I recently got to visit the Harry Potter studio tour for the second time, and it was awesome! I really wanted to share some pictures of the day, it’s a truly amazing place for Harry Potter fans, and such a fun tour with all sorts of interactive elements (I got to fly a broom and it was the best thing ever!)
I went with a group of friends to celebrate a twenty first birthday and although I guess the tour is set up for kids, there were huge numbers of adults and teenagers enjoying it too. There’s so much to see and experience, and absolutely no reason to pass up a chance to ride the Knight Bus ;)
Abi and I, attired in our full Quidditch strip (of course) met with our friends Kati, Emily and Ellie and drove to Hertfordshire, the home of studio sound stages ‘J’ and ‘K’, where much of Harry Potter was filmed, and which have been preserved to form the main space where the tour takes place. The Great Hall is the first stop on the tour, and because it was Kati’s special day she got to open the doors! (with the other nine year olds, hehe)
The Great Hall is incredible! Everything from the York flagstones on the floors to the hand painted murals and hand chiseled crests is exactly as you would imagine the interior of Hogwarts to be. It’s just so cool to actually walk through the hall and notice the crazy amounts of detail put into every element.
In fact, there’s a crazy amount of detail put into every single prop which was used throughout the films. After the great hall, you can browse a huge number of the interior sets; from the Gryffindor common room to Umbridge’s office, and, my personal favourite, some of the original entrances to the Minisitry of Magic and the terrifying ‘Magic is Might’ monument. I also loved the display of costumes made for the Beauxbaton girls in the Goblet of Fire, and also a rack of Harry’s costumes showing identical outfits in four stages of ‘dirtiness’ for when Harry does all of his running around and getting dust on him.
We saw Dumbledore’s office (so cool!) and the Potions classroom, and then got to ride on broomsticks in front of a green screen so it made it look like we were actually flying. I had waaaay too much fun, and we even got a picture in the Weasley’s flying car and got to drive it – or at least, we made Abi drive it and we all sat in the back and complained about the sat nav – much like our journey to the studio that morning ;)
We headed outside to explore the bigger sets and props (Privet drive! Loads of people kept taking picture with number 3 instead of number 4… losers ;) ) and then into the costume room to explore all the creepy prosthetics and the fully automated buckbeak with hand crafted feathers and a little face that moves and everything!
Finally, we got to explore Diagon Alley (it’s huge and so detailed and amazing!) and then a massive model of Hogwarts Castle (used to film some arial shots) which is just the coolest thing ever. (I know I’ve said that a lot, but… it was all the coolest thing ever) <3
All that was left was to try not to spend our life savings in the gift shop (we spent a longggg time wand shopping!) and then had some snacks before heading home. It was the best day ever and just as good second time around. I would definitely recommend a visit, and if you’ve already visited, visit again (if only for the Quidditch experience, that thing is priceless!) Ha, hope these pictures were interesting for you, you can see how much we enjoyed our day and I hope they inspire you to check it our for yourselves.
Love, PV x
Photos by me or the lovely Ellie Saunders (with kind permission)