“It’s the books you read when you’re young that stay with you always”- J.K Rowling
During the last week of term Sam and I took a trip to Watford. His birthday present had been two tickets to Harry Potter world, and I pestered him enough to be the lucky tag-along.
Sam actually lived in Watford during one of his gap years, so we enjoyed walking around the town centre for a little while, Sam reminiscing whilst showing me around. Before grabbing some lunch at Pizza Express and catching the Harry Potter tour bus to the studio’s a little outside the town center.
I’ve actually been before so most of my excitement was to see Sam’s reaction to the surprises I knew were coming (*SPOILERS*) like when the cinema screen raises to reveals the doors to the Great hall as you enter the tour.
However it’s definitely somewhere you can visit again and again, so many elements had been added since my last trip, and the attention to detail paid by the set designers mean you’re bound to spot things you hadn’t before.
The most exciting addition (f0r me anyway) was the Hogwarts express and recreation of the platform at Kings cross. Providing me the opportunity to snap a classic tourist shot of running onto platform 93/4.
We then took a break in the courtyard, I forced Sam into trying butter beer as I concluded a trip wasn’t complete without it…but after he made me finish it I was left wishing I had tried the butter beer ice cream they had on offer for the summer.
Another new addition was the chance to go inside Privet drive, alongside looking at the Potters house in Godrick’s hollow and sitting inside the Weasleys car the permanent attractions in the courtyard between studios.
And then of course we enjoyed trying on ridiculously priced robes, and the sorting hat in the gift shop whilst picking out whose wand we both preferred.
It left me as it did before longing to read the books that had captured me so much as a child. Sam and I had seen the first movie in an outdoor cinema the week before and decided after our visit we would watch the rest. They didn’t disappoint, in fact going to the studio tour I think only improves the cinematic experience. Firstly there’s the added element of “oh we saw that!”, which makes you feel as if you’ve been privy to inside the world of Harry potter, in on the magic of it all. But it also gives you so much more appreciation for all the editing effects, set designs, and acting after you see some of the ways they had to film scenes. An overall greater understanding of just how much work went into making the words and works of J.K Rowling and world of Hogwarts come alive on screen.