Whether you’re a long-standing Potterhead or have only recently stumbled across JK Rowling’s fantasy world through the brilliant books and films, there are so many ways you can continue to feel the magic in real life. You could take a walking tour of London to spot those familiar Harry Potter locations, head to the theatre to be charmed by ‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’ show on stage, decide to immerse yourself in a local Hogwarts-themed attraction (like attempting to run into a wall at Kings Cross) or fly a broom at the Harry Potter studio tour just outside of London. Take a look at our top picks for how you can transform yourself from muggle to wizard in just one magical day in London.
The cupboard under the stairs is one of the first things that greets you while waiting in line for the tour to begin, but the iconic suburban drive where Harry was raised is a treat, inside and out, for fans of the series. The living room is preserved with flying envelopes filled with Harry’s first invitation to Hogwarts.
As one of the charms protecting the Philosopher's Stone, these wizard chessmen were one of director Chris Columbus' favorite elements and were featured in an iconic scene in the first film. The statues seen here are the original sculptures, many of which were rigged by the special effects team to move by radio control, and even explode.
'They were standing on the edge of a huge chessboard, behind the black chessmen, which were all taller than they were and carved from what looked like a black stone.' – J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter, and the Philosopher's Stone
The Great Hall is a large hall with long Tables. Dumbledore doesn't lead the term-opening banquet with the Hogwarts song after Sorcerer's Stone as a reflection of the increasingly bleak state of the Wizarding World. At the Warner Bros. studio tour in Leavesden, England, Harry Potter fans can enjoy a Christmas dinner once a year in the Hogwarts Great Hall set.
The iconic Diagon Alley set constantly changed throughout the film series. Since its construction, walls have shifted, shop fronts have moved and entire buildings have been carefully tweaked, leaning just slightly, to create the street that is seen in the films. Many of the Diagon Alley set pieces were also re-dressed for use in the village of Hogsmeade for Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. Visitors to the Studio Tour will be able to stroll along the wizarding shopping street, stopping to admire the beautifully crafted props in the shop windows.
In the movie, characters would take a swig of Polyjuice potion and morph into someone else. In reality, those transformations would demand hours spent in a makeup chair. Here, you’ll see the faces of goblins and elves and wizards as they would be applied to actors. Plus, you can also meet Harry’s owl Hedwig and a Hippogriff as they flap around.
The headmaster's office is the most impressive set in the studio. it was a large and beautiful circular room, full of funny little noises. A number of curious silver instruments stood on spindle-legged tables, whirring and emitting little puffs of smoke. The walls were covered with portraits of old headmasters and headmistresses, all of whom were snoozing gently in their frames. There was also an enormous, claw-footed desk, and sitting on a shelf behind it, a shabby, tainted wizard's hat-the Sorting Hat.
The studio tour is roughly divided into two parts and the path between them is, naturally, through the Forbidden Forest. Whether it is called the dark forest or the Forbidden Forest, The forest is a very old place that holds many secrets and houses many creatures, some dark and dangerous, others friendly. The trees in the forest are considered ancient, they are dense and rough looking from years of exposure to the elements. you won't find Voldemort snacking on unicorns, you will find Aragog and his family. The forest was rebuilt by the same team who built the original indoor set, complete with a hippogriff, giant mossy trees, and animatronic spiders.
The 1:24 scale model of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry pictured above is one of the most impressive props to come out of the Harry Potter movies. The Hogwarts castle model is the jewel of the Art Department and was built for the first film, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone™. It took 86 artists and crew members to construct the first version which was then rebuilt and altered many times over for the next seven films. The work was so extensive that if one was to add all the man hours that have gone into building and reworking the model, it would come to over 74 years. The model, which sits at nearly 50 feet in diameter, has over 2,500 fiber optic lights that simulate lanterns and torches.