Harry Potter Studios, this was the second time I have been here, but this was Tina’s first time! It was a surprise for her birthday, and she had hinted at wanting to come for a while now.
Situated just outside Watford the best way to get to the studios is either by car, or train to central London and then the tube to Stanmore and then get a taxi (which is likely to cost around £20.00 from the station. But when you get there, oh wow the very aptly named studio J & K greeted you.
Parked up you are greeted with some wizard chess pieces, and then you are in the foyer. Starbucks in one corner, the shop entrance the other and in front of you was the queuing system and your first glimpse of one of the sets. The cupboard under the stairs, it’s the first real look at how filming scenes would work and then the magic that goes on in post-production.
The tour itself is separated into areas; I won’t go into spoiling the what you will see and when but you will come across;
- The Hogwarts Express
- Diagon Alley
- The great hall
- Special FX
- Visual FX
- Privet Drive
- Dumbledore’s office
- Gryffindor dormitory
Plus, so many more sets that were used to.
Halfway round you get to go between the two studios, this is where you can try the weird tasting butterbeer (Tina’s described the taste to being like crème soda). You can also have your picture taken in front of Harry’s temporary home with the Dursleys and with some more wizard chess pieces.
The tour ends with the Harry Potter shop, oh dear you can spend silly amounts of money here. I purchased some film cells from each of the eight movies framed for £149.99 the first time I came here. This time though we bought a Chocolate frog, the deathly hallows key ring and a marauders map mug. So in total, we spent around £25 for the three items. But as mentioned you could spend hundreds of pounds without walking out with much in your hands, with the wands alone costing around £25 each!
Overall, this is a must see place for not only Harry Potter fans but also those who would like to see an old working film set and seeing different sets look from filming to the final edited film you see in the cinema.
With prices for adults priced at £32.00 (as of June 2015), although they seem quite a lot but baring in mind you are not given a time limit to be around. My advice though with that is the later you go in the day you are required to be out by a certain time.
We arrived at 2.00pm for our 3.00pm slot to go in, and we came out about 7.30pm. We had seen everything we wanted, and that also included queuing up for Tina to ride the broomstick against a green screen.
We would highly recommend that if you are in London to make the trip to Harry Potter Studios just outside of Watford.