Whether you’re a pureblood, half-blood, or muggle (no-maj for those across the pond), an unbelievable adventure filled with magic and comradery awaits! Geek Nation Tours cordially invites you on this Harry Potter-themed tour. You’ll be whisked away to locations in Scotland and England (and even America, if you chose). Won’t you join us as we wander through a wonderfully whimsical world of witchcraft and wizardry?
Join us as we visit many of the breathtaking UK locations used in the movies including a fantastic steam train journey. You’ll spend time in J.K.Rowlings home city of Edinburgh where she brought those wonderful stories to life. It’s back to school in Oxford as you’ll visit some wonderful historical buildings used for filming Hogwarts. Enjoy the many sights of London, including platform 9¾ at King’s Cross Station. See behind the scenes at the not to be missed Warner Brothers Studio Tour, and for those that continue on our journey – experience the wizarding world for yourself with a Private VIP tour of Universal Studios in Florida!
Thursday, August 17th – Day 1
Today you’ll arrive by ship, train, airplane, broomstick, fireplace, or port key from all around the world to Scotland’s capital, Edinburgh. You will be given detailed instructions on how to reach the hotel where you will meet your Geek Nation Tours Tour Leader and the rest of your traveling companions. The day is yours to rest and recuperate after a long journey or explore the city on your own. Your Tour Leader will make a visit to Edinburgh Castle in the afternoon and you are most certainly welcome to join or feel free to ask for suggestions of things to see and do on your own.
Whatever you do, make sure you’re back to the hotel in the evening for our Welcome Dinner. Here you’ll get more information about the rest of the tour, officially meet the rest of the party, and be sorted into your house to partake in the House Cup competition during the tour (however, feel free to wear the colours of whatever house you fancy as this sorting is only for the duration of the tour).
Friday, August 18th – Day 2
While much of our tour is based on the Potter film universe, we’ll start the day exploring the literary background of the Wizarding World. Join your Tour Leader on a walking tour through Edinburgh to experience the inspiration of author J.K. Rowling. During our walk, we’ll visit some of Rowling’s favourite haunts (as well as other Scottish writers), the inspiration for Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, and the actual grave of He Who Must Not Be Named!
After the tour, we’ll break for lunch together at The Elephant House. This informal and eclectic café is reputed to be where Rowling wrote the majority of Philosopher’s Stone.
Rested and ready, in the afternoon we’ll travel to Dalhousie Castle where we will be treated to a literally hands-on encounter with Falconry Scotland’s menagerie of owls. We’ll learn more about these magnificent creatures and broaden our understanding of the wizarding world’s preferred method of communication.
In the evening, upon returning to Edinburgh, we’ll venture to the Witchery restaurant. The namesake alone lends itself to a magical dining experience, but you’ll be spellbound by the atmosphere of one of Edinburgh’s most treasured establishments.
After dinner, we’ll saunter back to the hotel where the first of our House Cup challenges awaits. This will be the first evening of our Wizard’s Chess tournament between the houses. Coincidentally, Wizard’s Chess is very similar to Muggle Chess, the key difference is the former encourages collaboration with your housemates. May the best team win!
Saturday, August 19th – Day 3
Pack a change of clothes because today we set out from Edinburgh on an overnight excursion to western Scotland. After breakfast, we’ll board our coach and travel to Glen Coe. We’ll visit a handful of filming locations in the morning including where Hagrid’s Hut stood for The Prisoner of Azkaban and later films.
Lunch is served at the picturesque Glencoe Inn where we’ll enjoy traditional Scottish fare accompanied by a magical view of Loch Leven. After lunch it’s on to the Dragon’s Tooth Golf Course. Since our wands are ineffective in the muggle world, we’ll partake in a non-magical replacement…the typical Scottish pastime of clay shooting. Don’t worry, through the wonders of muggle technology, we’ll be using laser shotguns to safely shoot at our flying targets. Of course, you’ll want to do your very best to score the highest since this is another of our House Cup challenges!
Later in the afternoon, we’ll travel to the secluded Steall Falls, the scenic backdrop for the Dragon competition during the Triwizard Tournament seen in The Goblet of Fire, before continuing on to Fort William where we’ll spend the night.
