How could we possibly resist something so full of magic? Also, I’m a huge fan of the Harry Potter series, so we simply had to go on the studio tour.
We took the train to Watford Junction, then got on the shuttle bus to the studio itself. From the moment you arrive, you start to see items from the films, with some of the iconic giant chess pieces from Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone outside the entrance to the tour.
After a short film, the magic began in earnest, and we walked into the Great Hall.
I already knew which house I was in, having been sorted when I joined Pottermore, so I was very pleased to see a set of Revenclaw robes on display.
Of course, robes from all the other houses were in the Great Hall too, including the very first set of robes that Harry wore in the first film.
Stepping out of the Great Hall, the tour really started, with props, costumes, and sets from the films. Seeing everything up close really lets you appreciate the small detail that you might miss when you watch the films. For example, in the chocolate feast there’s a rabbit in a magician’s top hat!
Further along you get a chance to walk into some of the iconic sets, the Griffindor common room, the boys’ dormitory, and Dumbledore’s office.
The phoenix that guards the door to Dumbledore’s office, Harry’s invisibility cloak, the Mirror of Erised, and the Leaky Cauldron are all here too.
Next were cases full of some of the smaller props.
The wands of all the main characters are here, and so are the Horcruxes, the Phillosopher’s Stone, the first Golden Snitch that Harry ever caught, and the prisoner number that Sirius Black was given when he entered Azkaban.
There’s just so many things to see in this magical treasure trove that it’s impossible to describe them all.
Some of the larger props were next, including the door to the Chamber of Secrets, Professor Remus Lupin’s case, and one of the Gringots minecarts.
More sets were next, including Hagrid’s hut, the Burrow, the Potions classroom, and the Ministry of Magic.
There was still more to come, a full set of Quidditch balls, and a case full of Death Eater masks.
Then it was out of the first area, and into the open-air section of the tour. Privet Drive, the Potter’s house in Godric’s Hollow, the Knight Bus, and the Hogwarts bridge were all on display.
The studio is also one of only 3 places in the world that sell Butterbeer, so I simply had to try some!
After that, it was back inside, and a walk through the creature shop that created Fawkes the phoenix, Buckbeak the hippogrif, the giant basilisk, and so many other monsters and magical animals.
We also loved the quote about the team that made all these fantastic beasts!
From there, we took a stroll down Diagon Alley, full of wizarding shops like Flourish and Blotts, and Quality Quidditch Supplies, as well as Gringott’s bank.
Next was the design section, featuring concept art, models of sets, and some of the books and papers made for the films, as well a statue of the Hogwarts Architect.
The last section of the tour was quite possibly the most amazing thing.
A 1:24 scale model of Hogwarts castle, measuring 50 feet across, it has over 2,500 lights inside, some of which even flicker as though people were walking along the miniature corridors.
The model also goes through a continual day/night cycle, allowing you to see Hogwarts changing through dawn and dusk.
It’s an incredible finale to a wonderful journey behind the scenes of the Harry Potter films.
We took almost 500 photographs between us, and what you’ve seen in this post is just small selection of them.