The Harry Potter Studio Tour is one of the most magical experiences in all of London, regardless of whether or not you’re a regular Muggle or a true Potterhead.
Except it’s not in London. The studio where the movies were filmed is, in fact, located 20 miles outside of Central London in the English county of Hertfordshire.
So what is the best way to get to Harry Potter Studios? Let’s take a look at three of the best ways to get there. We’ve also included a handy price comparison table at the end so that you can easily see how much each option costs.
|Travel Time||~ 45 min – 1.5 hrs|
|Cost||~ £31.10 (average price of a small car)|
|Need to Know||Car hire prices exclude vehicle insurance, fuel/gas and the London Congestion Charge|
- Free parking on-site at the studio
- Flexible travel – depart and return whenever you want
- Doesn’t include entry to the studios
- Expensive compared to other options
- Hidden fees – insurance, fuel, etc
- ‘Congestion Charge’ for travelling in Central London
- Driving in London
- Driving on ‘wrong side of the road’ in the UK
- Automatic cars are rate & expensive in the UK
Travelling anywhere in London by car is never a good idea. Not only is hiring a car in the capital prohibitively expensive, but London’s roads are also incredibly dangerous for inexperienced drivers.
If you’re planning on hiring a car, we hope you have deep wallets. Gasoline prices in the UK are some of the most expensive in the world, while in London you can also expect to fork out an additional £12.50 per day if you’re planning on driving through Ultra-Low Emission Zones (in a car that isn’t Euro 4/Euro 6 compliant) or £15 per day if you happen to be passing through a Congestion Zone.
That is, of course, assuming you get anywhere at all. London’s roads are the most congested in the entire country. Traffic in the city crawls along at a glacial pace of just 7mph (11km/h), while the UK’s roads as a whole are the 3rd most congested in Europe.
Worse still, if you hold a license for an automatic vehicle you’re going to have a hard time hiring a car in the UK. The vast majority of cars in the UK
|Travel Time||~ 45 min – 1.5 hrs|
|Need to Know||Coach tour packages are hassle-free as they include return travel from Central London and entry to Warner Bros. Studio|
- Hassle-free – pay one package price
- Includes transport to and from studio
- Includes entry to the studio
- Convenient Central London departure point
- Stress-free – avoid planning transport to and from studio
- Free Wi-Fi onboard
- USB charging at every seat
- Slightly more expensive than purchasing ticket and transport separately
Coach tours are the perfect way to get to Harry Potter Studios. OK, we may be slightly biased here but hear us out.
Travelling is stressful. Planning a 40-mile round trip by public transport means that there are plenty of opportunities for something to go unexpectedly wrong. When travelling with kids or little ones in tow, wouldn’t you just prefer to have everything taken care of for you? Imagine a world where wouldn’t have to worry about a single thing and could actually enjoy your day?
Enter coach tours.
On a coach tour to Warner Bros. Studio, everything is taken care of:
Return travel from a convenient Central London location?
Free Wi-Fi and USB charging on board?
Sit back and enjoy the journey.
Entry to Warner Bros. Studios with a very generous 4-hour stay so that you can take your time to explore absolutely everything?
Take your time!
The bottom line is this: a coach tour to Harry Potter Studios is a stress-free experience where everything is taken care of for you. No dealing with unscrupulous car rental companies, zero hidden fees or costs, no worrying about missing your train and no concerns about getting back from the Studio Tour with tired little ones.
Did we mention that coach travel is great for the environment? On average, it produces less CO2 per person, per kilometre than both cars and rail travel?
|Travel Time||1hr 15 mins|
|Cost||Return Ticket: £21 (Adult), £10.50 (Child)|
|Need to Know||The nearest train station to Warner Bros. Studio is located 3.4 miles away at Watford Junction (more on that below)|
- The cheapest option available
- Trains depart from Central London
- Doesn’t include entry to the studio
- Trains do not travel directly to the studio
- Lots of moving parts to plan and account for
- Requires multiple travel tickets
Travelling by train can be a great option for those who are flexible with travel times and looking to save a bit of money in the process.
If you’re happy to make your own way there, it’s cheaper than hiring a car or opting for a coach tour. However, it’s not without its drawbacks, and you’ll need to weigh up the cost-saving benefits beforehand.
So, what are the drawbacks?
Firstly, trains do not travel directly to the studio. All trains from Central London travel as far as Watford Junction, which is located 3.4 miles away from the studio. Upon arrival at the station, you’ll need to make your own way to the studio.
Fortunately, there are a few ways to do this.
The first option is to take one of the regular(ish) shuttle buses to the studio from Watford Junction. Buses depart every 20 minutes from the train station with a journey time of around 15 minutes. Both cash and contactless card payments are accepted on board the shuttle bus service (£3.00 for a return journey).
Alternatively, you can take a cab/taxi to the studio although we wouldn’t recommend it as even an Uber can cost anywhere between £10-13. Bear in mind that local, non-Uber cab operators are likely to charge more.
If you opt to travel by train, make sure to leave plenty of time for travel so that you don’t miss your train and, if possible, time your arrival at Watford Junction to coincide with the shuttle bus timetable so that you aren’t standing around for too long waiting for a bus.
Based on average prices for an adult traveller:
|Package Price||–||From £94||–|
|Studio Ticket||From £49.95||Included||From £49.95|
|Travel Ticket / Car Hire||From ~£31||Included||From ~£21.60|
(i.e. fuel, insurance, etc)
There’s a clear price winner here: Train – but not by much.
Although it may be £14 cheaper to travel by train than the next best option, Coach, it’s important that you weigh up the cost-savings benefits beforehand.
If you’re a savvy traveller looking to save some money, then the train is clearly your best option. However, if you’re a busy parent travelling with children or just don’t fancy dealing with the stress of having to make your own way there, then that extra spent on our Harry Potter Studio tour may well be just worth it.