While in London, the absolute number one thing I had to do was visit the Warner Brothers Harry Potter Studio Tour. This was the number one thing I booked outside of my long haul flights to physically get my ass to London.
When word got out I was heading to London as part of my Europe trip, my friend from America Dani decided it was the perfect time for her to head across to England, and meant we finally got to catch up with each other after several years apart. To be safe, I booked the London trip two nights after our planned arrival just in case there were any delays or cancellations heading there – believe me, I know people who have almost missed tours because of this very reason – and to ensure we weren’t experiencing too much jetlag!
After waking up a bit too early out of excitement – to see my bestie and meet her hubby, as well as HARRY POTTER – we showered and took our time strolling towards Euston Station. On the way, we had breakfast at a small cafe and continued with a bit too much time to kill (we had to wait almost an hour for the platform to be displayed on the massive board). Euston Station is pretty impressive, so many places to eat and also a few spots to shop.Our platform finally displayed with only 10 minutes to get there (there were a few delays) and also meant we had to try calling our friend as they were meant to be catching the train with us! The poor buggers first train was delayed so they bolted through Euston to catch our train and after stumbling through the doors, we sat down and got to say hello properly.
From Euston, it was just under an hour train ride to get to Watford Junction and it was here the Harry Potter journey began, as for £3 cash (and yes, you must have cash) you ride The Knight Bus (well, a dodgy replica which is really just a purple ordinary double decker bus) for 15 minutes and then you walk your way towards the studios.
This place is huge! They say to allow three hours to visit it, but we were there for almost double that time. We booked the 10:30am time slot to allow enough time to arrive at the studios from London via train and bus, but also not too late to feel rushed in the experience. If you are anything like us, you want to read every little plaque, watch every second of footage and interviews, and immerse yourself in all the interactive activities this place has to offer. THERE IS JUST SO MUCH TO TAKE IN!
The minute you walk into the building, there is a huge dragon floating above you, with a Starbucks and a cafe (sidenote: the Starbucks here made the most magical hot chocolate I have ever drank!) for you to peruse while you wait for your allotted timeslot. Then it is a journey through a few introductions and setting the rules, then you enter The Great Hall, and from there, it is an endless maze of pure wonder – you feel like a little kid on their first day at Hogwarts. You will be looking at every single artefact and reflecting on when it was featured, fascinated by the sheer hours it would have taken to create some props which were literally just in the background, and by the end of it all, possibly more obsessed with everything Potter.
Around the midway mark there is a small food court with a couple of food options, from Backlot Cafe for breakfast and lunch. Lunchtime options include a range of sandwiches (from £3.95), pastries (from £2.75), soups (£4.50), salads (£8.25), hot dogs (from £8.50) and burgers (£9.00). Right next to Backlot Cafe is a spot to buy some Butterbeer or a Butterbeer ice cream – We tried the Butterbeer and our friends tried the ice cream and we agreed both were delicious!
I could sit here and write for days about the whole experience, but hope I captured most of it in my video below – if not, ask me any questions and hope I can answer them for you in anticipation for your visit!