When I was 8 years old someone gave me a copy of the Prisoner of Azkaban as a Christmas present.
Having never heard of Harry Potter before I promptly made space for it on my bookshelf and completely forgot about it until a year later.
I still count this as one of the dumbest decisions I’ve ever made in my life because as soon as I finally began reading JK Rowling’s novel I was instantly hooked.
For the years that followed I would eagerly pre-order the next book, waiting in anticipation for it to be released then read it all start to finish in one sitting the moment I got my hands on it. I still remember my dad scolding me at 10 years old to go to sleep already when it was past 3am.
Every new movie release was also a cause for celebration which meant that when I knew I was heading to London the first thing I did was organise a trip to The Making of Harry Potter Studio Tour in Leavesden.
The day I went my friend and I were both ridiculously unwell but NOTHING was stopping me from going let alone a virus since the excitement I felt could only be compared to a kid’s first trip to Disneyland.
Even then I think I was still the more excited one in that comparison.
Was I one of those people that dressed up..maybe. Having just found this awesome shirt at Portobello Road markets recently I couldn’t resist!
When you first enter the studio there is an introductory talk to amp everyone up with the lady saying the average time to walk through is about 2-3 hours. We’re both proud HP nerds so we were there at least 5 and probably would’ve stayed longer if we weren’t feeling so bad!
I’d definitely recommend getting the audio tour too, with commentary by Tom Felton (Draco Malfoy) you learn a lot more interesting facts and behind the scenes stories with it as you walk self guided through the studio.
Being able to see the vast amount of props, costumes and sets up close was really something and the amount of detail and workmanship that went in to every aspect of these films never ceased to amaze me.
Aside from these being the major aspects of the tour there are some interactive activities also.
You’re able to fly a broomstick or Mr. Weasley’s flying Ford Anglia in front of a green screen which makes for some awesome pictures and I enjoyed getting to play with some of the items in the Weasley family’s Burrow home, such as having a go controlling their self cleaning dishes.
What I was really hanging out for though was trying butterbeer, which turned out to be extremely sweet I could only manage about half of it!
Even if you’re not the world’s biggest Harry Potter fan (something I obviously can’t comprehend but to each their own right) a visit to the studio is a very cool experience and an easy day trip from London worth making!
Getting there is straight forward, simply take a train from Kings Cross to Watford Junction and then from this station you can pay a few pounds to get on a shuttle bus which drops you right at the studio. The entire journey took maybe 45-60 minutes each way.
The best part of course is that Kings Cross Station in London is where you’ll find ‘Platform 9 and 3/4s’ and you can take a photo there. Apparently there is usually quite a line but I must’ve been pretty lucky because there was only one other person there when I went.
I’ll end with a few more favourite photos for the fellow HP fans out there.
Somehow I managed to pick a handful for this post, it was actually quite a difficult task since I easily have a couple hundred in total from my day there!