Tag: vacation

hogwarts castle

Hogwarts Voted #1 Among Top 10 Castles Children Want to Visit

Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry was chosen as the number one castle children most want to visit even though it doesn’t technically exist at all.


English Heritage, a non-profit organization who manages, and helps celebrate, historic buildings in England recently did a survey where they asked 1,000 children between the ages of six and sixteen to name their top ten castles they most wished to visit (if they could).


Perhaps unsurprisingly, over half of the answeres listed fictional castles, some of which include iconic Disney princess castles such as Cinderella’s castle. In a surprise twist, however, Hogwarts bypassed Cinderella’s castle as well as historical sites like the Windsor Castle and was voted number one.


Kate Mavor, chief execute of English Heritage, said that the reason why Hogwarts likes topped the list instead of the very-real castles children can actually visit is because of their exposure to castles on screen rather than in person.


“We are in danger of creating an ‘iCastle Generation’ of kids who have only ever seen a castle on a screen,” Mavor said. “Today’s children are increasingly likely to catch their first glimpse via TV or film rather than in real life.”


The survey seemed to backup Mavor’s comments, as it found that 60 percent of children’s earliest memories of castles were through their exposure to television, film, and books including Harry Potter, Cinderella, and Frozen. Though the children who voted for Hogwarts unfortunately can’t visit the real deal, they can see a very realistic Hogwarts at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios. 


In the meantime, check out which castles – fictional and real – made the list!


Top ten castles children want to visit:


1. Hogwarts | Harry Potter


2. Cinderella’s Castle | Cinderella


3. Elsa’s Ice Palace | Frozen


4. Beast’s Castle | Beauty and the Beast


5. Edinburgh Castle | Edinburgh, Scotland 


6. Castle Doom | Marvel Comic Books


7. Far Far Away Castle | Shrek


8. Windsor Castle | Berkshire, England


9. Dover Castle | Kent, England


10. Sleeping Beauty’s Castle | Sleeping Beauty


Featured Image Via Playbuzz

couple on holidays

Get Your Summer Fiction Fix With These 6 Romances Set Abroad

Summer is just about upon us, and we’re running out of time (and money, don’t forget money) to book those much longed-for vacations to far flung locations, but never fear! We’ve got the the perfect way to visit those exotic destinations you’ve been dreaming of, without the extra expense. Live out your summer romance fantasies with these six gorgeous romance novels set abroad! 


Enter for a Chance to Win Mia Sheridan’s ‘More Than Words’ and ‘Most of all You’ Plus a Beautiful Lunchbox+Notebook Set! 


1. Next Year in Havana by Chanel Cleeton


Image via Goodreads

Image Via Goodreads


After the death of her beloved grandmother, a Cuban-American woman travels to Havana, where she discovers the roots of her identity–and unearths a family secret hidden since the revolution…

Havana, 1958. The daughter of a sugar baron, nineteen-year-old Elisa Perez is part of Cuba’s high society, where she is largely sheltered from the country’s growing political unrest–until she embarks on a clandestine affair with a passionate revolutionary…

Miami, 2017. Freelance writer Marisol Ferrera grew up hearing romantic stories of Cuba from her late grandmother Elisa, who was forced to flee with her family during the revolution. Elisa’s last wish was for Marisol to scatter her ashes in the country of her birth. 

Arriving in Havana, Marisol comes face-to-face with the contrast of Cuba’s tropical, timeless beauty and its perilous political climate. When more family history comes to light and Marisol finds herself attracted to a man with secrets of his own, she’ll need the lessons of her grandmother’s past to help her understand the true meaning of courage.


2. More Than Words by Mia Sheridan 


Image Via Nova Era Books

Image Via Nova Era Books 


The moment she met Callen Hayes, eleven-year-old Jessica Creswell knew he was a broken prince. Her prince. They became each other’s refuge, a safe and magical place far from their troubled lives. Until the day Callen kissed her—Jessica’s first real, dreamy kiss—and then disappeared from her life without a word.

Years later, everyone knows who Callen Hayes is. Famous composer. Infamous bad boy. What no one knows is that Callen’s music is now locked deep inside, trapped behind his own inner demons. It’s only when he withdraws to France to drink his way through the darkness that Callen stumbles into the one person who makes the music return. Jessica. His Jessie. And she still tastes of fresh, sweet innocence . . . even as she sets his blood on fire.

But they don’t belong in each other’s worlds anymore. There are too many mistakes. Too many secrets. Too many lies. All they have is that instinctive longing, that need—and something that looks dangerously like love.


Check our our Facebook Live interview with Mia here


3. Rome in Love by Anita Hughes


Image Via Goodreads

Image Via Goodreads


From the author of LAKE COMO comes the story of a young actress who lands the lead in a film that is shooting in Rome, bringing about difficult life choices, new friendships, and a chance at love.

