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  • Writer's pictureYllara Maia

A Guide to Exploring the Magical World of Harry Potter in London

Updated: Apr 20, 2023

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Are you a fan of all things Harry Potter? Visiting the Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter is an absolute must-see for any diehard Potterhead! Whether you’ve read the books, seen the movies or both, stepping into the magical world of Harry Potter in London will be one of your most memorable experiences. From the Hogwarts Express to the Forbidden Forest, you’ll be able to explore some of the most iconic sets and props from all eight films. Prepare to be swept away into a world full of magic!

Why You Should Visit the Harry Potter Studios in London

The Warner Bros. Studio Tour London gives you a behind-the-scenes look at the making of the Harry Potter films. You’ll get to experience first-hand how the scenes were created, revealing special effects secrets and uncovering production mysteries.

You can even take a stroll through Diagon Alley, Hagrid’s Hut and Hogwarts Castle – all recreated with exact detail and authenticity. Get ready for the ultimate Harry Potter adventure!

Getting to the Studio Tour: Tips for selecting transport and parking options

Getting to the Warner Bros. Studio Tour London is easy and convenient, with a few different transport options available. If you’re driving yourself, there’s plenty of parking at the studio – simply follow the signs when you arrive.

Public transport is also available, as the closest train station is Watford Junction. From there, you can take the free shuttle service provided by the studio to get you directly to your destination. This will usually run every 20 minutes or so, but make sure to check out their website for specific times on the day of your tour. You need to show your tickets in order to ride this bus.

Alternatively, if you’d prefer a guided tour with transport included, there are plenty of third-party companies offering packages that take you directly to the studio with no fuss. It’s a great option if you don’t want to worry about how to get there – plus, your group will benefit from the expert knowledge of an experienced tour guide.

If you'd rather do this than try to get there on your own, I recommend booking a tour with transportation from King's Cross station. That way you'll get a full Harry Potter experience. Check out this option below:

No matter which option you choose, make sure to plan ahead and book your tickets in advance. It’s often a busy place, so you don’t want to miss out on the chance to explore this incredible place during your trip to London.

What To Expect Before the Tour

After clearing the ticket office and performing a quick check-in, you will make your way to the main lobby. If you were smart and purchased your tickets ahead of time, you'll get to skip the ticket line and go right in.

As soon as you enter, you'll see an information desk with audio guides available for those who want them. To the right of the information desk, you'll find the bathrooms, and if you keep walking straight ahead, there's a full cafeteria filled with food options sure to satisfy any craving.

We stopped here to eat before our tour since we left really early in the morning and didn't have time for breakfast. The food was surprisingly delicious and they had a lot of options. There's also a café serving coffee and pastries, where you can have magical afternoon tea if you wish.

One thing you should know before starting your tour is that it's divided into two parts. The entire set is enormous and there's so much to see and do. I would plan on spending at least half a day at the Harry Potter Warner Bros. Studio to be able to enjoy everything.

The Making of Harry Potter Part 1: What sights, exhibits, and activities are available to visitors

Once you're ready for your tour, follow the signs that show you where to go. There will be staff all around to help you if you're having a hard time finding the entrance. If you plan to come on a day when the place is especially crowded, you may have to stand in line for a short time.

The tour begins with a welcome video featuring cast members like Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson. This is when you start to get excited. After the video, you get to go in and explore the first half of the studio.

When the curtains behind the screen part, you're faced with none other than the massive doors that lead straight into one of the most iconic sets in the Harry Potter film series - the Great Hall.

Making the Wizarding World Come to Life

You'll be amazed at how much detail has gone into creating some of the most iconic sets from the movies. The Great Hall is a showstopper – with hundreds of floating candles and four house tables for Gryffindor, Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff and Slytherin, it looks just like it did in the movies.

You'll have a few minutes to gawk at everything and take your pictures before you're directed into the next room. Get as much as you can out of this location, because they'll soon start to move you along so make room for the next group.

This next part of the Harry Potter tour is equally amazing - Here you'll walk into a large room filled with original sets, props, and behind-the-scenes secrets that were crucial in making Hogwarts come to life.

My favorite parts were Dumbledore's office and the boy's dormitories with their original, four poster beds. You'll also get the chance to see lots of costumes and famous props like the Triwizard Cup.

As you go through the first half of the tour, you'll see plenty of other iconic sets like the Dark Forest, The Ministry of Magic, and the Weasleys' living room.

Eventually, though, you'll be hopping up and down as you come up to the last set in the first half of this Harry Potter experience - King's Cross station and the Hogwarts Express!

