On June 26, 2022, we celebrated the 25th anniversary of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone: a quarter of a century ago the first book about the boy wizard was published in the UK. It may seem small in the scale of human history, but this event had a profound impact on many millions of people. The story of The Boy Who Lived turned out to be so entertaining, so masterfully written that it captivated both children and adults.
The books led to a series of 8 blockbuster movies, which were filmed at the Warner Bros. studio near London. Hundreds of production designers, prop masters, make-up artists and other creatives worked day and night to bring J. K. Rowling’s magical universe to reality. The result was so beautiful that the studio decided not to destroy the sets after filming ended, but to turn them into a pilgrimage site for Potter fans from all over the world.
Now the studio attracts 6,000 people a day. If you ever decide to visit, make sure you have the whole day free, because it is impossible to explore everything in just a few hours. Indeed, how can you miss Diagon Alley, Gringotts, Platform 9 ¾, the Great Hall, and how can you refuse to try flying on a broomstick, step inside the Hogwarts Express, or look into Professor Dumbledore's office?!
The studio continues to add new parts to the exhibition each year. In 2021, for instance, they added the Forbidden Forest, and in 2022, the Herbology greenhouse. Strangely, when you discover how the films were made, the magic does not disappear. On the contrary, you start to appreciate them even more. And just when you thought you’ve seen it all — there is a gift shop at the very end of the tour. This is the place where you would leave your last penny for a handful of Chocolate Frogs, your own magical wand, or a woolly Gryffindor jumper.