Warner Bros. Studio Tour London - The Making of Harry Potter

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(11 user reviews)
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© Joe Conway
© Joe Conway
© Joe Conway
© Joe Conway
© Joe Conway
© Katy Dillon
© Joe Conway
© Katy Dillon

Visit the studios where all eight Harry Potter movies were made, walk down Diagon Alley, drink butterbeer and step into Hogwarts

What do you do when you’ve made a hit series of eight amazing films and avid fans from all over the world are still baying for more? Take a lesson from Warner Bros, that’s what. With their special exhibition, ‘The Making of Harry Potter’, Warner has done an excellent job of keeping the Hogwarts magic alive.

For ten years, the warehouses and film lot at Leavesden, just outside Watford, were the base for the Harry Potter movie series. Apart from on-location scenes, most of the filming was done here, and as the movies came to an end, Warner Bros redeveloped and expanded the facilities to enable other productions to continue filming, while allowing enough space for The Making of Harry Potter to become a permanent exhibition.

JK Rowling’s original stories were still being published while the first films were being made, so sets, props and costumes were carefully crafted then stored away in case they would be needed in future shoots. As a result, the workshops, store rooms and film sets formed a unique collection of preserved artefacts.

The Making of Harry Potter is no ordinary tour. Any visit to warner Bros Studio Tours London includes a chance to walk into some of the most famous film sets: the Great Hall at Hogwarts, down Diagon Alley and onto Platform 9¾ (complete with the vast, original steam engine that pulled the Hogwarts Express). You can also discover more about the behind-the-scenes tech and artistry of each production – the special effects, the animatronics, and the methods by which the weird and wonderful cast were brought to life.

You can also try a flagon of butterbeer, and if you really want to splash the cash, buy yourself a wand (real magical powers not included). In addition to all of this, there are also seasonally changing exhibitions to keep things fresh for diehard fans who want to make a return visit. Check the website to see what’s on when you’re thinking of going. It’s not a cheap day out, and needless to say that hardcore Potter nuts will consider it better value than any non-believing muggles they drag along with them.

RECOMMENDED: Our guide to the 'Harry Potter and the Cursed Child' play

Venue name: Warner Bros. Studio Tour London - The Making of Harry Potter
Address: Studio Tour Drive
WD25 7LR
Opening hours: Open daily. Times vary seasonally. Check website for details
Transport: Rail: Watford Junction rail then shuttle bus, free parking for ticketholders
Price: £35 adults, £27 5-15s, free (ticket required) under-4s, £107 family
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  • Until Monday June 6 2016
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4.6 / 5

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Florian P

It is pricey but if you are fan of Harry Potter you will love it, you feel like if you are in the movie


Not strictly in London (in fact a 40 minute overground + 20 minute bus journey out!) but otherwise this is an incredible day out! Having been a MASSIVE Harry Potter fan since the age of 7, this place is an absolute dream and a perfect representation of the magical world I grew up with. Whether you're a huge Harry fan like me or whether you just like films, the Harry Potter studio tour is 3-4 hours of non-stop interesting exhibits and experiences, with the opportunity to ride a broomstick, see everything down to the Owl-O's cereal packaging, the concept art and the chance to board the knight bus. This is absolutely incredible and leave you feeling properly enchanted! Expensive, but soooo worth it... though you need to take out a loan to purchase anything in the gift shop!

Carly-Ann Clements
Staff Writer

I, a proud Ravenclaw, love Harry Potter. Now that's out of the way, I can tell you that this tour is a must for any fan of The Boy Who Lived. Stepping into The Great Hall is quite an emotional experience, wandering down Diagon Ally will give you tingles and seeing Hogwarts will bring a tear to your eye. Seeing all of the props, costumes and sets will make you feel one step closer to the films and you'll experience real magic... movie magic but magic none the less.

That was the first time. The second time I attended, I still had fun but as it was supposed to be the Christmas experience, I was left a little disappointed. There was a Christmas tree and a little snow but that's about it. 

This is definitely something you have to do once if you enjoyed the films but I really wouldn't recommend going twice or if you do, make sure you leave it a long, long time before going back.

