Picture this: an exhausting day has finally come to an end and you are going about the ritual of tucking yourself into your bed, nice and snug. Only to wake up upright in the middle of the night, panting profusely, heart-rate accelerated, your worst nightmares have ran havoc in your mind. Yes, I’m talking about you sitting in the Great Hall at Hogwarts, awaiting your turn at the sorting hat, the excitement of induction is almost too much to contain, all of a sudden, the worst happens, you wake up screaming as the sorting hat announces the dreaded word that no Potterhead wants to hear – ‘Slythrin’ house. (Irrespective, I would personally jump at the chance of being an ambitious, cunning dark wizard).
If you eat, sleep, think and breathe Harry Potter then you simply cannot give the forthcoming sights a miss while you’re in England for the ICC Cricket World Cup. I mean, it is the country of birth for Harry Potter and several other central characters in the fictional series. Also, does anything get more British than the innocuous words and phrases used by the characters, for instance, ‘sherbet lemons’, ‘snogging’ and ‘mead’. Lending strength to my argument that England is indeed the Mecca for Potterhead’s.
Where to Rest Your Weary Eyes?
How does a night at a chamber in Hogwarts sound? Yes, your lifelong dream can now be realized at the Georgian House Hotel, London. Not an official Harry Potter hotel, it does come pretty close; the 163-year-old property has rooms complete with potion bottles, trunks, spell books and cauldrons!
Currently offering four Wizard Chambers of varying size, these are hidden away from the muggle portion of the hotel, indicated by the heavy wool curtain sporting the maroon and gold insignia of Gryffindor. Wondering what a night here will set you back? £249 is the answer and £363 if you opt for the Harry Potter package that includes a walking tour of landmarks, from the movies to a trip of Warner Bros Studios.
Address: 35 - 39 St George's Dr, Pimlico, London SW1V 4DG, UK
Suffering from a Parched Throat?
Hold onto your broomsticks because getting into The Cauldron, London is going to be a laborious journey. Once inside, grab a hold of your wand, don your magical robes and be seated. You will be greeted by your potions master shortly, to guide you on this mystical journey.
Put your magical talents under scrutiny as you blend your own potion (a cocktail under the watchful eye of the potions master, who will provide a step-by-step guide). Avoid a wizards duel and order one cocktail unanimously for the table (any of the concocted elixirs are sure to be marvellous owing to your high spirits and the spirits getting you high).
Disclaimer: make prior bookings if you look to avoid disappointments, each booking lasts 1 hour and 45 mins (no exceptions) so arrive on time unless you enjoy the art of gulping your drinks. Also, do not spend your entire time on the table and do explore the botany room and the tent which are both wand-erful.
Address: 79 Stoke Newington Rd, Stoke Newington, London N16 8AD, UK
Want to Shop Till You Drop?
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A gallery as well as a store that showcases the graphic art of Harry Potter, MinaLima, London boasts four floors of idiosyncratic art and trinkets.
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We have good news: as our birthday is coming up, we have a whole week of fun, gifts, surprises and games planned at #HouseofMinaLima. We are calling it #MinaLimaGoldenWeek (1-9 June) Visit us in Soho at 26 Greek Street to find out more and get involved! . . . #minalima #houseofminalima #miraphoramina #eduardolima #wizardingworld #harrypotter #fantasticbeasts #harrypotterfilm
Once here, you will realize that this is much more than an ordinary gallery and shop, the distinctive designs and the enchanting building itself offer a truly immersive experience.
From artifacts to prop replicas to books to collectibles to gift ideas for Potterhead’s, you will find it all right here, under one roof, isn’t that convenient?
Address:26 Greek St, Soho, London W1D 5DE, UK
Is it Time to Cash Your Travel Checks?
You’ve now successfully drained out the coffers on trinkets and the like at MinaLima and as an upshot have ran out of bronze Knuts, silver Sickles and gold Galleons. What to do? There’s only one place you could turn to, to alter your fortunes – Gringotts Wizard Bank of course.
The interior shots of the bank were filmed inside the Australia House, London; which is otherwise the Australian High Commission and therefore not open to the public. You could however get on your tippy toes and sneakily steal a peak from the outside.
Address: Australia House, Strand, London WC2B 4LA, United Kingdom
A Walk Down Memory Lane?
Pockets bulging, it’s now time to visit the place where many a young wizards mystical journey began. The world of endless opportunities known as Diagon Alley. It’s time to prep for your Hogwarts journey, from your first wand, to your school robes to your pet companion (perhaps a white owl?), seek and you shall find it here.
In reality, established in 1321, Leadenhall Market, London is regarded as England’s most iconic and ornate Victorian markets. This very market played the backdrop to Diagon Alley. The 19thcentury painted roof and cobbled ground ensured that this was a magical place even before it played a starring role in Harry Potter.
Address: Gracechurch St, London EC3V 1LT, UK
Travel on Your Mind?
You’ve now got the requisite resources to enroll in Hogwarts, now comes the actual journey its self, yes Platform 9¾, the very platform that has over the years inspired goofy accidents across train stations around the world.
In order to get to the scarlet steam train known as Hogwarts Express, you would need to vanish into the wall between platforms 9 and 10 at King Cross Station, London. Though, it has now been relocated to the main shopping concourse after renovations, you can often spot muggles posing for photos here.
Address: Euston Rd, Kings Cross, London N1 9AL, UK
Curious to know what a young Harry and his class mates must have felt like on their first visit to Hogwarts? You can now undergo that magical feeling too! Visit the Alnwick Castle in Northumberland where a great many exterior shots for Hogwarts were filmed. Older muggles may not know that this was the setting for the Antiques Roadshow. Home to the Dukes of Northumberland for over 700 years, the castle is the second largest inhabited castle in England after the Windsor Castle.
Address: Alnwick NE66 1NQ, UK
Continuing onwards on our journey of discovery, we now arrive at Durham Cathedral, set by the quaint River Wear. This cathedral was used to shoot various interior and exterior shots of Hogwarts, including Hogwarts famous bell towers, however, spires were added using CGI.
Address: The College, Durham DH1 3EH, UK
What next? You’ve now enrolled into Hogwarts successfully and you have much to learn about the magical realm so see you again in a few years once you have mastered your magical studies!