Hogwarts – The world of Harry Potter at Warner Bros. Studio Tour
I’m looking into the single room of a small wooden house, in which ham and pheasants hang from the ceiling.
A copper kettle is boiling on the open fire and in the corner is a massive bed with a patchwork quilt over it.
The house stands on the edge of the forbidden forest. And it belongs to Rebeus Hagrid.
As far as travelling goes you can’t get more exotic and magical than Hogwarts, the incredible school of Harry Potter.
JK Rowling’s incredible creation has been brought to life in the unlikely surrounds of north west London, less than three miles from the M1 and M25.
But then Harry Potter was all about finding magic in the most unusual places, whether that be platform 9 and 3/4 of King’s Cross Station or a few miles away from Watford.
Of course, I am at the Harry Potter Studio Tour, a behind-the-scenes look at the world of Harry, Hermoine, Ron, Albus Dumbledore, Hagrid and the rest of Rowling’s cast of wizards and captivating creatures.
The most famous sets from the film are all here, from Hogwarts’ Great Hall to Diagon Alley, Dumbledore’s office to the Gryffindor common room and even the purple Knight Bus.
For children and adults alike it is both an escape into the world of Potter and an unmasking of the secrets that made the films so spectacular.
Back to Hagrid for example. Actor Robbie Coltrane is a big man, around 6ft 1inches tall. But that was no-where near tall enough to convey the size of half-giant Hagrid.
So the Harry Potter team used man mountain, 6ft 10inches tall, former England rugby international Martin Bayfield as a body double.
But that wasn’t enough either. So they created a giant animatronic head to sit on Bayfield’s muscular shoulders. And then made sure he was also filmed in the foreground to make him look even bigger.
Such attention to detail is central to the way the Harry Potter films were made and is implicit in everything you see on the studio tour, from the hundreds of paintings that adorn Dumbledore’s office to a room containing wall to wall boxes of wands – each one with a name on it, from the film crew to the actors, to Rowling herself; everyone who worked on the franchise is included – to the incredible scale model of Hogwarts that completes the tour and draws gasps from visiting crowds.
> Log-on tomorrow to see our picture gallery of the Harry Potter Studio Tour