Harry Potter fans can finally go inside the Dursley’s house Warner Bros. studio tour

Best Value U.K Sightseeing Tours

The Harry Potter experience at the Warner Bros. Studio Tour London is pretty good – but it just got better.

A new exhibition has opened that lets massive fans of the films walk into an area they haven’t before been able to visit – the house that Harry grew up in. As most Potter fans know, Harry grew up sleeping in a pokey cupboard under the stairs with his Aunt Petunia, Uncle Vernon and cousin Dudley where he was banned from using magic and lived like the family’s slave.

Number 4 Privet Drive Photocall, Leavesden. Herts. Britain Fiona Shaw, Aunt Petunia in the Harry Potter film series, opens the set of number four, Privet Drive to visitors for the first time at Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter for a limited time only.

That was until he received not one but thousands of letters from Hogwarts calling him to start his schooling in…

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Harry Potter fans can finally go inside the Dursley’s house Warner Bros. studio tour

The Harry Potter experience at the Warner Bros. Studio Tour London is pretty good – but it just got better.

A new exhibition has opened that lets massive fans of the films walk into an area they haven’t before been able to visit – the house that Harry grew up in. As most Potter fans know, Harry grew up sleeping in a pokey cupboard under the stairs with his Aunt Petunia, Uncle Vernon and cousin Dudley where he was banned from using magic and lived like the family’s slave.

Number 4 Privet Drive Photocall, Leavesden. Herts. Britain

Fiona Shaw, Aunt Petunia in the Harry Potter film series, opens the set of number four, Privet Drive to visitors for the first time at Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter for a limited time only.

That was until he received not one but thousands of letters from Hogwarts calling him to start his schooling in wizardry. They all came flying through the fire place and front door of number four, Privet Drive, and that’s exactly what you can see here.

Warner_Bros_3178_14111In homage to the 15th anniversary of Harry Potter And The Philosopher’s Stone, graphic designers MinaLima – who worked on all eight movies – brought the Dursley’s house back to life, including an incredible installation of the letters Harry received.

The house has been recreated in authentic detail, with the actual ugly furniture and terrible decor from the first film. There are trophies, TV remotes, photo frames, and even and Dudley’s ridiculous awards adorn the walls – like his award for eating up all his lunch, and for managing to swim five metres.

Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter with Return Transportation

The only thing missing is Harry’s little cupboard under the stairs, which is featured elsewhere in the tour, but in my opinion really should be in this house. There is a door to show where it would be though so you can use your imagination.

What’s also pretty cool is that there is also the chance to see how the letters were sent flying in the movie in the scene where Harry was accepted into Hogwarts as the machine which threw them through the letter box has been recreated by Special Effects Supervisor John Richardson. So have hundreds of hand-made letters to recreate the effect – 10,000 were made for the original movie.

As you exit the house you see it’s all just a set with scaffolding all over the shop and realise you’ve just stepped right behind the scenes of HP’s life. It’s a cool look behind the scenes for Potter Heads.

And once you’ve done all that you can go and bury your face in a tub of butterbeer ice cream. Perfect.

Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter unveils the interior set of number four, Privet Drive for the first time. The set is open to the public from 27th May for a limited time only and is included in the ticket price wbstudiotour.co.uk.

Full story on the Metro Website (source)

Best Value Tours offer daily Harry Potter Studio Tours

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Shakespeare’s Birthday Celebration Parade

Some 400 years since his death in 1616 on his 52nd birthday, festivals, exhibitions and performances all around the world in 2016 will celebrate the legacy of William Shakespeare, arguably the finest playwright and poet ever to write in the English language.

william-shakespeare-portrait11Here in Stratford upon Avon the memorable programme of activities and events to commemorate our most famous son will reach its climax on 23 April as we celebrate the Bard’s 400 year legacy with a unique ‘take’ on the traditional Annual Parade through the town, combining birthday and commemoration in a very special way.

The 2016 Shakespeare’s Birthday Parade, starting at 10:30am will be a spectacle like nothing we have seen before in the history of these precious, traditional celebrations which we want to preserve for future generations.  However, it will include all the usual participants, among them civic dignitaries, VIPS and invited guests from the worlds of literature and theatre, students of Shakespeare’s school and characters in period dress, all accompanied by marching bands and many local schoolchildren making their way through the streets towards Holy Trinity Church.

