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Harry Potter Studio Tour London - Visiting Independently 2016

Practical Advice On Getting To Harry Potter Studios By Public Transport From London

Harry Potter Studio Tour Bus Outside Watford Junction Station

Harry Potter Studio Tour Bus
Outside Watford Junction Station

The Harry Potter Studio tour is located on the edge of London in an isolated location. For those staying in Central London getting to the studio is an issue, a transfer of best part of an hour.

At this moment in time there are two operators Golden Tours and Premium Tours that operate regular shuttle buses daily between Central London and the Harry Potter Studio Tour. Both offer convenient ticket bundles combining return transfers from London and admission to the Harry Potter Studio Tour.

If you already have Harry Potter Studio Tour tickets the Golden Tours has a bus shuttle only option.

International Friends, another leading London tour operator also offer a popular full day tour combining a visit to the Harry Potter Studio with a visit to Oxford covering this cities Harry Potter connections.

Golden Tours Harry Potter Studio Tour From Central London - Full Details

Premium Tours Harry Potter Studio Tour From Central London - Full Details

International Friends Harry Potter Studio Tour & Oxford Tour From London - Full Details

Alternatively, the most economical option to get to the Harry Potter Studio Tour from London is by public transport ...

Harry Potter Studio Tour By Public Transport

Central London – Watford Junction

Watford Junction Railway Station is the closest that public transport from Central London will get you to the Harry Potter Studio Tour. You will find it marked on the London Underground map at the top left of the map.

There are various permutations you can get to Watford Junction from the London area but from Central London the fastest and simplest option are trains running from Euston Railway Station.

There are two types of train that travel between Euston and Watford Junction. The trains that are part of the London Overground whose trains stop at every station that take around 50 minutes and the trains that belong to the national railways (Midland Railways) where Watford Junction is often the first stop and trip duration being 15-20 minutes.

The key ticketing aspect is that tickets are interchangeable between the two types of trains so you can use tickets issued by the railways or use the Oyster Cards, Travelcards and other fare payment options you use on the London Underground and buses.

This makes things very complicated choosing whether you buy train tickets from the national railways or use Oyster Cards or Travelcards like you use on the London Underground, (see the discussion below.)

If you have an Oyster Card, the default transport pass in London, you can use that to pay for the fare to Watford Junction.

If you have a Travelcard it is very unlikely you have bought a Travelcard to include the Watford Junction travel zone, the majority of leisure visitors will only have a zone 1-2 Travelcard.

London Fare Payments - Oyster Card, Travelcards or Contactless Cards? - Full Details

Watford Junction – Harry Potter Studio Shuttle

An official shuttle bus (picture at top of page) runs around every 20 minutes between the bus station in front of Watford Junction Railway Station to the studio’s, about a 15 minute journey.

In 2016, the ticket price is £2.50 return. (You cannot use Oyster Cards etc on this bus).

Plan to arrive at Watford Junction 45 minutes before the time stated on your ticket and have your ticket or booking confirmation ready when boarding the shuttle bus.

You will not be able to board the bus without a Harry Potter Studio Tour entrance ticket.

Buses run every 20 minutes from 9.20am (with additional services available from 8.15am when the first tour is at 9am). Plan to arrive at Watford Junction 45 minutes before your tour time and have your ticket or booking confirmation ready when boarding the shuttle bus.

Public Transport Fares From Central London To/From Harry Potter Studio 2016

Oyster Cards London

As said in the introduction you can either buy separate train tickets for your journey between Euston and Watford Junction or you can use Oyster Cards or credit/debit cards that support contactless payment - which many people will be using for their travel within London.

It can be very complex which option is best for you. If you are comfortable with understanding the comparisons between Oyster and national rail tickets you will be able to make the right choice for your needs.

Free Travel For Kids Under 11

On the London Underground, London Overground and London's red buses kids under 11 travel free without a ticket. On the national railways only kids under 5 travel free.

With both London Overground and Midland trains of the national railways both running along the same track ann exception has been made that kids under 11 can travel free on Midland trains between Euston and Watford Junction only.

Midland trains or the London Overground trains - it makes no difference

The Midland trains are much faster than the London Overground trains that stop at every station between Euston and Watford Junction.

You can use either railway tickets or London public transport tickets like Oyster on both trains. The key point for those travelling to Watford Junction is that you can use Oyster cards and Contactless cards on the fast Midland trains.

Using Oyster / Contactless Cards Between Euston & Watford Junction

Adult Oyster Fare one-way Euston – Watford Junction – £8.10/£5.00

(The higher fare is the peak fare when travelling Monday to Friday between 06:30 and 09:30 and 16:00 and 19:00)

The Oyster Daily Cap Euston – Watford Junction – £22.60/£17.20

The Oyster Daily Cap London Zone 1/2 Only – £6.50

The Oyster daily cap is a daily ceiling on your expenditure on fares when using an Oyster Card. If you just travel in the centre of London (zones 1-2) this maximum is £6.50, by travelling out to Watford Junction you will increase substantially the daily cap figure.

The higher daily cap of £22.60 in 2016 is triggered if you travel to Watford Junction before 9:30 a.m. Monday to Friday, otherwise the cap is £17.20

A feature of the fare structure on the London Underground is that you can make multiple train changes and be charged for one journey. The fare is calculated from the fare zone of the departure station to the fare zone of the destination station.

To interconnect at Euston between the London Underground and the trains to Watford Junction you have to exit the Underground system and swipe your card again when entering the railway system.

You need to make the connection between swiping out of one system at Euston and swiping your card to enter the other system within 15-30 minutes for your journey to be calculated as one fare. Otherwise you will be charged for two separate journeys.

Buying Train Tickets Between Euston & Watford Junction

London Surburban Train

If you buy a one-way train ticket from the railway ticket office or machine at Euston the train fare will be more than the fare using an Oyster.

Adult train ticket one-way Euston – Watford Junction – £9.80

However, unlike with Oyster the train companies sell return train tickets at a big discount to two one-way tickets that make things interesting when looking for the best buy.

Return adult train tickets Euston – Watford Junction – Euston

Anytime Return train ticket – £16.70

Off Peak Day Return train ticket – £10.90

You can use off-peak return train tickets anytime at the weekends. Monday to Friday in 2016 the first train you cam use them on leaves Euston at 09:17, due Watford Junction at 10:04

At off-peak times Groupsave fares may be available e.g. 4 people (2 adults + 2 children) return for £27.05 at the weekend. You can also use railcards on these fares and realise the usual extra 33% discount.

Promotional advance purchase tickets are also not unknown.

Use the banner link below to see prices and schedules available for your dates.

The Trainline - timetables and ticketing for UK railways

Discuss and Ask Questions With Bob

If you have something to add on this subject or have a logistical question, please do use the discussion facility below.

Note - I know very little about Harry Potter or the studio tour itself, just the logistical aspects of visiting Watford where the Harry Potter Studio Tour is located

Normally I’ll get back within 24 hours.

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