As with other major cities across the world, London proudly showcases its literary, cinematic and entertainment history through a range of tours, museums and murals. Like Los Angeles, the English capital is a powerhouse for the english-speaking creative industries and has been prominently featured as a setting in many of the world’s best books, movies and other types of fiction. Guests of the Montcalm Hotel Chiswell Street for instance, may recognise parts of East London and Shoreditch close to their hotel as the setting of the film and book Brick Lane by Monica Ali.
One literary property that has imprinted itself upon the very fabric of London is Harry Potter. This range of books and films feature such iconic locations as London Zoo, Kings Cross Station and Piccadilly Circus, making many of the landmarks that are featured easy to find for guests of the Montcalm restaurant and hotel.
But for the Harry Potter aficionados visiting London who want to really immerse themselves in the magic of the books and films, there’s only one place that will scratch that itch – Warner Brothers Studios Making of Harry Potter Tour. This blog will outline everything you need to know about the Harry Potter Tour and why every “Potterhead” staying at the spas at Montcalm Hotels should book a ticket.
What Is The Harry Potter Tour?
The Harry Potter Tour is an in depth exploration of the techniques, props and sets used to film the Harry Potter movies. Be warned, for those who have not read the books or seen their adaptations, there are a lot of spoilers within this 3 and a half hour tour. Equally, the tour, which is mostly self guided and comes with an audio commentary, is mostly focused on the marking of the films rather than the books. That being said, there are several interviews, filmed and written, that include the author JK Rowling who created the franchise.
Where Is The Harry Potter Tour?
The Harry Potter tour is part of the Warner Brothers Studio lot about 20 miles outside of central London. Located in the Leavesden area of Outer London, the Harry Potter Tour is easy to reach from central stations and by car. Leavesden, just outside of the town of Watford, is also known for other filming locations including the set for the UK Ninja Warrior TV show. Due to its spaciousness, Leavesden makes for a great filming location reachable in under an hour from London and similarly, the Warner Brothers filming studios and warehouses are ideal for the expansive Harry Potter Tour.
Train journeys usually take around an hour and 15 minutes, although can be as short as 15 minutes in total, such as with the direct train from Euston Station to Watford Junction. Watford Junction is the closest station to Leavesden, and you’ll have to get a shuttle bus, which departs from the station to Warner Brothers Studio every 20 minutes. The journey should take around 15 minutes in total.
All in all, a return train ticket to the studio should cost around £21 for adults booking on the day, and £10.50 for children. On top of this, the shuttle bus will cost £3 for a return ticket to Watford Junction. Ubers and other taxis will be available from Watford Junction, but prices will vary depending on the time of day.
From central London, travelling to the Warner Brothers Studio by car will take between 45 minutes and an hour. There is parking for cars in the lot outside the tour which is free for customers of the tour, with flexible times for departure and arrival.
What To See At The Harry Potter Tour
The Harry Potter Tour allows visitors the chase to explore some of the most iconic elements of the franchise, ensuring that you leave knowing some of the ingenious methods and strategies that made the franchise a worldwide phenomenon.
The Great Hall
One of the first standout aspects of the Making Of Harry Potter tour is the Great Hall. As one of the first set pieces you see on your visit, the Great Hall provides visitors with an in depth exploration of the visual effects and set design that went into some of the introductory scenes of JK Rowling’s world of magic.
Vehicles Of Harry Potter
The vehicles of Harry Potter play a major role in establishing the rules of magic and provide some of the best set pieces of the film series. Through the exhibition’s foray into the Weasley’s iconic blue car, broomsticks and the Knight Bus, visitors will learn how green screens, cinematographic ingenuity and great direction played a part in bringing some of the book series’ most memorable moments to life.
Props Of Harry Potter
Through the audio tour and well lit exhibition pieces, visitors will be able to learn how fiction and design seamlessly intertwine to create the faultless costumes and props of the Harry Potter universe. From the elder wand to the quidditch broomsticks, you’ll learn about the many aspects of filmmaking creativity that coalesced into the dark, doom-laden props that are imprinted in the memories of Harry Potter fans.