But beyond the customary ceremonies the truly international influence of William Shakespeare will be apparent in the exciting high point of our Parade – but we’d love you to come and see for yourselves what that is!

The Birthday Celebrations extend to a whole week of events, culminating in a weekend of festivities and entertainment for all the family at venues throughout the town, many of them outdoors and most of them free of charge.

The www.shakespearescelebrations.com website will be updated regularly with more information and programme details for 2016

Best Value Tours offer daily sightseeing tours of Shakespeare’s birthplace.  Tours of the Globe theatre in London and theatre tickets.

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St George’s Day: What does it mean and why do we celebrate the patron Saint of England? — Welcome2Britain

St. George’s Day takes place on April 23rd every year, recognising the patron saint of England apparently made famous for slaying a dragon and saving a distressed maiden It’s the one day of the year, apart from major football tournaments, when you are guaranteed to see English flags being waved proudly across the country. April […]

via St George’s Day: What does it mean and why do we celebrate the patron Saint of England? — Welcome2Britain

5 Places You Should Visit in the United Kingdom

There is so much to explore in the United Kingdom that one might need more than just a couple of days to see everything around. However to make things easier for everyone, here is a list of Top 5 places you should visit in the UK.

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London’s Megastructures

As they say, no country is good without its capital and so is the case here. London, the British capital is the living example of what a global center looks like. Known for its cultural, political and geographical influence, the city of about 8 million is one of the oldest most advanced cities in the world. Iconic landmarks like the Big Ben, Tower of London, Madame Tussauds, London Eye, Westminster Palace are just some of the spots that glorify the city every day.

Egham

If you are into English countryside living then outskirts of London would do the needful. For instance, an area like Egham is perfect for out of the city living. One can always take a 30-minute train to the city and enjoy a countryside atmosphere.

Scottish Highlands

Scotland and Scottish Highlands is another place that makes it into any tourist’s must-do list if they are visiting the UK. Known for its mountains and lochs, you can indulge yourself in the cold hilly area or enjoy Scottish cities like Edinburgh, which also have been of importance in the UK.

Stonehenge

If prehistoric monuments fascinate you then Stonehenge in Wiltshire will never disappoint you. It was built sometime from 3000 to 2000 BC, as many believed the site could have been a burial ground from its early beginnings. Nonetheless, UNESCO added the site to its list of “World Heritage Sites.”

Snowdon

Finally, Snowdon in Wales can serve as the perfect spot for adventure seekers. Touted to be the highest mountain in Wales, it is also the busiest mountain in Great Britain. It flaunts of rare flora and fauna and has activities like rock climbing to show for.

Full article in the HofMag website

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Southampton Shore Sightseeing Excursions and London Transfers

Turn your transfer between your Southampton cruise ship terminal and London and its airports into a sightseeing tour experience.  Visit the world class attracttions of Windsor Castle, Salisbury or Stonehenge to or from your cruise ship on a coach sightseeing detour or private transfer.

These full day tours and hotel transfers with collection at your cruise terminal. This service is available on all dates (April to November) when Royal Caribbean, Oceania, Celebrity, Princess, MSC Splendida, Azamara Quest and P&O Britannia cruise ships are visiting Southampton. You will be driven in an air conditioned touring bus with a professional guide accompanying you throughout the day. In a memorable day you will see three world class attractions; Salisbury Cathedral, Stonehenge and Windsor Castle plus much more.

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At the end of the day the coach will take you to the Central London and Heathrow Hotels on the link below. We also drop at Victoria, Kings Cross, St.Pancras and Paddington stations, plus Heathrow terminals 1-5.

Drop off available to over 200 London and Heathrow hotels, Heathrow airport terminals and London mainline train stations. 2016 now available to book! Exclusive tour in a luxury touring coach with professional tour guide.

Visit our U.K Shore Excursion Tour  web page to view all of our tours.

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Eurostar Train from Paris to London

London to Paris / Paris to London in just over 2 hours.

The train from Paris to London is operated by Eurostar. Eurostar trains are undersea trains for foot passengers only, linking Paris, Lille and Brussels with London St Pancras. If you’re touring Kent you can also disembark at Ashford and Ebbsfleet.

