Harry Potter Warner Bros. Studio Tour London


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.

London Honeymoon


We’ve just come back from our honeymoon in London, and we’ve got lots of photographs to share with you. In fact, there’s too many for just one blog post!

This first post gives you a general idea of what we got up to in London, and the second post is full of magical goings-on.

Where to start? Well, the beginning seems a rather good place…

Firstly, we ended up taking our honeymoon mid-week, as there was a particular show that we wanted to see (more on that later). So to make sure that we didn’t miss a performance of Seaside Special, we left on Thursday morning, and were back again the next Wednesday, ready for the final Seaside Special of the season.


We made our journey to London by train, and soon arrived at our hotel, where we were greeted by their lucky dragon statue, George.


Our first stop was the British Museum, and of course the famous Rosetta Stone.

Both Jay and I have been fascinated by Ancient Egypt since we were children, and it was wonderful to be able to stand in front of the stone that proved to be the key to deciphering hieroglyphics.


Madame Tussauds  was next, with its amazingly realistic waxwork figures. As you can see, Jay had great fun posing with them.

His favourite part was their Marvel Super Heroes section, as he’s a huge Marvel Comics fan. In particular, he’s a bit of a web-head (or Spider-Man fan), so he insisted on having his photograph taken with Spidey.


We also went to two more museums, the Natural History Museum and the Science Museum, both of which we spent hours exploring. Even the architecture of the buildings reflects the collections inside, with the Natural History museum being full of little details such as these birds carved into one of the walls.


We visited Baker Street, home of Sherlock Holmes, the most famous detective in the world; Trafalgar Square where we saw Yoda floating in mid-air; and London Zoo, where we spent a lovely relaxing afternoon watching the animals.


And then there was the event that we timed our whole honeymoon around – an evening at Simon Drake’s House of Magic.


It’s in a secret location, somewhere in London, and from the moment you step foot through the gates, you are taken into another world. The garden is filled with lights and spooky sounds, and once you’re inside you can’t help but marvel at the amazing décor and atmosphere.

There are tours of the Haunted Cellar, fortune readings in the Whispering Chair, and the fabulously themed Red Room and Drawing Room to explore.


The finale of the evening is a show with Simon Drake himself. It takes elements from his cult Secret Cabaret TV series, as well as new ideas, and blends them together into a breathtaking performance full of amazing magic, comedy, and theatricality.

2011 – A look back at our magical year

January and February were quiet months, mostly spent going over our stage routines and polishing them up. In March rehearsals for the summer season started, and continued into April,

May was when things really started to get busy. We performed at the Llandudno Victorian Extravaganza for the fourth consecutive year, and the summer season at Llandudno Town Hall started. On the 18th of June, we performed our 100th stage show. We also launched this blog.

In June we took part in a show at Venue Cymru, as well as the ongoing summer shows. July saw our first medieval street performances in Rhos on Sea, and the continuation of the summer season. In August we did several days of medieval street magic in Conwy, and our new website went online.

September saw the end of the summer season, and our trip to the the International Brotherhood of Magicians convention in Southport. It was the highlight of our year, taking part in the British Ring Shield competition, and being awarded both the Dittia Shield and the Theo Speaker Cup.

We got our first look at the refurbished Theatr Colwyn in October when we took part in the Summer Spectacular show. We also visited London, to take part in J-Day and perform at the world famous Magic Circle.

November saw us performing medieval magic at the Wales Rally in Conwy, as well as enjoying the North Wales Magic Circle annual dinner. We also put our new video online.

And finally, December. We did some Harry Potter themed magic in Asda, and were back there again soon afterwards doing Christmas magic for the Llandudno Lions. We finished up the year with two wonderful weddings, for some lovely people.

2012 is already looking like it will be another great year, and we hope that your year will be just as great. Happy New Year!

J-Day at the Magic Circle

Last weekend we took a trip to London. After our success at the IBM British Ring Shield Competition, we were invited to perform at The Centre for The Magic Arts – better known as the headquarters of the Magic Circle.

The Magic Circle has a junior section called the Young Magicians Club, whose members range from 10 to 18 years old. Each year they hold a one-day convention for the YMC, called J-Day, and we were asked to perform in the evening show.

We got to London late on Saturday evening, so sadly we didn’t have much chance to see the sights. On Sunday we made our way over to the Magic Circle with all of our props. From the outside, it just looks like an ordinary building, but once we stepped in through the doors, it was a completely different world.

The first thing that we saw was the amazing circular staircase, with scenes from the history of magic painted all along the walls. We were given a guided tour of the building, starting in the basement where the library and museum are. On the ground floor is the club room, then one floor up is the Devant room (named after the first president of the Magic Circle). Up one more floor is the theatre. There are posters of magicians everywhere, and scattered throughout the building are small display cases with pieces of magic history.

J-Day itself was made up of lectures, visits to the magic dealers, stage and close up magic competitions, and an interview with TV magician Dynamo; then the stage show itself in the evening. Jay was one of the judges for the stage competition, along with former president of the Magic Circle, Alan Shaxon, and Dynamo.

It was a whirlwind of a day, with so many things going on, and talking to so many people.

Read the report of the day on the Magic Circle website or the Young Magicians Club website.