When Amelia Tate is cast to play the Audrey Hepburn role in a remake of Roman Holiday, she feels as if all her dreams have come true. She has a handsome boyfriend, is portraying her idol in a major motion picture, and gets to live in beautiful Rome for the next two months. 

Once there, she befriends a young woman named Sophie with whom she begins to explore the city. Together, they discover all the amazing riches that Rome has to offer. But when Amelia’s boyfriend breaks up with her over her acting career, her perfect world begins to crumble. 

While moping in her hotel suite, Amelia discovers a stack of letters written by Audrey Hepburn that start to put her own life into perspective. Then, she meets Philip, a handsome journalist who is under the impression that she is a hotel maid, and it appears as if things are finally looking up. The problem is she can never find the right time to tell Philip her true identity. Not to mention that Philip has a few secrets of his own. Can Amelia finally have both the career and love that she’s always wanted, or will she be forced to choose again?

With her sensory descriptions of the beautiful sites, decadent food, and high fashion of Rome, Hughes draws readers into this fast-paced and superbly written novel. Rome in Love will capture the hearts of readers everywhere.


4. Lilac Lane by Sheryl Woods


Image Via Goodreads

Image Via Goodreads 


Single mom Kiera Malone struggled for years to raise her three children in a small town on the coast of Ireland. Just when she’s let down her guard and allowed herself to love again, her fiancé suffers a fatal heart attack and leaves her alone yet again. Overwhelmed by her loss, she’s persuaded to visit her father, Dillon O’Malley, and her daughter, Moira O’Brien, in Chesapeake Shores. With the promise of family ties and a job at O’Brien’s, her son-in-law’s Irish pub, she takes what seems like the biggest risk of her life.

As it turns out, though, crossing the ocean is nothing compared to moving into a charming cottage on Lilac Lane, right next door to Bryan Laramie, the moody chef at O’Brien’s, who doesn’t do anything the way Kiera believes it should be done. Their kitchen wars quickly become the stuff of legend in Chesapeake Shores, and the town’s matchmakers conclude that where there’s heat, there’s sure to be passion.

As these two deal with their wounded pasts and discover common interests, they might just find the perfect recipe for love.



5. My Oxford Year by Julia Whelan


Image Via Into the Hall of Books

Image Via Into the Hall of Books


Set amidst the breathtaking beauty of Oxford, this sparkling debut novel tells the unforgettable story about a determined young woman eager to make her mark in the world and the handsome man who introduces her to an incredible love that will irrevocably alter her future—perfect for fans of JoJo Moyes and Nicholas Sparks.

American Ella Durran has had the same plan for her life since she was thirteen: Study at Oxford. At 24, she’s finally made it to England on a Rhodes Scholarship when she’s offered an unbelievable position in a rising political star’s presidential campaign. With the promise that she’ll work remotely and return to DC at the end of her Oxford year, she’s free to enjoy her Once in a Lifetime Experience. That is, until a smart-mouthed local who is too quick with his tongue and his car ruins her shirt and her first day.

When Ella discovers that her English literature course will be taught by none other than that same local, Jamie Davenport, she thinks for the first time that Oxford might not be all she’s envisioned. But a late-night drink reveals a connection she wasn’t anticipating finding and what begins as a casual fling soon develops into something much more when Ella learns Jamie has a life-changing secret.

Immediately, Ella is faced with a seemingly impossible decision: turn her back on the man she’s falling in love with to follow her political dreams or be there for him during a trial neither are truly prepared for. As the end of her year in Oxford rapidly approaches, Ella must decide if the dreams she’s always wanted are the same ones she’s now yearning for. 


6. Charlie Glass’s Slippers: A Very Modern Fairy Tale 


Image Via Goodreads

Image Via Goodreads


In this delightful, clever spin on Cinderella, Charlie Glass—a heroine as loveable as Cannie Shapiro and Bridget Jones—inherits her father’s shoe empire and snatches up a drop-dead-gorgeous, multi-millionaire Prince Charming. But is he truly the key to her happily ever after?

When Charlie’s beloved father, iconic shoe designer Elroy Glass, dies after a long illness, everyone expects that he’ll leave his business to his glamorous wife and eldest daughters. After all, they’ve been running the company for years. But Elroy surprises everyone from beyond the grave: at the will reading, it’s announced that his fashion empire has been left to Charlie, his youngest—and plumpest—daughter.

Before she can run the company, Charlie decides she needs to make a few changes in her life. After several weeks at a California boot camp, she returns to London a new woman: thinner, blonder, and ready to revitalize the Elroy Glass brand. But as she’ll soon discover, a good esthetician and a killer pair of stilettos can only go so far, and there’s more to reinvention—and running a fashion empire—than meets the eye.

Endlessly entertaining, surprising, and ultimately inspiring, Charlie Glass’s Slippers is a modern-day fairytale about finding your own magic and transforming yourself from within.



Enter for a Chance to Win Mia Sheridan’s ‘More Than Words’ and ‘Most of all You’ Plus a Beautiful Lunchbox+Notebook Set! 

