Warner Bros Harry Potter Studio Tour (London)
***As much as I want to tell you every single little detail, I don't want to ruin it for people who haven't been yet so I wont be telling you everything, some secrets you need to find out yourselves*** Since June 1997 Harry Potter, The boy who lived, has enthralled generations adults and children alike. The story of a normal ... 11 year old boy who finds out that he is a wizard on his birthday and then enrols in Hogwarts School of magic. Since then 7 books were written, and in 1998 J.K.Rowling sold the film rights (for just £1million) to Warner Bros, who the produced the 8 films we all know and love!!! These were all filmed at Leavesden Film studios in Abbots Langley/Watford.
In March 2011 Warner Bros/ Leavesden Studios announced that in March of the following year (2012) they would open the studio's that all the films were filmed in as a 'behind the scenes' tour, with the original props, costumes and sets. Tickets went on sale shortly after this, and this dear reader is where my adventure begins................
Adults and children over 15 - £28
Children 5-15 - £21
Children 4 and under are FREE
Family (2 adults and 2 children) - £83
Family (1 adult and 3 children) - £83
Complete ADULT studio package (ticket, digital guide and souvenir book) - £37.95
Complete Child studio package - £30.95
The digital guide and souvenir guide book are available separately (I forgot to order them) at £4.95 and £9.95 respectively.
Tickets can ONLY be bought from the official website www.wbstudiotour.co.uk, and you can choose to have them sent to you (P+P - £3.95) or collect them from the ticket desks outside the main building. We choose to have them sent to us, and they arrived within 2 weeks of ordering and were contained within a little folder bearing the tours name, it also had directions etc on, the tickets themselves each had a HP character on, there are 6 to choose from and we ended up with Dobby, a Mandrake, Fawkes, Nagini and Hedwig. You must also take you booking confirmation as this is needed to enter the car park.
In total the tickets cost me the grand sum of £80.95 incl P+P for 2 adults and 3 children, for 11 o'clock on the 10th of May 2012.
Secrets will be revealed..................
Sadly the local broom shop had rented all the brooms and floo powder for that day so we had to use our muggle car to get there (although there is a direct HP bus from Watford Station or WD25 7GS for sat nav users), luckily we were staying with my father in Wheathampstead 11 miles away, the studios are easy to find and well sign-posted, with a minor road going straight past the entrance to the (FREE) car park. Although we did not use the bus, I was told there is one every 10 minutes, and saw quite a few outside the tour before and after our visit (they are also photo worthy too!!!).
Parking was really easy and there were a few attendants directing people to where they should park, all the ones we met were very polite and friendly. There is plenty of parking available and also drop off points as well as a part dedicated to the buses.
(At this point my 6 year old was practically climbing out of the window to go!)
Walking up to the studio building there is the separate queuing area to collect tickets if you chose to collect there and also a automated ticket service, as we had ours posted we could walk straight in, just having the tickets checked by a woman on the door. Upon entering the first set of sliding doors there is the dedication to everyone who worked on the films and also a set of handprints of Harry, Hermione and Ronald taken from the last film, you are allowed to touch these and my lot loved being able to compare their hands to Harry's (his hands aren't that big actually), you then carry on through the second set of doors and then it hits you........... There is all its glory is the flying car!! Okay so there is also the entrance to the tour, the café, the shop and also the cloak(!)room and toilets, it is here that you can also hire/collect the digital guide (we didn't use these sadly but then I don't think I would like to hear Malfoy in my ears for hours), the entrance hall is beautiful with still images of all the characters around the top and also a few props etc.
As we arrived nearly an hour early we decided to tackle the dreaded gift shop first.
***The gift shop***
This, dear reader' is heaven on earth for any HP fan it sells everything and anything HP related, and we easily used up the extra time we had here. Some would say that it is expensive and over the top, I disagree there is something here for everyone and every price range, so luckily I needn't have worried about the children wanting everything..... Actually it turned out to be me wanting it all!!!!
They sell everything from Honeyduke's Bertie Botts every flavour beans (£8.95) to a full real Dumbledore costume (£495) and 'real' wands (£25); you can also pick up a copy of the guide book here too. As well as having your photo put on the 'undesirable no 1' poster and the Quibbler (£12 for 1, £15 for 2, 3 for £18 and 4 for £20).
In total I spent £122 in the gift shop (A mug, guide book, 2 wands, 2 x bertie botts, medallion, 2 photos' and a squashy scabbers) and yes I admit I nearly passed out at the till!!!
