Gloucestershire muggles, wizards and witches flew to Gloucester Cathedral in their droves to spend an evening walking in the steps of their Harry Potter heroes at the sell-out Pottering Around The Cathedral tour on Saturday 7 November 2015.
With Potter frenzy at an all-time high, even the allure of Gloucester Quays’ spectacular firework display didn’t distract local Potterheads, who crowded the local landmark donned in their best robes with wands at the ready, waiting to explore the corridors of ‘Hogwarts’.
The evening got off to an authentic start with visitors being divided into classes, which included charms, divination and potions – but luckily, with no sign of the formidable Professor Snape – and an allocated guide, who were suitably dressed in robes and hats to resemble JK Rowling’s best-loved teachers.
Armed with a broom, little and big fans alike stepped into the Cathedral’s cloisters, which, lit up for the evening, resembled the Wizarding School’s corridors more than ever. While exploring this iconic attraction may not be something new for locals, the evening certainly made it feel like a brand new experience.
Learning about the filming process and the exact spots used in the blockbuster movies, we heard tales of how Ron and Harry roamed the very same corridors – hunting trolls, wading through floods, and being told off by a scathing Professor McGonagall.
With fake spiders arranged to recreate the trail from Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets; a leftover prop which was used to hide lighting wires; and other top secret tell-tale signs of filming, the tour revealed many details which went far beyond the well-known facts and proved a real treat for fanatics.
After walking the hallowed corridors and re-enacting moments from the blockbuster films, there were more magical treats in store, with the organisers conjuring up an array of exciting activities and tasty treats which muggles of all ages could enjoy.
Chocolate frogs, Polyjuice potion, fizzing whizbees, and Butterbeer were couriered from Honeydukes by owl especially for the occasion, whilst invisibility cloaks (if you could find them), bumper Potter quizzes, and crafts all added to the fun.
An undeniable highlight was, of course, the appearance of the famous Sorting Hat, which saw hopeful students queuing up to discover their fate and crossing their fingers to avoid the embarrassment of being hailed a sneaky Slytherin – a humiliating experience which I’m sad to say I experienced first-hand.
Once the quizzes had been completed and the shame of being cast a Slytherin had settled, it was time to apparate out of Hogwarts and re-enter the real world – but not without plenty of mementos from the dedicated Harry Potter stall.
While tickets for future Pottering Around the Cathedral tours might prove difficult to summon, I’d suggest that wannabe wizards and witches pull out their wands and turn to magic to help aid their efforts, as Gloucester Cathedral’s charming event promises a magical evening which muggles of all ages can enjoy.
For more information and to keep informed about future tours, see Pottering Around The Cathedral.
By Kathryn Godfrey
Tuesday 10 November 2015
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