A Trip to Harry Potter World, Leavesden, Hertfordshire - 16th February 2020

Part of the Boys' Christmas present was tickets to Harry Potter World - the tour of the actual sets and props at the Warner studios in Leavesden. The tour is on the Sunday afternoon, but it's half term so we stay over at a Premier Inn which is just off the M25 and only a few miles away. It's a surprisingly interesting tour, and some of the sets are highly impressive in their scale and attention to detail. Hogwarts' Great Hall, for instance, has a real stone floor, whilst Gringott's bank is full of realistic fake marble and massive chandeliers. One of the highlights is the model at the end of the whole of Hogwarts - the detail is just stunning - whilst the lowlight has to be the weather on the way out: the rain is horizontal and shreds our faces as we walk across the exposed car park back to the car. But first we get a late lunch in the next-door Beafeater, where the service is sporadic but the location is great, as it's in an old mill with a still working (well, it goes round) waterwheel.

next album: HMS Belfast and the South Bank, Southwark, London - 17th February 2020
previous album: Clip and Climb, The Havens, Ipswich - 15th February 2020

We pile out of the car

Isobel looks back as we check in

Harry installs himself in the room

The mill's water wheel

Fred and Nosher play dominoes

A duck waddles around outside

Fred roams around getting some photos

We head back to the room for a bit

Abbey Road outside the studios

Harry and Fred

Isobel takes a pic of Harry

Tourists do selfies outside the front of the studio

One of the chess pieces

A massive dragon hangs in the entrance

One of the many 'shopping opportunities'

The sweet shop

Sweet flavours, including Rotten Egg and Soap

The gang looks at wands

Fred looks at wands

Harry's home under the stairs

The entrance to the great hall

Hogwart's Great Hall

Some of the film costumes on display

A big fireplace

The Great Hall

Dumbledore's lecturn

There's some impressive custom-made tapestry around

An impressive prop in the style of Brighton Pavillion

The boys look around

Harry's dormitory

The outsides of the sets are like unfinished buildings

Fred in the mirror

One of the prop makers talks about wands

The common room

A sign from the film

Dumbledore's office

Snape's lab

The Ford Anglia

Impressive fake tiles in the Ministry of Magic

Harry and Fred pose by Buckbeak

In the fake King's Cross station, but with a real train

Fred pushes his trolley through the wall

The Hogwart's Express

Outside the Railway Shop

Stuffed versions of Harry and Ron

An impressive King's Cross

The Knight Bus

Fred and Harry on the Knight Bus

Harry on the bus

The house set only goes so far

A recreation of the letters

4 Privet Drive, and next door

Fred on a motorbike

The gang in the Ford Anglia

A shelf full of troll heads

The amazing set of Gringott's bank

Fred poses

The intricate locking mechanism was so well made it is still going

A pile of treasure

Harry and Isobel in treasure

Fred grabs a sword

A dragon destroys Gringott's Bank, in quite a convincing effect

Diagon Alley

Harry presses his passport

Roaming around on Diagon Alley

A story-board artist shows off some stuff

Harry and Isobel look at story boards

The amazing Hogwart's model

The model detail is incredible

Millions of wands in boxes

We get a foretaste of the lashing rain

We warm up a bit in the bar

Harry and Fred are on devices again

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We pile out of the car