Please forgive the quality of the pictures; the lighting is terrible inside the tour
I bloody love Harry Potter and like to consider myself a huge fan along with 95% of other people; even though I am only now getting around to reading, well, listening to the audiobooks! After my dad and his girlfriend got me tickets last Christmas, I ended up visiting in June which seems like so long ago now!
Anyway, I know that this may be the most-visited and wrote about place in the UK, but I thought I would share my thoughts on my visit. We decided to spend a few days in Watford (Thursday – Saturday) and then visited the tour on the Friday. We did this because as we live in North Devon, it is a pretty long drive and wanted to make the most of our time off of work.
If you have visited before, you will know there tends to be different themes throughout the year, and when we went it was all about The Goblet of Fire. Maybe not my favourite film, but it was great to see the props and everything used in the films.
When We Got There
As I said above, we decided to visit on a Friday just because it is easier to tie-in with taking time off of work. We also made sure we planned it during term-time as we thought it would be much quieter! I can imagine that there is usually no quiet time to visit here, but we decided to choose the last tour of the day in any case, and I would say it was pretty quiet!
As we were staying in Watford at the Holiday Inn London Watford Junction (10/10 would recommend), we got the shuttle bus from just outside of the station. This only cost £2.50 for a return ticket which I think is an absolute bargain!
When you get to the studio you get your bags checked; then you can wander around the building, grab a drink or go to the shop. We got there a lot earlier than planned but managed to hop on an earlier tour.
It is Magical ASF
I don’t want to spoil it for anyone who has not yet visited, so maybe stop reading now, but the whole thing is absolutely crazy! Once you get on the tour, you watch a little video of the cast introducing you to the tour and then BOOM the screen goes up, and you are sitting in front of the doors to The Great Hall. A lucky member of the tour gets to open them and then you are taken in. This bit of the tour is kind of annoying, as you are talked through how it was made etc. and then we were shown how The Goblet of Fire worked. Annoyingly, you are then hurried into the next room where the tour begins; I really wish you could have more time looking at everything in this bit.
As I said above, the theme was The Goblet of Fire, so the first bit of the tour was about that. You got to see costumes, props and everything, but the whole tour is absolutely insane. It is incredible to see the amount of detail that went into each film, and there is so much to see. You could spend hours ready each plaque, but we just looked and moved on due to the number of people. Much of the tour is inside, apart from where Privet Drive, Knight Bus and a few other bits are (I think this pretty much marks the halfway point of the tour, and you can grab a Butterbeer here).
My Favourite Bit
The last bit of the tour was my absolute favourite part of the day, and this is where you see the model of Hogwarts. We spent a good hour in this room; so I would highly suggest making sure you have time at the end of your tour to do the same.
- Try a Butterbeer: I loved Butterbeer, and in my opinion, it tastes like marshmallow and Ironbru mixed together.
- Pick a later tour: I have only been once, but it seemed the later tours tend to be quieter.
- It will always be busy: I don’t think this place is ever quiet, so just soak up the atmosphere and enjoy yourself.
- Take your time: There is so much to see, so just take your time.
All in all, it was such a good day out, and I would highly recommend it to anyone! I also took a disgusting amount of photos, so if you want to have a look, you can see them below. Have you been before? Let me know in the comments below!