Around the World in 80 Pairs of Shoes


September 14, 2014

Days Out in England: The Making of Harry Potter

My name is Kelly and I love Harry Potter!  I don’t understand Star Wars and generally fall asleep through the movies, Twilight just bores me to death (the movies anyway) but Harry Potter gets me excited every time I watch it on telly or pick up the book.  On Friday I took the day off work to visit the Warner Bros. Studio Tour of The Making of Harry Potter and thought I would add it to my “Days Out in England” series.


Located north of London, making it accessible to Londoners and us folk that live outside the M25 it’s super easy to find (there are copious amounts of signs pointing you in the right direction; there’s a first time for everything – I have a love hate relationship with road signs in England).  Arriving stress free and super excited, the whole experience is well planned and if you arrive early just check out the gift shop; it’s amazing!

The fun starts in the car park with some of the original chess pieces used in the movies are standing to attention waiting to be photographed.


After queuing for a short bit, we were shuffled into a large room for the start of the experience.   The guide tells you that the tour can take anything between 45 mins to 13 hours; it all depends on how long you want to spend inside the studios – I was just under 3 hours.


The first part of the experience is guided and then you are able to continue with the tour at your own pace, getting as involved as you want.

Our first stop was the Great Hall, the level of detail is astonishing


I started to feel like a big kid walking through the studio tour with a goofy smile on my face and I wasn’t the only one!  The squeals of delight from adults were everywhere; it’s like a giant playground that you never want to leave.


All that squealing means a visit to Dumbledore’s office


The magical kitchen of The Weasley’s and how I want my new kitchen to operate; hands free!


If you like pink then you’re going to love seeing Professor Umbridge’s office and for some reason a song popped into my crazy head – Soft kitty, Warm kitty, Little ball of fur, Happy Kitty, Sleepy Kitty, Purr, Purr, Purr.   Yep I needed a drink!


The studio tour is split into two sections which is grand for us oldies that have bladder problems and need a break and a light refreshment of Butterbeer (I told you I needed a drink).  It’s rather tasty so make sure you buy some, it starts at £2.95 and this is only one of three places you can buy it from in the world so get drinking!


After enjoying my butterbeer and needing some fresh air I wandered around Privet Drive.


Starting the second part of the self guided tour was more of how things were made for the films and these little beggars were a bit scary looking!


My favourite part of the day was definitely visiting Diagon Alley and the Puking Pastilles


Like you would expect you exit the Studio Tour through the gift shop which should have a “Danger Danger” sign inside as holy moly it’s expensive in there.  I may have bought a few things like peppermint toads, a tshirt for G and a fridge magnet – I refrained from buying the sorting hat but then regretted that decision later as I was driving home on the M1.

A day out to The Making of Harry Potter doesn’t come cheap, an adult ticket will set you back an eye watering £31 (compare this to an English Heritage membership that costs £49 for a year and gives you unlimited access to properties) so it’s something that you are probably going to do only once!

Personally I think The Making of Harry Potter Studio Tour are missing a trick – they need to offer a return visit within 12 months of your first ticket so that they can fleece you for a second time in the gift shop (it’s easy to spend £100 in 5 mins even without kids!) and then you can see the studio all dressed up for a different season.  Apparently Christmas time is an awesome time to visit and I would love to return with bells on!

The trick that The Making of Harry Potter Studio Tour haven’t missed is the free wifi and they want you to check in to all your social media apps – finally a business that gets it!

Travel Tips for The Making of Harry Potter Tour

  • Tickets must be booked in advance – buy them via this link.
  • Wear comfortable shoes as you can spend hours walking around the tour – you can spend 45 minutes through to 13 hours inside the experience.
  • There is free wifi so make sure you share on instagram, Facebook and twitter to show off to all your friends
  • There is a shuttle bus running from Watford Junction station to the studios
  • If you’re driving just follow the signs once you leave the M25 at Junction 20; if I can do it then so can you!  (I almost mowed down some tudor gardens recently by thinking it was an exit so any fool can drive to the studio tour)
  • There is a large cafe on site that had a gluten free chocolate brownie on display.  Starbucks are also on site, right next to the cafe.
  • Remember to bring your credit card as you will need a mortgage to buy everything you want from the gift shop.

Never read Harry Potter – then click here to buy the whole set of books or if you want to just watch the movies then buy them here.

Now the big question; what did you buy from the gift shop?

This week I’m joining the Sunday Traveler link up co-hosted by Chasing the Donkey (one of my favourite travel blogs as it’s all about Croatia!)


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