A London Harry Potter Tour #NewThings

The boys and I have been invited along with a selection of other bloggers to become New Things Ambassadors, a project run by CSMA. Over the next coming month we have been asked to help inspire other families in trying something new.

Read all about the NewThings project here This week the challenge is to visit a New Place.

This week we visited London. Ok, it’s not a new city for us to visit as we are up there at least once a month but it was the fact that we visited lots of new places in London that we have never been to before. London has a vast amount of hidden treasures that we may pass every day and not know they are there.

The boys and myself are huge Harry Potter fans, like many we have read the books and watched the films, we even have a few Harry potter toys lying around the house but we have never been to the Harry Potter studio tours, as It is slightly too expensive for us to go to as a family. So we took to the internet and found a perfect website to help us out with our OWN tour of London, visiting many of the locations that Harry Potter movies were filmed.

First up we caught the underground train to Leicester Square, we exited onto Charing Cross Road.

This is where the opening scene of Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince was filmed when the Death Eaters swoop down over Trafalgar Square, heading down Charing Cross Road leading a trail of destruction behind.

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Next we made our way along Cranbourne Street, taking a right at the end onto St Martin’s Lane. Go left onto New Row and a little along the road we saw Hardy’s Original Sweet Shop

hardy sweet shop

Just like Honeyduke’s sweets shop in Harry Potter, Once inside this shop you are instantly surrounded by shelves that are stacked to the brim of all types of sweets. We bought a bag made up of Harry Potter themed sweets, costing £10 – not bad considering one of the packs cost 3.99 on its own! Inside is a long jelly basilisk, a chocolate wizard, a pack of liquorice wands, a pack of sherbet lemon sweets, a chocolate frog, a packet of popping candy and very famous every flavour beans.

will it be dirt, vomit or even booger flavour?

will it be dirt, vomit or even booger flavour?

Once stocked with some Harry Potter themed goodies, we headed on over to the other side of the road where we went right into Bedfordbury. Just along on the right hand side there is a passageway tucked away called Goodwins Court. This wasn’t in the Film but it has a magical feel to it with the lamps above the doorways. We must have passed this alleyway many times before but had no idea what was down it, until now!

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So Pretty!

At the end of Goodwins Court, cross over St Martins lane, veering left and head down Cecil Court. The court has such a magical, mysterious feel to it, not used in the HP Films but believed that Cecil Court was the influence of Diagon Alley. With curious antique and book shops, there is plenty to look at, most of the shops even have Harry Potter items on display for sale.

book store

Magic Money

Magic Money

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Next we headed on over to Leicester Square, where we walked towards Shaftesbury Avenue. This is where Ron, Hermione and Harry apparate to in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and nearly get run over by a number 19 bus.

Number 19 bus

Number 19 bus

As you walk along Shaftesbury Avenue you are taking the exact route that Harry, Hermione and Ron took in the film when discussing the Theatres. A little along the road you will see an arcade with large globe lights over head

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The same route that the young wizards took as they discuss about missing Harry’s birthday.

From here we made our way towards Nelson Column at Trafalgar Square, this is where the Death Eaters launch an attack on London from the air in the opening sequences of Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince. 

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Looking at Trafalgar Square in a different way and trying to remember clips of the film, made it feel quite real for us.

Next we headed on over to The Entrance of Ministry Of Magic which is actually on Great Scotland Yard and on the corner of Scotland Place.

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In the Order of the Phoenix, Harry and Mr Weasley enter through the ‘visitors entrance’ which was in a red telephone box located to the left of the brown door. The telephone box was a prop that was lowered down onto set and removed once the filming had finished, there are many telephone boxes scattered around London we found some great ones on Parliament Street to have a photo taken in.

On the other corner of Scotland Place, it was used in the Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part one , where the young wizards drink the polyjuice potion to get into the Ministry of Magic.

If you head along towards Horse Guards Parade towards Horse Guards Avenue, standing with your back towards the Spencer Comptons statue, you will notice that this is where the Staff entrance into the Ministry of Magic was. The entrance was in fact a ‘gentleman’s Toilet’ and was only a prop that was placed in the middle of the road.

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About to enter the Ministry of Magic

About to enter the Ministry of Magic

 

On the next part of the tour we headed to the Train Station to catch a train to Temple. Exiting the station we walked up the steps to the left and turned right. At the end of the road turn left into Milford Lane and walk up the steep flight of steps ahead along to Essex Street. At the top of the street you will find that you are on the Strand, turn left and ahead on the right hand side you will see Austraila House: Gringotts Bank. Look inside and see the magnificent crystal chandelier and the glorious marble floor. the boys said it really was Gringotts Bank!

We made our way back to Temple Station where we caught the underground train to Monument, here we headed up Fish Street Hill, crossing over Eastcheap and turning left along Gracechurch Street. Keep on walking along over Fenchurch Street and turning right into Bull’s Head Passage.

