Depart London for a magical day out on the Warner Bros. Studio Tour–The Making of Harry Potter, followed by a visit to the University of Oxford. The…
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I was interested in going to Oxford, and my college kids really wanted to go to the H.P. Studio, so this was a good fit, and by coach bus. We first went to Oxford, and had a walking tour. As we went, we learned about some history, the schools, the lifestyle, university traditions, famous people who lived in Oxford, and H.P. filming sights (unfortunately, most require an entry fee). We were given free time (about 1:15), and had lunch and went to one H.P. location. Then we drove to the WB Studio Tour, which was self-guided. We had almost 4 hours there, which was perfect for my crew. By the time we got back into London, it was about 6:30 (an 11-hour tour), and we had tickets for a musical at 7:30, so it was tight. Unfortunately, there was a group that held us up 20 minutes at the rest stop on the way into Oxford, and another that was 20 minutes late from the free time in Oxford. The guide announced the times, but probably should have clarified to each small group, since many were ESL.
This is a long day and while you can spend a whole day (or two!) at either Oxford or Harry Potter studios, there is enough time on this trip to enjoy both (being somewhat mindful of the time). We had a great tour guide in Oxford, local man who I believe studied/studies there; he gave recommendations & local flavor. Had enough time for lunch at Turf Tavern and some quick shopping. Harry Potter studio is massive and one can easily schedule a whole day for it. We had about 4 hours. I'm a massive fan and was accompanied by a casual one. We ideally would have liked about 30-45 minutes longer to not feel at all rushed but again, still plenty of time to wait in line for pictures on a broomstick, Hogwarts Express, etc if everything else is kept at a decent pace. Unfortunately, the bus does not have outlets, wifi or a bathroom. However, the driver does stop at the facilities en route. Overall, I rate this a 9/10 (slightly longer at Harry Potter maybe, upgraded bus) but would recommend!
This was truly an amazing place to visit and it was all organized so well! We had met one person who told us that we will be taking the train with him (while handing us tickets) and guided us from the train station to the bus, where is also told us how to get back to London from the train station since we had open ended train tickets for our return. We then had a new guide inside the studio. She was someone who was enjoyable, but really focused on what her interests were. I understand that there is A LOT to see, but for example, we stood in front of the description of the directors of the films from over the years and explained why they did these movies, etc. That is information we could have Googled if we wanted to. She did point out a lot of small details throughout the tour that really big Harry Potter fans would enjoy. After the guided tour, you were allowed to go back into the exhibits and take your time reading and reviewing. Overall, this was a very memorable experience.
Great tour, enough time dedicated to stroll around the studio at a leisurely pace, reliving the movie moments. It also allows you to catch a ride on Hogwarts express, play the game of quidditch, enjoy the frothing butter beer with your friends, and pack a bag load of goodies and magical memories for days to come. The second part of the journey, taking onevthrough the paved paths of Oxford is refreshing and enlightening. The guide showed us all the relevant monuments in Oxford, and also allowed us to walk around on our own through the cobbled streets of the university town, enjoying the picturesque town, while while exploring it's rich cultural history. Truly, a trip to remember and be part of again!
I attended the trip with my 13 years old daughter. We both liked the trip so much. It was easy to travel with the bus and the guide, who told us Oxford's history on the way there. The bus driver was also so nice and funny! In Oxford we divided into two groups and our guide was the most fantastic lady called Debbie. She told us interesting stories about the university, studying there and of course Harry Potter connections. At the studios we had 4 hours to explore it by ourselves. I can recommend this trip to everyone, who is willing to pay a little extra for a convenient bus travelling and to know a little more about Oxford.