Wizards, Witches and Wands!

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  • Quo3_HarryPotter_PicadillyCircus
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  • Quo4_HarryPotter_Harry Potter Studio Tour
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  • Quo4_HarryPotter_A scale model of Hogwarts at The Warner Bros. Studio Tour
  • Quo4_HarryPotter_Gryffindor common room, with costumes worn by the cast in the Warner Brothers Studio tour
  • Quo4_HarryPotter_Hogwarts bridge from Harry Potter film in the Warner Brothers Studio tour 'The making of Harry Potter'.
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  • Quo4_HarryPotter_London eye sunset
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  • Quo5_HarryPotter_A bare, gnarled, old oak tree in Sherwood Forest looks like a mythical creature
  • Quo6_HarryPotter_Goathland Station from harry potter movies
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  • Quo7_HarryPotter_ALNWICK CASTLE, NORTHUMBERLAND
  • Quo8_HarryPotter_Bamburgh Castle surrounded by water
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  • Quo8_HarryPotter_Highlander in scotland
  • Quo9_HarryPotter_Edinburgh Castle on Castle Rock in Edinburgh copy
  • Quo9_HarryPotter_Edinburgh Castle on Castle Rock in Edinburgh
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  • Quo10_HarryPotter_Highlander demonstration
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  • Quo12_HarryPotter_LOCH NESS jacobite queen
  • Quo12_HarryPotter_Loch Ness Monster
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  • Quo14_HarryPotter_GRETNA GREEN SCOTLAND UK
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  • Quo15_HarryPotter_Anne Hathaways thatched cottage and garden Stratford upon Avon England.
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  • Quo16_HarryPotter_GloucesterCathedral-used in harry potter films England
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You’re not allowed to use magic at home…

So let’s head to Platform 9¾ for an epic adventure to Hogwarts!

Long before Harry Potter waved his first wand at Olivander’s or Mrs. Hooch taught him to ride his first broom, magic was permeating life in the United Kingdom. For more than 2,000 years, in fact, the UK has given rise to some of the most fascinating myths and legends of all time.

  • Ancient Times: lore of ancient Romans and Vikings
  • Middle Ages: legends of King Arthur & Robin Hood 
  • Modern Times: the world’s most famous wizard, Harry Potter.

This spectacular Quo travel adventure will introduce you to many of the locations made famous in the Harry Potter movies, such as: Platform 9¾, Hogwarts and Gringotts Bank. Ever wanted an experience just like riding the Hogwarts Express? No problem! You’ll ride a steam train over the viaduct from the films.

We will visit the incredible Warner Bros. Studio in London, where the movies come to life through the ultimate behind-the-scenes experience, including exploring Diagon Alley, taking flight on a broom via green screen, getting up close with props, sets, creatures & models, and drinking butter beer!

But that’s not all the UK has to offer!
  • We’ll experience a spooky Jack the Ripper tour.
  • We’ll visit Nottingham and Sherwood Forest – home to Robin Hood.
  • We’ll learn about Scottish legends, hands-on, from an authentic Scottish Highlander.
  • We’ll explore Stonehenge, where druids once conducted secret ceremonies.

Join Quo Student Travel on Wizards, Witches and Wands to discover the greatest myths, legends and magical adventures the United Kingdom has to offer!

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Program Snap Shot

Smaller Group. Bigger Impact!

Program length:  16 days
All Inclusive Price:  from $6,295*
Departing:  Week of July 2-6, 2018

*Note – price is based on minimum 24-29 paying travelers.

*If 30+ passengers travel, the price drops to $5,995!

Program priced from Leader’s departure airport.