Here we found a blue optician doorway which was used in the Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire as the entrance into The leaky cauldron.

leaky couldronKeeping ahead and walking into the Victorian Leadenhall Market, this was used in the films for the exterior shots of Diagon Alley.

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On the last part of our NewPlaces tour was to head to Kings Cross Station, where we was going to see if we could enter through Platform 9 3/4 to catch the Hogwarts Express to Hogwarts. We caught the Northern Line train from Bank to Kings Cross and headed to KIngs Cross St.Pancras. There was no way we could have missed where the Platform was as there was a queue of people waiting to photograph the famous Platform 9 3/4 sign. There is even a luggage cart placed against the wall, where you can pose for photo.

jak kingscross

joseph kingscross

oliver kingscross

 

Kings Cross station was in every Harry Potter Film as it was the location where young wizards caught the Hogwarts Express from to journey to Hogwarts.

We had a fabulous day in London visiting places that we never knew were there, London really is the City with hidden treasures. We saw London with open eyes and noticed how beautiful buildings were and how magical and mysterious the City really is. We had fun as a family and I enjoyed being with the children in such a wonderful City. If you’re looking for ideas on days out then why not take a look at CSMA 10 Cheap things to do with the kids.

We found all of the locations with the help of downloading the guide from www.the-magician.co.uk

We would like you to join in and share your experiences with us too, they don’t have to be the same as our challenge, they could be trying new clothes on, visiting a new country or playing a new sport for the first time, join in with the linky or just use the hashtag #NewThings

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NewThings

The boys and I have been invited along with a selection of other bloggers to become New Things Ambassadors, a project run by CSMA. Over the next coming month we have been asked to help inspire other families in trying something new.

Why ‘New Things’? UK psychologist Dr. David Holmes came up with a scientific formula to booking the perfect holiday which stated that the best holiday memories are created when you try something new. Whether it’s introducing your family to a new recipe, visiting an attraction you’ve never seen before or just playing a new game, a unique activity leaves a stronger impression in your memory and helps you and your family remember the fun times you had together.

Each week from 25th August for one month, we will be set some challenges/topic that we will focus on a new experience. Our challenge is to encourage others to join in and try something new, using our imagination and creativity.

Over the course of a month, we will be sharing with you about our new experiences, how we enjoyed it and what we thought of it:

Week one (25th 31st August)  – visit a new place

Week two (1st – 7th September) – play a new game

Week three (8th – 14th September) – try a new food

Week four (15th – 21st September) – experience a new culture

We would like you to join in and share your experiences with us too, they don’t have to be the same as our challenge, they could be trying new clothes on, visiting a new country or playing a new sport for the first time

FAMILY

 

Linky will be open frome friday and will close on Monday, each week for the next month. Hopefully the linky will be a success and it will be continued after the months is up.

Join in using the hashtag #NewThings

Thank you :-)

Team HotWheels: The Origin of AWESOME! DVD Review

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Discover the ultimate speed, power and performance with HotWheels: The Origin of Awesome! Available on DVD from 8th September 2014.

 

Last week after a few days away as a family we arrived home to some exciting post for the boys, A DVD for them to watch and review.

My boys are typical boys, who like anything loud, fast, powerful and Metal, also with boxes full of hotwheels tracks I kind of had a feeling that they would enjoy watching the DVD.

Buckle up, and get ready for a new Hot Wheels adventure, as four lucky kids embark on a mission against mysterious monsters and villains in an attempt to save the sleepy town of Hilly Woodlands.

Gage, Wyatt, Brandon and Rhett are kids born to ride. Separately they are seriously skilled racers, but together they become the ultra-speedy and unstoppable Team Hot Wheels®, realising that life in the sloooooowest town in the world is much better in the fast lane.

The boys Gage, Wyatt, Brandon and Rhett wished for something awesome to spice up their sleepy town, and when a mysterious black car roars into town with purple exhaust, creating a wild mess of orange track, it’s just the kind of awesome they wanted! However, it also creates some surprise crazy transformations of rampaging monsters, which is not so awesome!

It’s down to the boys as Team Hot Wheels® to work together and stop this masked villain, battle the monster madness, and save Hilly Woodlands from becoming a desert of destruction.

I wasn’t sure that my 11 year old would like it as much as the younger boys would, I got the ‘uh! do I have to watch it’ response from him, but as soon as the DVD started he soon sat down and started to watch it. With the odd giggle and smile, I knew that he was enjoying it.

Here is what he thought:

What was your favourite part of the movie? When the engineer, Larry helps the boys defeat Rev, the mysterious black car by turning go-carts into awesome race cars by using a mega impressive cloud engine.

