Here’s a selection of the best Harry Potter days out for fans.
1. Experience the Harry Potter studio tour
Every self-respecting Harry Potter fan needs to add the Warner Bros ‘The Making of Harry Potter’ studio experience to the top of their travel bucket list.
This awesome 3-hour tour gives you a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the wizarding world and allows you to set into iconic sets like Diagon Alley, see the intricate detail in every costume, visit the potions classroom, try out wands, ride broomsticks, sample a Butterbeer and much more besides.
….you will be transported to a magical world filled with special effects, stunning costumes, iconic props, spellbinding creatures and countless surprises from the eight films much loved by young and old!National Holidays
Whilst you’re in London, you can also explore the rest of the city Harry Potter style.
2. Wait for the Hogwarts Express at Kings Cross, London
Although it won’t whisk you away to the wizarding world, you can pose for photos, treat yourself to a souvenir and even have a hands-on experience with the trolley embedded in the famous brick wall.
You don’t have to pay to take your own photos, but there’s also a professional photographer who will lend you a scarf in your house colors and then snap away.
Whilst you’re there, you can also visit Platforms 4 and 5 at the station- this is where the filming was done! Be aware that the queues can be long and COVID restrictions may be in place so it’s best to check before you go.
3. Brave the Forbidden Forest
Do you dare set foot inside the Dark Forest and risk facing dark forces like Voldemort, vampires and other unfriendly creatures? Would a centaur come and rescue you in your hour of need?
Discover by visiting the real Forbidden Forest, named Black Park by muggles. Located in Iver, Buckinghamshire, it’s the perfect outdoor family escape where you can enjoy nature and remember some of your favorite scary scenes from the Harry Potter series.
And don’t worry- as long as you take your wand, you’re probably safe…
4. Stroll past The Leaky Cauldron
The Leaky Cauldron is the most famous pub in the wizarding world. Dark, shabby and cozy, it provides a social venue for wizards and is also the entry to the magical Diagon Alley.
Harry ate breakfast each morning in the Leaky Cauldron,” says the Prisoner of Azkaban, “…where he liked watching the other guests: funny little witches from the country, up for a day’s shopping; venerable-looking wizards arguing over the latest article in Transfiguration Today; wild-looking warlocks; raucous dwarfs; and once, what looked suspiciously like a hag, who ordered a plate of raw liver from behind a thick woolen balaclava.The Prisoner of Azkaban Chapter 4: The Leaky Cauldron
When you’re in London, you can stroll past with your camera and try to prove to your muggle friends that magic is real! Although the book says it’s located on Charing Cross Road, it’s actually on Bull’s Head Passage on the side of Leadenhall Market.
Why not pop to Diagon Alley afterwards in the gorgeous Victorian market itself?
6. Test your skills at the Harry Potter Escape Room
When your legs are too tired to explore Harry Potter’s London, head to the fun Harry Potter escape room and be prepared to prove your skills.
In this authentically themed room, you’ll be tested with fully immersive puzzles that you must solve if you want to escape within 60 minutes.
With various obstacles, tests and challenges that pit you against the forces of darkness, you will need to work as a team if you want to be victorious.
There isn’t an age limit for this one, but it’s best suited for children over the age of 10.
Whatever your Harry Potter dreams, you’ll find that touch of magic by visiting one of these inspiring locations. Fun, adventurous and often tasty too, they’re great for the entire family and sure to spark your imagination. The only question is, which one will you visit first?