The Paris-London train arrives at St Pancras International – the London Eurostar terminus and Europe’s first ‘destination station’. St Pancras has world-class shopping, Europe’s longest champagne bar, a fresh daily farmers’ market and top restaurants and bars.  Click here for Paris Eurostar Train Deals

PARIS VIA EUROSTAR DEALS

Paris-London train timetables

There are frequent Eurostar services between Paris, Brussels, Lille, Calais and London every day of the week. Train services from Paris to London run regularly from around 6:45 to 21:15. The Paris to London train takes around 2 hours 20 minutes.

Find up-to-date Eurostar timetables on the Eurostar website.

Eurostar fares

sb-6-parisStandard return tickets for London-Paris, London-Brussels, London-Lille and London-Calais start at around £60 one-way with certain conditions and restrictions, for example the tickets may be non-refundable or non-exchangeable, you may have to travel on the weekend, or you may need to book them a certain number of days in advance.

Eurostar offer a very wide range of ticket types and fares. For the most up-to-date information on travelling from Paris to London by train, visit the Eurostar website.

To and from the Eurostar station in London

For up-to-date information on getting to and from St Pancras International visit the Eurostar website. St Pancras International is right in the heart of London in King’s Cross. The station has excellent transport links including local buses, domestic train services and 6 underground lines. To travel on the London Underground network, you need to use either a London Travelcard or Visitor Oyster Card, both which are available to buy in advance from VisitBritain Shop . Visit their page on London travel for more information on buying tickets and how to use the network.

Having arrived on the train from Paris to London, you can get almost anywhere in Britain from Eurostar’s British terminals.

East Midland trains from St Pancras International and East Coast trains services from nearby King’s Cross connect St Pancras to the North of England and Scotland. First Capital Connect will take you to St Albans, Bedford, Luton and the South of England. Virgin Trains from Euston Station travel to Birmingham, Manchester and the North West, while First Great Western trains travel from London Paddington to Bristol, South West England and South Wales.

For more details on onward travel by train check National Railway Enquiries .

If you are travelling on to destinations in southern England, you may save time by getting off the Eurostar at Ashford International or Ebbsfleet International in Kent. Find out how to get to and from Ashford International and Ebbsfleet International on the Eurostar website.

Please visit our website for the best Euostar train tour deals

Travel Editor
Best Value Tours U.K

 

What’s hot in Great Britain for 2016

It’s that time of year when thoughts turn to travel plans and exciting new adventures. Tudor cottages where Shakespeare lived, resplendent English gardens, and hilltop Welsh castles could all be on your travel horizon. Get the low-down on what you can’t miss in Britain in 2016:

Discover Shakespeare Lives

Mary Arden's House, Stratford upon Avon

With 2016 marking the 400th anniversary of the great Bard’s death, get into the Tudor spirit and experience Shakespeare in Britain this year. In the pretty town of Stratford-upon-Avon you can visit remarkable sights like his birthplace, while in London you can see his plays how they were meant to be seen – in the Globe Theatre.

We’re offering you the chance to win an amazing trip to Britain taking in key Shakespeare sights in London and Stratford-upon-Avon.

Coming up roses

The garden at Powis Castle

There can be no other country in the world that boasts so many beautiful gardens open to visitors and so 2016 celebrates the Year of the Garden in Britain. From vast, landscaped grounds at the likes of Stowe or Blenheim Palace, to cute cottage gardens like Great Dixter and Sissinghurst, come smell the flowers in Britain.

Embark on an adventure into the past

Castle in Wales

Wales is Britain’s land of adventure – with fairytale castles, chapels carved into rugged coastline, and mountains laced with legends and folklore all waiting to be explored.
Find out more about Wales.

Celebrating our children’s book authors

Beatrix Potter's house, Hill Top, in the Lake District

This year also sees key anniversaries of 2 of our most beloved children’s book creators – the 150th anniversary of the birth of Beatrix Potter and the 100th anniversary of Roald Dahl. Discover the places in Britain where these talented writers found their inspiration for their enduring characters.

Written by  (Visit Britain Blog)

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Annual Events in London

There are many special events that take place in London each year and many of them are superb ideas for a day out with the children.

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January

The New Year’s Day Parade on the 1st January is a highly popular event which gets over half a million visitors lined up to watch over 10,000 performers from around the world, along with 200 million tv viewers, this really is a must-see event.

