January can be a bit of glum month. The excitement of Christmas feels like a distant memory and the grey drizzle is uninspiring to say the least. So a little weekend adventure is kind of the perfect antidote to the winter woes, and if you can guarantee a little magic, then all the better!
So i’m a big Harry Potter fan – like the queuing up at aged 8 in a witches hat outside Waterstones Bookshop at midnight every time a new book came out kinda fan. I cried, I laughed and I was exhilarated with every single word that J K Rowling penned in those books and the films also did not disappoint. I can’t believe myself even that I had’t visited the Harry Potter Studio Tour down in London, even though it’s been around for years!
Therefore at the weekend, me and my two best friends (one who loves Harry Potter, one who doesn’t really care much but fancied a road trip) adventured down to London to visit the Warner Brothers Harry Potter Studio Tour.
Thanks to Stratstone MINI in Harrogate, we got to go down in the most beautiful MINI Cooper S D. It was the perfect car for the road trip because it’s so fuel efficient and as a five door car, it was also really roomy for everyone to feel comfortable during a 6 hour round trip. MINI’s are my absolute favourite car anyway because they’re so stylish to look at, yet really powerful. Read about my Summer MINI adventure to the Cotswolds here.
Obviously the weather was grey and drizzly… and FREEZING! But that didn’t matter because the MINI was cosy and the majority of the studio tour is inside. When you enter, you go into a theatre style room for a quick introduction to the day and then enter into the Great Hall. Be prepared to queue, a lot. Harry Potter is still crazy popular and therefore the tour is crazy busy.
I’d probably recommend going during the week if you can, as I’m sure weekends are a very busy time to visit.
Anyway, here’s the Great Hall:
All of the props you can see were used in the films. All that food! All the benches and cutlery and the little golden goblets! My inner 8 year old was literally leaping with joy as it’s such an immersive experience to be amongst the actual set.
You can even sit on the real life Hogwarts express and experience how they filmed the moving train scenes – complete with green screens! This is also fun for the broomsticks – although you’ll never look at Quidditch the same way again….
You’ll also never look at your money again. Everything is SO expensive. Photos and videos are £14 + and a chocolate frog is £8.95. It’s so ridiculous and complete daylight robbery, but everyone just pays it because of the experience.
If you do part with your money and you’re wincing at the thought, don’t worry. You’ll soon forget when you walk up Diagon Alley and see the actual Hogwarts castle that was used to film the epic aerial scenes in the movies. The great thing about the tour is, that you can learn about every aspect of the filming as you go from scene to scene. It’s honestly an amazing and awe inspiring experience as the magnitude of the project becomes apparent.
If you want to retain the magic of the films though, then this level of detail might be a bit too much for you!
Before long, we were kind of exhausted! The whole tour took us four hours of walking around and we were keen to get back on the road to have a chilled night in. Thanks to our MINI, we made it down and back from London on less than a tank of fuel, so only paid £10 each to get down. Seeing as the train would have cost us £90 each, we were pretty chuffed with that!
As soon as I got home I began editing my first ever Vlog about our day out. It’s here for you to watch and I hope you like it! If you do, please give it a like and subscribe to my Youtube channel. I’m going to be rolling a lot more videos out in the future and can’t wait to share them with you…
Hope you guys enjoyed the video! Let me know your thoughts in the comments below 🙂