To Do in London: Hogwarts and a Friendly Face

This UK Bank Holiday weekend we had a very welcomed visitor (Rob) all the way from NYC by way of Dublin.

A fellow nerd, Rob was interested in some sightseeing, some beer drinking but more importantly – a visit to Warner Brothers Studio Tour of Harry Potter!!!! Joel and I have been talking about a visit to the new WB studio outside London since before we moved to London and Rob gave us the perfect reason to visit.

The studio tour was awesome, to say the least. It was fairly easy to get to – Train from Euston Station to Watford Jct. (tres British sounding, no?) then heavily Harry Potter decorated bus to the studio. After a bit of HP quizzing by the staff and a brief into film, you enter the main area known as The Great Hall. It is stupendous, a full scale, working set of the room where Harry and the other characters spent many a evenings.

Following the Great Hall, you go on a 1+ hour self guided tour through Quidditch, the Common room, classrooms with self stirring caldrons, the 1000’s of props created and sourced and my personal favorite – the Weslesy Brothers catalogue of items from their shop, Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes.

After that portion of the tour, you enter outside where you see Harry’s ‘home’, the Knight Bus as well as get to sample some Butterbeer! The name was slightly deceiving as it was more of a cream soda with butterscotch cream rather than a beer. But we did drink it all anyhow.

Once the butterbeers were enjoyed, we entered the final leg of the self guided tour – the makings behind the film. This included the original architectural renderings, creature creations (Dobby!) and a full-scale replica of Hogwarts which the film used for every shot of the school. As a designer, I thought it was incredible – such creativity and craftsmanship.

This tour  was totally worth the trip, the money and the time spent if you are a Harry Potter fan, interested in set and prop design or all of the above!

Thank goodness Rob was!

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