Despite being a lover of Harry Potter – the books and films – it never really occurred to me to visit the place where the movies were created. It was when Paul’s birthday came around that we decided to go to Warner Bros. Studios, staying in a nearby hotel to celebrate. But why should you visit?
THERE’S ACCOMMODATION NEARBY
Despite Warner Bros. Studios not being in Central London, it doesn’t mean there isn’t a great place to stay. Paul and I spent the night at the Hendon Hall Hotel. A beautiful mansion with an incredibly comfortable bed and yummy afternoon tea.
My first impression of the hotel was its location. It definitely stood out from the urban surroundings and flats! However, it was quiet and the mansion itself was gorgeous and only a twenty minute drive from the studios. The hotel provides transport to the Studios too, super handy if you don’t have a car.
IT’S THE REAL THING
Everything you see during the tour comes from the actual movies. This includes the costumes, props and set designs. And it’s incredible to see the amount of work and detail that went into each item. I also appreciated the fact there were mini documentaries which explained how certain sets were created and the thought process for each one.
It’s absolutely fascinating being so close to the sets which are surprisingly small but they really give off the atmosphere you get from the movies.
IT’S NOT REALLY A TOUR
Despite being called a tour, you’re not really being guided by anyone. Audio commentaries are available, however, once you get passed the main hall, it’s free roaming. You can spend more time in Dumbledore’s office and less time at Hagrid’s hut without anyone telling you to move on.
In addition, it’s not too crowded, based on the fact that there are set times for each “tour”. This is great because it really means you have time to look at everything in detail.
So, it may not be the cheapest drink in the world but it really helps the whole Harry Potter experience! The drink is small but very sweet so expect a bit of a sugar high.
And that’s not the only sweet thing in Harry Potter Studios. There are also shops with the treats mentioned in the books and movies as well as merchandise and memorabilia.
TIPS & INFORMATION
- Remember that the studios aren’t in central London so don’t expect a quick trip to the Tower of London an hour beforehand!
- Be sure to get there twenty minutes before your tour time.
- If you aren’t driving you can get the shuttle from Watford Junction train station to the Studio Tour.
- Emailed tickets will require you to collect the actual tickets from the collection booth at the front of the studios.
- All tickets should be pre-booked.
- Snapping photos is allowed in most areas of the Studio Tour, except the pre-show cinema and green screen areas.
So, Potterheads! I hope you are convinced that heading to Warner Bros Studio is a good idea and will be sure to visit.