When we were in the UK, we had a couple of days to ourselves in London. In addition to some city centre sightseeing, we knew that we wanted to do the tour of the Harry Potter Studios. We had an amazing time there so I wanted to be sure to write a blog to share a few things with you. I always find it helpful to read about other people’s experiences, especially at busy tourist venues, so I’m fully prepared to have an enjoyable day.
I did make sure to book our tickets in advance (£46.50 each for the complete studio tour package), and I’m quite glad that I did as some of the days we wanted to go were actually booked up already. We ended up getting a date but our entry time wasn’t until 4pm. We didn’t mind this too much as it did give us the day to do other things too. The website recommends that you allocate around 3 hours for the tour, and that you plan to arrive a little earlier.
We were traveling from London so we got the tube to London Euston and then caught the train to Watford Junction. Our open train tickets were about £19 each. There were cheaper options for tickets but these were only for specific return times and we needed to leave our return journey open as we didn’t know long we would be. The train ride is an easy 20 minutes and then there is a Harry Potter bus that takes you from the station to the studio for £2.50 return (each). This is where you need to allocate some extra time. The bus comes around every 20 minutes and we had just missed one. We were lucky and got quite near the front of the line but it soon backed up quickly so there were people in line who didn’t get on our bus.
As we had prebooked our tickets, we went straight up to the automatic ticket machines and collected our tickets using our confirmation tickets. We then got 4 tickets each: 1 for entry, 1 for an audio guide, 1 to exchange for a souvenir book + a receipt. Make sure you check that you have ALL of your tickets before you walk away from the machine.
Once inside we had about 20 minutes to kill before we could line up for our scheduled tour time. We put our bags in the cloakroom (free of charge), grabbed our audio guide & looked around the gift shop. There was also a small cafe & seating area.
Once our allocated tour time came, we entered the line and waited 10 minutes before we went into the next room. Here I recommend getting as close to the left door as possible. Then you will be on the front row for what happens next…no spoilers on here though!
The tour does begin with an actual guide but then you are free to move through as you wish. You can take as many photos as you like too! I took over 200 photos…I was just in awe of everything! There are audio guide markers along the tour, in addition to written information. We scanned a lot of the written stuff as we had our audio guides too. Throughout the tour, you get many interactive photo opportunities. Some of them even involve those magic green screens! We did skip those lines as we knew that we wouldn’t be purchasing on ‘on broom’ photos.
The whole place is just magical. You will get to see a lot of the original stuff from the sets, along with costumes and other props. There is also a great graphic design section which we both found very interesting. About half way through the tour, there is another cafe area where you can get light snacks & butter beer. Even though I enjoyed my cookie, I think they missed a huge opportunity not selling other HP based snacks here!
We completed the tour in 2.5 hours and then spent a little more time in the gift shop. We exchanged our tickets for our souvenir books and paid an extra £5 for a hardback copy. The gift shop is HUGE and there are a lot of options. I was quite impressed that there was something to cover every budget. I knew that we were close to our weight limit for flying home so just bought a couple of Hufflepuff notebooks & a wax seal kit for envelopes. Even though I’m more of a HP fan than Adam, we both thoroughly enjoyed it! We thought that the whole experience was well worth the price.
I’d love to hear if any of you have visited too, what did you think of it? If you haven’t visited yet, let me know if you have any questions!
This is not a sponsored post ( I wish!). All opinions are my own.