The shop also contains some props and artefacts from the films, namely a huge stained glass window, which is beautiful these also tend to be great opportunities for a sneaky photo (if you can get one with out all the people walking past)
Children are also given a 'HP passport' (FREE) these are little books that they carry around and need to get 'stamped' at certain points in the tour e.g. the Gryffindor common room they contain questions, colouring in and also the 'spot the golden snitch' game (finding the 15 'lost' snitch's around the tour'), my lot loved these as it gave them something to do and made a game of finding the stamp machines.
About 15-20 minutes before your actual tour time is the best time to start queuing up here you are greeted by two people who check and scan your tickets (giving them back of course) and direct you through a rope type queue system, while walking through this you get to see the famous 'cupboard under the stairs' incl stairs! What can I say this gets you more excited about the tour (if possible) and as you get so close to it, it shows you just how much attention to detail went into these, there is also a little board in front giving you some 'insider' knowledge about this set!
After queuing for an eternity (10 mins tops) the doubles doors open into a room with TV's on the walls it is here you meet the tour guide and a short talk is done explaining the worldwide phenomenon etc. It is from here that you take a small door into a cinema room and watched a 10 minute film about the making of Harry Potter, (at this stage I was slightly worried as there were no more doors in the room and I was hoping that this wasn't the only thing), upon the film finishing we are giving the first surprise (no I'm not telling) and the next thing I know I'm standing in the Great Hall!!! All I can say is WOW until you see it up close nothing compares to it, the detail is stunning and even a non HP fan cant fail to be amazed at the skill of the set decorators and artists, here the tables are laid and there are the house costumes (the originals) and also the teachers stage area, it is exactly the same as the movies but without the cast of course......... We spent a good 20 minutes here taking photo's, marvelling at the set before we had to move on ( the next tour group were coming), it is here that the tour guide leaves you are you are welcome to go at your own pace throughout the rest of the tour.
This is where the tour truly comes into its own, you are surrounded by the most beautiful sets, props and costumes and the size of some of them are staggering, split between two groupings you can wander freely around,
The first section
Here you will find the 'Potions' and 'Defence against the dark arts' classrooms (full size), the common rooms, as well as costumes, smaller props etc (I saw Horcruxes!) But the one that blew us away was Dumbledore's office, if you only see one thing please let it be that!!!! Although I'm in love with the Weasley's house too!!
Rounding the corner we come to the ministry of magic and the huge monument and also the offices this is also the part dedicated to the 'death' eaters and of course 'He who must not be named' and also the Floo network chimneys.
Of course I have only mentioned a minute part of this one as so not to ruin it for you all.
It is at this stage that you can go to the green screens, and have special photo's taken the queues were quite short and we were only in here for around 20 minutes (you pay for them there) all the staff are polite and friendly and are all quite good with over-excited children (and adults). One word of warning though, broomsticks are hard to control!
You are then able to go outside to continue the tour and this has to be one of the favourites because this is where you can get Butterbeer!!! It looked like a very strange fizzy brown liquid with mr whippy on the top! At £2.95 it isn't cheap but you get half a pint in a little plastic glass (we bought 2 to share amoung 5 of us), my lot loved it although im sure I have never tasted something so sweet! There is also a 'normal' refreshments bar selling pop, tea, coffee snacks etc. There is also a large seating area to enjoy refreshments etc This is also where you will find the 'Knight Bus', the 'Godric's Hollow', the 'covered bridge' and 'Privet Drive' and the 'Riddle' gravestone ( i found this a bizarre choice to use here) there are some fantastic photo opportunities here incl Hagrids bike, the flying car and also on the Knight Bus. Here is also the home of the huge life size Wizard Chess pieces.
The second section
Upon finishing said Butterbeer and having a stroll around we entered the next part of the tour, upon entering you are met with all the models made and the make up departments' props including the transformations into Goblins. Here you can also see how the werewolves are made, and also meet Dobby!! Walking through I turned a corner to be met by Aragon the biggest blinking spider I have ever seen, I would recommended not taking people afraid of spiders and also got to see a Hippogriff!
It's quite dark at this stage and as you walk through you realised the floor has turned to cobbles rounding the corner you are greeted by (yep that's right) Diagon Alley!!!! To be honest I was speechless is it amazing my 6 year old practically squeaked when he realised where he was, the attention to detail here is stunning and any photo you have seen of it does not do it justice, here you can wander at your own pace up and down and gaze lovingly into the (fully stocked) shop windows, it is rather dark so a flash camera is required, you can touch anything as there are barriers but it doesn't take away from the excitement, although my son wanted to go into Weasley's wizard wheezes store!
