If you claim to be a fan of the Harry Potter series, the United Kingdom should be your destination of the year for 2017. This is because you will encounter a lot of Harry Potter-related events in the UK, celebrating the 20th anniversary of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone! I searched some events which I want to attend, and here they are – calling every Harry Potter fan! 🙂
Warner Bros. Studio
(Image from pixabay.com)
1. Directing Dobby ( ~ 31. March)
This exhibition allows us to find out how Dobby was created – the look we know now, from a stick with a tennis ball at the start. Visitors can also see Dobby mimicking their movements, using the motion capture technology. This sounds like a good opportunity to those into film production, let alone Dobby fans!
2. The Forbidden Forest (31. March ~ )
I always found the Forbidden Forest creepy in the movies… and you will be able to feel that chill in person very soon. I will probably skip this bit and go straight to the other parts, but if you are ok with the giant spiders, give it a go and please tell me how it is! :p Unlike the other exhibitions listed here, the Forbidden Forest is a permanent attraction, so you won’t miss it any time.
3. Wizarding Wardrobes (21. July – 4. September)
As the name says, it really is about the costumes of wizards and witches featured in the movie series. This time the exhibition will present some costumes that have never been revealed before. It seems, like Directing Dobby, visitors can see the whole procedures of making them, including deliberately making outfits look old and worn, or torn out from battles. If you were interested in clothes featured in the Harry Potter movies, this is when you should visit.
4. Dark Arts (1. October – 12. November)
This is a fantastic chance to have a wand battle against the Death Eaters and walk around spooky Diagon Alley. During this period the street lights will go dim and the surrounding music will be changed to ominous. Most of all, the followers of ‘He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named’ will be patrolling the site! To all adventure hunters, what can be more exciting (and intimidating) than this? 🙂
5. Hogwarts in the Snow (18. November – 4. February, 2018)
It is alright even if you don’t manage to make a journey to the UK until winter. During the year end, you could see the winter-themed studio! The Great Hall at Hogwarts will be decorated with winter-y items and Christmas trees, which will remind you of one of the scenes from the movie.
Warner Bros. Studio London’s website: 2017 exhibition info. page: https://www.wbstudiotour.co.uk/the-tour-experience/whats-on#Wizarding-Wardrobes
(Source: flickr.com, Image by Dark Dwarf)
Remember when Harry first learned how to ride a broomstick? Hogwarts from the first two instalments of the Harry Potter movies was filmed here at Alnwick Castle. This castle seems quite popular for filming/TV crews as a shooting location, which implies the castle itself must be pretty impressive (or certainly photogenic)! FYI, the image above is about the second event listed below. 😉
1. Broomstick Training (31. March – 29. October)
You can actually have a broomstick-riding class and see if you had a potential to be a great Seeker just like Harry Potter. The training lasts about 20 minutes at multiple times of the day. The website says you don’t need to buy a ticket separately for this event – just the admission fee for the castle. The classes can fill up quite quickly, particularly during the popular seasons, so you had better stop by ‘professors’ at Knight’s Quest upon entry. As its description says ‘Family Fun’, you might encounter cute little kids taking the course if you visit the castle on a weekend or during school breaks.
Alnwick Castle website: Broomstick Training info. page: https://www.alnwickcastle.com/explore/whats-here/broomstick-training
2. Potter-Inspired Characters (11 – 13. April)
You might spot quite a few wizards- and witch-to-be’s if you visit the castle during these dates. You could have even more fun with dressing up and joining them, or even just a couple of small props to feel the right atmosphere. 🙂 Like the broomstick training, this event is also free with admission. Don’t forget to check the location and time of the event on the day when you arrive at the castle!
Alnwick Castle website: Potter-Inspired Characters info. page: https://www.alnwickcastle.com/events/42/potter-inspired-characters
House of MinaLima
This is an exhibition/shop about designs and items used in Harry Potter movie series run by the designers, Miraphora Mina and Eduardo Lima. This exhibition was originally temporary until the 4th of February. Thanks to the huge number of requests from Harry Potter fans, the designers decided to open in permanently – everyday 12pm – 7pm. The 2nd and 3rd floors (by the British way of counting floors) display Harry Potter items and designs, while the 1st floor shows those from Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. At a shop on the ground floor, you can buy the design works you see from the other floors!
House of MinaLima website: https://minalima.com/visit-us/
Royal Albert Hall
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone™ in Concert (11 – 13. May)
Note: This concert runs tours across the UK. As the Royal Albert Hall is a stunning venue to enjoy a musical performance and is in London, tickets availability is already limited. If you would really love to go to the concert, it would be quite nice to consider going to a different place. The ticket price seems more reasonable and you can also browse different places other than London! As of the 16th of March, the fixed schedule within the UK is below, using ‘United Kingdom’, ‘Scotland’ and ‘Ireland’ filters. (Interesting that Scotland is in a separate sector!)
- United Kingdom: London (11 – 13 May), Cardiff (14 May), Birmingham (15 May), Manchester (16 May), Liverpool (18 May), Leeds (19 May)
- Scotland: Glasgow (20 May)
- Ireland: Dublin (23 May)
Harry Potter Film Concert Series website: http://harrypotterinconcert.com/
The British Library
Harry Potter: A History of Magic (20. October – 28. February, 2018)
(Source: www.pottermore.com, Image by Tony Antoniou)
This is a special exhibition at the British Library, celebrating the 20th anniversary of publishing Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. It will present newly published materials by J. K. Rowling and Bloomsbury, manuscripts, wizarding books and many more. Tickets are open on the 3rd of April at the British Library’s website and for now, you can subscribe a newsletter about this event. 🙂 #BLHarryPotter #HarryPotter20
British Library website: newsletter subscription page: https://www.bl.uk/news/2017/march/sign-up-to-our-harry-potter-mailing-list