Celebrate 20 Years of Harry Potter with Safestay!
The UK has an incredible literary legacy and VisitEngland will be celebrating this by making 2017 their 'Year of Literary Heroes'. One of our favourite literary heroes is Harry Potter – it’s amazing to think that 2017 will mark 20 years since the first Harry Potter, ‘Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone’ was published. For those wanting to delve further into the world of Harry Potter this year, Safestay offers the ideal base to create and follow your own Harry Potter inspired itinerary.
Located in prime city centre locations in Edinburgh, York and London, Safestay enables you to explore four destinations that all have some great Harry Potter themed attractions. Whether you want to see the locations where the films were shot, sit in a café where J.K Rowling wrote or enjoy the latest part of the Harry Potter story, Safestay has lots of ideas about how to create your own Harry Potter trail! What’s more, all the Safestay’s are connected by Virgin Trains East Coast, meaning that if you want to do absolutely everything on this list and make your Harry Potter trail really epic, you can!
Did you know that J.K Rowling wrote Harry Potter in Edinburgh? Located just ten minutes’ walk from Safestay Edinburgh, The Elephant House proudly brands itself as the ‘birthplace of Harry Potter’. This café is still open today, and is popular with visitors year round. Serving delicious coffee, tea and cakes, with views overlooking Edinburgh, you can sit where J.K Rowling crafted her work and maybe even get similarly inspired. The Elephant House is open everyday and is located at 21 George IV Bridge.
Day trip to the City of Durham on route to Edinburgh or York
If you’re looking for a Harry Potter themed day trip close to Edinburgh, the historic City of Durham was used for many Harry Potter film locations. Durham Cathedral was used for both interior and exterior shots in the first two films, and Durham Castle was used for multiple classroom shots. To find a complete list of Harry Potter film locations across the UK, click here.
Stay at: Safestay Edinburgh or Safestay York
Train: Edinburgh and York are only 2 hours and 36 minutes apart by train, making it possible to continue your Harry Potter adventure in more depth very easily. The average journey time by train between York and Durham is 46 minutes, and the average journey time between Durham and Edinburgh Waverley is 1 hour 50 minutes.
Do you want to visit a real-life Diagon Alley? The Shambles in York is where J.K Rowling drew her inspiration for the famous wizarding shopping street, and it is easy to see why. With winding, crooked streets packed with eclectic shops, there’s certainly something magical about this part of the city.
Yorkshire is also home to Goathland station, which stands in for Hogsmeade Station in the films, and is approximately an hour’s drive away from Safestay York.
Stay at: Safestay York
Harry Potter And the Cursed Child
Based on an original story by J.K Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany, the latest installment in the Harry Potter story, ‘The Cursed Child’ has already proven to be hugely successful with Harry Potter fans. Following the adventures of a middle-aged Harry, and his son Albus Potter, this two-part play is a great way for fans to spend more time in the Harry Potter universe.
Harry Potter and The Cursed Child is playing at London’s Palace Theatre. Book Tickets here.
Train: York and London are only 1 hour 52 minutes apart by train
Harry Potter Warner Bros. Studio Tour London
Discover how the Harry Potter films were made with Golden Tours. Travel from central London to Warner Bros. Studios, Leavesden on a London ‘Harry Potter’ themed double decker bus and take part in a behind-the-scenes walking tour. Showcased is a huge selection of impressive sets, including the Great Hall and Diagon Alley, as well as the costumes and props used in the making of the films.
Try real butter beer, fly on a broomstick against a green screen, see the Hogwarts Express and how some of the special effects for the films were made on this fabulously interactive studio tour. There are also regular shows that offer great insight into the making of the films – in February guests will be able to see “Directing Dobby”, which goes into detail about the multiple processes involved in bringing everybody’s favourite House Elf to life. The Warner Bros. Studios are one of the few places in the UK where large scale films can be made, and they are still working studios. Films that will be coming out in 2017 that have been filmed there include Wonder Woman and King Arthur:Legend of the Sword.
Golden Tours have two pick-up points in London – Baker Street and Victoria, both of which are just a short tube ride away from Safestay London Kensington Holland Park.
Platform 9 ¾ at Kings Cross Station
For a brilliant Harry Potter photograph opportunity, look no further than Platform 9 ¾ at Kings Cross station. Get there early, as it tends to attract big queues!
Whilst you’re at Platform 9 ¾, stock up on some Harry Potter goodies, at the Harry Potter Shop. The shop sells a range of unique products; from Hedwig plush toys to time turner necklaces to house-themed clothing. The shop is open Monday to Saturday from 8 to 10pm, and on Sundays from 9am to 9pm.
If you want to further up the ante, we recommend you contact Jessica Cottee (tel. 07738 247325; Jessicacottee1@gmail.com). A professional actress and avid Harry Potter fan, Jessica can help you further live and breathe your literary hero - perfect for a children’s birthday and highly recommended!
For further information on Safestay, please visit www.safestay.com.