Friday, December 02, 2011

Want a feathered quill just like Harry Potter's?

My 7th 'Oxford' inspired gift idea is for all the Harry Potter fans out there and you'll certainly enjoy the visit to Turl Street to find it. Turl Street is a cobbled shopping strip in the heart of Oxford, which dates back to 1363 and funnily enough, is not unlike Diagon Alley. Here you'll find the Lincoln, Exeter and Jesus Colleges and a myriad of specialty stores lining the street, but your first port of call is the Scriptum Fine Stationary Store. 

Scriptum Fine Stationary 3 Turl Street, Oxford.

I'm sure many of you remember the scene from Harry Potter & The Philosopher's Stone where Snape misunderstands Harry's furious note taking during Potions class..."It seems some of you have come to class with powers so formidable that you feel confident enough to not pay attention." I did feel sorry for poor little Harry, but what better way to inspire such wizardly diligence than with one of Scriptum's fine feathered quill's?

Christ Church College St. Aldates, Oxford.
(See link for opening times - The dining hall is closed to visitors at lunchtime during term time) 

Potter fans eager to follow in Harry's footsteps will also enjoy a visit to Christ Church College. Did you know that its Great Tudor Hall was the inspiration for Hogwarts’ dining hall?  I say 'inspiration' because the dining hall used in the Harry Potter films was actually an exact replica, created in a North London studio especially for filming - That said, apart from the floating candles it's very hard to tell the difference. To reach the hall, one must climb the College's grand staircase which featured in Harry Potter and The Sorcerer's Stone. This is where the first years meet Professor McGonagall for the first time, who explains the sorting ceremony they are about to undergo.  

As you climb the staircase and enter the hall, it's not hard to get swept up in the magic of it all, but if the experience leaves you longing for more, you can join one of the official Harry Potter guided walking tours. Tickets and information available at:

The Oxford Information Centre 15-16 Broad Street, Oxford. Ph: 01865 252200.

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