Arrive into the bright lights and iconic architecture of London. However you arrive into the city, by air, rail or road, you can't fail to be impressed and excited by the famous buildings and wide streets that appear just as they do on the silver screen. Once you have met your new extended family and settled into your accommodation in London, there is time to explore the city this evening. Take the family to see one of the many shows that are on all over London, visit one of the major galleries in the city (most are free!), or just enjoy a meal out in the city.
Today we have a guided sight-seeing across London. The city has so much to take in, as we explore the streets that criss-cross London. Many of the famous sights can be seen along the Thames, from Big Ben to the London Eye, we have the city covered. The afternoon is free, and you might want to visit more of the may attractions here. The Natural History Museum houses skeletons of dinosaurs, and if you look up to the ceiling there is a blue whale hanging from the roof. Around the corner, the Science Museum is full of hands on, interactive activities which kids will love, and further into Kensington the Victoria & Albert Museum is filled with style and designs.
Its a short journey out of London today to the film studios where the Harry Potter films were created. Located 20 miles out of London, we can spend the day here surrounded by magic and wizards. What we can see here include costumes, special effects and the history behind the creation of these magical films. Be careful of the spells kids might learn on their way, they might want to try them on their parents. Return to London for the night.
Another day out of the city today to see more of the many historic cities in England. The dreaming spires of Oxford are a short train ride away from London, and the iconic city is waiting to be discovered. Known around the world as a university town, we learn today of some of the children's stories of Oxford. We will get to wander among the colleges and the buildings of the city. The Pitt Rivers Museum, the Radclife Camera, and University College are some of Oxford's most recognisable landmarks. There are also a huge amount of pubs in the city, worth stopping off to try a local ale. We recommend the Eagle and Child, once the hostelry of choice for J.R.R. Tolkein and C.S.Lewis, or the Bear Inn, the oldest in the city. We return to London for the evening.
Crossing London today, we make our journey northwards from Kings Cross Station, where, after stopping to see platform 9 ¾, and trying to escape to Hogwarts, we board our train. It's a ride of about 4 hours to get to Alnmouth, our next stop in Northumberland. Once we arrive in the north, we are greeted by rolling countryside and quaint villages. The afternoon we spend at the beach, eating ice cream, or if you are brave enough, taking a dip in the North Sea. In the evening, enjoy a simple, traditional fish and chip supper on the beach.
This morning our adventure takes us to Alnwick Castle, used for the filming of Hogwarts in the first two Harry Potter films. This sprawling castle immediately brings to mind images of wizards and magic. In the grounds here you have the opportunity to try some broomstick training, starting your training in wizardry. In the afternoon we make our short train journey onwards to Edinburgh.
The city of Edinburgh is Scotland's most visited city, and with good reason. The ancient buildings and winding streets are there to be explored. We take a guided tour around the city, passing the castle and wandering along the Royal Mile, the main thoroughfare of the old part of the city. Later on in the day, after some free time to explore the city, we will have the chance to try some traditional Scottish food. The haggis is Scotland's most famous food, and tonight is a chance to try this delicacy. Many pubs in the city serve freshly caught and cooked haggis (parents - we'll let you explain to the kids the true origins of haggis...). If you've not eaten enough, Edinburgh also inspired the deep fried Mars Bar. See if you can manage more than one! To celebrate our last night, parents might want to enjoy a wee dram of Scotch whisky, the finest in the world.
Departure day, feel free to depart at any time.