Do you and your significant other solemnly swear that you’re up to no good? If so, then you might be ready to take your relationship the next level—like soaring high over Hogwarts’ Quidditch field on your Nimbus 2000 level. Even if you and your snuggle bunny need a few drops of love potion to get things moving along, as long as you two share a mutual passion for Harry Potter, things should work out just fine. Give your wand a flick and swish, and you’ll be well on your way to wooing your special someone on your next getaway by showing them the magical sights of Harry Potter destinations.
1. Edinburgh, ScotlandBegin your journey with The Boy Who Lived at the place where it all begin—The Elephant House in Edinburgh. J.K. Rowling penned major portions of “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” at The Elephant House. But the H.P. trivia doesn’t stop there in the Scottish capital, because Rowling finished writing the series while checked into the Balmoral Hotel (poetic, no?). What’s better than cuddling over a piping hot cup of butterbeer and spending a romantic night in? However, you’ll need to drop a cool 965 euro to stay in the J.K. Rowling Suite. Once you’ve appreciated the sites where the sorcerer’s story was created, wander over to check out Tom Riddle’s gravestone at Greyfriars graveyard. If you’re lucky you might even run into Jo herself, as the author still calls Edinburgh home.
2. King’s Cross Station, London, England
Super fans know that King’s Cross holds a special place in Rowling’s heart, and therefore, a magical place in Harry’s world. Jo’s parents met on a train leaving King’s Cross, and the rest is history. Nowadays, even muggles can attempt to board the Hogwarts Express via Platform 9 ¾, and pose for a great photo opp in the meantime. Superfans can purchase their house’s scarf near the station, which could cause tension between you and your loved one. How could you fall so hard for a Slytherin?
3. IQA Quidditch World Cup, location changes yearly
You always fancied that you’d be a fantastic Chaser, and even though your flying abilities are severely lacking, you can still cheer on a Quidditch match with the best of ‘em. There are people all over the world who are members of the International Quidditch Association (IQA), the organization has been around since 2005, and holds an annual tournament that hosts international athletes. If you and your snogging partner are the sporty type, don’t miss out on watching this epic event unfold (whether you attend in person or watch a few matches online).
4. Hogwarts Great Hall, Oxford University, Oxford, EnglandYou’re still waiting for your letter from Hogwarts, but in the meantime, you can satisfy your inner witch or wizard by touring the great hall with your favorite muggle. One of many Harry Potter filming locations, parts of the movie were filmed in the hallowed halls of Oxford University. Scan the room for the Sorting Hat, listen for the flutter of owl wings swooping in with incoming mail, or celebrate Christmas at Hogwarts with an incredible feast.
5. Leadenhall Market, London, England
If you’ve ever found yourself wondering, “Where was Harry Potter filmed?” than you’ll want to direct your keester to Leadenhall Market. What’s more romantic than strolling hand in hand through Diagon Alley…or at least the spot where it was immortalized for the silver screen. You won’t find Ollivander’s Wand Shop or chocolate frogs, but you can see the real life Leaky Cauldron entrance, what’s now an optician’s office in Bull’s Head Passage—at least, that’s what we muggles see.
6. The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™, Orlando, Florida, USA
Orlando, Florida, probably isn’t the first place that comes to mind when you think of romance, but you and your loved one will feel like a magic spell’s been cast over you after entering one of the world’s premiere Harry Potter theme parks, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™. The park is divided into Hogsmeade and Diagon Alley sections, which will put bickering couples to rest if you can’t agree on your favorite magical neighborhood. The two of you can test out working wands, board the Hogwarts Express, and get your finances in order at Gringotts Bank.
7. Alnwick Castle, Alnwick, England
Remember when Harry served up some broomstick riding realness during his first lesson—“Give it here, Malfoy!” That famous scene was shot at Alnwick Castle. Sympathize with Neville and his broken wrist while touring the stunning grounds of the castle with your favorite every flavor bean and getting swept up in the magic of England.
8. London Zoo, London, England
If you’re like me, you’d rather be able to communicate with puppies than snakes. But for one Harry James Potter, parseltongue comes second nature. Slytherin to the exhibit where his animalistic aptitude presented itself at the London Zoo’s Reptile House. A day of animal sightseeing could be just what Madam Pomfrey ordered to spice up your relationship.
9. Virginia Water Lake, Berkshire, England
For magically minded thrill seekers, no Harry Potter sightseeing tour is complete without stopping by Virginia Water Lake. Nestled in the heart of the European countryside, this location was used to film some scenes from the forbidden forest. There may be centaurs and giant spiders, but as long as you have your love by your side, you should be protected (a lesson we must attribute to Lily Potter).
9 ¾. Your local library
Scotland is scenic and London is luxurious, but if you can’t afford to travel to your favorite Harry Potter locations, you can visit The Boy Who Lived at your local library. You and your boo are sure to make a little magic while tearing through the series, because even though the final book was release in 2011, “the ones that love us never really leave us.”
Feature image attribution: Attribution: Flickr/Creative Commons/pettifoggist/Via/https://flic.kr/p/8AqGCY