London Times | Harry Potter Studios

Last year, friends of ours posted photos of their visit to the Harry Potter Studios outside London. Seeing the photo of them seated in Hogwarts' Great Dining Hall, I knew I had to visit if given the chance. That opportunity presented itself when we arranged the trip to London.

The Harry Potter Studio Tour is not an amusement park - this is the movie studio where the Harry Potter movies were shot. The tour takes you behind the scenes to the actual sets, props and costumes used to film these magical movies. Through the interactive displays, you learn how much work and how many people it takes to create the end result - that a huge ensemble of creative people and artists all play a part in these series of movies.

The Studio is located in Leavesden, a small town 20 miles north west of London. To take the Studio Tour, you must book tickets in advance - you pick an available date and time via their website and all you have to do it make sure you get to the site 20-30 minutes before your allotted time. We opted to travel via high speed train - traveling from the Euston Rail station to Watford Junction. From Watford Junction, a tour bus runs every 15 minutes to take you to the Studio. We purchased our rail tickets at the ticket office in Euston the morning of our tour - the tellers are very helpful and set you up with the least expensive, most flexible rail tickets for your party.

We arrived at the Studio right on time for our scheduled tour and made our way through the queue. One waiting room later, we entered a theatre where a short film introducing the Studio tour was shown. You can feel the anticipation in the crowd at this point when the theatre screen is lifted, revealing a huge set of double doors. If it is your birthday, you get to open the doors! The doors open up to the Great Hall. And for any Harry Potter fan, it is amazing.

The long, oak tables - all set for the feast:
The Table is Set

The Great Hall

Each Hogwarts House is represented:
House Mascots
Tables and Houses

At this point, you are free to roam through the studio at your pace. As the studio limits the number of tickets sold, it never feels crowded - this is so very important because there is so much to take in.

The Headmaster's office:
Desk

Potion's Class:
Potions Class

Umbridge's Office:
Too Pink

The Magic is Might Statue from the Deathly Hallows:
Magic is Might

The girls in the Flying Car:
Grounded

Yes, there's Butterbeer available for purchase at the refreshment stand. It tastes like a butterscotch cream soda. Very nice after a long morning of travel and exploring the Studio.

You get to pass through Diagon Alley:
The Corner Magic Market

The final exhibit room contains the scale model of Hogwarts Castle and its grounds. The model was used to film the sweeping scenes in the movies.
Main Entrance - 2
While I took my time examining the model, I experienced a blessing - I witnessed the response of school aged children as they first entered the room, seeing the Hogwarts model for the first time. Their sheer excitement and wonderment simply made me happy. It's no wonder why this series has captured the heart of children, young and old.

Looking Up

I highly recommend this tour to any Harry Potter fan. Including travel, it will fill an entire day and it is totally worth it.

Lisa Gordon  – (June 21, 2013 at 9:41 AM)  

OMGoodness, my daughter would be over-the-moon!!

Nicki  – (June 21, 2013 at 5:16 PM)  

Skip my kids - I would be thrilled beyond words to make this visit. So exciting and so many things to see. Thanks for taking us along through you pictures.

tinajo  – (June 22, 2013 at 11:17 AM)  

I´m so darn envious - LOVE Harry Potter! :-)

2BPhotog  – (June 23, 2013 at 7:54 PM)  

Wow!!! Thanks for taking us along with you on the tour. That must have been an awesome place to visit. It would definitely be at the top of my must see list. You did a great job capturing the Hogwarts feeling. ;-)

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