Tucked away in sleepy Leavesden is a treat for lovers of Quidditch, potions and Bertie Bott’s Every Flavour Beans.
The Warner Bros Studio Tour London is a magical peek into the world of Harry Potter. Starting out on the famous Hogwarts Express (complete with Chocolate Frogs), your visit will take you to actual movie set of The Great Hall, Diagon Alley, Dumbledore’s Office and the Gryffindor Common Room. You will discover a host of special effects wizardry, and even see Harry’s Invisibility Cloak.
On the backlot, you will see exterior sets such as Privet Drive and massive props, like the 22-foot high Knight Bus and Hogwarts Bridge.
The studio experience is constantly being updated and one of the most recent changes is inspired by the Forbidden Forest scenes.
Featuring 19 trees, each measuring 12 feet wide, visitors will have to make their way through the giant roots to get to the edge of the forest. There is also changeable weather adding to the atmosphere of this spooky place. Hidden amongst the trees are a number of new exhibits, including one of Rubeus Hagrid’s original costumes will and a full-size model of Buckbeak.
Beware if you are scared of spiders because Aragog (complete with a leg span of over 18 feet) calls the forest home, along with several spiderlings.
Another new attraction at the studio features one of the most popular characters from the JK Rowling books – Dobby.
For the first time, people will be able to find out more how Dobby is transformed from a computerized wire-frame animation into the amazing fully-rendered elf seen in the movies. There is also the chance to control Dobby’s movements in real time as part of a new interactive exhibit.
Although Dobby was a CGI character in the movies, the studio team did create a life-size model so that the actors could have some where to look during the shooting of scenes. This model is now on display as part of the studio tour and can be seen lurking at Number Four, Privet Drive – the childhood home of Harry Potter.
Unfortunately, studio tour tickets can sell out several weeks in advance so visitors need to book early to avoid disappointment. Tickets are available for adults and children, and there are also family tickets on sale.
Opening times of the tour vary, so people are advised to check out the website. Visitors are advised to arrive no more than 20 minutes before their tour start time, although there is a café and shop on site for those who are a little early.
One of the great appeals of the attraction is how enjoyable everyone finds it being immersed in the world of the young wizard. Many visitors opt to dress up for the day so they can also feel part of the action. If you do forget your fancy dress, then there is a gift shop on site that sells a whole host of Harry Potter related memorabilia.
Where to find the Harry Potter Studio Tour
People who have not yet passed their disapparation test, or have lost their broomsticks and forgotten their Floo Powder need not worry, there are a number of Muggle-friendly ways of getting there.
Watford Junction is the nearest rail station to The Studio Tour. No Hogwarts Express unfortunately, but there are direct services from both London Euston (20 minute journey) and Birmingham New Street (one hour journey).
Transfers from the station are via a shuttle bus. This takes around 15 minutes. Return tickets can be purchased but remember that it is a cash only service, so remember to bring some change.
There is also a direct bus service from Central London. These buses run hourly on a special air-conditioned vehicle. This can be booked along with your tickets, but transfer-only options are also available if you have already bought your tickets.
If you are arriving by car, take Junction 20 of the M25 and drive South East on the A41 towards London and follow signs for St Albans. As you approach the Studio Tour, you will see brown traffic signs labelled Warner Bros Studio Tour to direct you to the entrance.
Parking is provided free of charge in our car park directly outside the Studio Tour. When entering the car park, please make sure you have your booking confirmation ready to show the car parking attendants.