TRAVEL GUIDE: THE WIZARDING WORLD OF HARRY POTTER
Calling all Muggles: If you find yourself boarding the train at Platform 9 ¾ this summer, here's a guide to what to do next.
There is no better place to immerse oneself in the culture and excitement of the wizarding world than Hogsmeade, the only all-wizarding village in Britain. Hogsmeade is located along the railway line in the Scottish Highlands. Shops in Hogsmeade offer wares one can find nowhere else, except perhaps Diagon Alley.
Along the High Street, travelers will find themselves irresistibly drawn by the warm scent of chocolate to Honeydukes Sweet Shop. Inside, dazzling displays of magical delights such as Bertie Bott's Every-Flavor Beans and Chocolate Frogs tempt the eye--and the pocketbook.
Other shops include Scrivenshafts, specializing in quills, parchment, and ink, and Dervish and Banges, where magical equipment and supplies of every kind can be purchased. Zonko's Joke Shop has recently closed, but there are rumors of the shop's reopening under new management.
Eating and Drinking
Most visitors use The Three Broomsticks as their home base for exploring the village and surrounding area. The friendly proprietor, Madam Rosmerta, serves butterbeer, gillywater, elf-made wine, and her own delicious mead to a convivial crowd.
If a more romantic atmosphere is desired, one will find Madam Puddifoot's Tearoom to be the perfect place to linger. Located along a side street, Madam Puddifoot's is cozy and warm, with tiny tables just the right size for hand-holding and whispering sweet nothings. Madam Puddifoot has been known to employ cupids to fly overhead scattering pink confetti on patrons.
The more adventuresome traveler will enjoy The Hog's Head, a pub down another side street, where most patrons prefer to keep their faces hidden and their business to themselves. If travelers have their wits about them (and their wands at the ready if they have one), The Hog's Head can provide a welcome respite from the jocularity of The Three Broomsticks or the overwhelmingly romantic atmosphere of Madam Puddifoot's.
No cupid would survive long at the Hog's Head, but secrets will keep forever. The firewhisky is particularly dangerous here, which is only a problem if the imbiber objects to smoke pouring from various bodily orifices. One is advised not to ask about the persistent smell of goats about the place.
The railway station is located about a mile from the village itself, around the lake and through a pine wood. The non-magical traveler may find the trek on foot to be quite tiresome, but the spectacular view of Hogwarts Castle sparkling across the water more than makes up for the scramble along the dirt road.
The post office in Hogsmeade provides owls of every type for sending messages or packages. It is located along the High Street.
Nearby Points of Interest
Of course, Hogwarts Castle is well worth a tour, but there are other interesting places in which to spend one's time in the vicinity of Hogsmeade.
Perhaps the most famous is the forbidding Shrieking Shack, located at the end of a dark and dismal footpath running out of the town. Although this derelict house has been silent for years, its reputation lives on as the most haunted building in all of Britain.
Quidditch fans may wish to attend exciting Saturday matches on the Hogwarts pitch during the Quidditch season. The school teams, while not professional, never fail to thrill spectators. Find more information on the game in the Quidditch Pitches section.