Did you like the DVD?  Yes, of coarse. It’s full of action and funny, like the bit when one of the boys was trying to put his helmet on over the top of his huge quiff. The movie has a moral to it and that is: when you work together anything is possible. The characters are cool, fast and fun.

Who would you recommend it to? Ages 3-9, although i enjoyed watching it I’m not sure all 11 year old would.

Would you watch it again? Yes.

Team Hot Wheels are made up of:

Gage: Speed Demon

Rhett: Car Guru

Brandon: Gadget guy

Wyatt: Stunt Man

DVD Extra features: 

The making of Team Hot Wheels: Origin of Awesome (5mins)

A first hand look under the hood at how Team Hot Wheels was brought to life including exciting interviews with the creators and rare glimpse at early sketches of the characters.

Team Hot Wheels Anthem

Official Music Video

Since watching the DVD, the younger boys have now made my sofas into cars and constantly carry around their hotwheel cars with them.

The DVD lasts for about 74 minutes and to me that’s a long time to get some peace and quiet whilst the boys eyes are glued to the TV.

We was sent a copy of the DVD for review purposes only

Roller Disco at Combe Haven

There are two things that my boys love to do and that is physical activities and dancing …. At Combe Haven both of these have been combined to create a Roller Disco.

Combe Haven is a Haven holiday site on the south coast in West St Leonards, not far from Hastings.

On site they have a huge indoor sportsdrome where you can have Archery and fencing lessons, and also experience an indoor disco with a twist.

Each session lasts for 45 minutes and costs £4 for two people.
That’s 45 minutes of falling on your bottom, testing the resilience of your knees and pure laughter. Skates and protective gear are provided upon arrival.

You are bound to come away from the experience with many funny memories and a few bumps and bruises. It’s funny how you can fall over on roller blades, laugh about and just get right back up without thinking about the damage you have done to your legs and arms. Lol.

My boys absolutely love the roller disco and a trip to Combe Haven isn’t complete without having a taste of the roller disco experience.

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Excuse the quality of the photos, they were taken on my iPhone and the room is dark with flashing lights.

With the pop music pumping and the disco lights flashing away, Joseph decided to do a dance to the song, Timber.

Joseph learnt the dance in his theatre group that he attends, I think he looks so cute trying to balance and dance at the same time

On the other hand, Jak, takes it quite seriously and tries his best to skate around the hall without falling over.

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The boys thoroughly enjoyed boogieing on down to the latest tunes whilst whizzing around on wheels. Well maybe not quite Whizzing…. More like rolling.

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We’re looking forward to our next holiday to the site next year as the boys will have their friends with them to show off some moves that they have perfected. Jak even plucked up the courage to skate backwards :-)

Yesterdays World Searching for NEW Chief (child) Ambassador

Child Ambassador

Yesterday’s World in Great Yarmouth are on a mission to make its museum even more fun for children in 2015 by adding new and interactive activities and displays.

To help them come up with ideas and inspiration they’re looking for a new member of their team and no one knows what kids like better than kids themselves!

So, they’re looking for a new Chief (Child) Ambassador to help them decide on new activities and displays to be added to the collection ready for 2015. This new role means than the successful candidate will get to see their own ideas come to life and have a very real say in what new things there are to see and do at the museum next year. The role will be perfect for someone who loves history and learning about how history helped shaped the world today. The ideal candidate will have at least 3 years’ experience in knowing how to have fun and an imagination that knows no bounds!

Yesterday’s World gives visitors of all ages the chance to discover over 150,000 nostalgic artefacts set in 20,000sq ft of themed areas plus virtual and interactive exhibits. Take a trip down memory lane and beyond and see one of the best social history collections in the country come to life before your very eyes. Ride on the full size Victorian Carousel completely free and then re-fuel in the Victorian Tea Room, named by the Times as ‘one of the top 50 best places to eat by the sea’ in their Best of Britain awards.

To be considered for the role of Yesterday’s World Chief (Child) Ambassador applicants must be aged eight or under on 1st March 2015 and have a really cheeky smile as they’ll be the face of the museum starring in a new promotional video. In return for all their hard work (well fun work!) the successful candidate will receive an annual pass to Yesterday’s world plus plenty of goodies.

Ben Rowe, General Manager at Yesterday’s World said, “We’re hoping to create an even better experience for children in 2015 at Yesterday’s World. Do they want more buttons to press? Things to pick up and feel? – or even a watershute that take them around the entire museum? – whatever it is, we want to use a child’s unhindered imagination to get a fantastic insight into what children actually want when they visit Yesterday’s World. We’ve got some amazing exhibits and atefacts – Our new ‘Chief’ Ambassodor will help us shape the way these are displayed going forward”.

To apply for the highly coveted position of Yesterday’s World Chief (Child) Ambassador candidates should write a covering letter of no more than 100 words explaining why they think they are perfect for the role and send it to hello@yesterdaysworld.co.uk .

