Following Steps of Harry Potter
Private tours and independent customized itineraries
With private driver or self-drive
Day One - Saturday
The wizardry begins on arrival as you're met at one of London's airports by your Back-Roads Touring Co. Ltd guide. After taking you first to your hotel, we'll then whisk you away into the world's most exciting city and the first of many adventures. We have no magic-carpet but a ride on the famed Millennium Wheel is a good substitute as the fantastic ferris wheel that takes you, like Mary Poppins, above London's rooftops.
We'll complete our magical first day with some traditional fish 'n' chips.
Day Two - Sunday
This is Harry's city and we'll take today to explore it. Our day will begin with an introductory tour, seeing all of the city's icons: Trafalgar Square, Piccadilly, Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, the Tower, St Pauls and Westminster Cathedral. Then to London Zoo, home of more than 600 species of rare animals. We'll concentrate on the reptile house where young Harry first learns of his ability to speak to snakes. Imagine the surprise if one of your family suddenly finds they have this skill!
Our final visit of the day is to King's Cross Station where we'll discover Platform 9 3/4. You can have your photo taken where, in the film, Harry and other first year wizards boarded the Hogwarts Express for Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. There'll be some jealous looks back at your own school when they see the photos.
There's an optional visit to the original Hard Rock Cafe for dinner tonight, or to Chinatown. Just tonight, dinner is not included in your tour price.
Day Three - Monday
ALL ABOARD! The Hogwarts Express leaves town! Will you be on it?
We leave London and drive towards Salisbury. You'll see one of England's most mysterious sites, the prehistoric Stonehenge, before we arrive at the medieval village of Lacock. It's going to be fun exploring the 13th century Abbey and spotting which bits were used for various interior scenes at Hogwarts School. The kids can get themselves 'in the picture'!
We're staying tonight near the mystic heart of ancient Britain, Glastonbury, where the leylines meet and there's always magic in the air and the promise of the unexpected!
Day Four - Tuesday
Today is a day of Celtic myths and magic. Glastonbury is, according to legend, the burial place of King Arthur and Queen Guinevere. But there's more legend here than simply the 'Knights of the Round Table'. This is a city associated with fairies and where Gwyn ap Nudd, King of the Fairies, set up court in the magical hollow of Glastonbury Tor. And yes, you'll visit the Tor itself.
This is also the day we board the 'Hogwarts Express' for a ride on a steam train like that featured in the films.
Day Five - Wednesday
We'll seek out the world of witches and descend deep into a world reminiscent of Tolkien's 'Middle Earth', the caves and caverns of Wookey Hole, home of the Wookey Witch. But we're on a particular wizard's trail today. It's Merlin the Magician we seek (and yes, he really did exist) as we cross the Severn River to Wales, land of the Red Dragon! This was an area well-known to J K Rowling, creator of our boy-wizard, and places like the 12th century Chepstow castle and the Forest of Dean must have been a source of great inspiration when she attended school in this area. We'll explore the battlements of this fairytale fortress (where you can imagine defending the castle against the forces of darkness alongside Merlin). Later, we'll look for forest spirits and have some fun in the maze of 'puzzle wood'.
Our final highlight of the day is to visit some of Harry's favourite friends - the owls and birds of prey at the National Bird of Prey Centre in Gloucester. The question is, will they tell us what they see...
Day Six - Thursday
Stand by Potter fans! It's another opportunity to place yourself in Hogwarts! This lovely, historic city of Gloucester has many wonderful literary connections, in addition to visiting Gloucester Cathedral and the King's School, both of which were used as locations for Hogwarts in Harry Potter and the Sorceror's Stone. We'll introduce you to another Potter - Beatrix Potter - and her creation Peter Rabbit. And you'll learn why Humpty Dumpty can claim his origins here.
We'll tour through the magnificent Cotswolds, hearing exciting and mysterious tales of the area and stopping off to find fairy rings and villages where you'd not be surprised to find Hobbits! We'll be checking the locals to see if they've hairy feet!
Day Seven - Friday
Are you ready to practise a bit of magic of your own? Today you will be taking part in some authentic divining in the centre of a prehistoric stone circle! When the divining rods twitch what will lie beneath our feet...?
Then to the majestic Oxford, 'city of the dreaming spires'. Many of the scenes in the film were shot in various locations around Christchurch College. You'll be able to have your own picture taken in Hogwarts Hall, or on the great staircase where Professor McGonnigal greeted the new students. Or perhaps the child in all if us will prefer to be pictured in the cloisters of Christchurch, the setting for Hogwarts Trophy Room and where Harry is shown the trophy his father won as a seeker in Quidditch.