From here you are taken through the art departments set up here they have the first set ups of the sets, first drawing of the digital characters etc there are some guides here and the are friendly and full of little bits of information and they can also hold a 6 year old attention for over 10 minutes by telling them HP 'secrets'.
At the end of this it becomes very dark and following the path around to..........
The most spectacular prop, set ever used in Harry potter or any other film!!
I really cant say as it would ruin the whole experience, but I will say that it bought tears to some peoples eyes when the saw, it is it awe- inspiring and huge, and a brilliant end to the tour,
Although it wasn't truly the end as upon leaving this epic you come to the wand room (look closely at the names on this, you might be in for a surprise), and then you end up in the shop (convenient) and that marks the real end of the tour!
Considering the hype of the tour and the build up I wasn't sure if it would live up to the expectations of the fans and most importantly a 6 year olds imagination and innocence about film making and I can safely say in all honesty it well and truly smashed my expectations it was incredible and definitely worth the money spent, while it shows us the making of the films I do believe that it keeps a child still believing in the films. Throughout the tour there is plenty for younger fans to do and interact with and my children (6, 3 and 2) never complained about being bored, although how I'm going to explain no Hogwarts letter on their 11th birthdays is a mystery!
The staff we met were friendly happy and looked like they enjoyed their job, all worked well with children and adults alike. The whole tour is wheelchair and pushchair accessible as well. If you get a chance to go GO! You certainly won't regret it. Thank you for sticking with this epic, im off to polish my broomstick :)
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Warner Bros Harry Potter Studio Tour (London)
Anyone who read my review on the Harry Potter book set will probably know by now that I am a massive fan and today (29/04/2012) I was lucky enough to go to the new attraction in London, the Warner Bros Harry Potter Studio Tour. I had wanted to go to the Harry Potter theme park in Orlando for a long time and having not been able to afford ... to go there I felt that this was the next best thing.
==~~What is it?~~==
The Warner Bros Harry Potter UK Tour, in the simplest form, is a tour of many of the sets and props of the Harry Potter films. It has many of the original sets where the films were made and many props, most of which being the original ones. It almost as if going through a museum of the Harry Potter films as it has props and sets from the first movie all the way through to the eighth.
==~~Where is it?~~==
The tour is in London, Watford. I travelled along the M25 to get there and it was minutes from Junction 19. It was very well sign posted, that were clearly labelled and therefore it was very easy to get to. It took my family approximately 2 and a half hours to get there and in my opinion it was completely worth it. Once you arrive there, there are people who will check you tickets before you are allowed entry into the car park and then they will direct you to a parking place. Parking is also completely free, so there is no need to worry about these extra charges.
There are some coach packages available if you do not fancy driving there, I am not sure whether these are available on the Warner Bros Harry Potter website, though they are on most of the larger coach brands websites.
==~~Pricing, Booking and Tickets~~==
The tour was not 'cheap'; though neither was it that expensive and I think it was relatively average for a day trip like attraction. The tickets must be purchased online beforehand as no tickets are sold at the tour. The tour is also fully booked for most weekdays and weekends over the next few months as well, so it is definitely worth booking in advance.
Adult ticket: £26.00
Child (5-16): £21.00
4 and under: £0.00 (though you still need tickets!)
Family (2 adults- 2 children): £83.00
It is cheaper if you book in groups for 10-24 people, perhaps if you are going as a big family or as a party. There are also 'complete studio tour' packages, which are what me and my brother opted for, which are slightly more expensive, though include a digital and souvenir guide.
It is easy layout as to booking your tickets as a month by month calendar comes up in which you have to select your slot. The slots seem to be every half an hour or so, though they do ask for you there to be 20 minutes early.
The tickets come in just under 2 weeks, also hence why you need to book in advance. They are fairly small tickets, though each has a different Harry Potter character (mainly animals/creatures) on the front including that of Nagini, Fang, Fawkes, etc. I would have liked to keep all of mine as I thought they were really nice keepsakes, however I only got to keep my actual ticket one and had to hand in both the souvenir guide and digital guide tickets.
