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As you may or may not know, Harry Potter is my life. In no way is this an exaggeration. It was the movies that did it for me but the books soon followed. With all the Harry Potter Theme Parks opening in the US it was a bit disheartening that the chances of me visiting any time soon were slim (Spoiler: I have since been to Universal Florida for the Wizarding World of Harry Potter which you can read about here!), so when I heard they were opening up Leavesden Studios to the public for the Harry Potter Studio Tour I was over the moon!

While Leavesden is still an active film studio, they created two new soundstages to house the permanent exhibition. The attraction is dedicated to a behind the scenes look at the making of Harry Potter, home to many of the series most iconic sets, props and costumes. The Harry Potter Studio Tour was open to the public in March 2012, but I didn’t manage to visit until March 2014!

The wait was worth it! It was even more ‘magical’ than I expected it to be! In this post I am going to show you my best bits of the tour. It’s going to be pretty extensive, so prepare ourselves!

Arriving

After getting a train from Euston to Watford Junction, there is a Double Decker bus that picks you up at the train station to take you to the studios. If you are driving, there is also a pretty big car park so you should be fine finding a space. The bus itself was enough to get my excited but when we pulled up the studio I lost my mind:

Harry Potter Studio Tour Harry Potter Studio Tour

Harry Potter Studio Tours Harry Potter Studio Tours

Once you pass through the large foyer area, you are guided into another room. I assume this is how they control the numbers as they only let a certain amount of people in at a time. While waiting they show some behind the scenes clips and interviews from Producer David Heyman and past Directors etc. You are then moved into another room that is set up like a cinema. Here you see a little film about Harry Potter Studio Tour (there is also a little message from the Golden Trio!) Then the magic begins!

The Great Hall

The projector screen draws up to reveal the Great Hall Doors! It was so unexpected and incredible! They take you in and talk to you a bit about the tour, but after that you are left to your own devices. You can spend as long as you want making your way through the sets, though they say the average visit is 3 hours.

Harry Potter Studio Tour
The Magic Begins
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Ravenclaw Costumes

Sets

It’s amazing to be able to get up close to the iconic sets of Harry Potter. The detail they have put into them is incredible! Here are some of my favourites.

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The Burrow!
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Dumbledore’s Office
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Gryffindor Common Room
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Harry’s Bunk
Harry Potter Studio Tour
Weasely’s Wizard Wheezes – Diagon Alley

The Backlot

The Backlot is the outside section that connects the two sound stages. It is home to the exterior sets such as Number 4 Privet Drive, Godric’s Hollow, The Knight Bus, Tom Riddles Tombstone, Hogwarts Bridge, Hargrids Motorbike, The Weasley’s Flying Car and of course a refreshments stall where you can try some good old Butterbeer (I was quite disappointed with myself that I didn’t really like it)

I found this to be a nice rest stop for the tour. The fresh air and open space was nice compared to the jam packed soundstages.

Harry potter Studio Tours
Godrics Hollow
Harry potter Studio Tours
A Trip on The Knight Bus
Harry potter Studio Tours
Hogrwarts Bridge – introduced to the films in Prisoner of Azkaban
Harry potter Studio Tours
Number 4 Privet Drive
Harry potter Studio Tours
Tom Riddles Tombstone

Creature Effects

Visit the department that created more than 200 mythical creatures over ten years of filiming. There, you will find everything from goblins, ghosts and houseΒ elves. It was so cool to get up close to these creatures! My favourite was the Mermaid! The detail put into that blew my mind.

Harry Potter Stuido Tour
Buckbeak chillin in the Pumpkin Patch
Harry Potter Stuido Tour
Mermaid
Harry Potter Stuido Tour
Voldemort’s Soul
Harry Potter Stuido Tour
Thestrals
Harry Potter Stuido Tour
Poor Dobby! (Still not over it!)

Arts and Graphics

I really liked this department, seeing all the sets in minute detail. Spotting how the art work made it transition into the films . And of course the massive 1:24 scale of Hogwarts Castle that was used for all exterior shots! (Have I mentioned yet that they play Harry Potter soundtracks throughout the whole tour? Just to knock your emotions over the edge!)

Harry Potter Stuido Tour
Hogsmead Model
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Artwork
Harry Potter Stuido Tour
Owl Post
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Fawkes
Harry Potter Stuido Tour
Hogwarts Model
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THE REAL HOGWARTS!
Harry Potter Stuido Tour
Incredible!

Then of course you have the Gift Shop to end the magical experience. With my emotions all over the place I definitely went a bit overboard, but my Ravenclaw Scarf is still proudly hanging up in my room!

Harry Potter Studio Tour
Ravenclaw Pride!

In conclusion, Harry Potter Studio Tour is something that I could do again and again. If I lived nearer London I would have been a good few times by now! There is just so much to see there is no way you can see it all in one day.

