The Shambles

Would you like to see one of the best preserved medieval shopping streets in Europe? Are you a Harry Potter fan and are interested in seeing a street that is an inspiration for something in the novels? Then head to the Shambles in York, England.

Shamble is an old word for an open air slaughterhouse and meat market. The pavement is raised on both sides of the street to form a channel or ditch where butchers could wash away blood. The street was intentionally built narrow to keep sunlight from hitting the meat that was hung by hooks outside the shops. The buildings on the Shambles in York date back to between 1350-1475.

I have not taken a course in Photoshop or Lightroom yet. I think removing the van is beyond what I know. Even though this street is pedestrian only and I was there about an hour that van was sitting there the entire time. So I never viewed the street without it.
Film Location

The Shambles is thought to be the inspiration for Diagon Alley in the Harry Potter films. Today there are a few shops related to Harry Potter on the Shambles, one of which is The Shop That Must Not Be Named.

The Shambles doubled for 18th century London in Knifeman. It also appeared in Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell.

Are you interested in medieval architecture? Do you fancy visiting Harry Potter filming locations and scene inspirations? Visit York and see The Shambles.

Elephant House-Harry Potter

Have you ever wondered where great writers have set up their office? Have you ever wondered where they get the inspiration to write? If you are a Harry Potter fan, one location the author J.K. Rowling worked on writing the series was The Elephant House in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Rowling took a lot of her inspiration for the books from different locations in Edinburgh. So if you plan to visit some of these locations, add the Elephant House to your itinerary.

There are new articles about Rowling posted in the restaurant as well as photos of her working on the story lines for the series.

As the name suggests, this restaurant has an elephant theme. There are elephants around the restaurant. There are elephant figurines, posters, and even an elephant chair in the restaurant. They also encourage you to donate to a charity that benefits elephants.

I went with a friend who is a big Harry Potter fan. We ate lunch, although they are known for their coffee and pastries/ desserts we were told.

Chicken wrap
My friend ordered the pizza. She ended up sharing some with a little girl next to our table who was visiting from Shanghai. Her aunt was taking her to various Harry Potter locations.

If you would like to see a location J.K. Rowling penned the Harry Potter series visit The Elephant house in Edinburgh, Scotland. See where a great writer worked and have a cup of coffee or more.

University Rooms Oxford

Are you looking for a cheaper option when traveling? Do you want to have your money stretch farther? Would you rather spend money on day tours and entry into museums than on the hotel you only sleep in? Other than hostels, there is another option during the summer- University Rooms.

University Rooms is a website that allows you book rooms at various universities around the world. Not all universities and colleges have joined this network, but some have in key places. I found out about them through an archivist at Memorial University in Newfoundland, Canada. She recommended I stay at the university while doing research up there. Once I stayed I started getting emails from University Rooms on occasion.

Besides staying at Memorial University in Newfoundland, I have also stayed at York University and the University of Bath in England. This time I stayed at Oxford University in England. All locations have felt safe. I would have to say so far Oxford has surpassed the rest on accommodations.

Location

I stayed at the Keble College Oxford. Oxford University is an umbrella for over 30 college campuses spread throughout the town. It is not that far of a walk to the High Street and shops. It is also close to the museums on campus.

Accommodations

The dorm I stayed was large for one person. It had a single twin size bed, chair, desk and a private shower/toilet room. In a closet there was a refrigerator. They provided soap, lotion, shampoo, and even a toothbrush if needed. There were plenty of electrical outlets for your devices. Wifi is included. They also allow access to a laundry room.

Room at Keble College
View looking in the opposite direction. Toilet/shower is behind the wall the desk sits in front of.
Private toilet/shower
Dining Hall

The dining hall was fabulous. I am told by a friend who traveled with me that it is just like the one in Harry Potter. Some scenes from Harry Potter were filmed around Oxford including on some the university grounds. On our first day we felt privileged as they let us sit at the head tables up front.

View from the head tables. This is the dining hall within Keble College Oxford University.
Transportation

I went to Oxford by train. Taxis know where to drop you off at different colleges within Oxford. You usually do not have long to wait at the Oxford Train Station to get a taxi. When checking out of the dorm, Keble College had a button to directly reach the taxi company. On the screen it gave the time expected for arrival to pick up up, the make and model of the taxi and the license plate.

There are buses within Oxford that take you to other nearby locations.

I love Oxford. This dorm was a good location in respect to most of what you would want to see at Oxford. The accommodations were impressive for a university dorm. If you are traveling to Oxford during the summer months and want to save money this is a good option.

University Rooms Website

You can go to the University Rooms website at: https://www.universityrooms.com

Choose which area of the world you are interested in and see what is available.