The tour itself was amazing; I think whether you are a Harry Potter fan or not, many people would appreciate the craftsmanship that has gone into the films. I was a bit worried about it being overly busy and not being able to get photos of anything or of myself by anything due to it being just after a month of bring open, yet I was pleasantly surprised. They seem to have got the amount of visitors in each slot just right, there is not so many so that it is hard to move around or get photos, but is not so empty that if feels like you are the only ones there. Occasionally there were points where I did have to wait for photos, but this only took a minute or so and did not really matter. If you were after one of the more professional photos of yourself on the broomstick then this queue is a little longer, though seemed to go quite fast when I went and took no longer than 20 minutes.
You are guided around the entry hall, however then you can explore the rest of the tour at your own ease. The entry hall was absolutely amazing and there are many fine detailing that I never even picked up in the movie. The way in which the entry hall is revealed is the part that I really enjoyed as it was something I had not been expecting; though I won't go too far into this as it was a sort of 'surprise'. Although this part is guided so there is a time schedule you are allowed 10-15 minutes in this area (all of which a guide member is talking over, giving yourself some extra information) to explore the Great Hall and I felt this was plenty enough time to take it in and take some photos, without feeling like you are hanging around in there too long. The long tables are barricaded off, so you can not sit at them, though can get very close to it all and capture some really great photos.
From then on you are able to explore the tour at your own pace. There are loads of sets to explore and props to see, there was more than I had expected to be there. There is the Gryffindor common room, Boys Dormitories, Ministry of Magic and horcruxes to be name but a few. Looking at each of them close up really gives you a sense of the effort that went into the movies. My favourite was 'The Burrow Kitchen' in which there were 3 wands dotted around the outside in which you could 'perform magic' and in fact make the needle knit by themselves, clothes iron themselves and the carrot chop themselves. This may seem like an attraction for younger children, however just as many adults as children were using these wands and having their own go at performing a little magic. As I said, there are photo opportunities everywhere and if you wanted one with the whole family in, then the staff are more than willing to offer a hand and take a photo.
Most of the tour is inside and although it is in a warehouse I did not feel chilly despite wearing a sleeveless top on a day like today (windy/raining!). Some of the tour is outside however, including that of the Knight bus, Hargrid's bike, Privet Drive, Flying car and Gordrics Hollow. These sets/props were just as amazing, especially as you could have photos on Hagrid's bike of in the Weasley's car. You could also go right up to number 4 Privet Drive (though obviously couldn't enter) to have photos taken there and it was really amazing how much it did just look like a normal house and not all like a set.
Of course, you can also walk up Diagon Alley. This again was really lovely as you felt like you were a part of the movies. The shops cannot be accessed as it just a set, nonetheless it still feels just as magical and you feel just as much as part of it.
The Hogwarts model there is absolutely breathtaking, for some reason I had expected it to be quite a small model on table, but it was very large indeed, covering two floors and one whole room. Everything was done in such detail and whilst you are in the room the Hogwarts castle changes from day to night in that it starts with lights on in the room and Hogwarts lights off, yet after a couple of minutes the lights in the room fade and the Hogwarts lights come on. The scale of it and the work that has gone into this model is really amazing and it was yet another highlight of the tour. The only thing I found was that due to the lighting in the room, it was a little hard to get a decent photo and although this was eventually managed, it was perhaps not as clear as I would have liked it to be.
The tour took me and my family (with the shop included) around 3 hours, which was the estimated average time given. It does seem to go much quicker when you are actually there, but by the time that you have finished you do feel like you have seen everything and that you have had a really great 'day' out.
==~~The Souvenir and Digital Guide~~==
As said previously, I purchased the 'complete package' ticket and along with this came both the souvenir guide and digital guide. The digital guide can be used throughout the tour, where there are corresponding around the tour numbers to the guide in order for it reveal more information. It is touch screen, with headphones so you can go through the tour at your own pace and not everyone's will be in the same place at the same time. I personally didn't get on too well with mine and preferred watching some of the TV screens dotted around the tour with the information and interviews on there. That said, I did see many people using them and my younger brother in particular really enjoyed the use of his and actually said that he didn't think he would have enjoyed the tour as much without it. I may have liked it, if I had given it a better chance, yet I was so mesmerised with all the other stuff on offer I kind of forgot about it! These are not to keep and do have to be handed in at the end of the tour!
I was really glad the Souvenir came with this as it is a really nice keepsake. These can also be purchased separately in the shop for £9.95. It is of really high quality, thick paper and along the photos and pictures used are of really high, clear quality. The guide also reveals more about the films and the props and each double or page spread it devoted to its own thing, such as costume designs, how the props came about/were made, the different animals used, special effects, etc. I think much of the information of this was what was in the Digital guide, however this was in a printed form in which you could keep.
