Like so many of our generation, I am Harry Potter obsessed! The books, the films, the merchandise, the prequels… It is always a good time to read or watch Harry Potter.
My friend moved down to Northampton last Summer and leading a busy (and skint) student life, I hadn’t been able to go down and visit. In November I found good flight deals and booked to go down in January once my uni exams were over. We started looking for fun things to do when I was down and realised it was only an hour’s drive to the WB Studio Tour. We were both so excited and booked tickets without a second’s thought.
I couldn’t contain my excitement when we arrived. We were there at the end of January so Hogwarts in the Snow was in full swing. As we walked in, there was a huge Christmas tree and the atmosphere was buzzing. When you book your tickets, you book a tour time so it’s not too busy but we did still have to queue. Luckily, as you wait you can see the Cupboard Under the Stairs, where it all began. The tour starts in The Great Hall and it’s seriously magical (excuse the pun). On screen the sets and props are fantastic but when you see them up close and in person you can really appreciate how much effort and detail has gone into making everything about Harry Potter perfect.
There’s so much to the tour. The website recommends giving yourself at least 3 hours to see everything. My friend and I were there for over 5, so just keep this in mind! We didn’t even stop for lunch, just had a quick butterbeer and carried on. Not only do you get to see sets, props and costumes but you get so much information from directors, producers, designers… There’s a massive area dedicated to the special effects make up and prosthetics used throughout production for numerous characters such as the goblins of Gringotts, the merpeople in the Goblet of Fire and, of course, Dobby. There was even a moving Buckbeak, which was actually really cute!
There are so many great photo opportunities throughout the tour. My favourite has to be the broomstick, I have to be honest and say I did pay £25 for a video of me flying through London and arriving at Hogwarts by broom! I mean, where else are you going to get that opportunity? You can pay for professional photos of you flying a broomstick (due to the green screen I did also purchase this), running into platform 9 and three-quarters, and on-board the Hogwarts Express. The staff are great and offered to take pictures on my camera too so I didn’t have to splash out on each souvenir opportunity.
I don’t want to go into too much detail and spoil the magic for any potential visitees… BUT I will say I will definitely be returning. The day I was there they announced their expansion to open the Forbidden Forrest so that’s a great excuse to go back, not that I need one! I have so many photos from my visit, over 150 and that’s after deleting over 50 that were poor quality or out of focus. I have included some of my favourites but there are so many others I could have posted.
Lastly… Can we talk about the gift shop? My boyfriend is aware of my Harry Potter obsession and had bought me Hermione Granger’s Collectable Wand, a Time-Turner Necklace and a set of House Crest Bookmarks for Christmas. This saved me some serious cash. I’d have happily bought one of everything on sale if I could have afforded to, the gift shop is incredible! I settled for a Marauders Map mug and a Chocolate Frog… Excellent choices if I do say so myself.
Have you been? Are you planning to go? Please let me know!