Highlights:

  • Warner Bros Studio Tour – “The Making of Harry Potter”
  • Gringotts Bank, Platform 9 ¾ and Hogsmeade Station
  • Windsor Castle, the Crown Jewels
  • Spine Tingling Adventure: Jack the Ripper Night-Walk
  • Visit the Tower of London, Warwick Castle & Alnwick Castle
  • Nottingham, Sherwood Forest & an Archery Lesson
  • Ride a Jacobite Steam train over the route of The Hogwarts Express
  • Quiddich, Potion-Making & Broom-Riding
  • Learn to tie a kilt from a Scottish Highlander
  • Participate in Traditional Highland Games
  • See Scotland’s Spooky Side: Ghost Walk in Edinburgh
  • Search for the Loch Ness Monster & sample Haggis
  • Edinburgh’s Mysterious Underground City
  • Gloucester Cathedral, Lacock and the Great Hall
  • Whitewater Rafting on the River Tay
  • Visit Oxford University and Christ Church College
  • See the oldest library in Europe
  • Explore Stratford Upon Avon – Shakespeare’s Home Town
  • Live theatre in London’s incomparable West End

EF Tours - Harry Potter Tour - Quo Student Travel
Harry Potter Travel Program - Quo Student Travel
Day One: Bon Voyage!
Today we depart the U.S. for London, England.
Day Two: Welcome to London
Our flight arrives in London this morning.

At the airport, we’ll say hello to our amazing Travel Manager, who will lead, inspire, inform, entertain and keep us on schedule every step of the way.

  • Our first stop will be the town of Windsor, home to the royal family and the extraordinary Windsor Castle, which sits on the hill high above the town. The main street is lined with quaint shops, typical of English villages. This is an ideal opportunity to stretch our legs after the long flight “over the pond.”
  • Following lunch we’ll head a short distance to the Lake at Virginia Water. This man-made lake was constructed in 1746. Today, it’s popular with locals who walk the 4.5 mile path around the lake. Visitors from around the world come for an entirely different reason: this lake appears in several of the Harry Potter movies (because the Scottish lochs had too many midges to make filming practical).
  • Later, we’ll transfer to our hotel where we will enjoy a welcome dinner and settle in for a good night’s sleep after our long travel days.
Day Three: City as Movie Set & a West End Show
This morning, we’ll meet our Blue Badge Guide, who will lead us on an exploration of London. Our tour includes:

  • Australia House on Strand Street, which officially houses the High Commission of Australia… but most muggles miss the obvious signs that wizards and witches do all their banking inside. Australia House is also the location of Gringotts Bank in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. It is unlikely that a grumpy goblin would be willing to take us to the vaults below, but you never know!
  • The Millennium Bridge – also known as the wobbly bridge. This modern-looking foot bridge is featured in Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, where it collapses during the opening sequence of the film. (This story line may have been inspired by the fact that, when the Millennium Bridge first opened, it swayed dangerously as pedestrians crossed. It had to be closed until structural engineers could redesign it. Today, however, we’ll cross safely, as thousands of pedestrians use it to cross the River Thames every day.)
  • St. Pancreas Station‘s neo-gothic facade. You might recognize this from Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.  The Weasley’s magical car took off from just outside the station.
  • King’s Cross Station where the Hogwarts Express departs from platform 9¾ . A sharp-eyed muggle may be able to spot a wizard disappearing into the wall.
  • Piccadilly Circus, where Harry Potter narrowly escapes being hit by a London bus in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
  • Charring Cross Road and Leadenhall Market which are the location of Diagon Alley. Find the Bull’s Head Passage and look for the optician’s shop. That’s the Leaky Cauldron in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.
  • Following lunch, its time to head to the Tower of London.
    • At the tower we will learn about the missing princes who were imprisoned in the tower, never to be heard from again. We’ll learn about the many beheadings which took place on the grounds and just outside the tower, and the legend of the ravens and why they are kept in cages at the tower.
    • Later, we will see the Crown Jewels which are housed in a specially built vault deep in the tower for safe keeping. See if you can spot the largest diamond in the world, the Star of Africa. Learn about the Star of India and why only females of the royal family will wear the crown which houses it.
  • This evening we will attend a West End show! London is renowned world wide for its dynamic culture of standard-setting live theater, most of which thrives in London’s West End.
Day Four: Harry Potter Studio & London Eye
About now, you’ll start asking yourself if this trip can possibly get any better. We have your answer right here:

  • Today, we’ll head to Pinewood Studios, or as it is more commonly known: Warner Brothers Studio, London. Here, we will see the actual sets used in the filming of the various Harry Potter movies.
    • The studio tour actually allows us to explore much more than just the sets. Costumes, props, models, animatronics, creatures, special effects and the creative studio that made the movies possible are all on display for a surprisingly hands-on public experience.
    • It’s not just about seeing, hearing and touching, but also tasting. Butter beer, chocolate frogs or Bertie Bott’s Every Flavored Jelly Beans, anyone? These and many more wizarding treats are sold for sampling on the backlot.
  • Heading back to Central London, we’ll board our capsule to take in the views from high atop the world famous Millennium Wheel, more commonly known as the London Eye.
  • Later, we’ll explore London’s East End which the famous haunt of Jack the Ripper. We will join our guide for a spooky walking tour of the sights where the ripper left his victims. He was never found, and many say these locations are haunted by the restless souls of his victims — or perhaps the Ripper’s own tortured soul — so keep a close eye out as we explore his domain!
  • This evening, we’ll head back to the West End for a second West End show!
Day Five: Robin Hood
This  morning, we bid farewell to London as we head north to the town of Nottingham.

  • Located128 miles north of London, Nottingham is the home of the evil Sheriff of Nottingham and his arch rival, Robin Hood.
  • The gentle English countryside rolls by our coach windows as our imaginations transport us back to medieval times.
  • We will explore Sherwood Forest, where we can imagine Robin Hood and his band of merry men laying in wait for wealthy merchants. We’ll recall his populist mission to take from the rich and give to the poor.
    • In the spirit of Robin Hood, we’ll undertake an archery lesson and learn orienteering in Sherwood Forest.
  • Our hotel for the evening is located close to the city of York.
Day Six: Hogsmeade Station & Hogwarts
  • This morning, we’ll head to Goathland Station near Black Lake. You may recognize the station from all the Harry Potter movies as this doubles as Hogsmeade Station which serves both Hogwarts and the village in the movies and books. The station was selected as it has not been altered much since 1865.
    • Fun facts about the Hogshead Station from HarryPotter.Wikia.Com:
      • In the film Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, the station is shown to be located to the south of Hogwarts Castle, but in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Hogsmeade Station appears to be in one of the clearings of the Forbidden Forest to the east.
      • The station decreases drastically in size when it’s seen in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. The second platform on the other side is no longer visible, compared to the first film.
      • In Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, the station seems to be in a pine wood, Hogwarts Castle is directly opposite the station from the loch, when in the first film the castle is seen on a big hill with no loch in sight.
  • This afternoon, we head to Northumberland, home of Alnwick Castle.
    • Quidditch anyone? This is the location that was used to stage Harry Potter’s first Quidditch lesson, and the very spot where Harry learned to ride his broom in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.
    • It’s our turn to take Potions and learn to ride a broom! One of the resident wizarding professors teaches us the ins and outs of potion-making and broom-riding.
  • The castle has a long history as a film set. It was used as Hogwarts in the first two Harry Potter films, Brancaster Castle in Downton Abbey‘s 2015 Christmas Special, and it made appearances in the movies Elizabeth and Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves.
    • The first castle was built on this location more than 1,000 years ago.
    • Alnwick Castle has been the family home of the Percy family for over 700 years.
  • This evening, we’ll head to Northumberland and our overnight accommodation.
Day Seven: Bamburg Castle
  • This morning, we journey north towards Scotland.
  • About mid-way to Edinburgh is the amazing Bamburg Castle, one of the locations used in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.
    • The castle dates back to pre-Norman times and has undergone many restorations, which has made it a popular destination for film companies looking for authentic Norman Architecture.
    • The castle sits on 9 acres of land and allows guests to explore the stables, walls, medieval kitchen and castle keep.
