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Harry Potter Tour London
The Making of Harry Potter at Warner Bros. Studios London
The Harry Potter Studio Tour opened in Spring 2012 and is a must see attraction for all Harry Potter fans as well as those who are interested in film making. You can see the actual sets used during the filming of the Harry Potter movies, view costumes and props and find out the secrets behind the making of this incredible film series. The tour is self-guided so you can spend as long as you like learning about the making of Harry Potter.
Photograph credit: all of the photographs were taken by me. Please do not use without my permission.
The Great Hall
As you enter the Great Hall you will really feel as though you are stepping into the Harry Potter movies. All the tables are laid out for Harry and his friends to eat another delicious meal - it really takes your breath away.
Costumes worn by actors from each of the four houses are on display as well as the teachers at the head of the Hall. Dumbledore's owl podium, covered in melted wax, and the house point calculator containing thousands of coloured glass beads are there for you to see. There are so many details to take in - many of which were not visible on screen in the movies.
Step through an archway and you will see props and costumes from the Chocolate Feast and the Yule Ball.
The Chocolate Feast
Do you remember the chocolate feast at the start of term in The Goblet of Fire? Many of the desserts used in the film were real and the actors were actually eating them.
The Yule Ball
The Great Hall was the setting for the Yule Ball in Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire. The ball marked the beginning of the Triwizard Tournament and the Great Hall was transformed into an ice themed ballroom.
Gryffindor Common Room
The Common Room is a cosy, comfortable place full of squashy, threadbare sofas and chairs. On display are the costumes worn by Harry, Hermione and Ron, (including the awful Christmas sweaters!), the Golden Egg from the Triwizard Tournament and Harry's invisibility cloak.
The Boy's Dormitory
The spiral staircase from the Common Room leads to the Boys Dormitory. It's here that Harry, Ron, Neville, Seamus and Dean slept during their time at Hogwarts. Each of the beds and bedside tables has a selection of the boy's personal belongings. You can tell which bed belongs to which boy by looking at the initials on the trunk under the bed.
Professor Dumbledore's Office
One of the most magical sets is Dumbledore's Office. On display are the Sword of Gryffindor, the Pensieve, the Memory Cabinet and hundreds of books and other treasures. On the walls are the pictures of the forty eight previous Headmasters of Hogwarts.
The Potions Classroom
The Potions Classroom set is dark and dusty and really does look as though it is deep in the dungeons of Hogwarts. The walls are lined with shelves of strange bottles all individually labelled by hand. Every now and then a self-stirring cauldron springs into life.
Hagrid's Hut is crammed full of cages, ropes and animals. A mannequin with the costume of Rubeus Hagrid together with his beloved dog Fang stands in the middle of the set.
The Burrow - Home to the Weasley Family
Harry Potter first visited the Burrow in the Chamber of Secrets and he loved the Weasley's homely residence at once. The Burrow has a mixture of magical and muggle objects. You can have a go at operating the self-washing frying pan and chopping carrots with a magic knife!
The Weasley Family Clock
In one corner of The Burrow is the Weasley Family Clock. Here Mrs Weasley can keep an eye on all the members of the family as it points to their locations. Let’s hope no-one is in mortal peril!
Special Effects - Fly on a broom
There is a large area devoted to describing the special effects used in the movies including the use of green screens. You can have your picture taken riding a broom or appearing on the front page of the Daily Prophet.
Appear on the front page of the Daily Prophet
The Ministry of Magic
The Ministry of Magic was one of the largest sets constructed for the Harry Potter Movies and a small portion of it remains for viewing. The shiny tiles are incredible - they are actually made from painted wood.
Dolores Umbridge's Office
Filled with her trademark cat plates is Dolores Umbridge's office.
Professor Umbridge's Perfect Pink Costumes
Also on display are Dolores Umbridge's Perfect Pink Costumes.
4 Privet Drive
Step outside to see some of The Backlot sets and props. You can see 4 Privet Drive - Harry's home with the Dursley's in Little Whinging. Knock on the door and see if anyone answers! Also on display are the Knight Bus, the Riddle Family Gravestone, the Ford Anglia, Hagrid's motorcycle and sidecar, the Potter's cottage in Godric's Hollow, the Hogwart's Bridge and the giant chess pieces.
The Backlot has a small refreshment area where you can buy some delicious Butterbeer.
Harry's Cupboard Under the Stairs
The Knight Bus
The final part of the tour includes the amazing Diagon Alley. All of the shops are there; Ollivanders Wand Shop, Weasley's Wizard Wheezes, Potages Cauldron shop, Gambol & Japes and many more.
Weasley's Wizard Wheezes
Ollivanders Wand Shop
Run by Goblins, Gringotts Wizarding Bank is the safest bank in the world!
Buy the Books & Watch the Movies
If you haven't read the Harry Potter books - do so immediately!! They really are fabulous books for children and adults. Once you've read the books - watch the movies.
Where to find the Harry Potter Studio Tour - It's not in London!
Although the Harry Potter Tour is described as being in London it is actually in Leavesden near Watford, approximately 20 miles north west of central London. It is accessible by road and public transport. There is a tour bus which leaves Victoria in central London and a shuttle bus from Watford Junction railway station.
Find out more:
Find out more and book tickets on the tour website.