Since my visit in 2014 they have added the Hogwarts Express as well as the interior of Number 4 Privet Drive (I’m not sure if that was just a limited attraction or if they have made it permanent). Furthermore, they also have events on like Hogwarts in the Snow (duing Christmas time they will dress the sets for the season), Β Dinner in the Great Hall (7th-8th December) and screening of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. You can visit their website to keep up to date with any upcoming events.

Have you ever visited Harry Potter Studio Tour, London?Β Or are you just a crazy Potterhead like myself? Share your Harry Potter stories with me!

Harry Potter Studio Tours

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62 thoughts on “Visiting the Harry Potter Studio Tour, London”

  1. This looks like an awesome experience! I just had to re-read Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone for University (I’m studying a module on Children’s Literature as part of my BA degree) and am falling in love with it all over again!

  2. I have to confess I have only read the first Harry Potter book and seen none of the films. However, when I went to the studio tour in Watford I was absolutely blown away by the sheer creativity of what they’ve done there. Thanks for a great post that really brings it to life.

  3. wow this is soo cool! I totally want to go now!! My husband will certainly be bored but I’ll be giddy as my youger teenage self haha God I sound old all of a sudden haha #WanderfulWednesday

  4. It looks like a brilliant day! I love Diagon Alley, I actually really need to find the real one; it must be somewhere, right?? Every time I go somewhere where there’s a vaguely twisty old half-timbered street, I always say ‘It’s that Harry Potter street’…..
    Godrics Hollow and the Bridge look amazing. It sounds like a good-value day out. #wanderfulwednesday

  5. I also think I can fairly say HP is LIFE. I went to the studio a few years ago with my mom and even the butter beer was dreamy. I’m actually American so it’s ironic I haven’t been to HP World in Florida yet!

  6. Massive bucket list tick off for you, that is awesome!! I used to live in Gloucester and some of the first movie was filmed at Gloucester Cathedral so I have sort of visited a set (in a loose way lol). So glad you got to do this!! #WanderfulWednesday

  7. I cant wait until my kids are old enough for me to read them Harry Potter. They are only 3 so it would be a bit scary. Once they are fully hooked I’ll have a great excuse to go back to all the studio tours and theme parks that exist! Hee! Sounds like you had a great time. Thanks for sharing your love of Harry Potter on #FarawayFiles

  8. Oh dear. I’m also a fellow Potterhead and I have been DYING to go to the London studios. I’ve been waiting to get my hands on cursed child tickets and then put it all together in one big fantastic weekend. But… I might just have to do this before the play as I might never get my hands on those tickets. πŸ™‚ I also would opt for Ravenclaw!!! πŸ˜€ Love this! #Farawayfiles

  9. I would be over the moon too if something like this opened in Singapore! We are having a little Harry Potter philatelic exhibit here in Singapore now and already, I was ecstatic.
    http://bumblebeemum.net/2016/11/02/harry-potter-exhibit-singapore-philatelic-museum/

    I have been to this studio (but I definitely will.. one day..), but I went to Universal Studios in Japan just for the Harry Potter World. It was insane, I didn’t want to go home. #FarawayFiles

  10. We’re huge Harry Potter fans in our house but I wasn’t sure about going to the Harry Potter Studios as I’m not very keen on theme parks BUT I couldn’t believe how brilliant it was. We were there over three hours, seeing and reading everything. It was such a thrill walking into the Great Hall and down Diagon Alley. We’ve been twice now and looking forward to going again. Great to read all about it on #FarawayFiles

  11. What a shame you didn’t like the butterbeer! That aside, this looks like an amazing experience for Harry Potter fans. We’re all reading the books together in our family. I think we might try and go next year, when my daughter’s older. #FarawayFiles

  12. The tour really is incredible – the details and amount of work that went into the sets and props is mind blowing. I happily spent six hours there and would go back again! I didn’t like the Butterbeer either…

  13. Ok I’m a total Potter geek and love everything about this post. I saw the Christmas meal advertisement and even though it’s a crazy price I bet it would be incredible. Loved your photos and your enthusiasm and love for all things Harry comes across wonderfully. It makes me want to watch one right now! #flyawayfriday

  14. Agghh, I know you’re gonna hate me for this but I’m not a hugh Harry Potter fan, I think I’ve only seen two films, BUT I LOVE studio tours! Any of them. And this looks really cool, I would definitely consider if on my next London trip despite not being a massive HP fan #flyawayfriday

  15. Omg getting the shivers (in a good way) just looking at all the pictures! I’m a HUGE HP fan and I’m rereading all the books right now. I need to get myself there or at least the Universal Studios one! Thanks for joining #FlyAwayFriday!! xo

  16. Omg this looks so fun!! I have to admit, I’ve never finished a Harry Potter book but I think it’d still be fun to check out!! Looks like fun πŸ™‚ Can’t wait to see what you share tomorrow on FlyAwayFriday!!

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