Finding the Magic in Tripadvisor’s Top Ten UK Experiences

Tripadvisor has revealed the 2010 Travelers’ Choice Awards, and the Potter influence can be seen on the Top 10 Experiences – United Kingdom & Channel Islands list. From Warner Bros. Studio Tour London: The Making of Harry Potter to locations used in the movies, there’s magic to be found everywhere!

The Warner Bros. Studio Tour is number nine on the list of top UK and Channel Islands experiences, and for good reason. The Studio Tour has gone from strength to strength since opening its doors in 2012, with additions to the original tour including the Forbidden Forest, platform nine and three-quarters, and most recently, Gringotts. The Studio Tour has also actively worked on incorporating retail and dining into the overall visitor experience, winning a EuroShop RetailDesign award earlier this year. All this amounts to incredible visitor numbers, with Secret London reporting that the Studio Tour welcomes roughly 2 million visitors a year.

Although the Studio Tour has been closed for much of 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, it will be reopening its doors to visitors again on August 20.

 

 

Taking the top spot on Tripadvisor’s list is Tour for Muggles, a tour company that takes fans on a magical walking tour of London. Starting at London Bridge Underground station and ending at Leicester Square Underground station, Tour for Muggles visits locations that served as inspiration for the wizarding world, filming spots, and magic locations that are hidden in plain sight.

After it was unable to conduct physical tours due to the coronavirus pandemic, Tour for Muggles even went digital with a podcast, WANDerlust, that explores each book in the Potter series and finds real-world counterparts to the fictional locations. The company’s YouTube channel, Harry Potter & the Quarantined Tour Guides, has also given the tour guides an outlet for their Potter knowledge during lockdown!

 

 

While the Warner Bros. Studio Tour and Tour for Muggles are the only explicitly Potter experiences on Tripadvisor’s top ten list, there is wizarding world magic to be found elsewhere on the list.

At number five is “Oxford University Walking Tour [w]ith University Alumni Guide,” which takes visitors on a guided tour of the famous university campus. Potterheads will know that several scenes from the movies were filmed at Oxford University, particularly from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. For example, the Bodleian Library was used in a number of scenes in the first movie and is stop number 3 on this tour. While this is not a Harry Potter tour, it’s proof that Potter magic can be found in many places!

Finally, four Scotland-based day experiences, including two excursions from Edinburgh to Loch Ness and Glencoe in the Highlands, have made the list. The connections between Scotland and the Potter series are numerous, so while these aren’t wizarding world experiences, there are things you can do to feel the magic. You could take in the sights of the Highlands and pretend to be on the Hogwarts grounds, hunt for the giant squid (and Nessie!) in Loch Ness, and wander the streets of Edinburgh that may have inspired Diagon Alley.

Congratulations to the winners of the 2020 Travelers’ Choice Awards! Have you been to any of the Potter places on the list?

 

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Lucy O'Shea

I was given a copy of Philosopher's Stone in 2001, and instantly, I was hooked. Since then, my passion for Potter has been equaled only by my passion for fair access to education (and watching motorsport). A spell I wish could exist in the Muggle world is the summoning charm because this Hufflepuff is not a "particularly good finder"!