Tag Archives: days out

Looking for ideas for a magical family day out in London? Read on for plenty of hints tips and inspiration for a memorable, magical trip to remember.

All props to you

Where other than Warner Brothers Harry Potter Studio Tour for a magic fix? For confirmed Potterheads seeking guaranteed mystery and wonder, there's only one place in London to go. Hop on to the train at London Euston and take the short twenty minute dash to Leavesden where all eight of the Harry Potter films were shot. Revel in all things Hogwarts on the Harry Potter tour. See Dumbledore's circular office, marvel at the scale of The Great Hall, fly on a broomstick and see for real iconic props such as the sorting hat, Gryffindor's Sword and The Mirror of Erised. Take a stroll down Diagon Alley and see up close the costumes of your favourite characters. Slurp down a refreshing Butterbeer in the canteen and grab yourself a box of Bertie Botts Every Flavour Beans to keep your energy levels up. The wizarding world is captured in all its glory on the Harry Potter Studio Tour and avid fans won't want to leave its enchanting orbit.

It's no wonder this attraction has become one of the leading draws for visitors from all over the world since its doors opened three years ago. Prices start at £33 for adults and £25.50 for children (5 -15). Under fours enter for free. For a small extra charge (£35.45) get the bonus bundle of digital guide, paperback souvenir and tour ticket. Family tickets are £101 and cover two adults and two children, or one adult and three children.

Fun central

It may take time to come down to earth after the dizzy heights of Quidditch and Hippogriffs, but after your experience with Harry and co. why not head into central London for more thrills and exploration?

When seeking things to do in London, keep an eye out for the blue and white tourist information office signs. These offices are staffed by friendly and knowledgeable people, ready to offer advice on things to do and places to see.

Family trips should involve a blend of attractions for everyone. The Harry Potter Tour appeals to all ages, adults and children alike. Another place which fascinates all, young and old, is The Tower of London. The Beefeater Tour is enjoyed by many – hear about the queens who were beheaded at The Tower, marvel at the intricate uniforms of the Yeoman Warders who protect the Crown Jewels and see the glossy black ravens who live there too.

harry potter
Image courtesy of Vichaya Kiatying-Angsulee at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Next, why not hop on an open topped bus for a sightseeing tour of London? Whether it's Buckingham Palace, The Gherkin or London Eye that takes your interest, most bus tours allow you to hop on and off as and when you please.

Many London museums and art galleries welcome visitors free of charge, so you can pop in to as many as you like. For ancient history, science, applied arts, portraits, grand masters and modern art, London has it covered.

A family trip needs to appeal to everyone, so why not guarantee a successful adventure by heading first to the Warner Brothers Harry Potter Tour, then follow this up with an itinerary packed with London's other magical attractions.

This post was contributed by Dave Edwards

 

12 Comments

It has been a week (and then some) of feeling caught in a vicious cycle. A cycle of physical pain being so high that I am unable to leave the flat, even to trudge the 1/3 mile to my GP surgery, swiftly followed by anxiety thereby ensuring my enforced captivity. It is a battle that I felt I was fast losing and made for a mostly miserable half term, the weather once again reflecting my mood.

Then hope. Sunday saw a glimpse of summer as the clouds vanished, the sun shone with birdsong and laughter filling the air. For the second time in as many days Harry and the husband packed up a picnic to head to a local park, this time with me in tow, making the 3/4 of a mile a 40 minute walk that they usually do in 15 minutes although not before a stand-off between Harry and me over tidying up; it was 1.15 pm before we even managed to leave the flat.

Blaise Castle

Having dosed myself up (thank you Tramadol) I found the walk there OK; thankfully the husband and Harry seemed to just be happy that I had decided to join them and did not seem to notice my rather slow pace.

By the time we arrived and found where we wanted to picnic, it was approaching 2 pm and definitely time to eat before we let Harry loose to play.

We went to a lovely estate called Blaise Castle, which Harry adores and has a couple of playgrounds, lots of open space, beautiful walking and cycling trails and, over the half term, a giant inflatable slide and bouncy castle. Of course, being just four years old, Harry wanted to spend his time on the inflatable things (that one of the girls from his nursery was there had absolutely no bearing on his choice to just spend most of the afternoon in the bouncy castle and not the slide, none whatsoever... *whistles*).

Blaise Castle

As we had secured our spot by the entrance to the inflatables, there was little for the husband and I to do other than relax together. We didn't have anything in particular to talk about but it was nice to chat and just be in each other's company with only the occasional interruption from Harry when he came back for a drink or yet another strawberry and no demands on us.

When the inflatable slide had been there on previous visits, Harry spent most of his time on that. On Sunday, most of his time was spent on the bouncy castle with his friend from nursery who was unwilling to try the slide (and to be fair, it must look rather daunting to most small children!). Much to his delight, he did manage to persuade her to have a go and we could clearly see his face of glee when he followed.

Aaaaand woosh!
Aaaaand woosh!

Of course no trip to the park in the sun is complete without an ice-cream and naturally Harry had to have the same as his friend from nursery.

Blaise Castle

After well and truly making use of the wristband for the inflatable slide and bouncy castle (£5 all day or £3 for ten minutes) Harry finally decided it was time to play in the playgrounds.

Blaise Castle

Blaise Castle

It was an afternoon of fun and it was lovely seeing Harry play with a couple of friends. Every day after nursery he insists he does not play with any one so it is reassuring to know that simply is not true, to see for my own eyes how well he interacts with other children. Whether that need for reassurance is my own insecurities, that I have no friends here myself (still!) or a normal parent worry is anyone's guess!

It was almost 6 pm before we got home and I was shattered. I was still tired and sore the following day but it was most definitely worth it to spend some quality time as a family, enjoying the sun. A perfect way to end a half term that I'd had little input on.

What did you get up to over half term? And was the weather any nicer with you?

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