Originally I set up this blog for friends and family to follow my travels but I've discovered other people are reading it as well. Which is nice.
With the Japan trip I did try and update each night while in Japan but it was very labour intensive! So I've been able to spread the posts out over the 2 months since I returned. I have finished with what I planned to post about Japan but didn't want to leave a large gap between posts so I thought that I would write up my visit to the Harry Potter studio just outside of London from 2 years ago.
For Harry Potter fans there are other theme parks that offer a 'Harry Potter' experience, Universal studios in Osaka have a Harry Potter tour and one of the Orlando Florida theme parks also have a Harry Potter section. But being a purist the true Harry Potter world to experience is the one in the UK as it's the one with the props, costumes and models from the original movies.
I had seen other people's youtubes on their visits to the studios and quickly placed the studio tour on my 'must do' list. Two years ago I was in the UK, I had pre booked my ticket and was ready to experience the world of Harry Potter.
Prior to my visit, I spent time in the Midlands visiting a friend, so was driving down to Leavesden (where the studios are located) the morning on my visit. I'm notorious for cutting things fine as I tend to leave at the last moment, but on this occasion I actually gave myself a generous 3 and a half hours to drive down. Just as well it turned out as I got stuck for an hour (!!!!!) on the M1 as a semi-trailer (lorry to the Brits) had broken down and traffic slowed to a crawl, a literal crawl as I didn't get out of second gear! Panic started to set in as I thought I would miss my timed entrance slot for the studios. I practised my sad, pathetic face "Pleeeeeease let me in!", as it turned out I pulled into the carpark at 12 noon and my timed slot was for 12.15pm. Fifteen minutes to spare!! Just enough time to grab some lunch before I went in.
Once in, I loved it all.
The Great Hall, with the uniforms of the various houses.
Ice sculpture from the Ball scene and the dress Emma Watson wore as Hermione to the Ball.
The Weasley's House interior set.
I loved the detail in all the props that were made.
There is an exterior part to the studio tour which has James and Lily Potter's house as well as the Dursley's.
As well as the props there is also a section that has on display all the drawings and then the models for Hogwarts, the Thumping tree model is behind it.
These are just a small selection of the pictures I took, it was fascinating and amazing as well, seeing how much time and effort went into creating the world of Harry Potter on film. I highly recommend visiting the Making of Harry Potter on a trip to the UK.
The studios are just outside London, I had a rental car so drove there, it's very well sign posted from the M25. From London it's possible to catch a train to Watford Junction and from there, a shuttle bus will take you to the studio.
I'm flying off on Sunday again so there's new material to come!