Even though King's Cross is an actual station in London that you can go visit on your own time, they re-created it here. Don't worry; you won't miss out on the perfect photo opportunity!

Not only will you have plenty of time to capture amazing shots, but you can even go inside the train and see how they altered the cabins throughout the years for each movie.

The first half of the tour ends here, and you'll have some time for a bathroom and lunch break before moving on to the next part. At the rest stop, there's a small cafeteria where you can get food and butter beer!

There are also a couple of cool things to check out when you're done eating, like the greenhouse, 4 Privet Drive, and the Flying Ford Anglia for Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.

The Making of Harry Potter Part 2: Continuing your walking tour

Once you're ready to move on to the second half of the tour, grab your things and head on over to the entrance. Just when you thought it couldn't get any better, you're in for some more jaw-dropping experiences. You'll start by getting an exclusive sneak-peak into the arts department, where you'll learn how they made all the creatures come to life.

The Art Department & Creature Effects: Exploring the incredible work of the production designers

The art department is a must-see for Harry Potter fans. Here, you get the chance to explore just how much work it took to bring the wizarding world its creatures to life. You'll get a behind-the-scenes look at how they worked to create the hundreds of props and creatures that made up the world of Harry Potter.

From the golden snitches to the fantastic beasts, you'll get to explore the wizardry behind it all. The creature effects department was a crucial part of creating the fantastical world of Harry Potter. You'll get to see how they used a combination of puppetry, animatronics, and prosthetics to bring the creatures from the books to life on the big screen.

You'll also learn how they created the flying broomsticks, the merpeople, and other magical creatures using some of the most advanced technologies available. It's truly amazing to see how they managed to make these creatures so believable.

Gringotts & Diagon Alley

By this point in the tour, you're probably wondering why you have yet to see two of the most famous sets in all of the Harry Potter movies. Don't worry, Warner Brothers like to end with a bang.

As part of this experience, you'll be able to walk right through Gringotts and be amazed by just how big it is. This incredible set took me right back to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, when Hermione walked in posing as Bellatrix. The goblins are also right where they left them in their seats.

The next jaw-dropping moment you'll have on the second half of this tour is coming face-to-face with the original Diagon Alley. One of the most beloved fictional spaces in the series, this set is even better than the ones at Universal Studios. From Olivander's to the Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes, everything just looks so real.

As a huge Harry Potter fan, I started to get emotional around this time in the tour. I knew it was ending, but I didn't want to leave. It was such an incredible opportunity to see how much work went into creating these films, especially knowing how much they impacted so many people.

Before heading out, you'll get one last look at a huge model of Hogwarts, which they used to get exterior shots of the castle. Take it all in, it'll be the last stop before your tour ends and you're led right out into the gift shop.

Final Thoughts and a Few Extra Tips

I've been to as many Harry Potter theme parks and attractions as you can imagine, but this was the ultimate Harry Potter experience. Warner Brothers outdid themselves with the quality in all aspects of this tour; it truly made me feel like I got to be a part of the phenomenon created by J.K. Rowling.

During your visit to London, I would tell you to ditch any other walking tours that take you around Harry Potter film locations in the city. Navigating around central London is easy and you can visit these iconic locations, like Millennium Bridge and Leadenhall Market, on your own time.

Instead, come to the Harry Potter Warner Bros Studio for the best immersive experience. I promise you, you won't regret it. Lastly, here are a few of my recommendations to help you make the most out of your visit:

  • Plan to spend the majority of the day here. There's a lot to see and do.

  • It takes a little over an hour to get to and from London via car or public transportation. Plan accordingly so you get here on time.

  • Book a tour early in the day to experience less crowds. Avoid coming on the weekends.

  • Wear comfortable shoes, you'll be doing a lot of walking throughout the tour.

  • Don't worry about packing food. There are plenty of opportunities to get food throughout the day.

  • Take your time. Most of the tour is self-guided and you can explore each section at your own pace. The only part where they rushed us to get the next group in was the great hall.

  • There are bathrooms located throughout the facility, just ask the staff to point you toward one.

  • Taking pictures and videos is allowed and encouraged. The only time when you can't is while you're near green screens. Staff will let you know when you can't photograph.

  • Enjoy yourself! This is an incredible experience for Harry Potter fans of all ages. Don't forget to get your tickets before you go.

Whether you're a fan of the books or the movies, you won't be disappointed by the level of detail and incredible sets that have been prepared for this tour. And don't worry if you're not a die-hard Harry Potter fan - even if you haven't seen all of the films or read all of the books, you'll still have an amazing day. Reach out to us with any questions that you have about this tour, or if you just want to share your experience. As always, happy travels!

Mischief managed.


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