For someone born in the ‘90s, I somehow missed the Harry Potter train until my sophomore year of college. I blame it on my childhood hipster taste in books.
But my late start hasn’t derailed the number of Harry Potter sights I’ve visited. If I, a rather mediocre fan, feel a fluttering of nerdiness at these places, I can guarantee they will reduce the True Fans to Tears of Fandom.
England is filled to the brim with sights of Harry Potter inspiration, filming locations, and opportunities to get you wizard on. Here are 10 of the hottest places to see.
1. King’s Cross
Once a simple half-cart was glued to a brick wall on Platform 9, a trend very quickly followed. Over the years, the cart has been shifted around the station (notably situated a creepy construction zone in Spring ‘12), but has finally found its home in a relatively out of the way spot by the Waterstones and the Platform 9 ¾ store. But more of that in a sec.
To get an all-the-rage shot of you mid-jump/mid-going-through-the-wall, you’ll need to wait in the carefully organized queue. This can take as little as 5 minutes, but has been known to take a good half hour, depending on the time of day and the amount of tourists passing through, so keep an eye on the time if you are at King’s Cross to catch a train.
Once you reach the front of the line, a friendly staff worker will offer you a choice of scarves. Pick your house (Hufflepuff for the win!) and assume your position. These scarves are made extra long so that said staff worker can throw it dramatically at just the right time to make it look like it’s waving in the air. Yes, there are professional scarf-throwers. Yes, it is hilarious.
Another staff member will be there with a nice camera to take the shot, which you can buy a print of in the shop. You’re also welcome to have a friend take one for you with your own camera/phone.
Definitely stop by the store before you leave the area, even if you don’t want an expensive print. Inside, you’ll find a plethora of Platform 9 ¾ merchandize. My favorite are the mugs and the shiny Hogwarts Express tickets. These make great wedding presents, by the way, so stock up for your fellow-fans!