Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making Of Harry Potter
No one could have anticipated the cultural phenomenon that the children’s book Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone would ignite – and the Dursleys would be quite frankly horrified. For Potter fans, there are few places that generate as much excitement as the Warner Bros. Studio Tour London. Find out more right here, with our ‘5 reasons to visit’ video.
Unusually, the Harry Potter films were being made while J.K. Rowling was still writing the series’ final books. The crew didn’t know how things would end, so they kept props and sets at the studio in Leavesden, north-west London, in case they needed them for later films. When filming finished in 2010, efforts began to preserve the haul: Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter opened in 2012.
In 2019, the Tour expanded to include Gringotts Wizarding Bank. You’ll walk through the banking hall, with its marble pillars and crystal chandeliers, before exploring the treasure-filled Lestrange vault. Expect to see goblin prosthetics, costumes and piles of Galleons, Sickles and Knuts, then have your picture taken surrounded by Bellatrix Lestrange’s most prized possessions.
It’s the biggest expansion to date and incorporates a new entrance hall as well as a café, which serves food inspired by the world of Harry Potter.
Whether or not you’re a Potter obsessive, the elaborate Studio Tour is enjoyable. It begins with a video, telling the story of the books and the films, which is played on a large screen that opens to reveal the life-sized Great Hall set. Hogwarts Castle is here: a model of the school towers above visitors. At its pinnacle, it is four times taller than an adult. It also measures 15m across, the length of one-and-a-half London buses.
The Tour is open from early until late and you must book in advance. Jump on a train from Euston to Watford Junction then catch a bus to the Studio Tour, or book a bus from central London with operators such as Golden Tours.
Warner Bros. Studio Tour London, Studio Tour Drive, Leavesden, WD25 7LR
Adult £45; child £37
Prices correct at time of publishing
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Images courtesy of Warner Bros. Studio Tour