In case you were getting bored of my Canada posts I’d thought I’d indulge in a little throwback Thursday blogging. For those of you that don’t know me not only do I love to travel, I’m also a huge Harry Potter nerd. I was late to the game, first reading the books when I was twenty, but from then on, I’ve fully embraced my inner Ravenclaw. (officially sorted through the Pottermore Sorting Hat)
Naturally, I have travelled to London to see many of the Potter wonders that are in the British capital. Whilst I did not do them in one 48-hour trip I have compiled them into a nice little timeline for anyone with only a couple of days to spare in the big city. Now this is not an exclusive list of everything Harry Potter related in London. I have tried to choose the most accessible ones rather than visiting every single inspiration and filming location across the city as that would need a lot longer than two days. In addition, I have left time for travel and for food as well as general delays. If you are super organised, you could fit even more Potter fun into this time period.
However, I would start by spending the day at the Warner Brothers Studio Tour. Whilst for me it’s not technically in London, but it is near enough that you can travel from the city centre to it via train. Matt and I stayed with family and drove to the studios for the day. Matt surprised me with tickets for my birthday (along with tickets to see Les Misérables, he got lots of House points for this!) although I know for a fact that he wanted to go as much as I did, if not more.
We happily spent an entire afternoon here admiring all the Potter related goodies. You can see many of the costumes, sets and props that they used throughout the films. My favourite was taking a ride in Hagrid’s motorcycle. Which provided us with one of the best photos of us together, even though I Had to fight off some school children to get it! You can see Privet Drive, the Knight Bus and wander down Diagon Alley all in one location, it’s a fab day out.
Next, make your way back into London and if you are lucky see Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Part One. Tickets are extremely hard to come by but not impossible so do persevere. The show is at The Palace Theatre in the West End, near many restaurants and cafes so you can grab a bite to eat. Matt and I chose Ed’s Easy Diner as we love a burger and retro inspired diners, even though this one is a chain they do an amazing relish that keeps me going back!
I’m not going to go into where to stay in London as there are so many options and so many budgets, so do your research and find what fits you best.
After you are fully rested, make your way to Kings Cross Station. Its easily accessible via the underground and bus. Or depending on the weather take a stroll through the streets of London. The station is famous for being the home of Platform 9 ¾ and has become quite the pilgrimage for Harry Potter fanatics.
Here you will find Harry Potter shop full of merchandise that I’ve been banned from buying. But you can also line up and have your photo taken going through the wall as if heading of to Hogwarts. The staff are incredibly friendly and provide you with a house scarf (you get to choose) to have your photo taken in whatever way you like. It’s entertaining just to watch people jump and run at a brick wall to be honest! In addition, the station itself has pretty cool architecture that is really interesting to see.
Next get back on the tube, take the Piccadilly Line to Tottenham Court Road. Here is where Harry, Hermione and Ron disapperate to in the Deathly Hallows Part One.
Afterwards take a five-minute walk to the colourful House of MinaLima on Greek Street. Here you will find four floors of the most beautiful Potter-related items in the world. Miraphora Mina and Eduardo Lima created the entire graphic universe for the Potter films as well as the Fantastic Beast franchise. All the newspapers, letters, howlers, posters, packaging and much more was developed by these amazing artists. The exhibition is completely free to visit and there is a wonderful gift shop where you buy your piece of graphic beauty.
End your trip with the second part of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. The show is fantastic and well worth seeing for the production alone. We even saw a few celebrities in the audience. When we went to see the show, we travelled by megabus (from Birmingham) and were able to catch the night bus back after the show, saving money rather than paying for another nights accommodation. To block out the noisy Scottish football fans on the coach we listened to Stephen Fry reading us the audio books on the journey home.
Are you a Potter fan? Have you managed to visit any of these sites yet?