Oxford was also the setting for a magical book of another age but still managing to thrill today's generations. You'll see where Alice wondered through the small door into Wonderland, find a dodo, and discover where Lewis Carroll took his inspiration for the white rabbit, elongated necks and Mad Hatter tea parties on our 'Alice in Wonderland' walk.
You'll also see where J R R Tolkien (Lord of the Rings), C S Lewis (The Lion,the Witch and the Wardrobe) and T S Elliot (The Wasteland) all met to discuss their fabulous tales. What a super opportunity of introducing new generations to a wider but always magical world of English literature.
Day Eight - Saturday
We've more great highlights than you can shake a broomstick at for our final day.
First, to a miniature village where instead of seeing giants we'll all be one as we stride over houses and tiny people!
Our second event of the day will be to visit the caves where the Hell-Fire Club met. Why that shiver? Surely you're not scared of the spooks!
On to the quaint Thames riverside town of Henley. This is the stretch of river that inspired Kenneth Graham's 'The Wind in the Willows' and we'll be going into a very special exhibition to learn all about Ratty, Badger and Mr Toad!
Finally, our climax, tonight we'll enjoy a ghost tour of London, descending into haunted prison cells below the city's streets, graveyards where owls hoot, and to where the pirates met their 'orrible deaths!
What a finish to our Harry Potter locations and family action tour and what a day to remember!
Dinner is not included tonight but you will have the opportunity to purchase a bagel sandwich from a traditional East End shop if you wish.
Day Nine - Sunday
Alas, it's time to return home and you're transferred to your airport of departure. It has been a truly special journey through some of the most beautiful countryside of England and Wales. Everyone in the family, young and old, will have photographs and memories to remind them of their time together in the magical world of Harry Potter.
Please inquire for prices.
Our tour operators cannot take the group to an actual film location while shooting is in progress. They can only take the group to past locations used. Harry Potter books and films. The Harry Potter films have been set at various different locations within the British Isle including Alnwick Castle, Gloucester Cathedral, London, Scotland and Yorkshire. These locations will not be visited due to the time and distance constraints in travelling from London. London film locations include Kings Cross and St.Pancras Stations, Leadenhall and Borough Markets and Australia House. In Oxford, Christ Church College Dining Hall and the Divinity Hall are part of a regular college. They are occasionally closed for private functions, alternative suggestions will be made on the day if this is the case. Depending on time of year, certain attractions may not be available (i.e. steam trains), so substitutes will be offered. Christ Church Hall is occasionally closed for College events and may not be visited
Feedback from clients
Bill and Sarita M , WA, August 2004 Sarita and I had a great time traveling with back roads tours on the Harry Potter Tour. We spent two days in London, three days around Bristol Bay, seeing Stonehenge, Wells cathedral, the town of Cheddar, a Roman Villa, Tor mountain, Glouster, and the forest of Dee. Then we finished the tour in Oxford mostly at Christchurch College. One of the highlights while in London was a visit to the Kew Bridge steam museum, a collection of very large nineteenth steam engines used mostly for pumping water to supply London. On Sundays, the museum fires up the boiler and the engines are energized for about a half hour each. The largest engine operational had a cylinder 90 inches large and a stroke of eleven feet. Truly awesome! Our tour guide was a blast, a very educated and interesting man that was a delight to be with. Thank you for booking this tour.
Nikki W and grandson Michael, IL, Dear George, Sorry this rook longer than expected to get settled back in from the flurry of our trip. We had a GREAT time!! the itinerary took us to many places we probably would never have seen on our own. The tour guide Julie Schultz was excellent . She related to all of us individually and as a group with humor light heartedness and great asides on historical notes about her country of England and Scotland. It was a good mix of people and we all were looked after in fine comfort with good food. The only thing I would recommend is that the hotels have better access to computer use for those not carrying a laptop with them. The two Novotel's at the end of the trip offered a machine for internet use but the first one was inoperative and the second one was cost prohibitive at 3 pounds for 15 mins. Jullie got the names of close internet cafes for each stop on the journey. If not I would recommend this be researched and put into your brochure of info at some point. The only other thing I would give as constructive criticism would be.. have the company change the airport map!! It was very confusing and we waited at the wrong place that even the airport information staff thought to be the right spot. We would have missed the bus departure had I not had Julie paged at the last minute. This could be a problem for others in the future and needs to be looked. at. Otherwise, it was a great tour, and I will recommend it to others. We will use your tour company again if our travels call us to merry ole England or beyond!
Maria and Roxanna, from NY, February, 2005, day tour of Harry Potter The tour of Harry Potter we did with a guy named Mike, he was really nice, went out of his way, showed us a lot of places... really good! Now I can't wait to go there again.