A place of magic (in Leavesden)
Anyone who's seen the Harry Potter films will have a favourite setting that they'd like to visit, from the majestic landscape surrounding Hogwarts to the rustic isolation of Hagrid's Hut, the overbearing architecture of the Ministry of Magic to the safe and quiet suburban life of Privet Drive. The beauty of the Warner Bros. Studio Tour is that you can access all of this and much more, all within a short journey from London's Watford Junction.
Wands, cauldrons and potions galore
This isn't a plastic and cardboard tribute to the incredible storytelling of J.K. Rowling. Most of the sets and props are those used in the movies, so you'll get to see Dumbledore's actual office, the beds that the Gryffindor lads slept in, and more Death Eaters than you can shake a wand at! Once filming of The Deathly Hallows Part 2 finished in 2010, the production crew were left with thousands upon thousands of amazing costumes and objects, which everyone agreed should be saved and shared with the public. Many of the original cast and crew returned to reassemble the sets and record their memories from filming, resulting in a tour that every Harry Potter lover simply must experience.
Love the magic, explore the science
As all wizards and Muggles know, the Harry Potter films are filled with fantastic scenes of adventure and peril. But have you ever wondered exactly how the clever production team made a dragon breathe fire, or how our heroes escaped from one on a vault cart without getting hurt? All of your questions will be answered in the special effects and visual effects areas. This is where you also get to see a different kind of sorcery: the magic of the green screen. Another fascinating part of the tour is the room of animatronics and creature effects. Find out how Ralph Fiennes was transformed into the terrifying Voldemort, watch the design process behind Dobby the House Elf, and be amazed at how many technicians it took to make Aragog, the spider with an 18-foot leg span, come to life.
Enjoy a Butterbeer
Unlike in the books and films, this version of Butterbeer doesn't contain any alcohol. What it does contain is a yummy butterscotch flavour and a creamy topping. You can get one in The Backlot, an inviting resting point midway through the tour, just before you reach the external sets. If you really want to treat yourself, we recommend enjoying your beverage from a special Butterbeer tankard that you can then take home. Diagon Alley Yep, you actually get to walk down the street where Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes, Gringotts Bank and Ollivander's Wand Shop offer their various trades. With a beautifully Victorian feel to it, Diagon Alley is a feast for the eyes that makes a perfect photo. Don't forget to pack your selfie stick!
Grab yourself a souvenir
It's completely up to you whether or not you buy anything from the gift shop, but we'll be amazed if you can resist the temptation. With mementos, ornaments, costumes, confectionery, Hogwarts scarves, an official guidebook and all kinds of Harry Potter merchandise, you can grab something for yourself as well as a loved one. Share the magic!
We love seeing what people get up to when they use Hull Trains. Plan and book your journey now and tweet pictures of your Harry Potter visit to @Hull_Trains and @wbstudiotour.