If you’ve been a long-time reader of my blog, you may know that my first trip with my Husband – back when he was still my boyfriend – was to Harry Potter World in Orlando (throwback post!). Then, he had never read the books or even watched the movies, but he loved how passionate I got about Harry Potter haha. That’s how I knew he was a keeper (of the snitch of my heart 😉 okay, I’ll stop with the HP puns). On our honeymoon, our last destination was London, and we visited King’s Cross Station to see the homage to Platform 9 3/4. By then, Husband had at least watched all the movies (and he loved Snape, so, yeah he’s the one… always).
I came up with Harry and company, as I was reading the books as they were coming out. You can imagine my excitement when I got to visit the Harry Potter Studio Tour where literally all the magic happened!
How to Get There
The Harry Potter Studio Tour is about an hour out of the city. We stayed near the Waterloo tube station, so we took the tube to Euston, then transferred to a train and got off at Watford Junction. From there, we took a taxi to the Studio.
There is also a shuttle bus service for £2.50 that leaves every 15 minutes from the station. Just know that it’s cash only. Also, you have to have your Studio Tour ticket before boarding, so if you’re buying your ticket there, you won’t be able to use the shuttle.
The tour is grouped, so you have a set amount of time in each section. You don’t really need to rush though, because overall, you have about 3-4 hours to get through the tour, but it is important to keep time in mind because you could get totally lost in the details and then not be able to spend as much time elsewhere.
The first section, of course, is the Great Hall! I could imagine all the incredible feasts there… roast beef, pork chops, butterbeer… Then there’s the Sorting Hat, which I wish would just tell me I’m not actually the muggle that I am… Btw, have you taken the Sorting Hat quiz on Pottermore? What house are you? I’ll tell you mine if you tell me yours. 😉
I’m not going to share too many photos – first, because there are just too many details, and second, I don’t want to spoil everything for you if you’re able to go. But here are some sights into Hogwarts: the Goblet of Fire, wigs that all the cast members wore, the Gryffindor common room, Griffin stairwell, Snape in Potions class, and SO. MUCH. MORE. If you’re a Harry Potter fan, you will totally dork out.
As you can see, the area is pretty crowded. I’d often wait for people to finish viewing something and then get a closer look, which is typical in tours. We went at 9am, which I would recommend if you want slightly smaller crowds. By the time we left at noon, the lines were so long! If you can, go on a weekday as well.
There is always that slight hope that gripping the handle of the luggage cart will transport me to Hogwarts, but alas, everyday I’m mugglin’. 😉 You can tour the inside of Hogwarts Express as well.
We were early in exploring the Diagon Alley section, and luckily, they let us in as media so we were able to get it all to ourselves! I wish I could have gone inside Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes.
Finally, the Tour concludes at this huge replica of Hogwarts. In the films, all the overhead shots of the school were taken from here! The details are so meticulous — in one corridor, there are four plaques on the wall representing the different houses, and I had to duck down to see inside it! This is really quite an epic way to end the day.
Last note, we did the tour on our own because I like to take my time and go at my own pace, but I may recommend purchasing an audio tour guide or going with a tour group, because they’re able to expand on so many more fascinating details.
A huge thank you to Virgin Atlantic for making this tour happen and for giving me the opportunity to be at Hogwarts! …Even if I had to return to my muggle world after. 🙂 See the rest of my London posts here.