After dinner at The Grog & Gruel, we’ll finish our Wizard’s Chess tournament and distribute House Cup points based on how each house finishes. With two challenges completed on the same day the field could be wide open or a strongly superior and successfully sly house could be surging significantly ahead of the otherssss.
Sunday, August 20th – Day 4
ALL ABOARD!! In the morning we board the Jacobite Express in Fort William heading to the coastal town of Malaig. The Jacobite Express had a supporting role in the film franchise as none other than the Hogwart’s Express! We’ll ride the rails across the stunning Scottish landscape seen in the entire Harry Potter film series. During the journey west, we’ll cross the iconic Glennfinnan Viaduct. Keep on the lookout for any flying Ford Anglia’s trying to catch up with the train.
With any luck, we won’t be hindered by Dementors or Death Eaters and we’ll arrive in Malaig with enough time for lunch at the Fishmarket restaurant. After lunch it’s back on board the coach for our return trip to Edinburgh. Along the way we’ll soak up the Highland scenery and see the Glennfinnan Viaduct from below as well as Loch Eilt where Albus Dumbledor is buried in The Half-blood Prince.
Upon our return to Edinburgh, we’ll sneak down the street to have our very own Potions Making class in the form of a Cocktails Master Class including dinner at Revolution. For our tea totaling travelers, there will be a non-alcoholic option. Of course, make sure to take notes and follow the recipes closely since this will be another House Cup challenge (obviously, it would be beneficial to have the Half-Blood Prince on your team…or at least his annotations for mixing proper potions).
Monday, August 21st – Day 5
Today we leave Scotland behind and make our way south of the border to England by coach. We’ll spend late morning and early afternoon visiting Alnwick Castle which hosted several scenes of Hogwarts in both Philospher’s Stone and Chamber of Secrets. We’ll enjoy a guided tour of the castle and a lesson on broomstick flying before breaking off to enjoy one of several options for lunch on your own. Feel free to cross your geekdoms as the castle also features in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves and Transformers: The Last Knight among other films as well as television series like Downton Abbey, Star Trek: The Next Generation, and The Black Adder.
We’ll board the coach again in the afternoon and head to Durham where we will stay overnight in Durham Castle. We’ll be treated to a tour of the castle and Durham Cathedral (which was used for Hogwart’s scenes in Philosopher’s Stone and Chamber of Secrets) and dinner at the castle before being tasked with a self-guided scavenger hunt mystery. A bookworm like Hermione Granger would serve your team well since the scavenger hunt is, naturally, one of the House Cup challenges.
Tuesday, August 22nd –Day 6
Before we depart Durham, we’ll enjoy breakfast in the castle’s Great Hall. This is where university students of Castle College enjoy their meals, emitting an overwhelming Hogwarts vibe where fantasy and reality meet.
After breakfast we’ll travel south by coach to Derbyshire’s Hardwick Hall which doubled as Malfoy Manor in Deathly Hallows. We’ll have a quick peak at the estate’s gardens and view the mansion from outside before continuing our journey.
We’ll arrive early afternoon in Oxford and stop at The Eagle and Child for a late lunch or afternoon tea. The unassuming pub is often associated with the Inklings writers who frequented it including J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis. As such, we will likely be required to refer to ourselves only by our initials for the rest of the afternoon.
Later in the afternoon, we’ll tag along with a local guide who will give us a glimpse of Oxford as well as filming locations from the Harry Potter series. After the tour it’s back on board our coach to take us the final leg into London. After catching our breath in the hotel it’s off to dinner and maybe even a bit of miniature mischief (if you can manage) at Munchkin’s restaurant.
Wednesday, August 23rd – Day 7
In the morning we’ll traverse the streets of London Town and visit the city’s Harry Potter locations on foot with your Tour Leader including the entrance to the Ministry of Magic and the hidden house of Sirius Black from Order of the Phoenix, a bit of Diagon Alley from Philospher’s Stone and no visit to London would be complete without a visit to King’s Cross Station and Platform 9 ¾!
Lunch is served at the Round Table restaurant and you may want to do some carbo loading. In the afternoon we’ll be learning to play real-life Quidditch! Mouth guards are optional, but highly recommended. Rough game Quidditch…some would even call it brutal!
After nursing our bruises, we’ll dress to the nines and make our way to Victoria Embankment to embark on a River Thames dinner cruise very much like the one Harry and Tonks narrowly avoided on their broom flight through London in Order of the Phoenix. Please be advised that any werewolves on the tour will be required to take their Wolfsbane Potion before embarking as we will be in an enclosed public space for several hours under the night sky.
Thursday, August 24th – Day 8
After breakfast we depart by coach for Leavesden, on the edge of London, for the Warner Bros Studio Tour. We’ll be given plenty of time to explore all the props, sets, and other artifacts as well as experience flying our own broomsticks and enjoying a frothy mug of butter beer. You’ll be on your own for lunch while you’re there, so don’t fill up on Bertie Botts Every Flavor Beans!
Returning to London later in the afternoon we’ll enjoy dinner at the Slug & Lettuce. Luckily, the restaurant is not owned or operated by the aforementioned Mr. Botts and there is no risk of encountering slug-flavored anything.
Friday, August 25th – Day 9
Today is yours to enjoy London as you please. Whether it’s talking to snakes in the Reptile House of the London Zoo, crossing the street near Abby Road Studios, or trying to find the TARDIS near Earl’s Court, the possibilities are endless. Your Geek Nation Tours Leader is available to point you in the right direction or give suggestions if you simply can’t decide.
In the evening we’ll regroup in the hotel restaurant for a farewell dinner and reveal the winners of the House Cup!
Saturday, August 26th – Day 10
As with a school year at any of the world’s wizarding academies, today is the day we all apparate our separate ways. The journey may be over but the friendships made with your housemates during the school year will likely last a lifetime…
Or of course, it doesn’t have to be ‘good bye’…
Saturday, August 26th – Extension Day 1
Continue the adventure and join us on our optional extension as we travel from London, England, UK to Orlando, Florida, USA!
Sunday, August 27th – Extension Day 2
After recuperating from the transatlantic flight we’ll have the opportunity for a VIP experience in Orlando’s Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure theme parks. Both parks feature the Wizarding World of Harry Potter attractions so there’s no shortage of magic to go around.
If you get bogged down with movie swag, never fear, your Tour Leader will set a drop off time and location and your items will be taken back to the hotel freeing you up to enjoy the rest of the day. However, keep in mind that if you give your Tour Leader clothes, they will be free (although still likely to aid you in your quest).
Stay as late as you’d like in the parks since we’ll be fending for ourselves come dinner time. Perhaps you’ll want to take advantage of the warm central Florida evening and dine outside before leaving the park?
Monday, August 28th – Extension Day 3
If you missed any corner of Universal Studios or found any particular experience so fantastic you need to do it again, you’re in luck because we’ll have a second full day with VIP access to the parks. Once again your Tour Leader will be available for logistics between the parks and hotel if needed.
However, don’t stay too late since in the evening we’ll be heading out by coach from our hotel to Medieval Times Dinner & Tournament for a farewell dinner full of action and well -choreographed danger in a feast of adventure!
Tuesday, August 29th – Extension Day 4
Unfortunately, this is it, the really real end of the tour. As we part ways one last time we’ll be sure even if we leave empty-handed, our hearts will be full from the friendships we’ve fostered along the way
Limited Space: This tour will be maxed out at 26 participants … book soon!
What is included: Local Guides, All hotel stays, Entry fees to most venues, several meals throughout including breakfasts daily and Welcome and Farewell dinners, train and bus transfers, Owl Encounter, Fort William to Mallaig Train, Air transfer Edinbugh to London, Black Cab Tour, WB Studio Tour, walking and bus tours and loads of other stuff.
What is included (Extension): All hotel stays, several meals, Two Day Private VIP Universal Studios Tour, Medieval Times Farewell Dinner.
What is not included: Air to the UK and to the USA, Some local transfers. Some charges at restaurants.
Price – 9 Day Tour: $####.00 USD + $###.00 taxes and fees based on double occupancy
Single Occupancy Upgrade for 11Day tour: $###.00
Extension 4 Day Extension: $####.00 + $###.00 taxes and fees
Single Occupancy Upgrade for Extension: $###.00
Don’t have a friend to get the double occupancy rate? That is what Geek Nation Tours does. Book as a double occupancy and we will match you up a roommate… This way you get the best of both worlds – some one to BS about the con with – and more cash to spend!
Deposit: $750.00 per person upon booking
Final Due: July 1st 2017