A day trip from London is always possible, and what better way to spend it in Watford. It is around 40 minutes by car or upto 2 hours by train (depending on which train taken). That day, I took a train from Euston and go straight to Watford Junction. Why Watford? Well, because it is where the Harry Potter Studio Tour is located, and it’s a definitely must visit for all Potterheads.
But before that, let’s get some tickets to get in. The tickets must be bought online (https://www.wbstudiotour.co.uk/tickets), and exchanged within the time slot at the machine upon entering. The price ranges from GBP 35 – 52.95. And if you check closely on the tickets calendar, there are some special priced ones (like the one that I bought). And it’s a good idea to get the bundle ones, which includes audio guide & cinematic guide (that can be picked up at the souvenir shop). The ticket also includes free shuttle rides to the train station.
Now, let’s enter Hogwarts or in this case part of the Great Hall. This set welcomes us with ever-changing decor according to the season. Since I was there in October, it has a Halloween theme. Check out the costumes for each of the House used in the movies.
After the Great Hall, it’s time to see the inside of Hogwarts. In this area, we will start with the props and costumes used in the movie. Some arrangements used in the Yule Ball (with Hermione’s iconic pink dress), the staircase of Hogwarts, Harry’s dorm room, the potions classroom, to Ms. Umbridge ‘smoking’ suit.
A peek to the left, will takes us to Dumbledore’s office, the wand collection, and also the wand collection. On the right, we can see Hagrid’s house as well as the inside of the Leaky Cauldron.
Don’t forget to try out the Nimbus 2000!
Continue to the Ministry and the Gringotts Wizarding Bank. Take a close look to the medusa vault and the door opening mechanism. It also shows a special effect look of that scene when Ron’s car was hit by a tree *watch-out*.
Off to the forest and the infamous Platform 9 3/4. I know that many of you would go to King’s Cross for it. But, here, it is actually much easier. There are 3 platform set to take photos from & the team allows us to use the House scarf for props. No need to worry for long queues. And on the train, each room represents famous scenes from each of the movies.
After all that walking, we do need a break. Head on to the cafe and grab a glass of Butter Beer. Enjoy it outside in front of Harry’s 4 Privet Drive house. A sight of Death Eaters is also frequent.
On the last leg of the studio tour, it will take us to the Special Effects area. Where they created all the scenes with Dobby. Afterwards, we then reached Diagon Alley. In several times daily, the team will teach how to use a wand and how to defeat the Death Eaters.
And it’s finally time to see Hogwarts…
To round up the tour, just before exiting is the wand room. It stored all the wands used by the actors/actresses during the film shoot. Check out your favorites!
Just a tip, when picking up the audio guide, take one of the pass book & get it stamped from each of the different areas of the studio & keep it as a souvenir.