“It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live.” -Albus Dumbledore
We have the blessing of three Harry Potter fanatics in our family. I started reading the books in 2000, shortly after the release of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Much as I poked fun of the adults in my life for obsessing over a children’s book series, I found myself drawn into the magical world of the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry with the first chapters of The Philosopher’s Stone. I’ve read the books, watched the movies, and with the help of the younger kids’ teachers, got Nate and Samantha interested in the Harry Potter series. So imagine their excitement when we revealed to them that we would be taking a tour of the studio where the magic happened.
In uncharacteristic form, I was actually able to keep this activity a secret up until the day we were heading out to Leavesden, in Hertfordshire about 20 miles north of London. We were coming from Oxford, so the studio was easily accessible from M25. For those traveling from London, there are options to purchase tickets that include a chartered bus ride out to Watford. That all said, Nate, the biggest Hogwarts fan, and oft times biggest skeptic that we would do anything fun in the family, did not believe that we were actually going to see the studios until we arrived there.
I purchased our tickets through Groupon.uk. They were running a ‘Hogwarts in the Snow’ special on select days for the relatively low price of 49 GBP, which included the tour, a hot meal with butterbeer, and souvenir guide. This was a decent value for us, as tickets start at 56.95 GBP at time of writing, food not included. It was also a unique experience in that we got to see Hogwarts beautifully decked out in yuletide spirit. The day we visited was also Jacob’s eighteenth birthday, and though not a Harry Potter fan, he got to magically open the doors to start the tour, a la Disneyland style. He was absolutely mortified, resulting in some funny video on his sister’s Instagram stories.
There isn’t much that I would add other than the tour is a must do for any fan of the Harry Potter series or movie lovers in general. The sets are beautifully preserved, and really draw one into the enchanted Harry Potter universe. I’ll let the photos speak for themselves. One more note, the two older kids had absolutely zero intention of having fun on this tour, in fact they were dead set against having any iota of fun here, and yet found themselves enjoying the experience. It really was a memorable time for the whole family.
“It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.”
For more information on the history of the London Studios, visit:
To purchase tickets, visit:
To purchase tickets with transportation, as well as those for the London film locations tour, visit:
J.K. Rowling. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
J.K. Rowling. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets