Calling all Potterheads! The franchise’s first film, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, marks its 20th year anniversary this coming November. A splendid way to celebrate is to pray for more-relaxed restrictions, wish for a safer way to travel, and to plan a visit to the Warner Bros. Studio Tour in London.
We were fortunate enough to visit before the pandemic started and it was certainly a dream come true for me.
Travel restrictions in London: What you need to know
All visitors must provide a negative test taken within the past 72 hours, and complete a Passenger Locator Form before arriving in the UK. We would advise to check the guidelines regularly as they change based on pandemic concerns.
Start of the journey
We were already in London when we decided to buy tickets for the tour from viator.com. The cost for the day tour is around 90 GBP or about P6,000 per head.
A Harry Potter-themed bus picked us up at a bus station close to King’s Cross railway station. Along the way, the movie Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone was shown on the bus, which is a nice appetizer of what’s in store for this visit. The bus ride to Leavesden, Watford took about an hour so we didn’t get to finish the movie.
Inside the studio
The tour begins when the huge doors to the great hall opens for everyone to enter. I suggest that you put down the smartphone, take in the experience, and take pictures after. See and feel how Harry and his friends dined and remember many unforgettable scenes from the movies.
Further inside, you’ll find movie sets, Professor Dumbledore’s office, and TV screens showing how Harry Potter movies were made. Moving on, you’ll get a chance to see how quidditch is played, Tom Riddle’s gravestone, and the forbidden forest. Explore the forest and see creatures like the unicorn and the terrifying acromantula (a giant magical spider species).
Nestled inside a humongous area of the studio is the train station where you’ll find the Hogwarts Express. Take pictures, walk inside the train, and see the coaches where Harry and his friends stayed in several films.
In the middle of the tour, visit the backlot café, which offers a chance to eat and get a taste of butterbeer! It’s just something that you have to do as a Potterhead.
After reenergizing with food, you’ll see and experience 4 Privet Drive, which is Harry’s home away from Hogwarts. Get inside the home, take pictures, and be brought back to the movies.
Our last stop was the gift shop where you can buy souvenirs and gifts for Potter fans back home.
We took the tour bus at around 7 p.m. and headed back to King’s Cross. I was cold, tired but happy and satisfied. That rainy trip back to the city was long but was well worth it.
Let’s all pray, plan, and prepare for that much awaited freedom. Potter fan or not, this trip is truly worth it.