If you are a certified Potterhead, York should be your first stop!
But the thing is, even if you are not a Harry Potter fan, the magical city of York is a great place to be, whether you believe in wizard stories or not. Its historic buildings and winding alleyways never fail to capture the attention of visitors. Of course, Harry Potter fans have more reasons to drop by.
With its throngs of shops selling merchandise and being memorable, from the chance to buy Butterbeer to preparing your very own drinkable potion, the city offers a mystique break. And if you keep a sharp eye, you will notice more magical stuff anywhere you look in the area.
Although you probably won’t be able to summon the Hogwarts Express to whisk you off to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, worry not because there is always something in store for you here!
Here are some of the best reasons why Harry Potter fans should visit York as soon as possible!
Stroll Around the Shambles
Shambles, an old term that means open-air slaughterhouse or meat market, is the popular medieval street in York that is familiar among Potterheads across the world. It is said that Diagon Alley was inspired by Shambles.
Even if York was never used as a filming location for the Harry Potter series, and JK Rowling didn’t make any confirmation about the connection, you will instantly see and notice the link the moment you start walking down the cobblestones.
Charm, history, and magic all ooze from the timber-framed buildings. Shambles, once a street filled with butcher shops, raw sewage running alongside it, and hanging meat that looks like decorations, is now brimming with stories waiting to be told.
Modern-day Shambles never lost its original charm and now offers Potterheads a wonderful and sweet-smelling experience. Don’t forget to drop by at No. 9 ¾ where you can find The Potions Cauldron. While you are there, don’t miss the chance to book a unique experience like making potions or trying their magical apothecary.
The Shop That Must Not Be Named is also located in the Shambles, where you can find broomstick parking, a cast of Potter-made staff, and an extensive collection of official Harry Potter merchandise. This is a great place to be if your old cloak needs a replacement or you are looking for a new wand!
Wander Around Malham Cove
Muster your courage, unleash the Dumbledore in you, and head over to the Yorkshire Dales’ Malham Cove. Here, you will get a glimpse of one of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part One’s settings, where Hermione and Harry hid from Lord Voldemort.
Children old enough to go for a hike can explore the different walking routes in this stunning spot. The Lister Arms, with its cozy family rooms, is also located in the area and is ideal for those looking for family-friendly accommodation in Malham.
Follow the Footsteps of the Wizards
The Magic Hatter and his acclaimed entertainment are brought to the streets for everyone to enjoy. The town’s most magical ticket, The Wizard Walk of York, is an experience you shouldn’t miss. Be part of The Wizard of York and search for magical creatures while wandering the enchanting city and its alleyways. This whimsical tour is the ultimate treat for any Potterhead out there! The walk begins at The Shambles and is available on selected special nights.
Unleash Your Magic in Hogsmeade
The North York Moors are only a quick drive from York and are one of the most amazing areas of the country. Visitors flock to the North York Moors Railway because of its close connection to the Harry Potter movies.
The Goathland Railway Station was turned into Hogsmeade, which welcomed Harry and his friends to their new term at Hogwarts. To get the full experience, make sure you climb aboard the North York Moors Railway. It is a magical thing you shouldn’t miss and is perfect for solo travelers and families alike!
Use Wizardry to Find Your Way Out of an Escape Room
The wizard-themed escape room is one of the newest attractions in York. You can find it in the basement of Rehab Piccadilly Café, the city center bar. The whole family can look forward to immersive and witty fun as you solve clues to escape the room!
Play Wizard Golf at the Hole in Wand
The splendidly magical mini-golf world of The Hole in Wand is located in Coppergate, close to the JORVIK Viking Center. Perfect for all members of the family, including kids 3 years old and above, this is a great alternative for those who are not fond of museums.
The Hole in Wand boasts excellent attention to detail and offers great value. You can just grab something to eat or drink if you are not into playing. Snacks and restorative brews and potions are also available.
Have an Enchanted Stay at The Enchantment Chamber
Nothing can beat The Enchantment Chamber if you want the most immersive Harry Potter experience. This apartment, with its Harry Potter theme, is only a stone’s throw away from the city center of York. With its attention to detail and magical artifacts, you can look forward to a memorable stay. If you want something more conventional, however, there are still other family-friendly accommodations around and in York, ranging from self-catering to hotels.
You see, there are so many reasons why Harry Potter fans should visit York the next chance they get. From the Shambles to Malham Cove, The Wizard Walk of York, Hogsmeade, the wizard-themed escape room, The Hole in Wand, and The Enchantment Chamber, there are a lot of things in store for all Potterheads out there!
If you have always dreamed of being a wizard or just want to experience what it feels like to be one, even for a day, York is no doubt the best place to be. Are you ready for some magic? Unleash the wizard in you in York soon!
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