It was a surprise treat for one of our daughters who is a massive Harry Potter fan - well who isn't?! From the moment we walked through the doors we were thrown into the whole experience. We had arrived early for our tour so headed to the huge gift shop, where you can buy anything from chocolate frogs to whole Hogwarts school uniforms. Daughter really wanted a quidditch sweater but it was a little out of her budget but she still came away with a tee shirt, a book packed full of interesting Hogwarts stuff and her own pair of Harry's glasses!
Then it was onto the tour via the iconic Hogwarts doors and into the Great Hall. We saw costumes and props, visited Dumbledore's office, the Gryffindor Common Room, the Potions Classroom complete with self stirring cauldrons and Hagrids Hut to name but a few. It was freezing cold and snowing but we partook of a glass of butter beer and stopped for a photo outside 4 Privet Drive before crossing the Hogwarts bridge to see how all the various creatures and effects were produced. A stroll down Diagon Alley took us passed the famous Gringotts Wizarding Bank, Ollivanders wand shop, Flourish and Blotts and Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes.
The Hogwarts castle model finishes the tour. It was built for the first film, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. It is nearly 50 feet in diameter and has over 2,5000 fibre optic lights that simulate lanterns and can even give the illusion of people passing through the hallways! It took 86 artists and members of the crew to construct the first version which was rebuilt and altered many times for subsequent films. They say the hours involved in this construction if added together would be around 74 years!
The model was used for aerial photography, and was digitally scanned for CGI scenes.
Gryffindor Common Room
A great day out that we will remember for a long time to come!