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Saturday, 13 August 2016


Who isn't a Harry Potter fan these days? With the release of The Cursed Child last week and prequel Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them on its way, everyone is HP crazy RN (And rightly so, if you ask us here at P52!)

No matter where you are in the world, there is something for everyone too see! Being a worldwide phenomenon, the Harry Potter series offers something to everyone. From Gringotts and Diagon Alley to Hogwarts itself and trying butter beer, the magical world has been brought to life.

But the hardest question isn't something like how long does Felix Felicis take to is which location are you ticking off your HP travel bucket list first?! Grab your Marauders map, and let's get travelling on a wizarding round the world trip.

London, England

1. Aside from the Warner Brother's Harry Potter Studios which preserves and showcases iconic props, costumes and sets so that Harry Potter fans could experience the magic of filmmaking first-hand, London has so much to offer for this travel bucket list. If you're going on a holiday or live near London, on the HP scale you're super lucky for the amount of locations that are on your door step.
2. Take yourself back to the very beginning, even before Harry knew Hogwarts and magic existed, to when the young wizard made the glass between Dudley and the snake disappear. When Harry first discovered he could speak parseltongue, The Reptile House he was visiting is actually located in London Zoo.

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3. Of course before you can actually go anywhere, you'll need to head to Gringotts to collect some galleons *sobs uncontrollably over the fact goblins don't really guard your money.* The movie uses Australia Hosue on the Strand as the location for the Wizarding banks. Heads up though, unless you've got an Australian visa  you won't get access into the building...but the exterior of it is worth the travel alone!
4. Yes, Diagon Alley was eventually built into a massive set in the Warner Brother's Studios but for Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (Yes, Philosopher's not Sorcerer's) Leadonhall Market was used to shoots the exterior of all the wizarding shops. If you've never been before the market is in the City of London and hosts the entrance to the Leaky Cauldron (or the Bull's Head Passage if you're a muggle).

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5. Take a wander over to Claremont Square to see the exterior of Grimmauld Place, which is Sirius Black's house and the headquarters of the Order of the Phoenix. While Lincoln's Inn Fields inspired the interior, it was Claremont Square that was used for the movies.

6. You can't complete a Harry Potter inspired bucket list and not include where the magic all starts...Platform 9 3/4! While an obvious one, it is an important one. When you've arrived at King's Cross Station, unfortunately platforms 9 and 10 are separated by tracks, but you can find a platform 9¾ on the wall in the station concourse. So take a run towards the platform as if you've just received your own Hogwart's letter.

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7. If you're looking for a place to rest your head (that doesn't require a password to the Fat Lady!), head to Georgian House. The hotel has converted many of their rooms into Harry Potter chambers which could give the Gryffindor common room a run for its money! Grab your favourite HP book, movie or even play a game of chess just like Ron and Harry do themselves.

Oxford, England

8. If there's one place I've always wanted to see it is the Great Hall in Hogwarts. And while a replica was made for the films, Christ Church in Oxford University is what J.K. Rowling based her creation on. Head there to get inside her mind of what she was thinking of when she wrote the books!

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9. While you're already in Oxford, head to Bodleian Library to be impressed by its grand and gothic ceiling. Fans will recognise this as where Madam Pomfrey cured injured wizards in Hogwarts hospital wing. If only Dumbledore was there to great us with chocolate frogs or life advice, like he was with Harry & co.

Northumberland, England

10. Unfortunately you can't play quidditch here, but you can visit where Harry trained with Wood for his upcoming matches against the other Hogwart's houses. Alnwick Castle in Northumberland was used as a backdrop for both Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (promise there is no Aragog lurking in the forrest though!) and ALSO offers broomstick flight training classes *eeek!*

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Yorkshire, England

11. Ok, we're about to shatter your illusions a bit here...but when the students travel from Platform 9 3/4 to go to Hogsmeade, they actually hop off the train at Goathead in North Yorkshire. Sorry, but if Hogsmeade was real we'd be living in Honeyduke's Sweet Shop). Goathland was where they filmed the train station and later edited Hogwarts into the background.

Fort William, Scotland

12. While we're on the subject of trains, Scotland is the place to be when it comes to the Hogwart's Express. Featured in four films,The Glenfinnan Viaduct (situated in Lochaber to be exact!) is used for passenger trains to connect Glasgow to Mallaig, and the Jacobite steam train still operates for the tourist trade. Don your wizarding cloaks, grab your ticket, and all aboard the Hogwart's train!

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Edinburgh, Scotland

13. As J.K Rowling was finishing up the series, she checked into the Balmoral Hotel in Edinburgh. She left her mark on a marble bust, writing “JK Rowling finished writing Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows in this room (652) on 11th Jan 2007" - and the room is still available to rent out! It might cost you a fair bit, but we think it is totally worth it to surround yourself in magic.

14. Once you've checked into this hotel (with those galleons from Gringotts, remember?), head out for a walk and a coffee to The Elephant House. Here is where the magic all began. J.K. Rowling famously first penned her story, dreaming of another world in this cafe located in Scotland's capital.

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15. Greyfriar's graveyard is where all HP fans should go if they're thinking of specialised studies in The Dark Arts. Here lies Tom Riddle's gravestone. If you think you're brave enough and a horocrux isn't near by, check it out!

Zamek, Poland

16. Who hasn't wished they could become a witch or a wizard at least one point in their life? Well Czocha Castle in Poland is answering every Harry Potter fans' wishes. You will be able to spend 3 nights living your dream life of a witch or wizard student in a fairy-tale-like castle. You’ll attend classes to learn the ‘art of magic’, explore the castle, meet magical creatures and even get sorted into a house!

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Porto, Portugal

17. While J.K Rowling actually wrote the majority of the book in Edinburgh, she also worked on the first instalment, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, in Portugal whilst working at Livaria Lello. This bookstore is known for its unique staircases and beautiful layout, so no guessing that the author took some inspiration here too! 

Florida, USA

18. Probably the first place that springs to mind when you think of visiting the world of Harry Potter is the theme park located in Florida's Universal Studios. The home of The Wizzarding World of Harry Potter has everything covered from on-site themed hotels and a life size Hogwarts to interactive wands and the Knight Bus. For any die-hard Harry Potter fan this location is a 100% must as you feel like you've been transported to a real life Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade, as they include every detail from the books/movies that you could think of!

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Osaka, Japan

19. Universal Studios in Japan also hosts The Hogsmeade Experience. Visitors can ride The Hippogriff, visit Hogart's Castle and dine at the Three Broomsticks Tavern. What's not to love?!

Toronto, Canada

20. No Harry Potter bucket list can be complete without a good old butter beer or potion-style cocktail! Close your eyes and pretend your sharing a warming drink with the gang and Hagrid at The Lockhart (wonder who it's named after...) This Harry Potter themed bar provides tons of little trivia inside to delight Potterheads, like Harry's Patronus and the last lines of the final book, "All was well," flashing in neon on the wall.  

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