  • Later, we continue north to Scotland. As we pass through the borders country we will see some stunning, stark and beautiful scenery along the way.
  • Our evening will be in Edinburgh, Scotland.
Day Eight: Edinburgh, Scotland
  • We start the day in Edinburgh by heading underground! Below modern day Edinburgh lies the mystery of the Real Mary King’s Close.
    • An expert guide in period costume will take us through this mysterious underground warren of streets and spaces.
    • Who will be our underground guide?
      • “Foul Clenger” Walter King, the plague cleaner from 1645?
      • Maid Agnes Chambers from 1535?
      • Poet Robert Ferguson from 1771?
      • Or perhaps the Spanish Envoy Isabel Toledo from 1490?
    • Beware straying from the path…. not all visitors return to the surface….
    • We’ll learn why these 400 year-old buildings are located beneath the city of Edinburgh.
    • We’ll hear legends of ghosts and unsavory characters who frequented the streets so many years ago.
  • Emerging from the dark, we will marvel at Edinburgh and the majestic castle which dominates this city.
  • Next, perhaps a spot of shopping on the high street? Or an excursion to the graveyard to seek the statue of Greyfria’s Bobby, the little dog who guarded his owners grave for 14 years in the late 1800’s?
  • This evening, we’ll head to Pitlochry, the gateway to the Highlands, where our accommodation awaits nearby.
Day Nine: Highlanders, Haggis & Whitewater Rafting
  • Today our focus is on all things Scottish!
  • We begin by learning what it means to be a member of a true Scottish Clan from a genuine Highlander.
  • Does our Highlander look familiar? You may recognize him as a member of the cast from the film Braveheart. Or he may have been an advisor on the set of the TV series Outlander. Or all of the above – Highlanders are very cool dudes.
    • We have much to learn from a Highlander! He’ll teach us:
      • how to tie a kilt in the old style
      • Scottish hand fighting techniques
      • and the true ingredients of a good Haggis.
  • This afternoon, we get to explore the town of Pitlochry – set among the beautiful scenery of the Scottish Highlands. Unforgettable moments in a uniquely picturesque setting.
  • Next, we’ll head to the River Tay for an afternoon of white water fun.
    • As we drift down the Tay, keep an eye out. An author named J.K.Rowling has an estate along 12 acres of the River Tay. Perhaps you’ve heard of her?
Day Ten: Steam Trains & the Scottish Highlands
  • All Aboard! The adventure continues as we board an authentic Jacobite Steam Train and listen to the click-clack, clickity-clack of steel wheels on track as we journey through the Scottish countryside and over the Glenfinnan Viaduct. Look familiar? It should, Harry Potter rode the Hogwarts Express through this area every year.
  • Our next destination is Fort William in the Scottish Highlands. This town, with a population of only 10,000 people is the second largest settlement in the Scottish Highlands.
    • The scenery in this area should be familiar to Harry Potter fans, as much of the filming took place in and around Fort William.
    • Today, this is a popular place to stay for those wanting to explore the Scottish Highlands.
  • Ben Nevis – the highest mountain in the UK, is located just outside of town.
  • Next, just down the road we’ll visit Glencoe, with its spectacularly mountainous highland scenery. A popular site for Scottish ice-climbing (a true highland sport), this is also the home of Hagrid, as seen in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, as well as the James Bond film Skyfall.
  • We’ll overnight tonight in the Avimore area.
Day Eleven: Loch Ness & Highland Games
  • The search is on! A £1 Million reward awaits anyone who can provide proof positive of the existence of Nessie – The Loch Ness Monster.
    • This morning, we board our boat and head out on the Loch in search of the illusive creature who has caused so much speculation in her time. Over the years many people claim to have photographed and seen the Nessie. Will we be lucky enough to see her today?
  • Next we head to the Highland Folk Park where we learn about living in the Highlands through the ages.
    • We’ll marvel at the various ingenious inventions that helped the people survive the rigors of living in the Highlands in days gone by.
    • We’ll participate in some Highland Games, and have a chance to try some of the authentic local delicacy, haggis.
  • This evening, we’ll head back to the Avimore area for our final night in the Highlands of Scotland.
Day Twelve: Gretna Green & Manchester
A good day to get married?

