Perhaps one of the most dreamy, magical places you could ever imagine is an actual place on Earth. The mystical wonders of childhood dreams and longings have become reality in a small village in East Sussex, England.
Ever since 1997, when the first book was published, Harry Potter fans have long hoped to someday receive a Hogwart’s acceptance letter in the mail, whether it be through the fireplace, chimney, or through the mail slot. For one weekend in August 2017, many people’s dreams came true when the Herstmonceux Castle opened its doors for 150 adults to relive their childhood dreams of becoming a witch or wizard.
Herstmonceux Castle is “a 300 acre estate including woodland, formal themed gardens and of course a 15th century moated castle,” according to its official website. The castle’s grandeur, enormity, and magnificence draws the attention of many people each year. Among the castle’s greatest attractions are the tours provided for people so that they can view the beauty of the old brick building.
Guests can also stop to enjoy some delicious food at the Chestnuts Tea Room in the castle. “Whether you are looking for a snack to take on your walk, a traditional afternoon tea or refreshments after your relaxing stroll around the gardens and grounds, Chestnuts is the place for you,” the castle’s website boasts.
For those yearning to learn a thing or two on their trip to Herstmonceux Castle, the science center is always an option. “The estate is also home to the Observatory Science Centre an engaging and exciting hands-on science experience set among the domes and telescopes of a world famous astronomical observatory.”
There is also a fancy option to enjoy a horse-drawn carriage ride around the grounds in order to feel like a true dweller of the Herstmonceux Castle.
Still, one of the most exciting features of the castle is the Bothwell School of Witchcraft. From August 11th to 13th, people were able to experience what it’s like to be a wizard or witch student. According to the event’s design document, the school is described as “a world where magic exists, completely undetected by the mundane (non-magic) world.”
People could participate in role-playing games where they can act as students, professors, or headmasters of a wizarding school. In addition, people also had the option to be “sorted into one of the School Houses, take part in lessons on the art of witchcraft, compete against the other houses and celebrate at the school’s lavish banquet” and much more. Although this event was not related to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, fans were still able to get a similar feeling of what it would be like to be a magical being.
Even though this wizarding event has passed, there is still much more fun to be had at the Herstmonceux Castle. On October 29th, the castle will be hosting a Halloween event. People will be able to play games, tell stories, decorate cookies, and more during this spectacular holiday event.
Even further down the road is another event called Christmas at the Castle. On December 15th and December 17th, guests will be able to enjoy a meal and some caroling at this incredible castle, while standing in a blanket of white snow and enjoying the magic of the holidays.
Whether you’re a fan of witchcraft and wizardry, or just an admirer of beautiful castles, Herstmonceux Castle is the perfect vacation destination for you. There is always something fun to do, things to learn, and magic to be found around every corner.
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