As a huge Harry Potter fan, this is probably my most favourite thing I’ve ever done in England. YOU NEED TO GO!
First thing to know is that even though it’s called the “Harry Potter Studio Tour – LONDON” it is NOT in London. The Brits like to pretend that things (like airports *cough* London-Stansted *cough*) that are not in London, are in London, just to confuse foreigners. So you’ll need to sort out transportation from London to get there. It is actually in a town called Leavesden, Hertfordshire.
You’ll arrive to a big cement building that doesn’t look very magical, but don’t let that fool you! There is lots of magic inside; kind of like in Hermione’s Undetectable Extension Charm handbag.
You’ll then go into a big open foyer where there is a Harry Potter gift shop, Mr. Weasley’s flying car and a super magical Starbucks. Okay it’s just a normal Starbucks. Not everything can be magical. Muggles.
After you’ve had a good look around it’s a good idea to get in the queue. British people love queue’s… sometimes they’ll join the end of one just to see what’s at the front. Magicians err, wizards entertain you as you wait. You’ll get to see Mr. Potter’s humble abode under the stairs as well.
Next you’ll be brought into a theater-esque room to watch a short video about the making of Harry Potter. There’s a little surprise at the end of the video ;).
Next, you’ll find yourself in The Great Hall! The real, live, Great Hall!!! Then you’ll die. Then you’ll resurrect yourself cause that’s what the cool wizards do.
As I went at Christmas time, the hall was decked out in it’s Christmassy best, complete with delicious resin Turkey’s. Mmmm 🙂
You’ll even get to meet a stuffed Dumbledore! He’ll be at the podium awarding two thousand points to Gryffindor because he feels like it.
“You’ve done smashing Gryffindor! Sod off Slytherin. Ravenclaw you’re alright too, let’s give you some points. What’s the last house again?” -Dumbledore, somewhere in the books.
You’ll obviously need to take photographic proof that you were REALLY in the GREAT HALL at HOGWARTS!!!! My other half not only took me to the Studio Tour, but agreed to wear matching Gryffindor hats. Dear lord, I love that man :). He’s not even a Harry Potter fan. But he will be!
Down the next hallway are some props and costumes from the Yule Ball and Chocolate Feast, among others…
The fireplace from the Leaky Cauldron I think. If I’m wrong, it’s because I’m testing you you filthy muggle. Being a self-professed HP fan I obviously know things like this.
The Gryffindor sleeping quarters! Mind if I Slytherin there with ya? I stole that joke. I’m not that clever. I’m a thief. I’m sorry.
I was amazed with how many of the sets actually moved (and weren’t done on a computer). The Chamber of Secrets Door was one such example.
The Burrow! I loved that in the Weasley household there was a pair of knitting needles knitting themselves and a pot washing itself in the sink. Bloody hell, now there’s a useful charm!
You might recognize this statue from the Ministry of Magic.
You’ll also get to see your least favourite character’s office. You know the one you hate way more than Voldemort.
After looking around wide-eyed at all the sets, you can meander outside to check out Privet Drive, Tom Riddle’s grave, the Knight Bus and Hagrid’s Flying Motorcycle. (this part may have changed since I was there. I know there is now also a Hogwarts Express train now). You can also grab a snack and a butterbeer at the refreshments stand.
But before you think the tour is over, there’s MORE!
Aaragog the Spider is perhaps the most intricate remote-control spider ever made. It takes 15 people to operate this spider. You know you wanna get 15 friends together and hide this in someone’s bed.
You think the tour is winding down at this point, but then, the magic happens!!! DIAGON ALLEY!
And you get to end the best day of your life at this small-scale but still pretty large recreation of Hogwarts which is used for a lot of their shots of the castle.
At the end there is a large selection of wands you can purchase, and of course you can always head to the gift shop if you didn’t get a chance to wander through on the way in.
All in all, this is a needed stop for any Harry Potter fan. Standing where all the action happened is such an amazing feeling, and it’s neat to get a glimpse into how the movies were made.
Christmas is a lovely time to go as the sets are decked out just like they would be in the movies at Christmas time and makes it that extra bit more magical. This year you can even book a ticket to eat a Christmas feast in the Great Hall! How wicked is that!!
The tour lasts 2-3 hours and I like that you can walk through at your own pace. At 33£ for an adult ticket, it’s not a cheap attraction, but so worth it. I would go again in a heartbeat.
Rated: 5/5 points for Gryffindor!
If you’ve been, what was the highlight of the tour for you? What other Harry Potter related places are worth a stop? Whose your favourite character? 🙂
My video of Hogwarts Magic!