Hi and welcome to my first blog post! With these I will aim to bring you ideas and information to help you get inspired!
First up is a blog on the theme of Harry Potter. So with a Box of Twelve you can plan loads of different stuff to do throughout the year, and an option is to run with a theme of something your loved one is really passionate about.
So here is my example…
January: a visit to the Warner Bros. Studio Tour London - The Making of Harry Potter in Watford, Hertfordshire
February: a movie marathon of all the films.
March: a weekend away to visit to Gloucestershire. Here you can visit Gloucester Cathedral, Beechenhurst Forest, Clearwell Caves and Puzzlewood, an ancient woodland site in the Forest of Dean, where scenes have been filmed. Gloucester Cathedral has tours: April to October Monday - Saturday 10.30am – 4pm Sunday 12pm – 2.30pm and November to March Monday – Saturday 10.45am – 3.15pm and Sunday 12pm – 2.30pm
April: a visit to London to see the play “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child”. Tickets went on sale on Tuesday 18 September, if you didn’t get any already you can still be in with a chance. The Friday Forty releases lottery style forty tickets for events the following week at super cheap prices. Just go on to the website to enter :) There is so much more to see in London too - for example: Diagon Alley was filmed at Leadenhall Market and the entrance to the Leaky Cauldron is in real life an optician in Bull's Head Passage there. There’s also Platform 9 ¾ at King’s Cross Station and Claremont Square in Islington is the location of Number 12 Grimmauld Place. You could also visit Piccadilly Circus and the Millennium Bridge.
May: a visit to the Glenfinnan Viaduct in Scotland, the famous railway bridge with the Weasley’s flying car scene. The train is called the Jacobite and you can actually ride it – you can board in Fort William and Mallaig. Whilst you’re in Scotland you could also see the Black Lake which was filmed at Loch Shiel (the site of Durmstrang's arrival to the Triwizard Tournament in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire). They are 40 minutes away from each other. There is also a (currently free – amazing) Potter Trail tour in Edinburgh, which takes in where Voldemort is buried and the café where the first book was written.
June: an evening in playing Harry Potter Monopoly and drinking (non-alcoholic) Butterbeer.
July: a visit to Malham Cove in North Yorkshire, the backdrop for Harry and Hermione’s campsite, North Yorkshire and also Goathland Station, the setting for Hogsmeade station.
August: a visit to Seven Sisters Country Park in Seaford, when Harry and the Weasleys, the Diggorys and Hermione grab hold of the Portkey and land on a cliff near the Quidditch World Cup stadium.
September: a day in making Harry Potter inspired food: Golden Snitch cake pops, Butterbeer mug cakes, Polyjuice potion jelly shots for example.
October: a visit to the Royal Albert Hall to see Harry Potter in Concert (book tickets early)
November: a visit to Hogwarts Library, otherwise known as Duke Humfrey’s Library in Oxford and the Great Hall, in Christ Church, Oxford University. There is a tour you can do, it is really popular so book tickets well in advance. It runs on Mondays in July and August, after that on Fridays and Saturdays (when the colleges are open). You can book on 01865 686 441 or Google the tour for the website. 4 Privet Drive is actually based on Picket Post Close, Berkshire, so if you have time you could pop along here too whilst in the proximity.
December: a visit to Hogwarts Castle, otherwise known as Alnwick Castle in Northumberland.