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STAFF REVIEW: HARRY POTTER TOUR OF LONDON AND THAMES BOAT RIDE

As someone who grew up on Harry Potter, I have always believed the franchise to be a firm classic which will never get old. A great deal of Harry Potter was filmed in London, so I was excited to take part in The Harry Potter Tour and Thames Cruise, during which we’d be able to see where this filming took place!

We arrived at our starting point: The Palace Theatre, where The Cursed Child is currently running. Shortly after, we were then joined by our tour guide Tom, who was very welcoming and enthusiastic. Tom kept us entertained while we were waiting for the rest of the group to arrive. Once everyone had arrived, it was time to get sorted into our Hogwarts houses! Tom presented a hat filled with cards representing each house; I turned out to be in Ravenclaw, while Charlotte was in Gryffindor. (Shame we won’t be able to sit together at lunch anymore!)

 Next, Tom led us on our tour, which was very informative as well as being fun and light-hearted. Tom created a game to play throughout the tour, quizzing us on Harry Potter questions. Whoever got the correct answers they would win a point for their house. 


The tour started with various facts about the film and how the city of London inspired a lot of the film’s locations. Our first location was Charing Cross. Which was used in the film, and inspired JK Rowling as she would regularly commute to work form there. Thanks to JK Rowling’s books this location has now become a famous landmark. In the film the Leaky Cauldron was filmed in Charing Cross, which was the gate way between the non-wizard world and Diagon Alley. 

Not only did we get to explore the inspiration behind Harry Potter, we also got a tour of London. The next part of the tour took place on we went on the Thames boat cruise, where we had an amazing view. From our vantage point onboard the boat, we could see the beauty of London including The London Eye and Big Ben. Charlotte and I decided to sit outside, so we could enjoy the view and fresh air. Once we arrive at our next location. I immediately recognised the Millennium Bridge from Harry Potter and The Half-Blood Prince, which featured the bridge collapsing. Our tour guide, Tom used an iPad throughout the tour to remind us of the Harry Potter scenes.  During this scene, the death eaters fly through London and attack the bridge, making it collapse. Tom mentioned that this was a very memorable scene for Londoners, as the Millennium Bridge was the talk of the town when it was originally built. Around £5 million was spent on the bridge, and many Londoners were not happy that so much money had gone into it. The scene was a great symbol of their frustration when the bridge was destroyed in the film. 


The tour finished with a visit to the famous trolley from Platform 9 ¾ at King's Cross Station. It was amazing to see how popular this location was! There was a queue of people lining up to take pictures, and employees were even dressed up like characters from the films to help take pictures. Directly next to the trolley, was the Harry Potter store, which was filled with amazing Harry Potter merchandise. 

Overall Charlotte and I had an amazing time on this Harry Potter Tour, and would like to say thank you so much to our brilliant guide Tom! We learnt so much about the films, and had a fantastic tour of London. I would recommend this experience to Harry Potter fans and muggles alike!



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