Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Harry Potter and the Scottish Connection

Did you know that Scotland was the setting for Harry Potter and his adventures?
Therefore, on the twentieth anniversary of the very first Harry Potter book – June 26, 2017 to be exact – it is fitting that our attention turns to this part of the UK, where the global publishing phenomenon began back in 1997.
That tome was Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (later renamed Sorcerer's Stone for the US market) introduced a boy wizard and a magical cast of supporting characters.
[Note: Its first print run produced 1,000 copies – all now highly sought after by collectors – and earned the author a £1,500 (RM8,172) contract from Bloomsbury].

With that, penniless single mother JK Rowling (left) finally found success – after a series of rejections from publishers – and the book became the first installment of a seven-novel series that has sold 450 million copies worldwide and spawned eight blockbuster films.
In fact, this month Queen Elizabeth II made her “Companion of Honour”, a rare order which has a maximum of 65 members, for her contribution to the arts.
And the national tourist office VisitScotland has rightfully put together an itinerary covering the locations which inspired JK Rowling to pen her best-selling series.
Unsurprisingly, the trip begins in the Scottish capital. Its medieval architecture transports fans back to a time of witchcraft and wizardry.

There are two cafés on the itinerary: Elephant House (where JK Rowling spent hours writing the story of the bespectacled Boy who Lived, looking up from time to time to contemplate Edinburgh Castle) and Spoon.

Elephant House, 21 George IV Bridge, Edinburgh, UK 
The magical tour continues by car or train in the direction of Fort William. On the way, you’ll see Rannoch Moor, a vast wilderness where the Death Eaters board the train in the film Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows: Part 1.
This is also an opportunity to visit Glasgow, where Gothic-style buildings are similar to Hogwarts School.

The part of the trip by train will remind fans of the scenes on board the Hogwarts Express. AFP pic

One of the highlights of the trip is the Jacobite Steam Train which brings the magic atmosphere of the series to life. Starting in Fort William and ending in Mallaig, fans will relive scenes from the films on the Hogwarts Express.

The train crosses the Scottish countryside on the West Highland Line.

The trip ends on the fourth day in the Highlands where VisitScotland recommends visiting Steall Falls, a beautiful cascading waterfall featured in The Goblet of Fire.

Kindly check out the detailed itinerary at:

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