For my birthday we took a trip to the newly opened studio tour of the Harry Potter film sets. (Yes, it has taken over a month for me to get this post together). It turned out to be an excellent trip; although certainly on the pricier side I’d say it was well the money, as no doubt did the other visitors. It was very busy though well organised – the timed ticketing system seems to be working very well and as we made our visit on a weekday, there were very few children present.
I won’t spoil things by posting too many pics – you really need to go and experience the fun of stepping into the Great Hall and walking through Diagon Alley for yourself, but here follows a few select photos.
Yes, that is the costume worn by Robert Pattinson, but really it’s Team Hufflepuff. Because whenever I do those internet memes I always get sorted into Hufflepuff, and so I have something of an affinity for them. There’s nothing wrong with being loyal and unafraid of hard work. Or badgers for that matter!
The Hogwarts crest from the fireplace in the Great Hall. The set is a great opportunity to see little details like this that wouldn’t necessarily be noticed on screen, but which show the hard work that went into translating these books into films.
It’s very effective to see the characters in their natural habitat, as it were. Apparently the owl podium there is covered in real gold and years of melted wax.
There are original props everywhere. Some are in cases like the above Golden Snitch, whilst others are dotted about in specific rooms. It’s easy to miss a few if you aren’t paying enough attention.
There are also full(ish) sets such as Dumbledore’s and Umbridge’s offices, and the Burrows, home to the Weasley’s (below). A nice part of that particular set is the various props you can manipulate by “magic” to make it look like the iron is ironing by itself, the vegetables are chopping themselves, etc.
The tour doesn’t just encompass the studio itself but the backlot outside as well, which is now home to the exterior sets such as Privet Drive and where you can find the giant chess pieces from Philosopher’s Stone (much larger in person than you might imagine), the Knight Bus and the Potter’s Cottage, among other things.
The highlight of the visit for me however has to be the model of Hogwarts. It is absolutely stunning and the photos don’t really do it justice. I’d say it was worth the price of admission alone.
The lights are dimmed as you walk by it so you can truly appreciate the fibre optic lights inside which make it look like students are walking through the castle and everything has been hand-sculpted to scale and was touched up every year, by hand. I think it’s great that people are now able to see up close just how much detail went into the production of all these films. It’s definitely a trip worth taking as far as I’m concerned.