Search This Blog

Oxford- The Harry Potter Tour with Darren & Netty

Oxford- The Harry Potter Tour 
An excited group set off to Harry Potter World at the famous Warner Brothers studios. We spent over five hours being totally mesmerised by the props, films and shear size of the studios.

From the minute we walked in we were surrounded by our favourite characters as we sat down and watched a short film with all the best bits of Harry Potter in.

 All aboard the Hogwarts express for an interactive journey on this magical train. 

We experienced what it would be like to be a wizard with a wand lesson and a virtual train ride with Dementors chasing them. 

We all enjoyed trying the tasty Beerbutter. 

 A brilliant time was spent at the Roald Dahl museum at Great Missenden which is where the great man lived and is buried. It’s a beautiful place to visit and we could all see why he loved living here. 

 The museum itself was fascinating as we explored the galleries packed with characters from his books and films. We peeked in his original Writing Hut, too. 

Exploring the lovely town of Aylesbury where we were able to do some last-minute shopping. We visited the David Bowie statue where we were all keen to have our photo taken. We also found a statue of the comedian Ronnie Barker.

 A gorgeous day was spent in the   beautiful city of Oxford. We met our tour guide who was taking us on our own private walking tour. We took in the pure wonder of the Oxford architecture and the magnificent buildings before starting our ‘Harry & Alice’ tour through Oxford. We visited locations where parts of Harry Potter were filmed and places that inspired the film makers to build the sets that we saw at the studio tour. We learnt about the reasons behind the names of the characters in Harry Potter and many other interesting facts.

We stopped off at a Harry Potter memorabilia shop and had great fun trying on the ‘sorting hat’ which determined what dorm each character would be assigned to in the first Harry Potter film.

The Island of Malta with Ase, David & Candy

The Island of Malta 
We couldn't think of a better way to start our holiday than exploring the local area in the glorious sunshine. 

We made our way to the harbour and set sail on our boat trip to the small island of Gozo. On arrival it was interesting to see how green and luscious the countryside was here, compared to Malta. We were welcomed by our tour guide who took us around the island.  

We passed through the village of Xewkija, where we drove past the largest church in Gozo. It also boasts being the third largest unsupported dome in the world. The sightseeing continued to Ta' Pinu Church, where we stopped off and admired the painting of the  Blessed Virgin of Ta'Pinu.

 The Blue Lagoon is located on Malta's smallest inhabited island-Comino, with its clear turquoise shallow waters, golden rocks and dramatic coastline. It was simply stunning.  

The morning was spent at the National Sea Life Aquarium. A fantastic world opened up for us with tanks full of colourful fish, some big, some small, some beautiful and quite some ugly! A highlight being the glass tunnel where stingrays and sharks swam above us. We felt like we were under the sea! The interactive rock pools were full of starfish that we were able to touch, too. 

Mdina, is a fortified city in the Northern Region which served as Malta's capital from antiquity to the medieval period. We also learnt that it is called the silent city due to its quiet streets and strict vehicle restrictions. It felt like we were stepping back in time as we entered Mdina. We started off with the Mdina experience; a short film explaining the history of the city. It was very informative and full of action. We walked up to a viewing point where you could see for miles, all the way out to sea. We then made our way to the breathtaking St Paul's Cathedral which was founded in the 12th century and according to tradition it stands on the site where Roman governor Publius met St Paul following his shipwreck on Malta.  

We took our seats on the  sightseeing bus tour that took us around the northern part of the island. We saw watch towers that are still standing around the coast of Malta.  The tour took us through St Julian's Bay and onto Valletta, the capital city. 

Here, we went on a boat cruise around the two natural harbours on either side of Valletta - Marsamxett Harbour and the Grand Harbour.  We saw historical forts, old hospitals and creeks that only can be admired from the sea.

Wandering around the cobbled streets that are steeped in history was fascinating and we particularly loved watching the horse drawn carts passing us by. 

When we weren't sightseeing we found time to relax and unwind in the warm sunshine and the brave amongst us even went for a dip and swim in the sea!

Nothing beats a delicious ice cream treat to end our days. 

Most evening's we put on our dancing shoes and found a lively bar playing some fantastic disco music where we were always the last ones on the dance floor.   

A quick visit the classic car museum that housed so many iconic, restored classic cars alongside 1940s, 50s and 60s memorabilia. 

Everyone happily relaxed around the wonderful hotel pool, topping up their tans!