When J.K.Rowling first thought up the idea of a boy who didn’t know he was a wizard, she probably never expected the incredible effect she would have on the fantasy book world and mainstream cinema. What began with one story, first published in 1997, blossomed into the highest growing film franchise, outstripping James Bond and Star Wars. Over 450 million copies of the books have been sold in over 70 different languages, allowing Rowling to become the first billionaire author.

But the phenomenon that is Harry Potter doesn’t just include the books and films. There are dvd’s, toys and games, as well as clothing and jewellery ranges for the entire family. From hand carved wands to replica invisiblity cloaks, must-have Harry Potter themed items are available on the Internet for Potterheads.

If you are lucky enough to be travelling to America this year, Universal Studios have a 4 day summer holiday package to their Orlando Studios to visit the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. A 4 day trip to New York to see Harry Potter : The Exhibition will set you back around £1,000 per person. Closer to home Warner Bros. offer a studio tour in London for only £37.95 per person.

But if you are a truly dedicated fan, why not watch the films again and see if you can discover where various scenes were filmed? You could organise your own trip around the UK and visit some of these marvelous locations, such as Alnwick Castle in Northumberland, which was used as the setting for Hogwarts School, as were the cloisters of Gloucester Cathedral. Or why not treat yourself to a handmade broomstick and stand on King’s Cross Station’s Platform 4 ( which became the famous Platform 9 3/4) , and pretend you too are waiting for the Hogwarts Express to take you off to the School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

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