Every Potterhead must make a pilgrimage to the Warner Bros. Studio Tour London — The Making of Harry Potter. Here’s what you’ll discover and the best way to arrive in style
Warner Bros. Studio Tour London — The Making of Harry Potter is one of the most visited attractions in the UK. It gives Potterheads the chance to explore the magical world that JK Rowling created and see the detail and care with which the films were made.
The Studios allow you to board the original Hogwarts Express train used in the movies from Platform 9¾, get lost in the Forbidden Forest, and search for wands in Diagon Alley. You’ll be told in which house you belong by the Sorting Hat in the Great Hall
The experience is found in the countryside outside London at an old RAF aerodrome called Leavesden. It is a little bit more than 20 miles from the center of the city and reaching it by public transport requires catching two buses or the Tube and a bus, and a train. Gray Line is a preferred partner of Warner Bros. Studio Tour and will transport you in comfort in a Harry Potter-branded double-decker bus with The Philosopher’s Stone on screen.
The Making of Harry Potter Experience
Explore the Sets of Harry Potter
Warner Bros. Studio Tour London — The Making of Harry Potter has been specially designed to give Potterheads the best experience possible during their visit. While Leavesden Studios are used for making films, the soundstages that hold the experience were built just for The Making of Harry Potter. Most people choose the self-guided tour, which allows you to spend as much time in each location as you want.
The sets that you will walk through include the Great Hall, Forbidden Forest and Gringotts Wizarding Bank, which you will enter from Diagon Alley. The tables of the Great Hall are set for dinner, and you’ll be sorted into your house as you enter. The Forbidden Forest is full of Hippogriffs and if you’re not careful you might bump into Aragog. After perusing the wares on Diagon Alley, you’ll step inside Gringotts, which is lined with marble and full of Galleons, Sickles and Knuts.
Throughout the tour, you’ll find props and costumes to examine, such as the 900 memory vials in Dumbledore’s Office that were hand-crafted for the movies. The jars of the Potions Classroom are full of unique props and again the labels were handmade. Hagrid’s costume can be found in the Forbidden Forest, and those used to bring quidditch and the Triwizard Yule Ball to life are on display.
On top of all this, you’ll discover the secrets the filmmakers used to get Harry Potter on the big screen. From the special, visual and creature effects, to the conceptual drawings and scale models you’ll have an up-close look at how it was all done. One of the most exciting pieces is the model of Hogwarts. It is meticulous in detail and includes perfect recreations of real-life sets, such as Alnwick Castle and Durham Cathedral.
Arriving at Warner Bros. Studio Tour London
Learn all about the Making of Harry Potter
There are three ways to reach Warner Bros. Studio Tour London — The Making of Harry Potter. These are by car, by public transport, or with one of the experience’s preferred partners. The studios are 22 miles outside of the center of London and can be difficult to reach if you don’t know the roads or public transport network.
If you drive from the city, you will need to join either Southhampton Row in Bloomsbury or the Finchley Road near Regent’s Park. Continue along these until you find the M1 Motorway and take the direction of Watford. Once you reach the town, you take the A405 and follow the signs to the experience. The journey can take between one and a half and two hours, depending on traffic.
Public transport is generally faster. This journey is usually around an hour, but can take an hour and a quarter. You will need to reach Euston Station in the north of London by bus, by taking the Tube, London’s underground railway, on the Northern or Victoria Lines, or on the Overground. Once at Euston, board a West Midlands train to Watford Junction station. Disembark here, and catch a number 9, 10 or 20 bus which will take you in the direction of the Studios. The stops will leave you between five and 10 minutes’ walk from the Warner Bros. Studio Tour.
The most comfortable and entertaining way to reach The Making of Harry Potter is to board a bus full of Potterheads with Gray Line. This will provide return transport from central London on a Harry-Potter-branded double-decker bus that departs from Baker Street. The entrance ticket to the studios is included in the price, and you’ll get to watch The Philosopher’s Stone on board to add to the excitement.