I did find that food and refreshments were very limited and in the tour buildings neither were allowed. There is a smallish cafe/restaurant when you first arrive, though I would say that the menu is fairly limited, though does cover food that would suit most people. The food itself is tasty and well prepared, though most of the menu is that of cold food and refreshments opposed to that of proper meals. There is also a tiny Starbucks inside the building, but again due to this being very small it is does not offer all their normal drinks.
Around halfway around the tour (in the outside bit by Privet Drive) there is a place where you can buy Butterbeer; the famous drink from the Harry Potter books. It does look fairly unpleasant- an orange/ brown fizzy liquid with a white froth on top, yet I was really pleasantly surprised at how it tasted. It was very sweet, yet had a slight caramel taste to it and wasn't overly fizzy. I would recommend buying one or two to share between a family though as they can be quite sickly. We bought one Butterbeer (costing £2.95) between the four of us and found this plenty enough to 'experience' Butterbeer before it becoming too sickly.
I often find with places like these the staff can either be extremely friendly and helpful or a little mopey and grumpy; I was happy to find that the staff were the first of the two. If anyone has ever been to DisneyLand or World you will know how well the staff are trained and how helpful they are and I would say that the staff here compare very well to those. They are happy to help and answer questions and are very polite. They are also knowledgeable on the sets and films so if you have any questions can more than likely answer them. The staff are all quite 'animated' and you can tell that they really enjoy working there, which always makes the experience a more pleasant one. I had no encounters with a rude member of staff or one that looked grumpy, so I would say that the staff have been very well trained and all have lovely manners.
It may be due to the fact that the tour has only been opened for 1 month, but the toilets were lovely and clean. They smelt fresh and clean when you walked and did not have that horrible public toilet smell that some attractions can. I did not find the toilets to be that busy, despite it being such a large attraction and not once did I have to queue to go to the toilet, which is always a bonus!
The shop was really amazing too and the staff were just as polite and friendly in here. You can enter the shop by choice on the way in, though when exiting you have to go through it so there is no way of avoiding it! They have lots of Harry Potter memorabilia, from tops and backpacks, to broomsticks and wands! Despite this, I found that somehow the choice was a little lacking. Although they had many key rings, most of them seemed to be house of Ministry of Magic related and I felt it would have been nice to have a Hedwig or Dobby keying. I was actually after one of their chocolate frog key rings and when asked about them they said that they had already sold out due to only ordering 100- this seemed pretty silly to me, as a large, new attraction for a worldwide famous book(s) is more than likely to sell out of 100 of each kind of keying. I also found out that they had sold out of the most popular wand (The Elder Wand) due to not ordering enough, which again was ever so slightly disappointing.
In the shop the prices ranged greatly, obviously I knew it wasn't going to be cheap before going there, yet was still shocked at some of the prices! I had really wanted to try a box of Bertie Botts every flavour beans and was very shocked to see these priced at £8.95 for a relatively small box, had they been £5 I would have still though them expensive, but more worthy of the money. It was really lovely to see all the famous Honeydukes sweets actually being sold though and you could buy some of the famous sweets in the movies. There were also many wand replicas in which you could choose, costing just over £20 each, which although isn't cheap I do not believe this too expensive as they are really well made and do seem to be really detailed. Of course, there were more expensive items such as a replica of a Firebolt broomstick priced at just under £250 and Voldemort's Cloak being around the same price (and a little more). There was also some cheaper alternatives, such as broomstick for £25 so I would say that the shop catered for most people's budget, along with key rings being sold for an average of between £5-£10.
==~~Would I recommend?~~==
In case you haven't already guessed, there is no question as to whether I would recommend it! I really loved every second of it and didn't want to leave, I would urge every Harry Potter fan (and even those who are not that into it!) to go as it really is an amazing experience. I think it is really nice thing to do with friends and family and is not something that I would have really liked to do on my own due to the fact it is nice to experience it with others. My Mum and Dad, who are both in their forties enjoyed it, as did me and my brother who are both in their teens, yet there were many younger children around the ages of 5-12 who seemed to be equally enjoying it, so I really think it is an age regardless attraction and people of all ages will enjoy it!
