Adventures | The Warner Bros. Studio Tour, London

Harry Potter is the series which sparked my love of literature and passion for reading. I can't remember the point where I was first introduced to the magical world, as I was very young at the time, but that moment sparked an eternal love of the world of Harry Potter and it now would be an impossible task to ask me to put into words how much the series means to me.

Growing up I was obsessed with Potter. I've read the books more times than I could hazard a guess to, seen the films enough times to quote them word for word and spent hours and hours on end playing the computer games, Harry Potter top trumps and anything else I could get my hands on. 

I recently took an - emotional - trip to the Warner Bros. Studio Tour to see where the magic happened and it was a truly 'magical' experience. 

Back in the spring, my boyfriend and I took a little trip to Watford to discover the magic of the Warner Bros. Studio Tour. I was lucky enough to receive the tickets as a surprise Christmas present from him (hidden in a copy of the cursed child might I add - I've found myself a gem of a man) and as a Potter-addict I was really rather excited to go.

We caught the train to Kings Cross and then on to Watford Junction to meet the shuttle bus which would take us to the studio. The magic really began on the bus itself as they show you a video featuring extracts from the films alongside interviews with some of that incredible cast. It really immerses you in the magic from the word go which was wonderful. 

As someone who has adored Potter for as long as they can remember, I found the tour itself quite emotional and my boyfriend did catch me blubbering on several occasions. I'm getting goosebumps now just thinking back to that day.

Before your tour starts you find yourself in a mini-cinema to watch a short film - it was at this point that the tears started on my part - before the screen rises and you get the mind-blowing opportunity of stepping into the Great Hall itself. Seeing the screen rise to reveal the set really brought the magic alive and emphasised that you truly are going behind the screen and into the world of Harry Potter.

Dotted around the magnificent Great Hall set are a number of key costumes including the Hogwarts robes for each house and the main costumes for the professors. It's really worth it to take the time to slowly wander around the hall looking at all of the intricate details; it's truly amazing to see how much time and effort has gone into including detailing we can't even see when watching on the big screen.

When you have finished marvelling at the Great Hall you walk through into a stage which houses a number of incredible sets including the Gryffindor common room, Dumbledore's office, Hagrid's hut and the potions dungeon. There's also an extensive number of cabinets keeping safe all of the incredibly detailed props, including the Philosopher's Stone. It also featured an amazing display of the different wands used in the films, each unique to wizard it had chosen. Also in this section was everyone's favourite family home: the burrow. This particular set was really interactive as you could control some of Molly's kitchen tools. 

Moving on you found yourself surrounded by the dark arts in an area which not only displayed incredible costumes but also amazing sets, including the famous dining room scene at Malfoy Manor. A cabinet full of death eater masks was particularly eye-catching as was the weirdly wonderful Borgin and Burke set.

The Ministry of Magic section was also amazing to see, although I was less enthusiastic to encounter the dreaded office of Umbridge. One of the key features of the Ministry set was the infamous muggle-oppression sculpture erected during Voldemort's rein in the second wizarding war. It was the thing that was furthest from how I had imagined when reading the books, but it is still a fantastic sight.

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Next there is a very hold your breath moment as you turn a corner to come face to face with the Hogwarts Express. It is one of the most magical sights on the tour and is a truly beautiful piece. You can actually venture inside the train and move through the corridor, peering into the different carriages as they appeared in each of the films. In the last carriage you come across the costumes and props from the first Hogwarts Express scene, which is a lovely sight. Back on the platform you have the opportunity to have a photo taken 'running at the wall', which (in my mind) is a necessity for every visitor.

You then reach a café, marking the halfway point of your adventure. It's here where you get the chance to try the legendary butterbeer. I'll put my hands up and admit that I wasn't the biggest fan of the drink itself and paid a bit more attention to the delicious cream that topped it.

The café looks out onto the backlot which is your next location. Unfortunately, due to the classic British weather, we were unable to venture outside properly to see the bigger sets such as Privet Drive and the Potter's cottage. We also went a few weeks before the Forbidden Forest opened, but it all just gives us an excuse to make a return visit doesn't it?

The props department was our next port of call, which was full of magical creatures, goblin heads and robotics. It was here that you found out some really cool secrets about how the magic was created, but I won't be dishing out any spoilers I'm afraid.

You've probably guessed what's coming up next... the magnificent Diagon Alley. The set is designed like a proper cobbled street and you can see impeccable details when you peer in through the shop windows.

The final sight of the tour is the breathtakingly beautiful model of Hogwarts. The model is much larger than I was expecting but has been created to an incredible standard with intricate detailing. The lighting in the room really emphasised the show piece and it was at this point of the tour that my tears really started to return.

At the very end of the tour you walk through a small room which takes the appearance of a wand-shop, housing row upon row of wand-boxes; one for every member of the cast and crew who worked on the Potter films. It's an amazing sight to finish an amazing experience.

The gift shop at the end of the tour is an Aladdin's cave for Harry Potter fans. Unfortunately I was on a strict budget so there was no wand buying or purchasing of quidditch kit baby grows 'for the future'.

Overall I had a truly incredible day (incredible being a word which seems to be cropping up a fair bit in this post). The studio tour is an amazing experience and, I know I'm bias talking as a Potter fan but, I'm sure even a muggle would have thoroughly enjoyed themselves


Mischief managed.

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