“Let us step into the night and pursue that flighty temptress, adventure”
– Harry Potter & The Half Blood Prince
When I first heard about the Harry Potter Studio Tour London I was transported back to my childhood. I remember walking home from school with my head buried in the pages of Harry Potter. Honestly, it’s a miracle I didn’t get knocked down! Waiting for each new book was pain-staking. Harry Potter memorabilia took over shelves in my room. And when the films came out I was adamant that I should have been cast as Hermione instead of Emma Watson (my feelings on that have since changed, I’m a bit more Luna Lovegood these days). So, needless to say, I was pretty damn excited to get my ass to the Harry Potter Studio Tour in London. I was even more excited to be going with my flame-headed friend Linda, an honorary Weasley. Here’s everything you need to know about the Tour!
Harry Potter Studio Tour Tips – London
Where is the Harry Potter Studio in London & How do I Get There?
First things first, the studio is in Watford, London. There are directions on the Studio Tour website. Myself and Linda got the tube from Victoria to Euston, then got the Overground to Watford Junction. From Watford Junction you can hop on the Harry Potter Studio Tour shuttle bus. It’s £1.50 for a single or £2 return, I think. I say “I think”, because we ended up getting a taxi to the Studio because we were a bit late, so we only got a single ticket on the way back from the Studio Tour.
How Does it Work?
WELL, you hop on the Hogwarts Express and BOOM you’re now a wizard. Ok, that may not be quite true. You have to book a specific time slot. When booking, bare in mind that they recommend at LEAST 3 hours for the Studio Tour and the last shuttle bus back to Watford leaves at 17:40. Myself and Linda weren’t aware of this when we booked our 14:30 time slot. We could have spent at least 5 hours there. HOWEVER, we were limited to 3hrs, which meant we, unfortunately, had to rush around the 2nd half of the Studio Tour.
**TIP: BOOK AN EARLY SLOT! You will want AT LEAST 4hrs there. Especially if you stop for a Butterbeer. **
When you arrive at the Harry Potter Studio Tour you need to bring ID (bank card is fine) to collect your tickets. Then you all line up (beside the cupboard under the stairs) and wait for your tour to start! The incredibly knowledgeable staff will test you on Harry Potter trivia while you wait.
**TIP: Ask them for a Harry Potter passport! Don’t ask questions, just do it. **
Once you’re in, there’s a short talk and then you’re herded (in the nicest way possible) into a cinema screening room. Here you watch a short film about the Harry Potter Studio Tour presented by the stars (Emma, Daniel & Rupert). After this you head into the Great Hall and you are free to explore the studio at your own pace. You are not guided after the Great Hall, though there are staff on hand along the way to answer any questions you have.
Things to Know About The Harry Potter Studio Tour
– Inside the studios there’s A LOT to see. Bring snacks. There is a cafeteria halfway through the Harry Potter Studio Tour. However, it is a TAD pricey. Well, in fairness, it’s really not that bad when you compare it to London prices anyway.
– The Butterbeer ice cream is a MUST. It’s incredibly sweet. I need more of it in my life. It was around £3…… though something makes me feel like it was £3.95…….. but whatever, TOTALLY WORTH IT. You get SO much ice cream. The cone actually felt heavy in my hand. Linda couldn’t finish it. I devoured mine.
– Butterbeer isn’t REALLY worth it in my opinion. I HAD to try it, but it didn’t taste great. I’d recommend getting one between two, for the photo opps…. obviously.
– There’s a green screen room where you can have your photos taken on a broom or in the flying car from The Chamber Of Secrets. Unfortunately you cannot use your own camera in this area. Which is fair enough really, the most important part is the photoshopping they do to the photo afterwards anyway. Myself and Linda bought three photos. The first (in a basic card frame) cost £14. Each photo after that was £7.
– If you don’t want to pay for photos there are plenty of other opportunities for free photo opps such as Platform 9 3/4 , sticking your hand in fire that doesn’t burn, Privet Drive, the Knight Bus and many many more.
What Did I Think?
I LOVED IT! I’m not even that much of a Harry Potter nerd. I read the books about a million years ago and I’d forgotten a lot of what happened. For example, I was watching one of the last films with my sister the other day and I hadn’t got a clue what was going on! BUT I LOVED IT. Myself and Linda both agreed that we would happily go again and spend an entire day there.
I highly recommend going around Christmas time as it is incredibly festive. The Great Hall was all done up, ready for the Christmas feast, the giant Hogwarts model was covered in “snow”. It was MAGICAL.
At around £30 for a ticket to the Harry Potter Studio Tour it’s pretty reasonably priced too. If you’re horrified with that price, all I can say is….. it’s beyond worth it.
SO, I hope that’s given you a good idea of what goes on inside the Harry Potter Studio Tour.
Where to Stay on Your Trip to Harry Potter Studios London?
If you need somewhere local to stay near the studios then I recommend AirBnB. If you sign up by clicking from here, you get money off your first trip!
However, it is also easy to get to from anywhere in central London. If you need any hotel recommendations in London check out Booking.com. They usually have daily flash sales/ deals.
Until next time, MISCHIEF MANAGED!