A visit to the Warner Bros Studios in Watford is guaranteed to be a perfect day for Harry Potter fans. It is not far out of Edward Hotel London, just a short train ride from the centre of the city before you truly enter a world of magic and imagination. This is the home of the Harry Potter films.
All the Harry Potter films were made here at the Warner Bros studios and now part of those studios have been a permanent exhibition containing the original sets and props that featured in those memorable films. This is where you can find Professor Snape’s gloomy Potions classroom or the Gryffindor common room just as the actors used them.
Book your tickets well in advance while residing at Edward Hotel Paddington as there are only limited spaces each day. Each ticket refers to a specific time slot which must not be missed. Once through the Great Hall, you can explore at your own pace and there is certainly a lot to be seen. In fact, visitors can easily spend all day here.
There are numerous studio sets relating to all the major locations in the books from Privet Drive to the Forbidden Forest (complete with the giant spider Aragog). Find out how the invisibility cloak worked, and try flying a broomstick dressed in the house robes of your choice. Watch self stirring cauldrons, clicking knitting needles or stand amazed as snakes slither along slotted tracks as the intricately carved door to the Chamber of Secrets opens.
Walk the streets of Diagon Alley and peep through the windows of Ollivanders or Weasleys Joke Shop. Step onto the platform nine and three quarters and experience the smell of smoke drifting around you. Standing at the platform, puffing away, is the wonderful red Hogwarts Express complete with its original locomotive. Peep into the carriages and find the chocolate frog on the window!
One of the most breathtaking exhibits is the massive scale model of Hogwarts used for all the exterior shots of the magical school. It is really exquisite and full of detail from the tips of the turrets to the ramparts, drawbridge, fields and lake that surround it.
This is cinema magic at its best. Thousands of props are on display here at the Harry Potter Studio Tour. You can find wands, trunks, house elf armour, the heads of magical creatures, even Hagrids favourite textbook – the Monster Book of Magical Creatures. The more you look, the more you see. Every item is made with tremendous care and attention to detail. Looking at the life size model of Buckbeak, it is impossible not to be awed by the skill of the craftspeople who inserted every single feather individually.
This is definitely a magical world that will stay in your memory for a very long time.