Off the page

By | Category: Travel rumblings, Travel tips & opinions

JK Rowling was on a slow train to London when a bespectacled boy wizard popped into her head. Stuck on the train, Rowling learnt an important lesson for any writer: never go anywhere without a pen! She eventually made it home, and Harry Potter made it onto the page and the big screen. But the magic of Harry Potter goes way beyond books and movies…

Pottering about
It took JK Rowling five years to finish the first Harry Potter book, writing in cafes and in the evenings. She typed it up on an old-fashioned typewriter, then had to retype it all double-spaced! The finished book was rejected eight times before finally being published in 1997.

JK Rowling

Rock ‘n’ Rowling
When two brothers started playing songs based on Harry Potter, they invented a new musical genre called ‘wizard rock’. Apart
from their songs and Hogwarts-themed outfits, Harry and the Potters are notable for playing mainly in libraries. Quiet, please!

Hi-tech Harry
Fancy some virtual Voldemort or digital Dumbledore? In 2012 Harry Potter went online with a bewitching new website,

Harijs Poters?
What do people in Latvia, Azerbaijan and at least 65 other countries have in common? They can all read Harry Potter translated
into their native language.

Scarf ace

Bradford City football club had some money troubles, but a sprinkle of Harry Potter magic helped out. Sales of the club scarf rocketed after Potter fans discovered it was in Gryffindor house colours!

Spelling mistake!
Magic charms like Wingardium Leviosa didn’t just make feathers accidentally explode – they caused a boom in Latin learning, too. The number of British schools offering Latin classes has more than tripled since the Harry Potter books first came out.



Brooms up
At the annual Quidditch World Cup, real-life teams dodge bludgers and try to get the quaffle through the hoop while
holding a broomstick between their legs. It may not be actual magic, but these muggles aren’t mucking about!

Visit the official JK Rowling site,


Extract taken from Lonely Planet’s  new book, Not for Parents: Great Britain (£9.99). The Not for Parents series is designed for children aged 8-12 and takes a fun and informative look at  iconic destinations in Great Britain, China, Australia and the USA, from a kid’s eye view. Exciting details about each destination’s history, wildlife, sport and culture are revealed through quirky stories, surprising facts, gruesome tales and crazy trivia. The books’ content is also accompanied by colourful and humorous cartoons, photos and illustrations.

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