Featured Image Via wandrful.wyndhamap.com. All Synopses Via Goodreads. 

Harry Potter Boat

We Have a Feeling This Harry Potter Cruise Is Right up Your Diagon Alley!

Harry Potter fans of the world, rejoice! Just when you thought the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, located at Universal Studios in Orlando, was as good as it’d get, this new thing came along! This summer, set sail on a brand-spanking new Harry Potter adventure: a themed cruise down the Thames River where guests will visit major filming locations used in the eight films. 


first years boats

Image Via NYDailyNews


The Barge Ladies cruise company are behind this week-long extravaganza aptly named “The Harry Potter Magic Cruise.” Its prospective dates will be August 5th – 11th and August 19th – 25th. The same company will be running another themed cruise in April of this year based around the hit ITV show Downton Abbey. The Harry Potter cruise, aboard the vessel Magna Carta, is intended for small groups of up to eight people. It will include Harry Potter-inspired meals prepared by gourmet chefs. Some of the sites to see along the cruise include Virginia Water, where Harry and the gentle hippogriff Buckbeak meet, and Picket Post Close which served as the filming location for 4 Privet Drive. 


Barge Ladies

Image Via BargeLadyCruises


There’s only one catch to this incredibly exciting opportunity for Potterheads across the globe: tickets for “The Harry Potter Magic Cruise” cost a little over $4,000 per person. But who knows? If you happen to visit your personal vault at Gringotts Bank, and find a few extra galleons lying around, perhaps you and yours can take part on this truly magical adventure as well. 




Feature Image Via Entertainment Weekly


You Have to Stay in This Japanese Hostel…I Mean Bookcase

I am basically a walking millennial cliche. You know the one–they studied abroad and now they’re all about that wanderlust and fulfilling their heart’s desire through experience. Yup, that’s me! And this new hostel in Japan proves to put all other hostels to shame. 


When studying abroad, you learn quickly that the only way to do it in college without selling a kidney is to use hostels. And they’re amazing. I stayed in hostels all throughout Europe, sometimes for as low as $8 a night, and I must say, I love them. I came across an article about a bookstore-themed hostel in Japan and I might make this my next trip location, just so I can experience this. 





Images Via Bored Panda 


First off, hostels are small and are not very private and you usually share bathrooms and common areas–you’ll get used to it. So, if you’re looking for a place with tons of room and great views and stellar customer service and you have about four suitcases, you will be very disappointed. BUT, if you are backpacking and travelling around the world looking for incredible experiences over comfort, you will love this. Especially if you’re a book lover like me (which you probably are, considering you’re spending your time on Bookstr). 





Images Via Bored Panda


The general mantra of this place is loving the experience of reading and all that it comes with. They have over 1,700 books and offer three different types of rooms: compact, standard, or double. It’s not so much a room, but a bed in the bookshelves as you see above. What they believe is that the calm of reading a good book will ease you to sleep as you lay among some of your favorites. And trust me, staying like this for two nights is completely doable and you will definitely be surprised about how grateful you’ll be for the experience. And you’re sure to connect with tons of other book-lover-travellers who are just like you! 


If you want to see more photos, check out their Instagram. 


Feature Image Via BoredPanda

Hogwarts castle for Winter Wizarding World of Harry Potter Makeover

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter Gets a Christmas Makeover

In my opinion, there are two absolute truths in life. The first is that Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year. The second is that there is nothing in this world better than Harry Potter. If you guys agree, you should try to get to Orlando this Christmas.


In 2010, Universal Orlando Resort opened an attraction called The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Since it opened in June of that year, the attraction has been transforming and expanding. 


With a mix of roller coasters and simulations, there are six rides at The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. There are also restaurants and gift shops that are modeled after real locations in the book series. The biggest attractions are the village of Hogsmeade, where tourists can go to the popular pub The Three Broomsticks, and the shopping center of Diagon Alley, where tourists can visit various shops, including Ollivander’s.


This Christmas, The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is getting a seasonal makeover. The Christmas-themed Harry Potter world will open on November 18, 2017 and will carry on until January 6, 2018.


The Christmas version will feature many changes. Hogsmeade and all its shops will be decked out with holiday decorations. The food, drinks, and entertainment will also be holiday themed. Hogwarts will turn into a light projection spectacular featuring memorable Christmas moments from the Harry Potter movies. Nighttime will bring about musical arrangements. Several of the gift shops will be selling custom-made Christmas ornaments along with other merchandise. Best of all? The seasonal drink of Butterbeer will be available again in The Three Broomsticks. 


Before and after Harry Potter Castle

Hogwarts Castle; Left (Image Via Traveller): Original Castle, Right (Image Via IGN): Christmas Castle


Even if you’ve explored every inch of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, you’ve never seen it like this. It’s worth checking out the new version while it’s around. I know I, for one, am marking my calendar for November 18th!


Featured Image Via IGN