A little more than two weeks ago, my husband and I jetted off to jolly old London, England, for a vacation. It was the first time either of us had been there, and we packed the 9 days to the absolute brim.
We saw notable London sights, including Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, the London Eye, Trafalgar Square, the Globe Theater—their production of Much Ado About Nothing was set during the Mexican revolution and was EXCELLENT—the Tower of London, Buckingham Palace, Hyde Park, and the famous red phone booths.
We visited museums, including the National Portrait Gallery, the National Gallery, the Imperial War Museum, the Churchill War Rooms, the Natural History Museum, the Science Museum, and the British Museum.
We took side trips to Windsor, where we toured the Queen’s favorite castle; Stonehenge, where we marveled at prehistoric engineering; Oxford, where we tried to figure out the college system; and Cardiff, Wales, where we took a jaunt through time and space.
We visited bookstores (natch)—Foyles, Waterstones, Hatchard’s, and Daunt Books—and we ate at delicious restaurants—Wagamama, Punjab, and Dishoom, to name only a few. Our phones clocked us at walking between 5 and 10 miles each day, which our feet definitely felt each night when we got back to our hotel room to watch British TV—we particularly enjoyed Would I Lie to You?—and crash.
The whole vacation was fantastic, and filled with incredible memory-making moments. But by far one of the best parts of the whole shebang was definitely the trip we took to Warner Bros. Studios and the Making of Harry Potter exhibit.
Spread over two soundstages, the exhibit features sets, costumes and props from all eight Harry Potter films (and a few from Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them); all of the Harry Potter movies were filmed at these studios. It’s a Potterhead’s mecca, and although I can’t say if it’s more fun than visiting a Wizard World of Harry Potter, as I’ve never been, it’s certainly way more nerdy. I mean, there’s going on themed rides, and then there’s spending hours (and I do mean hours) looking at things like the sweater Neville’s wore during the Battle of Hogwarts or Peter Pettigrew’s chest wig.
In addition to checking out costumes and hair pieces, we saw set pieces and vehicles:
Came face to face with some creatures:
Took a stroll down Diagon Alley:
And quenched our thirst with some Butterbeer:
It was easy to lose ourselves in the magic of it all, and it was amazing seeing all the crazy attention to detail that went into creating the films. (It was also great to see all Hogwarts houses represented in the gift shop, rather than just Gryffindor. #Ravenclaw4Life!) The experience reminded me of how much I love both the book series and the movie franchise, and it made me so happy to see fans of all ages enjoying the spectacle, from the little ones in their house robes and round glasses to the older ladies with the “On a scale of 1-10, I’d rate my Harry Potter knowledge a 9 ¾” T-shirts. I know I don’t have to tell y’all this, but Harry Potter is something special.
Because we took like a million photos, here are some more, presented without comment.
TL;DR: 10/10, would visit again, and would highly recommend doing so yourself in you’re ever in the area. Or, you know, just plan a trip to London. I'll go with!