The Harry Potter trail

My first week in London brings back many memories from my teenage years, one of which is the tentative steps me and my best friend made towards the underground to go and find platform 9 and 3/4 from the Harry Potter books.Today, Harry Potter turned 20 years old,

Today, Harry Potter turned 20 years old, and the joy its magic brings into our hearts is still the same as it was that first time we encountered it.

Was it crazy to do it the first moment we had a spare hour in London? I think not. We quickly gave up, too shy and awkward to make it to the platform which used to be next to platform 8.

But only a few weeks later, we joined the curious queue by the bicycle stands to take a picture with the disappearing trolley and the sign.

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Since then, Kings Cross has been renovated and they moved platform 9 and 3/4 to a more prominent area. Today, you can capture this amazing moment with the help of volunteers holding up your chosen house’s scarf for a dynamic effect.

Fun fact: the filming actually took place between platform 4 and 5 because there are no pillars between any other two platforms.

After that awkward first day, we couldn’t stop thinking about finding the filming locations. At the time, the Making of Harry Potter Studio Tour didn’t exist, so we made our own luck with London’s streets.

Gringott’s Bank’s iconic interior was filmed inside the Australian Embassy. Again, we were too awkward to go in, especially into a place of business where we had none.

Remember the phone booth that Harry and Arthur Weasley took to the Ministry of Magic in the Order of the Phoenix? That was not a real phone booth so it’s been removed from the filming location, Scotland Yard. However, if you feel like just taking a walk down Whitehall and Richmond Terrace, go for it. Can you feel the magic?

If you remember the phone booth, you must remember the collapse of Millennium Bridge in The Half-Blood Prince. It’s a hefty walk in conjunction with the Australian Embassy, but you’d walk down Fleet Street, pass St. Peter’s Cathedral on the way, and Tate is just on the other side of the bridge.

Fun fact: the on-screen collapse of the Millennium Bridge might have been a reference to its shaky history. The winning design failed to account for lateral vibration, a resonance caused by the walkers’ steps, so eventually, the bridge had to be rebuilt.

Harry Potter and The Cursed Child in London

Harry Potter and The Cursed Child in London

I was incredibly lucky to see The Cursed Child on Boxing Day. I would highly recommend it, but if you’re here, reading this post, I don’t think you need encouragement to try and score tickets. Your savings might disapparate, but what you get out of it is amazing.The pyrotechnics bring the magic to reality – trust me, seeing it on stage, in the same room that you are in, just makes you think

The pyrotechnics bring the magic to reality – trust me, seeing it on stage, live in the theatre, just makes you think “it’s real”. The choreography is smooth and show you exactly how much effort and planning has gone into the show. There are magical battles, too, but I shouldn’t spoil it for you.

Let’s carry on to Oxford. I mean… Oxford is near London. Right?

Well, since we agree, Oxford is great on its own right, but for a more specific Harry Potter experience, visit Christ Church Cathedral, where the scenes in The Great Hall were filmed. You get to walk through town, which is just as magical as the cathedral, and when you’re not in The Great Hall, you can’t help but wonder “has this bit made it into the film”?

Today, you can see the studio version of The Great Hall in The Making of Harry Potter Studio Tour. In fact, you can see everything in the studio tour.

The craftsmanship that went into these films is crazy to behold. It’s good to know that it has all been preserved. How inspiring could this be to a child or teenager, who still don’t know what they want to do? I can’t stress enough how much detail went into building this magical world, and it’s all spectacular, whether you’re looking at the model buildings or the character designs.

Maybe next year, I will manage to visit Edinburgh and make a similar tour there.

But what about you? How are you celebrating the day that this magical world was born? Let me know in the comments.

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