February

There are many Pancake Day Races in London during February, some of which include the competitors wearing fancy dress. It is fun to watch a relay of people trying to run as fast as possible while tossing pancakes in frying pans.

March

The St. Patrick’s Day celebrations in London take place on the nearest Sunday to the 17th March. You can follow a parade of Irish marching bands from Green Park through the city to Trafalgar Square. Enjoy a free day out with the family, dress in green and look out for the dancing and traditional music for a true Irish experience, in London!

April

There a loads of Easter celebrations in London for the kids to enjoy during the holidays in April. Many of London’s main attractions put on something special at this time of year, including Easter egg hunts, egg decorating and free chocolate! Other exciting events include the London Harness Horse Parade, St George’s Day celebrations, the London Marathon and Zippos Circus at Blackheath as well as church services at St Paul’s Cathedral, Westminster Abbey and St Martin-in-the-Fields Church, Trafalgar Square.

May

The Chelsea Flower Show is a superb place to observe beautiful floral displays during the month of May. You can also celebrate the Sikh New Year, known as Vaisakhi, in Trafalgar Square with festivities including traditional Asian music and dance.

June

The Queen’s Birthday Parade, known as Trooping the Colour, takes place on the 1st, 2nd or 3rd Saturday of June and marks the official birthday of the Queen, although her real birthday is on 21st April. The Wimbledon Tennis Championships are also on in June.

July

It is free to attend the Watch This Space summer festival on the South Bank at Theatre Square. It includes a mix of entertainment by extraordinary artists, both British and international. The Wimbledon Tennis Championships also continue during this month and the Doggett’s Coat and Badge Race is a rowing race on the River Thames which is free to watch.

August

The well known Notting Hill Carnival has a Children’s Day on the first day of the carnival which dates back to 1964. In August, there is also Kid’s Week, which includes workshops, activities and events across London and focuses on getting the younger generation involved in theatre.

September

For a weekend, you can enjoy the architecture of London from the inside during the Open House London event when about 750 buildings open their doors to the public. Other exciting events in September include the London Design Festival, the Great River Race, the Mayor’s Thames Festival, Horseman’s Sunday and the Great Gorilla Run.

October

You can enjoy a traditional show at the Punch and Judy Festival in the Covent Garden Piazza as well as the London Film Festival in October every year.

November

During this month you can enjoy the ever popular firework displays on Bonfire Night and The Lord Mayor’s Show where over 6000 people participate in a three mile parade. The Country Living Magazine Christmas fair is also something to look forward to this month.

December

There is a magical atmosphere and heaps of fun stuff to do and see in London at Christmas time.  Ice skating on open air ice rinks by the London Eye, Tower of London and the Natural History Museum to name a few, as well as Christmas Day dining, the Westminster Abbey Christmas Eve Service and the must-see Christmas lighting on Oxford Street and Regent Street, not to mention the New Years Eve celebrations and firework displays to put the cherry on the cake of a fantastic Christmas in London!

Try the London Hut for further London Events

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Visit London. Festive Christmas Tours

During the holiday season, London is aglow and abuzz imbued with local charm and festive spirits. Enjoy the holiday lights on Oxford Circus and Regent Street on the Christmas Eve Lights Tour in London led by Santa, or snap festive photos of top London attractions such as Big Ben, the Tower of London, Westminster Abbey and Trafalgar Square.

Tower_of_London_2466_14781Outside the city limits, trips to Windsor, Stonehenge and Bath; Warwick Castle, Stratford-upon-Avon, the Cotswolds and Oxford; and Leeds Castle, Canterbury and Dover on Christmas Eve immerse travellers in England’s rich beauty and history for a special holiday treat. Not to be overlooked, celebrate Boxing Day (December 26) in style at Warwick Castle, Stratford-upon-Avon, The Cotswolds and Oxford; at Windsor, Stonehenge and Bath; or at Leeds Castle, Canterbury, Dover and Greenwich.

For more information about sightseeing tours and activities in Europe, along with the latest BestValueTour deals, promotions and tourist tips, visit http://www.BestValueTours.co.uk, and follow BestValueTours on Twitter (@BestValueTours).

Please visit our Christmas Tour page

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