…or almost Hogwarts – the WB Harry Potter Studios in London are probably as close as one can get to Hogwarts outside the books and movies. Maybe exept riding the Hogwarts Express – there is a tour in Scotland offering exactly that, riding a steam train and visiting some locations from the Harry Potter movies and “Game of Thrones”. (and yes, it´s on the neverending bucket list!)
After a little time queueing and waiting next to Harrys “room” under the stairs, we all were greeted by Hermione, Ron and Harry aka Emma Watson, Rupert Grint and Daniel Radcliff who all kind of grow up in these studios and more than ready to enter into the Great Hall – they made it spellbinding, I almost felt like a young 11 year old wizards entering this hall for the first time.
The hall was still dressed for Christmas and felt especially ceremonial. Little tiny wizards puppets flying around christmas trees, huge loads of festive “foods” on the tables and the original costumes of young Harry and his schoolmates.
From here on on we were invited to explore the studios on our own and there was so much to see and admire. On average one spends about 3 hours here, so it´s better not to be in a rush, take your time!
Ready to leave Hogwarts? What about a little trip to the Weasley home? Maybe for some dinner and new sweater knitted by Mrs. Weasley?
Or are you in a darker mood?…
At the Ministry of Magic
One the (many) highlights: The Hogwart Express leaving from platform 9 3/4. I want those trunks!
And we have finished the first part. If you need some food or coffee or even butterbeer there is a coffee at the end of the first studio – you´re even allowed to bring your own and eat it then and there. And then head outside to the Knightbus, Pivet Drive, the Hogwarts bridge and the house where Harrys parents were killed. Soon there will be an even bigger outside tour, in spring the Enchanted Forrest will be opened.
Hogwarts dressed in snow…
Thank you for joining me on my tour around the Harry Potter Studios – maybe there will be a part two sometimes as I have still so many photos left. The place it truly magical, if you like the books and the movies, just visit it!
I booked my ticket online trought the Official WB Studio Tours site and picked up it at the studios. Try to be there before noon or at noon the latest, as said above it will take you around three hours or more to explore and you don´t want to be rushed.
There are different possibilites getting there, the studios are north-west of London. By car or by the official shuttle bus leaving from central London every hour or how I did it: going to Watford Junction by train (it takes about 15 to 25 minutes depending from which station you´re leaving and if it´s a fast train) and arriving there, a shuttle bus is waiting for you.
At the studios you either join the queue for your ticket or if you had them sent home the queue for the bag-checking and the entrance. Once inside there is a café and a huge gift shop – or you just join the next queue for the final entrance, next to Harrys room under the stairs. It took me about 30 to 40 minutes from queueing for the ticket until I entered the exhibition. When buying your ticket you can choose different timeslots, but even so I was about 30 minutes too early nobody cared, probably because it was during slow season.