The explosive popularity of J.K. Rowling's famed anthology has catalyzed the creation of everything from replica wands to video games and phone cases, as more and more devotees join in on the Harry Potter phenomenon. Children and adults alike delight in the wonderful world of wizardry; and why wouldn't they? With over 450 million books in print worldwide and a following of admirers whose reverence for the tale is borderline religious (there are a few self-declared religions based on Harry Potter novels) it's officially one of the coolest clubs in existence. Entire theme parks have even been dedicated to the book and an entire industry of tourism has sprung up to satiate the frenzied masses who seek evermore spellbinding experiences.
Harry Potter Mania Finds a Home
Ground zero for those craving to get a bit closer to Harry is of course the young warlock's homeland of Great Britain, where a majority of the movie series has been filmed. Young sorcerers are enticed to visit sites like Gloucester Cathedral and Oxford University's Bodleian Library, where the whimsical world of Hogwarts was realized on film. Anyone who's seen the motion pictures could recognize the grandiose Glenfinnan Viaduct in the verdant rolling hills of Scotland, over which the iconic Hogwarts Express passes on its way to the fictitiously renowned School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. All breathtaking sights to behold in and of themselves, the appeal of destinations like these has been multiplied tenfold after factoring in their new found fiction-born fame.
With dozens of attractions and sights scattered about the UK, it's easy for fans to immerse themselves in the magical world they've come to so thoroughly adore; they can (and often do) even dress the part, too! Endless varieties of character costumes, tech accessories, and home décor items have been made available and the list is still increasing, even 17 years after the release of the first Harry Potter book. Need a new wand? How about a personalized Hogwarts acceptance letter? With the ever-expanding scope of available merchandise it's becoming easier and easier for Potter buffs to live vicariously in the shoes of their favorite hero.
Living a Day in Harry's Shoes
One could spend all day touring around England dressed in the likeness of their best-loved Harry Potter character and now you can rest your head in a Hogwarts dorm room to create a full 24 hour wizarding experience! A new offering from The Georgian House Hotel in London features rooms designed to gratify even the most fervent Potter aficionados, meticulously modeled after the wizard's quarters found in the books and films. The building itself, built in 1851, provides a perfect setting for the fanciful habitat where guests will find spell books, old-timey trunks, potion bottles, and, of course, muggle-friendly beds. Families are welcomed into the appropriately gothic style accommodations with music and lit candles, encouraging them to explore the intricacies of the room in an atmosphere that just might leave them wondering whether they've really stepped through platform 9 ¾!
The room itself is a wonder to behold but patrons are provided with even more attractions as part of the optional Harry Potter tour package to complete their warlock inspired experience. Included in the cost of the bundle, the "Muggle Walking Tour" offers a chance to explore sights in London featured in the motion pictures while learning about the rich history of the city itself. Warner Bros. Studios is also just a quick drive away in the town of Watford where an entire exhibit, "Harry Potter: Dark Arts", has been opened for fans to unearth the making of the films complete with original props on display and even an opportunity to sample a frothy mug of butterbeer.
Conveniently located just outside of bustling Victoria Rail Station in London, The Georgian House Hotel is in the perfect position to oblige those looking for a Harry Potter inspired adventure. Tours of various filming locations from the movies commence in the area and the famed King's Cross Station, main hub for the fabled Hogwarts Express, is only a short trip North. Venturing out to the London Zoo will afford the opportunity to explore the Reptile House, where Harry learns of his ability to talk to snakes in the movie Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone and the nearby London Millennium Footbridge can be seen collapsing in the opening scene of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. With a trip to London J.K. Rowling fans of all ages will find themselves totally enamored as they immerse themselves in a veritable Harry Potter heaven!