Do your little ones know their Gryffindors from their Slytherins; their Death Eaters from their Patronuses? If so, there’s a good chance they’re crackers for all things Harry Potter. And should you be whisking them off for a trip to London any time soon, why not treat them to a day-out at the Warner Bros. Studio Tour where all the entries in the hugely successful Harry Potter movie series were filmed?
Located in the Leavesden area of Hertfordshire, just a few miles outside the UK capital, the studios have become a major pilgrimage for Potterheads – whatever their age – over the last few years, thanks to still containing sets from the boy wizard’s film saga, enabling fans to check them out for real.
And, given ‘The Making of Harry Potter’ tour enables visitors to wander around the Great Hall at Hogwarts, discover Dumbledore’s office with all its trinkets and treasures, walk the cobbles of Diagon Alley, check out Harry’s Nimbus 2000 broomstick and watch with their own eyes how the movies’ awards-winning special effects were created, it’s really no surprise. Frankly, you wouldn’t have needed to stare into a Pensieve to predict it would become a fantastic family-friendly success.
And, lasting around three-and-a-half-hours, the Harry Potter Studios tour makes for a very sensibly organised day out, as only a small part of the tour is guided, which means the kids won’t get irritated having to stop every now and again to take in information and, alternatively, can stop and linger however long they want in their favourite parts. It also means parents and/ or grown-ups are able to do much of the tour at their own pace.
However, it’s worth noting that only parts of the attraction are interactive and can be touched and prodded by eager little fingers – not all the sets and props, expensive and irreplaceable as they are, can be touched and handled. Still, apart from during a pre-tour cinema introduction and the visual effects green-screen bits, use of mobile phone cameras and videos are allowed, ensuring you and yours can pose for as many selfies outside Flourish and Blotts as your heart desires.
And, if you’ll be staying in London especially in the centre of the city at a hotel such as Paddington Court Accommodation , then you really will be in the ideal place from which to commute to the tour. There are numerous coach tours that operate from the heart of the capital to the studios on a daily basis, all-year-round. Indeed, a good number leave easy-to-reach departure points early in the morning, only to return in the late afternoon.
And with the coach journey tending to last no more than an hour either way, it doesn’t make for too long or tiring a day. Admittedly, it’s not like hopping on the Hogwarts Express – but at least like on that dreamy steam train, you won’t be the one doing the driving and following the sat-nav deep into the countrysideof Southern England. That’s magic, indeed!