Belle Michelle
Harry Potter Studio Tour feature image

Harry Potter Studio Tour

I went on the Harry Potter Studio Tour on Sunday, which is located in Watford in London. I had such a fantastic day and I took so many photos, it was so hard to choose which ones to post, but I’ll give it a go

Sunday morning, I got the train from Bournemouth to Clapham Junction where my friend Kevin picked me up before heading to Watford with two other friends. We arrived at around 1pm and the tour was due to start for us at 2pm, so we had a little bit of time to wander about and grab a coffee.

Outside the Harry Potter Studio Tour building

We got in the queue (was quite excited by this point!) and eventually filtered through into a ‘holding area’ covered with Harry Potter posters from around the world before going through into a theatre where a short film was played. It was around this time also that I realised there were quite a few screaming kids around – funnily enough, this hadn’t occurred to me before! We were then hearded out and into another room where we were greeted by some huge wooden doors – the doors to The Great Hall. A guide gave us a primer and then opened the doors…

Looking into The Great Hall

We headed through into The Great Hall, which was actually narrower than I imagined. I headed straight up to the end first to take a photo of the teachers’ costumes set up on mannequins. Hagrid is absolutely huge. My beloved Snape is in there too 😉

Hogwarts teachers costumes within The Great Hall

Two long house tables were present on the right and left sides of the room, but the centre two were not so that people could walk through. The tables were set up with cutlery and the various houses’ costumes also set up at the sides. Here I managed to capture Slytherin’s:

Table within The Great Hall and Slytherin costumes

Here is a view from the teachers’ table looking back down towards the entrance doors:

Looking down The Great Hall

After leaving the Great Hall, we came through into an expansive room filled with various props, sets, models and costumes. I wouldn’t have seen this if my friend Kevin hadn’t have pointed it out, but there were a few tiny snitches suspended from the ceiling by the entrance.

The snitch

One of the first things I saw in here were the Yule Ball costumes and a stunning lit up castle model.

The Yule Ball cosumes

Just around the corner were Hogwarts main gates, which were suitably impressive!

Hogwarts gates

I stumbled upon the Gryffindor boys’ dormitory. Here is Ron’s tiny little bed with his trunk underneath. You can just about see Harry’s in the background too. I really do hope they gave them larger beds as they grew older!

Gryffindor boys' dormitory set

The Gryffindor common room was also present, complete with mannequins dressed in the students’ casual clothes.

Gryffindor common room set

I wish I had taken a better photo of this but it was a bit hard with my not-very-fancy camera and much-to-be-desired photography skills. Behold: everyone’s wands!

Wands from Harry Potter

This was a pretty dominant sight at the end of the exhibition room – the gigantic pendulum used in The Prisoner of Azkaban.

Pendulum from The Prizoner of Azkaban

Dumbledore’s office is probably one of my favourite sets from the film, and it pretty much looks how it did in my imagination when I read the books. Both the entrance (password: sherbet lemon) and the office were present, and undeniably amazing.

Entrance to Dumbledore's office Dumbledore's office set

It goes without saying that I had to go and look at Professor Snape’s potions classroom, complete with Snape mannequin. It was suitably dark and dingy, and one of the cauldrons emitted a cloud of steam at various intervals.

Snape's potions classroom set

High up above everything was the clock from Platform 9 ¾.

Platform nine and three quarters clock

I also came across the interior of The Burrow (Ron Weasley’s family home) which looked so cosy!

The Burrow set interior

The Chamber of Secrets snake door was very imposing and the Gringotts vault door was stood next to it, all glittering and gold.

Chamber of Secrets door and Gringotts vault door

Sooner or later, I found the Death Eaters’ costumes. Scary.

Death Eater costumes

…and Umbridge’s sickly pink study complete with cat plates.

Umbridge's office

Before heading outside to the next part of the tour, I stopped to take a look at a huge display of packaging made especially for the films. I would have loved to work on something like this!

Harry Potter packaging

The minute I stepped outside, this caught my eye: the Knight Bus!

The Knight Bus

Also, part of the Hogwarts bridge, which could be walked upon.

Hogwarts bridge

Whoever knew that No. 4 Privet Drive and Godric’s Hollow were next to each other?

No. 4 Privet Drive and Godric's Hollow

My friend Keira and I decided we needed to have a photo taken in front of No. 4 Privet Drive. Two photos were taken but I had my eyes shut and looked rather ‘special’ in both of them, so this one will have to do!

Keira and I in front of No. 4 Privet Drive

The next room was full of monsters and makeup effects. The Monster Book of Monsters actually moved and made me jump out of my skin! I also saw dementors, a thestral, some of the dragons, Aragog the spider and the Basilisk.

Harry Potter monsters

The next part was probably one of the things that I was most looking forward to seeing and that was Diagon Alley. It didn’t disappoint, and had Fred and George’s joke shop in it among all the familiar shops like Flourish & Blotts and Quality Quidditch Supplies, and who could forget Gringotts Wizarding Bank?

Diagon Alley Diagon Alley - Gringotts Wizarding Bank Diagon Alley - Quality Quidditch Supplies Diagon Alley - Eeylops Owl Emporium Diagon Alley - Magical Menagerie Diagon Alley - Flourish & Blotts and Weasleys' Wizard Weezes Weasleys' Puking Pastilles

The next leg of the tour contained artwork including sketches, paintings and card models, which were so detailed and fascinating.

Architectural sketches of Hogwarts White card models

The grand finale of the tour was a huge detailed model of Hogwarts. It was absolutely stunning. This is the model they would have used for overhead panning shots of the castle, which would be rendered out later.

Large Hogwarts Castle model

This next photo gives an idea of what kind of scale the model is. It is filled with twinkling lights which make it feel so magical.

Showing the scale of the Hogwarts Castle model

I spent quite a while here taking photos of all the details including the bridges and the walkway down to the boat house.

Hogwarts Castle model showing the bridge Hogwarts Castle model from the side Hogwarts Castle model showing the boat house and walkway

Of course, the tour ended with the gift shop which was hideously expensive, but I did buy myself some every-flavour beans and a Hogwarts crest pin badge.

Every flavour beans and Hogwarts pin badge purchases

All in all, I had a fabulous time and would recommend it to anyone who is a big fan. It has inspired me to read all the books again, so I downloaded them to my iPad the other day and will be making my way through them. I may watch the films again too…

Oh, and the vomit flavoured every-flavour bean really does taste like vomit. I don’t know how they achieved that. Yeuckk!

© Michelle Dinan 2017