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Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone

Year: 2001
Director: Chris Columbus
Cast: Daniel Radcliffe , Rupert Grint, Emma Watson , Matt Lewis, Harry Melling, Tom Felton, Julie Walters , Richard Harris, Robbie Coltrane , Alan Rickman , Dame Maggie Smith , John Cleese , Richard Griffiths , Fiona Shaw, Ian Hart, Richard Bremmer, Zoe Wannamaker , John Hurt , Leslie Phillips, David Bradley.
Set Locations:
Northern England: Shot in and around Alnwick Castle in Northumberland
Central England: Lacock Abbey in Wiltshire & Gloucester Cathedral

(US title: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone)

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone was released in 2001 and was based on J K Rowling 's first novel from the highly popular Harry Potter series.

Rowling first thought of the idea for the novel whilst on a train ride to Manchester, England's second city, to where she had hoped to relocate with her partner. This first spark of an idea happened in 1990 and Rowling developed the idea further until finally, in 1996, the first novel was published.

Rowling decided to make Harry an ophan after her own mother died. At the start of the film, Harry Potter (portrayed by actor Daniel Radcliffe) is living with the Dursley's, a Muggle (non-wizard) family, and does not realise he is a wizard. Then Hagrid (played by Robbie Coltrane) visits him for the first time and tells him about what happened to him as a baby, then Harry realises who he really is. His father and mother were murdered by the dark wizard Lord Voldemort, who then attempted to kill the one year old Harry. His evil curse rebounded from Harry, destroying the evil one's body and leaving only a lightning bolt scar on Harry's forehead.

The film then tells of how Harry is accepted to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, where he meets Hermione Granger (Emma Watson) and Ron Weasley (Rupert Grint). The three then thwart a plot to resurrect Lord Voldemort which involves stealing the Philosopher's Stone, held in secret chambers at Hogwarts.

The broomstick flying lessons are set at the beautiful Alnwick Castle at Northumberland. This magnificent castle was originally built in 1096, after the Norman Conquest. It has been renovated and added to many times in the 900 years since.

The Quidditch scenes use the fabulous scenery of Glen Nevis, near Fort William in the Scottish Highlands. Glen Nevis is bordered to the north by the tallest mountains in the United Kingdom, including Ben Nevis itself. It is also home to the beautiful Steall Falls, one of the highest waterfalls in Scotland.

The magnificent Bodleain Library in Oxford is used for the library and sanatorium scenes in the film. They are part of the magnificent collection of historic buildings that go to form Oxford University, the oldest university in Britain and one of the most famous and respected universities in the world.

Places to stay nearby:
Northern England:Great places to stay very nearby include White Swan Hotel , Orchard House B&B , a traditional Inn called The Sportsman Hotel or self catering with Percy Apartments
Central EnglandGreat places to stay nearby include Hatherley Manor Hotel , Edward Hotel B&B , a traditional Inn called The New Inn or self catering with A Cottage in the Country, (Gloucester) or the lovely Red Lion in Lacock

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Brit Quote:
Why are women... so much more interesting to men than men are to women? - Virginia Woolf
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On this day:
British surrender at Yorktown - 1781, North Sea Oil Discovered - 1970, Black Monday Market Crash - 1987, Guildford Four Verdicts Quashed - 1989
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