It started as a pop-up shop during the Christmas period, but a Harry Potter store and cafe has now opened permanently in Swindon

The owners of Gorse Hill Tea Rooms have celebrated a successful opening for their new venture - Libby's World of Wizardry Cafe and Gift Shop - on Cricklade Road.

Stephen John Whatley and his wife Elizabeth threw the doors open to the new slice of Harry Potter's wizarding world come to Swindon on Saturday, February 3, and said it was a big success. 

Stephen said: "It’s great to finally open the doors it’s been hard work to get it ready.

Swindon Advertiser: Stephen and Elizabeth Whatley have found a permanent new home for their expanded Harry Potter-themed shop which opened in February (Image: Dave Cox)Stephen and Elizabeth Whatley have found a permanent new home for their expanded Harry Potter-themed shop which opened in February (Image: Dave Cox) (Image: Dave Cox)"We had over 200 people through on Saturday and had fantastic reactions to all the displays and photo opportunities.

"Our biggest seller was our own brew butterscotch beer enjoyed by mostly adults who sat down in the cafe area drinking the butterscotch beer and chatting about their love for Harry Potter.

"The kid's favourite has been our house elf but they have also enjoyed looking at the Lego displays."

The store located at 70 Cricklade Road offers several shelving units of official Harry Potter merchandise, as well as a display for all of Elizabeth's Harry Potter Lego models. 

Swindon Advertiser: A lego Harry Potter model collectionA lego Harry Potter model collection (Image: Stephen John Whatley)There's a photo opportunity for Platform 9 3/4 where visitors to the cafe can pose next to a trolly complete with Hedgwig the Owl. 

There is also a life-size Dobby the House Elf model that visitors can donate a sock to. 

Stephen and Elizabeth opened a pop-up store in another unit on the same road before Christmas as a test to see if there was an appetite in the town for something more permanent, and they say it was a resounding success. 

Swindon Advertiser: Dobby the ElfDobby the Elf (Image: Stephen John Whatley)The couple are both big fans of the Wizarding World but were fed up with travelling to London and Oxford to buy the best products, so they wanted to make Swindon a major destination for fellow fans in search of good merch.

Free parking spaces are situated behind the business, which claims to be the first of its kind in Wiltshire, and the Lego display walkthrough spaces and photo areas will be free to enter.

Private wizard and witch-themed birthday party packages will be launched in the near future.

The shop will then be open from 9am to 5pm Monday to Saturday.

Meanwhile, they will still be continuing to offer catering services for parties and corporate events via the Gorse Hill Tea Rooms side of their business.