Although I’m now living in the Netherlands I still have plenty of things to write about from my time in London, so I have decided to start doing “Throwback” entries every now and then about places I have been, and this is my first one.
Last year Robyn, one of my best friends from Australia, visited me in London during the Summer. We went travelling to Scotland and a big trip around the continent, but also spent time doing touristy stuff in London such as touring the Warner Brothers Harry Potter studio! This is the studio where the Harry Potter films were actually filmed, when you go on the tour you get to see the actual sets and the actual costumes that were worn by the actors in the movies, and of course, take photos in front of famous sets!
You need to book your tickets (and time slot) in advance, you can’t just show up as this place is ALWAYS busy. Even arriving on time for your scheduled tour you need to line up for a while before you go in, but there are lots of cool posters to look around at, and you can peer into the set for the cupboard under the stairs while you wait.
You then go into a little entrance area with the rest of the people in your time-slot, have a little talk from a guide and then a short movie about the making of the main movies (and interviews with some of the cast about working on the sets) before the grand entrance into the set for the Great Hall at Hogwarts!
Seeing the sets up close really gives you a glimpse into the details that went into making them, things you might have missed while watching the films, such as the boar’s heads on the jugs! As I mentioned, the costumes you see around the hall for the main characters were the ones actually worn by the actors during filming, got to love seeing Neville Longbottom’s cardigan!
Further in is a huge room filled with different props and sets. My favourites included the decorations from the Yule Ball in The Goblet of Fire and the leaky cauldron from the pub of the same name!
While I might be an adult, I was still totally excited to see the portrait of the Fat Lady (life size!) and the Gryffindor common room!
Unfortunately you can’t actually get in and sit around in the couches, but one of the cool parts of the experience is that you can check-in on facebook at different places such as the Great Hall, Gryffindor common room, Dumbledore’s office or the potions dungeon classroom! And you can stand in front of things; here’s me standing in front of the entrance to Dumbledore’s office!
The Potions room:
Other cool props included the doorway to the Chamber of Secrets, and the TriWizard Cup and golden egg clue:
After exploring this huge room you then head into the outside back-lot to try some Butterbeer and visit Number 4, Privet Drive:
To be honest the Butterbeer doesn’t taste that great, it’s a bit too sickly, but you do get to keep the cups! The next part of the studio tour takes you through the sets for Diagon Alley:
The last part of the studio includes a lot of props and models of the creatures used in the films, as well as some very interesting (and quite beautiful) concept art before you can walk around a huge model of Hogwarts itself:
I haven’t included photos of every single amazing thing I saw, but the trip is definitely worth it if you’re a fan of the books and/or movies of Harry Potter. The gift shop is also amazing! If you have kids you’ll want to take a lot of spending money with you as there is so much available. Clothes in house colours, books, sweets, soft toys of animals from the series; there is just so much to choose from! I think seeing a lot of the sweets from the books were the most fun for me, to see how they were supposed to look;
If you can believe it I didn’t buy anything! I think there were just too many options for me to make a decision, although I am always tempted by soft toys 🙂
If you are in London and want to visit, the website can be found here
. Stay tuned for more throwback editions in my future blog posts.