12 Magical Harry Potter Experiences in England and Beyond
J.K. Rowling finished her manuscript Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone in 1995. Initially submitted to 12 Publishing Houses, the book was rejected by each one. Today, from the The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando (pictured) to the Warner Bros. Studio Tour in London, Harry Potter is a true global phenomenon, and Rowling, whose net worth is estimated at $1 billion, has thousands of fans worldwide. Harry Potter's mysterious world has enchanted readers and smashed literary and box office records. But where does it all take place? Here's where you can experience some of the magic.
Details: Alnwick, Northumberland, NE66 1NQ; www.alnwickcastle.com
Details: The Chapter Office, the College, Durham DH1 3EH; www.durhamcathedral.co.uk
Details: 12 College Green, Gloucester GL1 2LX; www.gloucestercathedral.org.uk
Details: Lacock, Wiltshire, SN15 2LG. www.nationaltrust.org.uk
One of London's most popular family attractions is The Making of Harry Potter, the Warner Bros. Studio Tour in London (or rather about 20 miles north of London in Leavesden, Hertfordshire). This is where the iconic films began and visitors get a chance to go behind-the-scenes to see the detailed sets, mesmerizing costumes, props, and some things the cameras never even showed. You can even try Butterbeer—the recipe was approved by J.K. Rowling herself.
All aboard for Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry! At King's Cross station in London, Hagrid gives Harry a train ticket on a pedestrian sky bridge over the tracks after which Harry heads for platform 9¾. At the real King's Cross you'll see a fun re-creation to acknowledge its part in the mythology with a half trolley lodged into the wall, under a sign close to the real platform 9. Muggles can only use platforms 9 and 10. Kings Cross is also the title of chapter 35 in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.