You 100% need a camera for this; almost everyone in the tour had one. I would make sure you have a decent memory card and it to be fully charged as I took over 250 photos, yet there were still some things I missed and that Mum managed to get on her camera. You don't need a really good camera, though I would say that you would get better results with those. Mum and I both have 'normal' cameras around the £100 mark and although most of our pictures are clear and are well in focus, due to some of the lighting and the darkness in some of the rooms, some of the photos aren't the best. Nonetheless, you really do need a camera for this tour as it is lovely to look back through them as I have already forgotten some of the stuff I have seen!
If you have younger children who may not necessarily be entertained by each of the props and sets, at the beginning they can be given a passport like booklet in which there are activities for them to complete. One of these is to spot the Golden Snitches (15 in total) hidden around the castle, another is to collect stamps that are at different points throughout the tour. I suppose this is just an added extra to keep them entertained as although they may be excited and love the tour, they may not want to spend as long at each section taking in the fine detail
Overall, today has been magical! It was lovely to see the sets that I have seen in the films for year's right in front of me and to think that the actors have been in the very same sets in front of you. There is no doubt over whether or not I would recommend it and it is something that I would even go to again! I know that it is a little pricey, especially some of the prices in the shops, though I do think this is only to be expected with large attractions like these and it is worth it for the memories. The cost of the tickets is definitley worth the experience you have there and to see all the sets first hand, having been there I would be more than willing to pay this price again and seeing all the behind the scenes bits that made the movies really makes the price worth it. As said, there were very diverse age groups and in that sense I think it will appeal to everyone. Of course, there will be certain props or sets that will interest some more than others, although the Hogwarts castle model seemed to be a winner in my family. would have liked there to be a little more on the side of food and refreshments (especially for those who will be visiting over lunch time) yet on the whole it has been an experience that I shall never forget! There were many people dressed up in Hogwarts cloaks or uniform too, so if this takes your fancy, you will not be the only one so go for it!
In conclusion, I have loved every minute of my day out today and anyone who is debating whether to go or not I would strongly urge you to- you will not be disappointed!
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The Puzzling Place (Keswick)
My dad and I were in the Lake District for a few days and when in Keswick we ran into this museum quite by accident while wandering round the shops. It is tucked away in an upstairs location among shop fronts in Museum Square and it caught my eye, so we headed up for a nosy. On entering there is a fairly large shop area that ... is free to enter and the receptionist doesn't pressure anyone browsing the shop to enter the museum, which is nice. The World of Illusions exhibition itself is behind swing doors and you simply pay at reception if you wish to enter. The shop stocks lots of unusual little items, puzzles, jigsaws on such like and is worth a little look around in itself.
The entry fee to the main exhibit is reasonable at £3.75 for a full price ticket and £2.90 for a child/concession. Under 5s get in for free and a family ticket for four can be bought for £11.75. The swing doors themselves to get in look a bit like a dodgy DIY job and I really wasn't convinced that it was worth going in but in we went, anyway.
A lot of the illusions are big boards on the wall with some kind of optical illusion on them (many of them very famous such as the type with a face that when looked at can either be interpreted as one thing or another). I'd seen a lot of the illusions already in books but maybe that's just due to my mis-spent youth being into that sort of thing! There were a few more 'hands on' exhibits dotted around such as two cases (one small and one large) that you'd to lift and gauge the weight of and a kaleidiscope of mirrors that you could stand inside.
There was also the optical illusion of a large chair created by the angle of a camera pointed at it which provided a good photo opportunity (you are actually just standing on a board on the ground but from a distance and at the right angle a photo would make you look like you are standing on a huge chair).
The best bit was definately the anti-gravity room which due to strange angles on the floor etc. made chairs slide uphill and makes you feel a bit dizzy and strange when you're inside. There is also a fairly large hologram room which is fun and some of the holograms are really detailed and amazing although a few of them weren't visible when I was there as the lights needed to light them had went out. In the hologram gallery there is also a distorted perceptions room where you can make yourself look tiny and your kid (if you have one with you) look like a giant. Again, another good photo opportunity.
The overall feel of the place is a bit basic and amateurish and it is really rather small and probably wouldn't take any more than 45 minutes to go round, even if you were taking your time to read everything and do everything that was there but I think this is quite fairly reflected in the price to get in as it isn't particularly expensive. It reminded me somewhat of a poor man's version of Camera Obscura in Edinburgh.
I would recommend a peek inside if you're in Keswick but I wouldn't recommend you to go deliberately out of your way to visit this attraction although hopefully it will improve over time if enough visitors invest in it.
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