In the footsteps of Harry Potter in the UK
A unifying character if ever there was one, Harry Potter has proven to be a great guide for families exploring the UK. Between the places that inspired J.K. Rowling and those spotted by the feature film production teams, we are transported into the universe of the young wizard while discovering a corner of the country. Five stopover route from Edinburgh to London.
This is where J.K. Rowling put into words the adventures of the hero who launched his career. Although she wrote in several cafes, The Elephant House, overlooking Edinburgh Castle, claims to be the birthplace of the wizard.
Fans even leave author messages on the walls of the women's toilet!
Several places inspired the latter, including the magnificent Greyfriars cemetery, where there is in particular the tomb of a certain Thommas Riddle ... It was by scrutinizing the epitaph of this squire that the idea of the anagram arose "I am Lord Voldemort" (Tom Marvolo Riddle). Rue Victoria is also part of the Diagon Alley inspirations.
Jacobite steam train
Who hasn't dreamed of being on the Hogwarts Express, which crosses the impressive Glenfinann Viaduct? From April to the end of October, the legendary steam train, which is actually called the Jacobite Steam Train, leaves Fort William to reach Mallaigh, a small fishing village, in about two hours. As tickets are sold out very quickly, reservations must be made as far in advance as possible, especially during the high season.
To see the steam train pass through the viaduct immortalized in "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets», It is best to go near Glenfinan station, where you will have to take a path to get a good view.
Note that a regular train travels the same route for a fraction of the price.
Head for the region of Northumberland, the most northerly county in England. The second largest inhabited castle in the UK, Alnwick - pronounced "Annick" - welcomes visitors between the end of March and the end of October. This is where the outdoor scenes from Hogwarts were filmed. You can easily recognize the place, to the point of having the impression that Hermione or Ron could appear at any time ...
London has inspired J.K. Rowling as much as the filmmakers who have adapted his stories to the big screen. You must of course stop at the unavoidable King's Cross station, where students cross the wall at platform 9 ¾ - in reality the vaulted wall which is located between platforms 4 and 5. For real magic, go take a look near the entrance to platforms 9, 10 and 11, on the west side. Can you spot the cart stuck in the wall? J.K. Rowling said he chose this station because his parents met there when they were both traveling to Scotland.
A host of other places scattered around the city are easily recognizable, such as the Millennium Bridge, destroyed by the Death Eaters in "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince"And Picadilly Circus, where Harry, Hermione and Ron are a hair's length from hitting a bus in"Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows».
According to our guide, Emilie Mauchaussé, two places served as the backdrop for the Leaky Cauldron, one at Leadenhall Market (Leicester Square tube) and the other, at Borrough Market (London Bridge tube). Charing Cross Street in the West End is also one of J.K. Rowling's inspirations for Diagon Alley.
Warner Bros Studios
A visit to the studios where the actors have lived for a decade is the apotheosis of a stay in the footsteps of Harry Potter. About an hour and a half from central London, Warner Bros actually takes us much further. It’s a real foray into the magic of cinema to which visitors are invited.
From the first seconds, we are amazed to discover the bedroom under the stairs and the great room, where several striking scenes take place. We then enter the different sets, audio guides (available in French) well screwed on the ears so as not to miss any explanation. A host of filming anecdotes punctuate the visit. An example? Over 3000 magic wands were made for the film. Of this number, 80 were broken by Daniel Radcliffe, who had the propensity to use it to play drums everywhere ... A must, whether one is a fan of the series or not. Allow at least five hours on site.