Corina B

I recently went and as Harry Potter fan I have to say it was absolutely amazing, Seeing all the effort that went into making the movies that can be easily missed regardless of how many times you've watched them. It makes you feel like you're part of that world even if it's just for a second which is always worth it. It's not particularly cheap, but if like me you grew up with the actors and the movies then I can't thick of a better way to spend a day.


I recently attended the Dark Arts special in the Harry Potter studios and it did not disappoint.  Having been before I was always keen to go back and explore how they made my favorite films of all time.  There were death eaters roaming around the main area and an incredible set from Malfoy Manor.  If you have been during the day on a normal time of  year you must visit again when the attraction is themed as they put such amazing effort to make the sets fit the theme.  

The only downside is the price of the tickets and any of the merchandise.  This needs to be for a special occasion and not something you can visit often.  

That said, each part of the experience is amazing and a must see for Harry Potter fans.  There are so many hidden secrets to learn from asking the staff too ;) 

Emma P
Staff Writer

Went here with the kids and even the 7-year-old, who's only seen two of the films, absolutely loved it. Walking through you can really appreciate the incredible attention to detail evident in the props and sets. It's a real lesson in thoroughness. This isn't just a look-but-don't-touch exhibition though and the Studio has been careful to encourage engagement through knowledgeable tour guides and interactives. Kids get a passport, which they stamp at each section and they also have to keep an eye out for the golden snitches hidden in nooks and crannies around the sets. You can get a lesson in wand knowhow, or climb aboard the Hogwarts Express on platform 9 3/4, and outside, just beyond the café, is the triple decker Knight Bus, a section of the Hogwarts suspension bridge and 4 Privet Drive. Best of all you can pretend to drive Hagrid's motorbike and the Weasley's Ford Anglia.

We also met the food prop-makers, who are sitting in Diagon Alley everyday until September. You can play guess the real/fake food game (we got it wrong most of the time) and ask them loads of questions. 

Tatiana N
Staff Writer

This was one of my christmas gift from my partner - who was not a Harry Potter fan before he meet me - and an amazing day out. I recommended it to other friends and the opinion was unanimous it is a well worth experience. 

You get to see and walk through different sets of the movie, see some of the amazing work the team has done through the years and even have some butterbeer (it's disgusting but who cares lol). Basically for a few hours you have an immersive experience in Harry Potter magical world and you get to see Hogwarts, creature effects, props, costumes, etc. 

The only reason I'm giving it 4 starts is that a month after I discover they use owls on these tours (they were not there on mine so this was unknown to me) which is just unacceptable. Even J.K.Rowling has spoke against it so hopefully they've stopped it. 

Puking Pastille

I just want to start by saying that if I could give this experience more than five stars, I would – it’s that good - and not overpriced at all when you factor in how much you get to see. I’ve been twice and still don’t feel as though I’ve seen everything! The first time I visited was a few years ago when it was all quite new, and while it was busy (it was the middle of the school holidays), it wasn’t heaving, I guess because of the timed entry.

Visited again recently to see the Hogwarts Express - awesome to see it up close - and enjoyed myself just as much as I did the first time, so would definitely recommend going! A few things to bear in mind: get an early slot if you can (did I mention there’s loads to see?!), leave plenty of time for the gift shop (it’s vast) and definitely chat to the staff there, because they’re all really friendly and really knowledgeable.

Guy Parsons
moderatorStaff Writer

Even as someone that hasn't seen many of the films, this is a pretty fascinating look at the years of work and painstaking craftmanship that go into producing the blockbuster movies we so casually enjoy. There are tons of intricate props, sets and behind the scenes stuff to geek over; if you like DVD commentaries or 'making of' things, this will definitely capture your attention.

My favourite bit was where they displayed some of the 17,000 glass spheres had been individually hand-crafted for a particular scene, with the explanation concluding "In the end, the director decided to use a digital effect instead." Those poor glassblowers!

Four stars because it is pretty expensive. Oh, also, if you think "butterbeer" might be a sort of beer-like thing, it's pretty much liquid butterscotch.