  • In 1754, a certain British Lord Hardwicke spearheaded the passage of a law that prohibited English minors from marrying without their parents’ consent. Scotland had no such law and young couples who wanted to marry used to run away to Gretna Green, the first village over the Scottish border where they could marry without interference.
  • At Gretna Green we can do some last minute shopping for Scottish souvenirs before leaving Scotland behind.

Next stop, Manchester!

  • This afternoon, we’ll head back to England to explore the picturesque, bustling city of Manchester. Once known as an industrial city, Manchester has evolved into a vibrant city of arts and commerce, teeming with history and attractions.
Day Thirteen: Shakespeare’s Home Town & Warwick Castle
Today, history gets very real as we head to Shakespeare’s hometown: Stratford-Upon-Avon.

  • Our tour of the town includes the many charming sights of Stratford and Ann Hathaway’s house.
    • Remember to duck your head! People were a lot smaller in Elizabethan times and the doorways and ceilings in homes were a lot lower.
  • It’s been over 400 years since the bard wrote his famous plays. Yet, Stratford-Upon-Avon still draws millions of visitors each year who are intrigued to learn about Shakespeare and his life during the reign of Elizabeth I.

Next stop 1068!

  • We continue our historical journey back in time at Warwick Castle.
  • Here, re-enactors dress in the garb of the middle ages and teach us about life in a castle during the time of William the Conquerer.
    • We are likely to meet the castle rat catcher (with his cage of live rats).
    • Beware the dungeon master (who, if he finds you, will demonstrate his expertise in the ancient art of torture).
    • If we’re lucky, we might spy a splendid knight practicing for a jousting contest.
    • The Master at Arms of the castle will gladly teach us ancient and proven fighting techniques popular with Knights of the time.
  • Returning to the 21st century, we’ll head to the modern city of Birmingham for the night.
Day Fourteen: Gloucester & Lacock
  • This morning its off to Gloucester Cathedral in Gloucester.
    • Like most of the great cathedrals, the construction of this grand edifice took hundreds of years to complete.
    • Do the cloisters seem familiar? They should for fans of the Harry Potter films. This location was used in the first, second and sixth films, where it was part of Hogwarts School.
  • This afternoon we visit  the village of Lacock, another Harry Potter location.
    • The village was used in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone and Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince.
    • Lacock is an ideal English village that has attracted filmmakers for decades.
    • It has been used as a set for Downton Abbey, the village of Cranford in the T.V. series of the same name, and the 1995 BBC production of Pride and Prejudice.
Day Fifteen: Oxford & The Great Hall
Our Harry Potter themed adventure continues as we head to Oxford University, which provided yet another location for the Harry Potter films.

  • Our first stop is the Old Bodleian Library, the oldest in all of Europe.
    • This research library at Oxford University contains over 12,000,000 items and is the second largest library in Britain.
    • The currently library dates back to 1602, whilst older incarnations of the library existed in the 15th century.
  • Our visit of Oxford continues with visits to Christ College and The Great Hall.
    • Many of the Harry Potter films used various locations around Oxford as Hogwarts School. You’ll see several familiar sights throughout this historic campus.
  • Visitors often mistake The Great Hall at Oxford’s Christ Church College for the Hogwarts dining hall. However, the filmmakers merely took inspiration from this hall and recreated aspects of it on their set at Pinewood studios.
  • Tonight, we’ll enjoy our farewell feast and our final overnight in Oxford.
Day Sixteen: Cheerio, Harry!
Sadly, today we must say cheerio to the United Kingdom, its myths, legends, witches, wizards and wands. We’ll head to the airport and depart for our flight home.