Applications close on September 30th 2014 and terms and conditions can be found at www.yesterdaysworld.co.uk or call 01493 331 148

Do you know a child under 8 that can user their imagination to help showcase the past to the visitors of the future?

Read our review of Yesterdays World here

Yesterdays World: Great Yarmouth Day Out

Step back in time to experience the bygone era, Yesterdays World: Great Yarmouth will take you on a trip down memory lane. Journey through time experiencing the recreated life size shop displays and street scenes, sit in an air raid shelter or take a ride on the 19th century carousel, there is something for everyone at Yesterdays World.

Situated along the golden mile of Great Yarmouth experience an amazing 125 years of British social history magically brought back to life. Discover over 150,000 nostalgic artefacts set in 20,000sq ft of themed areas plus virtual and interactive exhibits.

The museum recaptures the past with many displays on show and fantastic memoribilia dating from the 18th century right up to the 1970′s. Discover fascinating facts from historical characters and see for yourself how life has changed since the nineteenth century. Displays include life size wax figures of King Henry VIII and his wives, also Charlie Chaplin, Laurel and Hardy in the Silent Movie Theatre. Watch classic silent movies from these famous stars. Sit in the NEW Anderson shelter display and experience a WWII air raid! Take a walk through the recreated life size street scenes and shop displays, taking in the evocative sounds and smells of past.

From the moment you step in to the Museum (before you even pay)  right through to exiting through the Victorian themed Tea Room, you are taken back into history. As you enter the Museum you can see straight away some of the superb displays with some fantastic memorabilia

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Having a go at an old arcade game

Dad has a good chat with Winston Churchill

Dad has a good chat with Winston Churchill

Once you pay for entry you take the stairs to the first floor, where you can meet King Henry vii and his wives, visit the Queen’s throne room and find out about Victorian life.

 

You then take a walk down the corridor where you can see displays of HG Wells Time Machine, Jekyll and Hyde, Frankenstein’s monster and a fabulous collection of vintage cameras

 

Next take a walk through The Village Green and stroll through the Carpenters workshop, The Wheelwrights workshop and the Apothacary. Browse at the large selection of agricultural tools, trade bicycles and ailments. Listen to the short video in each area and experience what is was like to live in those days.

To continue the historical journey in the past, walk down the stairs and turn left onto the Station Approach. Here you can walk onto the Railway Platform and listen to the steam train arriving, look around and absorb in the atmosphere of WWII evacuees.

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Walk away from the Station Approach and look at the Victorian shop display fronts down Memory Lane, there are many artifacts to look at here like old banknotes, old toys and a tobacconist. The boys particularly enjoyed looking at the Toy Shop and was happy to see that their was brick building toys available back then.

Leaving Memory lane, walk back past the Train Station and onto Blitz street. Here you will be able to read about WW2, sit inside and air raid shelter and listen to the air raid siren or take a look at what a trench looked like.

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The best part of the tour has got to be the Carousel Parade, not only do you get to take a ride on a stunning 19th century restored carousel but you can walk inside the shops, which are full to the brim of memorabilia, and take a good look around.

The boys loved the Wall of mirrors and had so much fun standing in front of them and seeing how much their body shape changes with the different curved mirrors. Dad really enjoyed looking around the bike shop, as a cyclist he is very interested in bikes and he also enjoyed sitting down in the silent movie theatre and watching a classic Charlie Chaplin Movie.

Before you exit the museum you are taken through a Victorian style tea room, served by waiters and waitresses dressed in themed clothing, you can sit down and enjoy a cream tea before you leave. The Tea Room has been voted by local tourist as one of ’50 best places to eat by the sea’, you can visit the Tea Room at anytime and no need to walk through the museum to sit and enjoy a  tasty treat. We was served tea/coffee and cake after our walk through the museum, the waiter was friendly and the tea room was clean and comfortable. The choice of cakes was ample and they cater for children too by selling fruit juice.

The menu

The menu

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Yesterday’s World is a lovely and interesting day out, there are lots to see for all ages with many interactive displays for the children to get involved.

The Museum is currently looking for a Chief (child) Ambassador, Do you know a child under 8 that can user their imagination to help showcase the past to the visitors of the future? Take a look here for more information

Admission  Prices

  • Adult £6.95
  • Senior £5.95
  • Student £5.45
  • Special needs £5.45 ( Carer £2. 00 )
  • Child ( 4-15 years) £5.45
  • Family ticket ( 2+2) £22.80 – Extra Child £4.45

Or for what we had was a

See & Tea Ticket

  • £8.40

Enjoy the attraction for as long as long as you like and then follow it up with a slice of cake with a pot of tea or coffee

Open from 10.30 – 5.00pm

 We was supplied with family tickets for this review, photos and opinions my own.