Five must-see sets at Warner Bros Studio Tours
If you or someone in your house is a self-confessed Potterhead, you will probably already be considering a Warner Bros Studio Tour, but proper planning is key!
Offering a huge variety of attractions, interactive exhibits and a shop that will see money magically flying out of your pocket, the tours are something else, but it’s the sets that are truly spectacular. Around every corner, something recognisable from the films is waiting to be explored, but to get the very best from your day be sure not to miss our top five must-see sets.
The Great Hall. Do you remember how in awe of the Great Hall all the first-year Hogwarts students were in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone? Well, prepare to feel exactly the same way when you first lay eyes on the immense set!
We won’t give anything away, but needless to say, once you are in the Great Hall, everything will demand your attention, from the immaculate student place settings through to the fireplaces and costumes of beloved teachers. The hall is usually decorated to be seasonally appropriate, so you might like to consider a Christmas visit. Don’t forget to get some snaps of the House Points Counter, too – it’s a work of art!
The Forbidden Forest. Sinister, spooky and seriously intriguing, the Forbidden Forest set has fast become a real favourite with adult and child Potterheads alike.
Filled to the brim with enormous trees, ethereal lighting and curious mists, the forest also plays home to some wonderful magical creatures that you’ll definitely want to get pictures with. Keep your eyes peeled for Aragog, as he tends to pop out when you least expect it, among other mystical beings, but whatever you do, don’t forget to bow if you find Buckbeak! You remember what he did to Draco Malfoy, right?
Platform 9 ¾. The place where Harry’s Hogwarts journey really began, the platform is an immersive set that allows you to feel as though you’re on your way to the premier school for witches and wizards.
You’ll be able gird your courage and run at the platform wall, with a trolley, for the ultimate photo opportunity, before boarding the train to take a look at the carriages that your favourite characters have sat in. To complete the experience, you can pop into the platform shop to ‘take the lot’ in terms of sweet treats, just like Harry did when he first met Ron on their inaugural Hogwarts Express journey.
Diagon Alley. If you remember the joy of shopping for new school stationery ahead of every September, you’ll understand how thrilling a walk down Diagon Alley will be! It’s even more special, thanks to the atmospheric lighting and the inherent sense of anticipation.
Lined with all of the most memorable shops from the franchise, including Ollivanders wand emporium, Gringotts Bank and Mulpepper’s Apothecary, you’ll feel as though you’re stocking up on all your back-to-school supplies, but with a magical twist. If only Hagrid would strut around the corner, clutching an owl that he’s bought for you, as that really would be the dream!
Potions Classroom. Finally, to get a feel for just how detailed and imaginative the film sets were, the Potions Classroom is a must-see exhibit.
Yes, there are the self-stirring cauldrons that make children squeal and adults ponder on how useful they would be in real life, but it’s the sheer volume of aged bottles and decanters, not to mention parchment papers and creepy ingredients that really bring the set to life. It’s impossible not to imagine being yelled at by Professor Snape or attempting to whip up a batch of Polyjuice Potion in this moody and atmospheric set.
Of course, there are numerous other, smaller, sets to immerse yourself in too, such as Dolores Umbridge’s office, complete with kitten wall plates, a section of the Ministry of Magic, the cupboard under the stairs and Harry’s Gryffindor dorm room. You can definitely see it all in one day, but you’ll no doubt fancy a second visit, just to make sure you didn’t miss anything the first time around!
If one or more of these set descriptions has sparked an undeniable urge to see them in real life and you’re sick to death of waiting for your owl to deliver an official Hogwarts invitation, take matters into your own hands and reserve your tickets today. Just make sure that your camera is fully charged and ready to go, because you’re going to love zooming in and discovering props and details that you may have overlooked in person.