Located close to London and home to a number of recent smash hit movies, the Warner Brothers Studio near Watford is a brilliant day out for all the family. For film buffs, there’s the chance to take a look behind the scenes at how the magic is made on set while for those who have a love of a some of the biggest movies of recent years will be able to see a whole lot of great settings and scenery from these and other fabulous films.
The studios are most famous for being the location of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, where Harry Potter and his school friends learned their magic and faced great foes as they grew up as boarders at the school. A number of the most famous locations from the films that will be instantly recognisable to any fan of the movies are still in situ at the studios and are ready and waiting for Muggles to take a tour and learn what happens behind the scenes.
Warner Brothers Studio is most famous for playing host to Harry Potter during his years at Hogwarts. Many of the most recognisable locations from the films, including Dumbledore’s office as well as the potions classroom where Harry, Hermione and Ron went through their paces with Severus Snape. Younger visitors have the opportunity to jump on a broomstick in front of the green screen and take a ride around Hogwarts like their young heroes.
In the Backlot, you get to see some of the outdoor settings of the film as well as sample a little something that Muggles rarely get the chance to try. Take a look around the Knight Bus and learn about the special course that had to be plotted through London so the triple-decker didn’t get smashed to bits under the low bridges of the city. You can also see the half-giant Hagrid’s giant bike with its huge seat to accommodate his giant behind! Once you’re done looking around out back, make a pit-stop and refresh yourself with some Butterbeer at one of only two locations in the world where the real stuff is served.
Arts and crafts
As well as looking around the locations and props from the films, the tour introduces you to some of the other items that make Hogwarts the recognisable place that it is on screen. The Art Department shows some of the intricate sketches created in the design of the set and shows how those pencil drawings were turned into stunning paintings using a digital brush.
You can also visit the Creature Effects studio where prosthetists and make-up artists created all kinds of incredible casts including a fully working animatronic version of Hagrid’s head and over 250 full body moulds of various actors’ bodies to be used for death scenes and stunning spell effects. You can also meet Dobby, Buckbeak and many of the goblins you’ll recognise from the films.
Tickets for the tours must be purchased in advance and can be bought through the Warner Brothers Studio website. With offers for families and larger groups, it’s the perfect way to get your family or group away for a fun day at a very reasonable cost. Don’t forget, you can’t get tickets on the day so make sure you’ve packed yours ready to go.
Close to the M1 motorway and easily accessible by rail, there are plenty ways to get to the studios whether you’re travelling by car or on public transport. Studios are open for tours starting from 9am with the last tour ending at 5pm seven days a week except Christmas Day and Boxing Day, so you have plenty of opportunity to discover the setting of your favourite characters.