Tag Archives: harry potter

Northumberland; Broomsticks & Bludgers at Alnwick Castle

If I had a pound for every post I wrote about Harry Potter I’d be a very rich girl, but, here goes another! Last week I took a trip to Northumberland and stayed with the fabulous St Mary’s Inn, Morpeth (review found here). Making the most of the trip we headed over to Alnwick Castle. Alnwick Castle is located in the historic market town of Alnwick in the North East of England, the castle is INSTANTLY recognisable as Hogwarts but it is also home to the show Downtown Abbey and is set for many more TV shows and films. Alnwick Castle was built as a medieval fortress and has been the home of the Percy’s, Earls and Dukes of Northumberland, since 1309. Today, Alnwick Castle is the second largest inhabited castle in England as it is the home of the Duke and Duchess of Northumberland and their family.

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Alnwick Castle is open each year from April 1st to October 31st, during this period the trust sees an influx of 200,000 visitors. The castle has been a widely used film location but these days the castle draws most of its attention from Harry Potter fanatics. The castle was featured as Hogwarts in the first two Harry Potter movies filming flying lesson with broomsticks in the first movie, The Philosopher’s Stone, and Ron & Harry’s Ford Anglia scene from the Chamber of Secrets.

The castle offers a wide variety of activities for visitors, whilst there take part in your choice of guided tours of the castle and grounds, archery lessons, magic and wizardry with a Harry Potter theme and a Knight’s Quest. Harry Potter activities, my personal pick, include a Battlesticks to Broomstick tour, three sessions a day of Broomstick Training with Hogwarts prefects and Magic with Hagrid and Dumbledore. We were a little late in the sign up for Broomstick Training so my tip if you really want to try this out is to pre-book, particularly in the school holidays. Broomstick Training is available to all age groups so don’t feel silly if you’re wanting to give it a go!

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Alnwick Castle offers so much for all ages and is most definitely my pick for anyone visiting Northumberland, whether you’re a Harry Potter Fanatic or interested in the local history you’re bound to have a great day out with Alnwick Castle. Don’t forget to hit up the Gift Shop before you leave, a wide variety of Film Memorabilia is available for purchase.

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Rebekah Esme was invited as a guest of Alnwick Castle and The Northumberland Tourism Board, as always, my views are my own. Please also find my review featured on the Northumberland Tourism Board Blog here

Roadtrip USA; 5 reasons why The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is the happiest place on earth

My infatuation with Harry Potter goes back, way back. But that’s not to say that it’s any less magical for the Muggles amongst us! From the moment you step into The Wizarding World of Harry Potter you feel as though you’ve been transported into another realm.

Here’s my 5 reasons why the Wizarding World of Harry Potter really is the happiest place on earth.

1. Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey ride: hooked after just 1 go, I decided the 40minute queue was well worth the wait. The ride transports you through the story of Harry Potter, you fly, fall and dive through the 4D experience. I’ve never experienced a ride like this!

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2. Honeydukes: Hogsmeads famous sweet store does not disappoint the muggles. In here you’ll find every Harry Potter novelty you could imagine. Help yourself to a chocolate frog and a pumpkin juice whilst you embrace your inner child.

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3. Moaning Myrtle Toilets: what? You didn’t expect the toilets to be normal did you? Even the bathroom replicates the set of the Hogwarts bathroom, experience the real deal with myrtle shrieking and whining in the bathroom.

4.Hogwarts Castle: just as spectacular as the movies, Hogwarts castle stands with pride and is visible from across the park. A truly magical experience.

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5. Olivanders Wand Shop: they specialise in finding each and every single person their own wand, I’m sure we all remember “the wand chooses the wizard Mr Potter” don’t we?

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No matter your age The Wizarding World of Harry Potter will take your breath away!

Share any snaps, tweet me @rebekahesme I love sharing your experiences!

xx

Harry Potter Studio Tour; Watford, London

So I’ve been wittering for what feels like a century about visiting the wonderful world of Harry Potter and promised you an in depth review of the experience upon my return but I’m going to be honest, my reasoning for not writing this sooner is being I’ve spent the last week running round in my newly acquired Gryffindor Scarf casting almighty spells with my Olivanders wand. And yes, Bellatrix Lestranges wand did choose me.

Turning up at the studio’s around an hour before we were due to begin our tour meant we had much needed extra time to study the store inside the studios, filled with the most desirable Harry Potter merchandise. It really is possible to purchase everything in their, from the Chocolate Frog to Dumbledore’s Robes.. Just make sure you have deep pockets.

Harry Potter Studio Tour is located in Watford, just outside London, the tour is inside the Leavesden Studios divided into three enormous sections for guest to wander at their leisure. Props to the staff at the studio’s, organisation is to a T there, with hundreds of excited guest not kept waiting, everything ran to time. Whilst queuing we were able to admire the Cupboard under the stairs from Harry Potters Early Years at the Dudley’s..

TIP- Take photos NOW, this is your one and only chance to get a glimpse of the set.

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Your a Wizard ‘arry!, Harry Potter Studio Tour tickets

It’s wonderful how them famous 4 words continue to grip the nation with spell binding thoughts of magic and mystery, welcome to the world of Harry Potter.

I have been a hopeless addict right from the word go with my imagination running free at the concept of mythical wonders. Like the majority, I buy into the fantasy, sitting in anticipation, waiting for the owl to drop by my letter of acceptance to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Alas, the closest I have ever come is my World of Magic book, including my own Marauders Map and Dumbledore Chocolate Frog playing card, and a slight headache gained from hitting Platform 9 and ¾ a little too hard.

Baring in mind the possible chaos that could occur when placing me a little too close to Dobby the House elf, my mother still thought it wise to get Sam and Myself tickets to the Warner Brother Studio Tour in London for September 10th 2012. Naturally I wasn’t going to rest until I got the tickets and I’m beyond itching to get there now, as time progresses we see ever more Facebook albums of those lucky souls who have already experienced the magic of Harrys World! Jealous would be an understatement when photographs such as the below emerge.

I don’t really think it’s appropriate to share this story but I’m going to anyway.. Ok so my friend had just been to the opening of the Warner Brother Studio Tour, so photographs were flowing on Facebook, I was so excited, I continued to shriek at Sam with joy saying ‘that’ll be us soon!’ .. but the further into the album I got, the more overwhelming it became, I just cried, I was so excited I couldn’t do anything but cry! .. what an idiot I really am! Haa! I hope I feel excitement like that on my wedding day!

Our tickets arrived the other day and I did however manage to retain my dignity. I’m so excited, September needs to hurry up! We’ve booked the week off work so this will be the perfect way to start our time off.

Keep a look out for our review and endless photographs once we’ve been! Until then.. stay magical 😉