Can you believe it has been 20 years since we first met Harry Potter in 1997? Seven books, eight movies, a play, two theme parks, and millions of fans later, the magical stories of the famous wizard and all that his world brings have become staples in our society, with proud diehard fans at nearly every turn. If you grew up wishing to become a wizard, practicing spells, dreaming of Hogwarts, and everything in between, then you’ll be sure to love a Harry Potter–inspired destination bachelorette party.
So, pack your bags, your wand, and all the Hermiones in your life, then head to platform 9 3/4 (or your local airport) to kick off your magical, Harry Potter–themed bachelorette in London and its surrounding areas.
Where to Eat & Drink
The Market Porter
In Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, this pub was the home of the Third Hand Book Emporium. However, in real-life London, this is a unique establishment that has traditional vibes and keeps off-hours, so you can even begin your day here with a full English breakfast in the middle of Harry Potter history.
Running through this September on Fridays and Saturdays, Covent Gardens members club offers a Harry Potter-themed seven-course meal, complete with Butterbeer and your own letter from Hogwarts itself. With costumes encouraged, you can’t miss this experience.
Where to Go
Harry Potter Studio Tour
Many of the sites and scenes from the films are located throughout the country of England, but the studio tour at Warner Bros. Studios London is home to many of the sets and artifacts that quite literally made the magic happen.
Kings Cross Station
In the films, this is where Harry and Co. catch the Hogwarts Express at platform 93⁄4. But in fact, it's a real train station in London that has set up a scene similar to how it looks in the film for all fans to enjoy. Just look for the space between platforms 9 and 10 and snap selfies galore. The station is also home to the Harry Potter Shop where you can buy robes, wands, and other Hogwarts swag.
Essentially the Times Square of London, Piccadilly Circus is home to the best of London theater and many other tourist attractions. It’s also where Harry, Ron, and Hermione are seen nearly getting hit by a double-decker bus in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1. Take in the hustle and bustle atmosphere of the West End, and if you’re feeling lucky, you can try to score tickets to Harry Potter and the Cursed Child at the Palace Theatre.
Dating back to 1096, Alnwick Castle is undoubtedly familiar to any Harry Potter fan. Serving as the exterior to Hogwarts, this medieval castle is also home to the courtyard where Harry first learned to fly on his broomstick, long before he became a Quidditch pro.
Durham Cathedral, Gloucester Cathedral, and Lacock Abbey
Pick one or visit all three of these sites for an extra helping of Harry Potter nostalgia (and history). The cloisters and its majestic façade of Durham Cathedral in Durham were used in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone and are sure to make you feel as if you’re studying at Hogwarts. Gloucester Cathedral in Gloucester is home to many corridors that were featured at Hogwarts, while Lacock Abbey in Wiltshire was home to many Hogwarts scenes in two of the films.
University of Oxford
This historic university is home to many locations used in filming throughout the film series. Bodleian Library’s Divinity Hall (used as the infirmary) and Duke Humphries Library are two must-see spots, as are the staircase and hallways in Christ Church College, leading to the Tudor dining hall, where Harry, Ron, and Hermione meet Professor McGonagall.
Jacobite Steam Train
Close your eyes and pretend you’re headed to Hogwarts as you board the Jacobite steam train. Enjoy an 84-mile round trip cruise throughout Britain while sipping high tea and artisan cheeses.
If checking out these spots on your own seems a bit overwhelming, you might opt for a Harry Potter-themed walking tour, where everything is already planned and organized for you. The award-winning Tour for Muggles has tours nearly every day that last about two-and-a-half hours and are exclusive to Harry Potter tours only.
Where to Stay
Georgian House Hotel
To fully commit to the HP experience, you and your girls can opt to stay in the Wizard Chambers within the Georgian House Hotel. Modeled after the films, the chambers are “magically” hidden behind a bookcase style door and boast a portrait-filled hallway, cauldrons, stained glass, and full English breakfast for all.
11 Cadogan Gardens
For a bit of a break from all the Harry Potter love, consider classically elegant accommodations and retire to the lovely and historic 11 Cadogan Gardens. This 19th-century Victorian townhome with winding staircases and corridors is home to an array of luxurious suites and rooms. In the well-known, upscale Chelsea neighborhood, this boutique hotel is easily accessible from London’s Underground and bus as well. It also offers a famed high-tea service that’s a must for your girl gang!