Discovering a world of magic in LondonFeature of the week
London is full of magic. The city’s classic skyline has provided the backdrop to numerous adventure and fantasy films, from James Bond to Sherlock Holmes, and the boy wizard Harry Potter caught the train from London’s King’s Cross station to Hogwarts via Platform 9¾. Charles Dickens wrote Night Walks after experiencing the great city at night and soaking up its peculiar nocturnal magic, which left a profound impression on him.
For visitors to London, the capital’s innate magic has been distilled into numerous venues in which the otherworldly atmosphere of the city can be experienced on a variety of levels. Take a look at a few of the most popular ones.
The Warner Brothers Harry Potter Tour
This venue makes the ideal day out for Harry Potter fans as the trip includes transportation from central London. All the original sets from the films can be seen here, including the full glory of the Hogwarts Great Hall. Just as importantly, the boy wizard’s countless fans get a unique behind-the scenes look at how these magical movies were actually made.
As well as getting the chance to step right onto a Harry Potter film set, visitors get to see all the costumes, props and effects used in the films close up. You can walk around and explore such iconic locations as the Great Hall, Dumbledore’s office, and Diagon Alley. The round trip, which takes visitors all the way there and back, is on a double-decker bus.
Madame Tussauds in London is one of the world’s top attractions, where you can see everyone from Princess Diana, Russell Brand and Justin Bieber, to the Beatles and the Incredible Hulk, all cast to perfection in wax. The nearest tube station is Baker Street and, in fact, 221B is just along the road, where Sherlock Holmes and Watson are no doubt still waiting for the next interesting case to arrive in the morning mail.
Located on the South Bank, the London Dungeon takes visitors on a creepy tour of London’s darker side, from Guy Fawkes and Jack the Ripper to fictional monsters such as Sweeney Todd, the barber who turned customers into pies.
Ripley’s Believe it or Not!
With weird and wonderful artefacts spread across six floors, Ripley’s Believe it or Not! celebrates the bizarre, weird and wonderful in all their forms. There is, for example, a knitted Ferrari, a laser race game and, of course, an awesome mirror maze. Located in London’s West End, the venue is a salute to all things magical and unusual.
Any visit to London should of course also take in the great attractions such as Tower Bridge, Westminster, Buckingham Palace and the great museums and galleries. However, the real magic of this city is often to be found in places like these, where the unexpected becomes the norm and where you never know what lies around the next corner. Harry Potter fans in particular will be delighted with the worlds of magic that London has to offer.
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