I’m lucky enough to live within a 30ish minute train ride from Watford Junction train station, which means that the incredible Harry Potter Studio Tour is so darn close to me, it’s a miracle I don’t drain my bank balance constantly to be there all the time.
However, because I am somewhat good with my finances I have only been three times before this trip – and believe me I know how fortunate I am to have been able to go that many times.
This time around, me and my boyfriend decided we go on a date day, first to the Harry Potter Studio Tour, and then on into London for some dinner and drinks. It was well needed for the both of us and I hadn’t been to the Studio Tour since they added the Forbidden Forest and Gringotts expansions, so I was very excited, and he had never been!
Early start aside, once you get to Watford Junction there’s a shuttle bus that picks you up from just outside the station which is £3 each for a return, which is pretty nifty and a good way to get there without spending money on a taxi as it is roughly a 15 minute journey. There is a bit of a wait for said shuttle bus and if the weather wasn’t as good as it was, it definitely wouldn’t be pleasant but you do eventually get on there, and on your way to Leavesden Studios.
It’s an expansive lot, regardless of the Warner Brothers Studio Tour, it’s still an active filming site and there was scaffolding about ,so it definitely builds intrigue upon arrival!
Once you get inside the Studio Tour, it is just incredible. Since I last went, nigh on three years ago, it has had a tremendous makeover! It was wondrous enough the first few times I went, but now it is just outrageous! They’ve clearly put the time and effort in to making it a completely immersive experience, and it has really paid off. It really feels like you’re walking into a museum rather than a film lot, which essentially is what it is to be fair. It’s a far more sleeker and easy flowing experience.
I won’t go into all the details because it is definitely something that needs to be experienced first hand, and if you do have plans to head there in the future, I certainly won’t be the one to spoil it for you. I can however say that if you’re a Harry Potter fan, a Harry Potter movie fan, or just a fan of films in general, then this tour is definitely for you. It truly showcases the magic behind the movies as well as the magic of Harry Potter itself.
“Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”
— Albus Dumbledore
The whole set-up is expertly put together as a true exhibition and homage to the magic of Harry Potter. It showcases the work by all the different departments that work on the film and lets us in on the secrets behind the screen. I remember the first time gazing around in pure wonderment and let me tell you, I was doing the exact same thing the fourth time around. I still am completely amazed every time I go.
My potential favourite part of how it is all put together is the freedom to explore. You aren’t rushed, you aren’t guided. You are free to view and peruse as your please. There is the option to rent guided headsets if you please, but I just like having the freedom to take it all in at my own pace.
Truly the only downside is that everything there is morbidly expensive; as the tour can last up to and around 3 hours depending on how long you chose to explore. So definitely bring a packed lunch. Also, the merchandise shop is ridiculously large and also, priced pretty highly, so definitely save up for that because it’s all very tempting!
Overall, obviously, I would thoroughly recommend this tour to all. It’s a really fun day out and definitely suitable for all (even if some parts can be considered a little scary for little ones).