Sightseeing My City: Warner Brothers Studio Tour and Harry Potter

1 Sep

A while ago, The Boy decided to buy me a surprise gift and then got drunk and attempted to sing me a clue. Which was the Star Wars theme tune, over and over. I tried my hardest to guess. “Something to do with Star Wars?” I was told no and more Star Wars was sung until I could take it no longer and he fell asleep.

The fireplace in the Great Hall

The fireplace in the Great Hall

Fast forward a few days and a slightly more sober Boy told me he had tickets to Harry Potter World, a place I had wanted to visit since the opening, but had never got around to visiting. I don’t know about you, but I grew up with Harry Potterbooks in my life and loved them. Harry Potter and The Philosopher’s Stone was released when I was eleven, and from that day forward I was catapulted headfirst into a dream world; a place where magic happened and imagination unfolded.


I remember my first holiday in Greece with my friends, sitting and reading the Half Blood Prince by the pool, the sun beating down and the excitement at having bought it and not started reading it till my trip began dissipating as I turned the pages.

The Dursley's House

The Dursley’s House


Over the course of ten years my sister and I waited with bated breath as first the rest of the books, and second, the films, were released and we could get our fix. I remember the sadness of going to see the last film in the cinema, (together, as was our tradition) as I knew it was the end of an era. That feeling of firsts when it came to Harry was over.


So I was pretty excited to go to the studios and see all the components that made up the film, especially as it was December which meant the additional magic of the snow and the Christmas tree which one featured in the Great Hall would be making a guest appearance.


It was magical. The experience takes you through set locations like the Great Hall, Privet Drive and Diagon Alley, and each of the artefacts have a story to go with them. One thing we didn’t do was pay extra for the headsets as the tickets were relatively expensive, and this is something I would strongly recommend paying that extra bit for. The headsets give you far more description on all the different things, and I really regret not grabbing one!


The highlight of the trip for me was Diagon Alley; walking past all the shops that boggled my mind when watching the first film with Hagrid and Harry. It’s exactly as you expect, but with that extra magic thrown in – cobbles, storefronts offering owls, frogs and magic wands, and old-fashioned street lamps all adding to the mystery of the wizarding world.

Diagon Alley

Diagon Alley – photobombed by such a real dummy that Facebook keeps asking me to tag it!

When we stepped out onto the external set and into Privet Drive, the extra touches were what did it for me. The fake snow started, and at 27. I was squealing with excitement like a little child. All the outfits, props and ‘wizardry’ that make Hogwarts what it is to each and every person is featured, and finishes with a massive maquette of Hogwarts, made entirely to scale.


I loved it.


Things I would bear in mind (especially if you aren’t from London):

Watford is a bit out of London, which makes sense given the scale of the studio! You can get the Hogwarts express (yep, real scheduled bus) but the cheapest way is to get the tube, or the overground.


Leave plenty of time. You don’t want to be rushing around Hogwarts, do you? The lines get pretty big for your time slot, and to rush would be to miss out on some of the fantastic facts and props.


Don’t worry about food. There is a Starbucks there, but if you are travelling from London I would head back there to eat. If you are travelling with children, the Rainforest Café is a favourite of my god-daughter, complete with jungle thunderstorms, elephants, and chairs with animal tails.


What’s your favourite part of the Harry Potter stories? Have you been to Warner Brothers Studios?

12 Responses to “Sightseeing My City: Warner Brothers Studio Tour and Harry Potter”

  1. prenin September 1, 2014 at 8:19 am #

    I watched the first Harry Potter movie and quite enjoyed it, but the second was not as good although still an excellent movie! 🙂

    I’m glad you enjoyed yourself hun and I hope you keep the magic for a lifetime! 🙂

    Love and huge hugs!


  2. Paul September 1, 2014 at 11:21 am #

    I read all of the Harry Potter series as well – as an adult. They were well crafted and exciting. I would love to visit the exhibit but likely own’t have the opportunity in my lifetime, so i especially appreciate your tour with the pics. That is quite amazing TB. Thank you very much.

  3. Twindaddy September 1, 2014 at 3:00 pm #

    I never did get into Harry Potter.

  4. philosophermouseofthehedge September 1, 2014 at 3:02 pm #

    Christmas did make it extra special. (and does look like you don’t want to be rushed when visiting here – cool!)

  5. Sheila September 2, 2014 at 12:49 am #

    I didn’t know this existed. Fun, and will go on my list to check out one of these days! ~ Sheila

  6. setinmotion September 2, 2014 at 6:38 am #

    I was in London last year (I’m from Australia) and my Dad somehow convinced me not to visit the studios because he said it would be a tourist gimmick. WHHYYY did I listen to him? Oh well, a trip to London is clearly back on the cards (again).

  7. susielindau September 2, 2014 at 1:20 pm #

    We went to London last summer and our daughter Courtney would have loved to see this! We’ll just have to go again. 🙂

  8. Rach @ This Italian Family September 2, 2014 at 10:11 pm #

    Ahhh! I love this!! I still haven’t made it to Harry Potter world, but I want to gooo!

  9. Jo September 3, 2014 at 10:51 am #

    Whilst I haven’t jumped into the Harry Potter craze (children not the right age I suppose) I found this post fun and interesting. Thanks for shouting out the Starbucks and making eatery recommendations. Good to know. Jo @ Let’s Face the Music

  10. aroundtheworldin80pairsofshoes September 22, 2014 at 7:24 pm #

    I love this Harry Potter Studio Tour, I did it a few weeks ago but want to head back at Christmas time as it looks amazing in your photos xx

    • tinkerbelle86 September 22, 2014 at 7:25 pm #

      You should! I loved it. I think I will take my goddaughter back and make sure we get the headsets, I think it makes the experience.

Speak Your Mind.... Laughter is Catching!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: