I’ve always been a Harry Potter movie fan (yes, movies only, I’m not really into books). Ever since I’ve watched the first film, I was always looking forward for the next installment. That’s why, when we went to UK last August, a visit to the Harry Potter Studio is a must.
Our tour started at 6:00 pm (that was the only available time when we booked 3 weeks before the visit). There was a 15 minute queue before we were able to get inside the holding area, wherein the staff gave us a short introduction of what to expect. Then we were lead to a small theater where we watched a short documentary about some behind the scenes when they were filming the movie.
On the entrance you will see pictures of all the casts, as well as the this Flying Ford Anglia car used by Harry and Ron. The Cupboard under the stairs is the first set you will see once in the queue before going inside.
Afterwards, we were lead to the Great Hall.
The sorting hat, the Gryffindor uniforms worn by Daniel Radcliffe as Harry Potter and the Hufflepuff costume worn by Robert Pattinson as Cedric Diggory.
After spending around 10 minutes at the Great Hall, they let us in to the Big Room, which houses the props, costumes and large indoor sets from the film. There’s no time limit once you are inside, so you can spend the whole day there, and take as many pictures as you want. The photos below are some of my favorites during our visit.
Quidditch Costumes and the Broomsticks
Platform 9 3/4 and Hogwarts Express
Costumes worn by the casts, the Invisibility Cloak and Harry Potter specs.
There’s also an area where you can experience the green screen technology. I actually tried doing the video wherein you are riding the broomstick, but I didn’t purchase it since I look awkward in there. But, here are some of our pictures.
We spent around 2 hours (I might have stayed longer if we got more time) in the Big Room, then we hurried to the Backlot Cafe to try the Butterbeer.
The Backlot Cafe and me drinking Butterbeer.
Then, we proceed to the Backlot, where the sets for the outdoor scenes are located.
Afterwards we went indoor again to explore the Creature Effects, Art Department and Diagon Alley.
Before the tour ends, we saw the Hogwarts castle model which looks really stunning, as well as a large area full of wands.
The exit lead us to the Studio shop which was very busy that time. There are a lot of Harry Potter memorabilias such as replica wands, robes, souvenir t-shirts and many more. Sweet treats like the Chocolate Frog are also available.
It was indeed a magical day, especially upon knowing that the 8 Harry Potter films were shot on this studio. A must experience for every Harry Potter fan.
What you need to know before your visit:
- Pre-book your tickets – you can only purchase the ticket online and it easily gets sold out. Make sure to book at least a month before your planned visit so you can choose your preferred timing for the tour. It is best to visit in the morning so you will have plenty of time to go around. You may visit their website for more information.
- Transportation – you can reach the studio from Central London by car, train, bus or with Tour Companies. We got there thru train, due to our friend’s recommendation. We rode the London Midland train, the fastest train to get there (20 mins), at London Euston Station going to Watford Junction (nearest station in the studio). You can use your oyster card here or book your train online. Outside that station, there’s a shuttle that will take you to the studio (fare GBP 2.50, with return). Make sure to ride the train I’ve mentioned, or else your journey will take more than an hour.
- Studio Shop – there’s a store before the entrance, so if you happened to book a ticket at a later time (like us), I suggest going there earlier then visit the store first to purchase items that you may want. Then you may leave those at their cloakroom free of charge, once your tour started.
- Studio Tour – the visit to the studio is on your own, you may rent a digital guide (GBP 4.95) to get an in depth information about everything inside.