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Harry Potter tour: what time of day is best?

Moundridge, Kansas...
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Harry Potter tour: what time of day is best?

I'm preparing to purchase tickets for our family for the HP studio tour. We'll be in London in early August for 2 weeks. I've read conflicting trip reports about what time of day is best for the tour. At this point, tickets are available for the 9 and 9:30 tours almost all days; then, there's a gap to middle to late-afternoon (15:00 and after). We're willing to pay peak train fares if 1) the crowds are more manageable early and 2) doing such allows us time afterwards to either rest up for the evening or go out and about during the afternoon. (We're all adults--"mature" parents and young adult children.) Getting up in the morning is not a problem for us.

Thanks in advance!

Essex
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27,990 posts
69 reviews
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1. Re: Harry Potter tour: what time of day is best?

Well, they have a "closing time" when they kick everyone out, regardless of how long they have been there, or how much it cost them to get in....

SO if you are the kind that likes to see/do/experience, everything on offer in exhaustive detail. The earlier the better, IMO....

Rutland, UK
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2. Re: Harry Potter tour: what time of day is best?

My experience, on the evidence of two visits where we arrived between 10.00 and 11.00am is that our times slots were close to peak times: busy, but manageable - only a fixed number of tickets are issued for each time slot so crowds are regulated.

When we finished our tours around 2.00 to 3.00pm the crowds were very noticeably thinner.

I would guess, but it is just that, you would also have more manageable numbers at 9.00 and 9.30am. Other advantages of the earlier starts are, as you say, time left afterwards to recuperate before doing something else in the evening and, being among the first guests in the venue, fewer people ahead of you as you move at your own pace through the exhibits. On the down side, more expensive train fares and an uncomfortably crowded rush hour journey.

In mid afternoon, I think crowds will be smaller than those at 9/9.30am but you'll not finish the tour till 6.00+ pm! not be back at your hotel till around 7.30/8.00pm and possibly have no inclination to get changed and venture out for dinner.

On balance, just, I'd do the morning tour.

Moundridge, Kansas...
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3. Re: Harry Potter tour: what time of day is best?

Thanks to all who replied. After reading around a bit more, we'll probably go for mid-afternoon (and visit the British Library or another attraction close to the Euston station when they open for business). We're usually pretty quick about getting through exhibits, so we should be fine with the studio tour.

Rutland, UK
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4. Re: Harry Potter tour: what time of day is best?

A great idea to visit the British Library first, I love it there. As they are all virtually side by side, I suggest you also pop into Kings Cross station to see platform 9 3/4 and then wander through the splendidly refurbished St Pancras station en route to the library.

Vail, Colorado
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5. Re: Harry Potter tour: what time of day is best?

I prefer the later times. The families with smaller kids will be there earlier in the day so there are mostly teens and adults the later it gets in the evening.

6. Re: Harry Potter tour: what time of day is best?

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