Calling Harry Potter Fans!
So you've been on the Harry Potter Studios Tour and you're wanting to expand your Potter experience, then look no further, Scotland's Harry Potter train is for you.
We boarded our carriage at Arisaig, Scotland's western most train station, with excitement. Whilst officially known as the 'Jacobite Steam Train', it has been lovingly renamed the 'Harry Potter Train' by many, after the track was used in several of the movies. The Potter fans were particularly excited and had been waiting for this moment the whole trip. The non Potter fans, were just as excited, anticipating the beautiful scenery that lay ahead on what is one of the world's famous train journeys.
Cuter than a caravan, less cumbersome than a holiday home, the 'summer house' has become a Scandinavian institution. In Sweden they are called sommarstuga and are traditionally painted with a special red colour called falu rödfärg and has white trimmed corners, windows and doors.
Of course I am familiar with traditional Scandinavian architecture and am fond of the colourful barn like houses dotted through the countryside, I had not however heard of summer houses until we were invited to visit our friends' summer house around 30 minutes out of the heart of Copenhagen.
When it comes to weekends, we are always looking for interesting things to do locally. England is a land of seasonal events. In spring farmers open their fields so you can view their bluebells, in winter you can rug up and enjoy a cider by a warm fire at a country pub and in summer you can visit a country fair.
Now I am familiar with the concept of a country fair, but when Pete asked me if I wanted to go and watch terrier racing on the weekend, a country fair didn’t spring to mind. I imagined Jack Russells running full pelt around a field, chasing a rabbit. After a bit of Googling, I realised that their little legs wouldn’t have quite the distance to travel, and that a country fair is a fair deal more than terrier racing.
One thing that England does well is public holidays. May is particularly fortuitous with May Day the first Monday of the month and Spring Bank holiday the last Monday of the month. Needless to say, we had spotted these dates way back in January and decided to make the most of them.
Initially we were undecided about the May Day break, but after a quick search on the Eurostar website, we decided that Belgium by train would be a great way to spend the weekend. It involved a bit more of a mad dash to get to London St Pancras than catching a flight from Gatwick, but less of the rigmarole that plane travel necessitates.
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