Why + how to visit the Harry Potter studios in London

I remember counting the minutes left until closing time on my cash register. You know how time always seems to go by infinitely more slowly when you’re eagerly waiting for something? Well, that 5-hour shift felt like an entire week. You see, I was working in a bookstore back in 2003 and we had gotten our very first copies of Harry Potter: The Order of the Phoenix. I was unreasonably excited to get home, curl up in bed with a cuppa, and spend the entire night reading what I presumed would be yet another brilliant piece of wizardry literature.

That was over 15 years ago, and I vividly remember the goosebumps on my forearms and my rapidly beating heart as I leafed through the fifth novel of the Hatty Potter series (one that I would read many more times in the following years). The sun had long made its appearance when I finally put the heavy hardback down the next morning, not in the least bit tired of not having slept, but instead exhilarated and already excited about the next book.

Let us step into the night and pursue that flighty temptress, adventure.

Albus Dumbledore

Naturally, I beelined for the Harry Potter Studios when I last visited London and I didn’t care how much of a nerd that made me. You can tell by watching the movies how much thought was put into details and how precise J.K. Rowling’s storylines are; you can also tell that they used advanced technology to bring dragons and talking dogs and basilisks to life. I was intrigued by all of that.

Exactly how do you do justice to such a brilliant, intricate saga that would go on and entertain generations to come? See for yourself.

How to visit the Harry Potter Studios in London

Harry Potter Studios
This is what you see while waiting in line to get into the Great Hall – it only gets better!
Harry Potter Studios
The Great Hall and its many details
Harry Potter Studios
Fun fact: they had to make the beds longer and longer as the actors grew up throughout the series.
Harry Potter Studios
Dumbledore’s Office
Harry Potter Studios
The Weasley’s Burrow!
Harry Potter Studios
Privet Drive and the Dursley’s house
Harry Potter Studios
Godric’s Hollow
Harry Potter Sites
Diagon Alley

Harry Potter Studios in London – know before you go

Although you are free to explore the main studios for as long as you like, you don’t have that much free time in the Great Hall before the staff ushers you into the next room (which is unfortunate, because it’s one of the best parts!). So if you’re adamant on getting good photos of that now legendary room, you’ll have to be quick!

Tickets cost £35 per person. You need to book online in advance in order to pick a time and date. Don’t be late!

I visited the Harry Potter studios as part of a tour group, but I wouldn’t recommend it. The transfer from central London isn’t an absolute necessity; Watford Junction station really isn’t that far from the studio and there’s a regular shuttle from there that costs just £2.50 return. Moreover, going there with a group means you have to stick to a strict 4-hour visit, which, in hindsight, was much too short. I had to speed through the last hour to make sure I didn’t miss anything! The studio visit is expensive enough as it is, don’t burden yourself with a superfluous shuttle on top of that if you’re on a budget.

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Why + how to visit the Harry Potter studios in London

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