Harry Potter & Oxford

Hello from London!

One of the numerous extra-curricular activities that FIE offers includes a trip to the Harry Potter: Warner Bros. Studio where you get to tour the location where the Harry Potter movies were filmed.  Although I couldn’t attend this FIE sponsored tour due to a conflict with my schedule, I was able to book a similar tour through International Friends (https://www.internationalfriends.co.uk/harry-potter-studio.html) and spent the morning touring the studio and the remainder of the day in Oxford which includes several of the location shoots from the films as well.

 

Our first stop was the studios J and K named in honor of Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling.  These studios contain a collection of props, sets, costumes, interactive exhibits, as well as creatures and special effects technology.  For anyone who is a true fan of Harry Potter, this tour is a must.  You will spend four hours here and discover the tiniest details of familiar scenes from the movies.  Just be forewarned that you are going to see behind the scenes magic that made brooms and snitches fly, Hagrid seem a half-giant, and Hogwarts a real castle.

After the studio tour, it was on to Oxford and the University where the infirmary shown in the first two movies as well as several outdoor scenes from the third movie were filmed.  Our guide was an Oxford history graduate and was also quite knowledgeable about the literary history and alumni of Oxford including the popular spots where C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien were known to hang out.  We happened to be in town on Degree Day, the equivalent of graduation in the States, so some of the sights were closed that day.  However, being able to see the variety of graduates in formal attire and their caps and gowns was a special bonus.

It was also the first really cold day of the season and we ended up heading to a pub for a bowl of hot soup to warm up.  The return to London was a road trip sprinkled with fireworks as the nation celebrated what is known as Bonfire Day commemorating the disruption of the Guy Fawkes gunpowder conspiracy.  Overall, it was a day filled with magic and history as I had the pleasure of touring another corner of England.

Until next time,
Lizette

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