From a very young age, I have been mesmerized by the world of Harry Potter. The idea of a place where you can actually learn magic was indeed fascinating for a 6-year-old kid. Not to mention, I've read all the books (more than once) and seen all the movies. Harry Potter has been close to my heart while I was growing up, and I think that will never change.
As a “loyal” Harry Potter fan, one of my dreams was to visit The Warner Bros Studios in Watford, London, which gives you a tour of several of the sets used across the movies. Suffice to say, if you are staying in the UK, you love Harry Potter, and you have the availability to do so, please make sure you visit the Warner Bros Studios, it is a wonderful experience! Super excited about having a behind-the-scenes glimpse of the Harry Potter films, I booked my trip there with my partner from Birmingham. We were lucky and happy, because we went on a University organised trip, which included the entrance ticket as well as travel between Birmingham and Watford. It was a steal deal as we paid half the price of the Warner Bros Studios entrance ticket which is a whooping £47 per adult! We caught the bus at the University early morning, and off we went to Watford!
If you are visiting from London, you can book London-Watford transfer + tickets to Harry Potter Warner Brothers Studio at once.
The bus ride passed relatively fast and we were at the Studios in a shut of eyes. From outside, the studio does seem massive, and I was thrilled to pass the front doors. After you enter, you pass through corridors with Harry Potter quotes written on the walls – my favourite was definitely one by Luna, from the Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, “Don't worry, you're just as sane as I am”.
The tour goes through different rooms, which contain sets and objects from specific scenes in the different movies. They give you a booklet at the start “The Making of Harry Potter – Passport” with different pages corresponding to different room scenarios, and you can get it stamped along the way for fun. Secret Information – There are 13 Golden Snitches hidden throughout the Studio Tour. You need to follow some clues, solve the riddles and be game for some adventure. The tour starts by opening the main gates to the dining hall, which was definitely a wow moment! You get to see the tables, the lights at the top, and also some main costumes used by the actors in several of the scenes. You are also able to see the staircases with loads of paintings, a room representing a Potions class (with a Snape costume and wig!) and even the main door to the Chamber of Secrets (scary!). You also get a glimpse at the Dursley's living room, filled with plenty of Hogwarts letters for Harry (poor fellow), and you can pass through the Gryffindor common room and the boy's dormitory.
If you are a fan of Quidditch, you cannot miss the Quidditch display – this room shows you the brooms used by the players (including the famous Nimbus 2000 from the first movie!) as well as the different balls used on the game. On the other hand, if you fancy Death Eaters, they also have a display, with the different robes and masks used – one can easily get lost in each room, so many are the things to see. You can even pass through Diagon Alley, with its quirky and colourful façades, and see Gringotts, the bank of wizards!
I have to say, the scariest moment was going through the Forbidden Forest. In the movies, this is always a place where the strangest things happen, a place which doesn't inspire trust at all. At the Studios, you can find the sweet Buckbeak, Hagrid's hippogriff, in the forest and, as you go deeper in, you will see a lot of spiders hanging everywhere, including a very big and scary Aragog (urrrg).
I have to say, my favourite rooms were the Platform 9¾ with the Hogwarts Express and the one with a miniature Hogwarts castle. In the first, you can see a full model of the train used to travel to Hogwarts (which was fascinating) and take a picture at the wall between Platforms 9 and 10.
The miniature Hogwarts castle, which has been used in the movies to create external shots, made me feel emotional – when you grow up loving Harry Potter, do expect to get sentimental at some point during this tour!
On our lunch break, we had the pleasure of tasting butterbeer, the drink widely consumed in the Harry Potter universe. This was our first butterbeer and IT. WAS. AMAZING. If you have never tried it, you must at some point, it is the most delicious thing.
And how can a trip be complete without the souvenir shop? It was a place where I could literally spend the rest of my day as well as my weekly allowance! It had souvenirs for all tastes: keyrings, sweaters with all 4 Hogwarts houses, pens, snitches(!), chocolate frogs, Bertie Bott Every Flavour Beans (be careful with these, there are some weird flavours included, eheheh), and so much more. I believe I bought 5 or 6 keyrings (enough for the whole family), a couple of chocolates and – wait for it – a time-turner (my favourite souvenir)!
Before we knew it, it was time to get on the bus and back to Birmingham. It was a fun-filled day, with a lot of memories, which I will treasure and remember whenever I do a Harry Potter movie saga (is there any other way of seeing the Harry Potter movies?). I also want to come back to the Studios at some point, to go behind-the-scenes again, and see if there are any new additions. Do visit them, if you are able – you won't get disappointed and “Hogwarts will always be there to welcome you home”.
We hope you enjoyed reading this post. If you are also a Harry Potter fan, let us know in comments below. If you have any questions regarding a trip to the Warner Bros Studios, feel free to contact us.