Every year, over 475 million people visit Europe for business trips and European holidays. London, Europe’s largest city, hosts more than 31 million visitors annually, generating more than £96.7 billion for the British economy, according to Visit Britain. As you might imagine, this huge reliance on tourism has led to a great variety of hotels, restaurants, and other attractions in the city in hopes of making it even more attractive to its international suitors. Subsequently, the city is home to more than 120,000 hotel rooms and 6,128 licensed restaurants, serving more than 50 different international cuisines.
While the city itself is draw enough for millions of tourists, it’s the chance to see scenes from world-renowned film and television that bring many to London on their European vacations. Harry Potter and Downtown Abbey, known across the world, are two such draws that make staying in London’s best hotels so popular.
The Wizarding World of Harry Potter
J.K. Rowling’s magical world of witchcraft and wizardry exploded into fame when the first book in the series, The Philosopher’s Stone, was released in 1997. In 2001, the film version was released, breathing new life into the series and giving birth to a new generation of fans. Luckily for many Potter fans on their European vacations in London, the city offers unique ways to reenact their favorite scenes from the books and movies.
- Diagon Alley
- Kings Cross Station
Fans looking to shop as Harry Potter and his friends did can visit the magical marketplace of Diagon Alley, located on the Warner Bros. Harry Potter studio tour. There Potterheads can see Olivander’s wand shop, the Leaky Cauldron, and much, much more.
Potterheads know that the real world Kings Cross train station is the portal to the wizarding world. Keep in mind, however, that unless you have magical blood, trying to get through platform nine and three-quarters is only going to end in injury and disappointment.
The Edwardian Escape of Downton Abbey
According to The New York Times, this bit of British masterpiece theater has been syndicated and watched in more than 200 countries. Further, it has been viewed by more than 120 million people, making it one of the biggest success stories in the history of British drama. Fans from all countries will be glad to know they can see many of the sites from their favorite Edwardian drama on tours that leave from London.
- Highclere Castle
- Bampton Village
Many on their European vacations make sure to visit the real Downtown Abbey, Highclere Castle, located in the Berkshire region of Southeast England, according to Visit Britain. Originally built in the 17th century, the estate is home to the Earl and Countess of Carnavon. The same family has lived in Highclere since 1679.
Fans of Downton Abbey have long wanted to visit the lovely 12th century-style village of Downton. However, the real life Downton village is none other than Bampton, located in Oxfordshire, according to Viator. There Downton fans can see the church of St. Mary’s and the classic cottages the town is so well known for on-screen.
London is home to a huge variety of food, historical exhibits, and entertainment, all of which can be accessed through hotel accommodations in the city’s numerous lodgings. If you’re a fan of Harry Potter, Downton Abbey, or both, a European vacation to London may be just the best way to live a day in the worlds of your favorite fiction. For more, read this link.