Few film franchises have captured hearts and imaginations the world over quite like Harry Potter. And if you want to get as close to the cinematic magic as possible, then you need to visit the Warner Bros. Studio, just outside of London in Hertfordshire.
The Warner Bros. studios played a huge part in the making of the films, and they’ve since been turned into a hub for the magical wizarding world and everything in it. The tour is set right next to the original studios and includes the original sets, costumes and props that made up the magic. Since it opened in 2012, it’s welcomed millions of visitors and has become one of the most popular tourist attractions in the UK.
Here’s everything you need to know before you grab your magic wand, take a sip of Butterbeer and jump on the Hogwarts Express.
How to get there:
- By train: The closest station is Watford Junction, which is a 20-minute ride from Euston, or around an hour from Birmingham New Street. Bus shuttle services run from Watford Junction to the studios around every twenty minutes, and the journey takes around fifteen minutes. Have some spare change ready; it’s £2.50 a ride and they only accept cash.
- By car: Unless you are arriving in Arthur Weasley’s flying Ford Anglia, the car journey from Central London will take around 70 minutes, or less if there’s not a lot of traffic. The studios are accessible from the M25 – pop WC25 7LR in your sat-nav and it should direct you right there.
- Tours: Another option to consider is a guided Harry Potter studios tour from London; you’ll be picked up and taken straight there.
Tip: The studios recommend arriving 20 minutes before your booked ticket time so that you’ve got enough time to pick up your pre-booked tickets from the booths at the main entrance.
The tour begins with an introductory video in the cinema room, and then guests are taken to the Great Hall at Hogwarts. Hanging in this famous space are some of the original costumes worn by all your favourite characters including Dumbledore, Hagrid and Alastor Moody.
Then, you’ll head to Professor Umbridge’s office, Dumbledore’s office, Hagrid’s hut, the Potions classroom, and many more much-loved sets from the film. Guests can have a look at some of the original props used and there’s a chance to go behind the scenes to get a look at the special effects and learn how the terrifying creatures like the Basilisk were brought to life.
You’ll go to Diagon Alley, where you can pay a visit to Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes, Flourish and Blotts, and Ollivanders Wand Shop.
Finally, you’ll see the awesome scale model of Hogwarts. The replica was put together in amazing, painstaking details – over seventy years of man-hours went into the project.
- The Forbidden Forest: Guests can walk through the trees of the forest, following in the footsteps of Harry, Hermoine, Ron and Hagrid, and there’s a chance to get up close with creatures like Aragog and the Hippogriff.
- Gringotts Wizarding Bank: In 2019, the biggest expansion to date was opened at the studios with Gringotts Wizarding Bank. This fairly new section of the tour allows guests to take a closer look at the centre of the wizarding financial world. Visit the bank’s main entrance, a gallery of goblins, and the Lestrange vault.
- The Hogwarts Express: Of course, no trip to the studio would be complete without a visit to Platform 9 ¾, where you can walk through the train itself.
Book your tour today; it’s a must-visit for any Harry Potter fan!