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The Harry Potter Studio Tour in London is the perfect day trip for fans of the Harry Potter books and movies! Easily accessible from central London, the Harry Potter Studio Tour offers hours of entertainment and magical nostalgia. The tour is comprised of the actual sets used to film the Harry Potter movies, and is complete with costumes, props, settings, and interactive displays.[lwptoc]
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How to Get to the Harry Potter Studio Tour
The Harry Potter Studio Tour is located about 20 miles north of London, so you will not be able to access the tour via the regular London Underground system. There are a variety of overground trains and buses you can take, but each of those options requires a couple transfers and honestly seemed a bit confusing for a first-time London visitor. You would need to get yourself to Watford Junction (40-60 minutes from central London, ~$25 USD) and then take a tram from the station to the studios (every 15 minutes, $4 USD).
Overall, it will take about an hour and 15 minutes and cost approximately $86 USD per person to transport yourself and purchase a ticket to the Harry Potter Studio Tour.
You will board the bus at the Victoria Coach Station, located 0.3 miles from the Victoria Tube Station and accessible via the Circle, District, and Victoria lines. It’s very easy to spot — the bus is completely decorated in Harry Potter images. There are numerous daily departure and return times, giving you flexibility to enjoy the Harry Potter Studio Tour for as long as you like!
Please keep in mind that all tickets must be purchased in advance — the tour does not sell any tickets at the door.
Note: I purchased the combination ticket & transportation option mentioned in this post with my own money and am not being compensated in any way for this review. Everything I’ve said here is my honest opinion as a paying customer.
What to See at the Harry Potter Studio Tour
The average tour length is about 3.5 hours and there is SO MUCH to see here! From the Great Hall to the Forbidden Forest, everywhere you look you will find iconic moments from the Harry Potter films. What’s truly special about the London studio tour is that you are visiting the actual sets used by WB in the making of the Harry Potter films — not re-creations! It’s a magical feeling to walk into the real Great Hall and picture the ceiling as being enchanted to look like the night sky. I really felt like I was part of the Harry Potter world, which is basically a dream come true.
I think it’s better to be surprised so that you can better enjoy your tour, so I don’t want to give away too much here. My favorite parts of the exhibits were: the dragon in Gringott’s Bank, the Forbidden Forest, and seeing all the main characters’ costumes. Once you go, come back to this post and let me know what your favorite parts were!
Food & Drink Options
About halfway through the tour, there’s a cafe where you can purchase butterbeer, in either beverage or ice cream form. We got both, of course, and they were delicious! It was my first time trying butterbeer and I actually would purchase it from the regular grocery store if it was a real thing. It tastes similar to cream soda, in my opinion, and can only be purchased at official Harry Potter places (the studio tour, the Wizarding World theme parks, etc.) so I definitely recommend grabbing some here! There is also a larger cafe near the entrance/exit to the tour, if you would like a meal before or after the tour. We also noticed several smaller kiosks to buy bottled water at various points throughout the tour.
Shopping at the Tour
There is a HUGE gift shop at the end of the tour. They sell every kind of Harry Potter merchandise imaginable, and if you are a big fan I’m sure you will be tempted by more than a few items! We tried not to go overboard but still purchased a couple things. My husband had gotten his wand several years ago at the Wizarding World park in Florida, but I still didn’t have one, so I decided to get Hermione’s wand. I debated between a few different characters, but decided on Hermione because she is one of my favorite literary characters of all time. My husband selected a red and gold striped Gryffindor scarf, and wore it all throughout Europe on the rest of our trip. The last item I bought was a small keychain shaped like Harry’s Hogwarts letter, but engraved with my own name! It’s so special and a great keepsake from the tour and my first London trip.
My Overall Thoughts
Is the Harry Potter Studio Tour in London worth the expense and time commitment? Absolutely! However, if you’re not a massive fan of the series, or have only seen one or two movies, it’s probably best to wait until you’re more well-versed in the Harry Potter universe. But for a major Harry Potter fan like myself, I couldn’t think of a better way to spend a day in London! It was an excellent time and I would totally go back and complete the tour again next time I’m in London. The studio tour was a huge highlight of my first trip to Europe and was extremely well done.