how get efficiently to+from central London-Warner Brothers Studio?
September 18, 2023 2:43 PM   Subscribe

I don't want to wait for other people and I don't need a guide or a group. I just need rides that are ready when I am.

I see there are a ton of companies that want to put us on a bus, get us to the studio, leave us there for a big chunk of day and then take us back to London. But I have very limited time and I want to be able to leave when we're ready to leave, without padding it out in the restaurants and gift shops. Is this something I can get done with an uber? Is uber reliable for a route like this? I don't want to rent a car.

Full disclosure I've never used uber in my life, only Lyft. Does uber work well between London and its suburbs?
posted by fingersandtoes to Travel & Transportation around London, England (6 answers total)
Take the train to and from Watford Junction and get on the shuttle, which runs every 30 minutes?
posted by DarlingBri at 2:49 PM on September 18 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: is that faster than a car ride? I don't know the traffic patterns. (I did once have a horrible experience where a ride from Gatwick took 2+ hours because of rush hour and I only learned later that a train would have taken 30 minutes.)
posted by fingersandtoes at 4:23 PM on September 18

Best answer: Is this to the Harry Potter filming site? I did this last fall on a tour bus we booked from central London (we didn't have a car) which which included the entrance ticket. I remember the ride lasting about 45 minutes, so I don't know how Uber or Lyft would compare in cost, and in my memory the studio was almost beyond the London exurbs, nearly rural. I don't know how difficult it might be hailing an Uber from out there to get back to central London.

It was a really magical visit, and we could have stayed much longer than the approximately 5 hours allotted if we had not had the obligatory child with us, who was not so interested in, for example, the architectural drawings for different scenery, but was more interested in seeing things like the sets of the huge dining hall, Harry's bedroom and Hagrid's hut. There was a train set of a sliced- open train car where you could sit and pretend you were on your way to Hogwarts, the platform 8 3/4 set where you could take a photo pushing a trolley into the wall. There were bands of roving Dementers to pose with, and much more. I found standing in front of the actual locations where filming took place was unexpectedly poignant. It's enormous, built in an old WW 11 airline hanger - Wear comfortable shoes! And my 8 year old grandaughter especially enjoyed the spot where she could say "up" and a broom would jump into her hand. However you travel make sure to leave ample time for the ginormous gift shop, for every possible Potter accessory.
posted by citygirl at 7:56 PM on September 18 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Generally speaking the train will always be quicker than a car in and around London, because a train can't get stuck in traffic.

It looks like there are trains every 5 minutes or so from Euston Station to Watford Junction; and the shuttle bus from Watford Junction to the studio is included as part of your ticket price.

You don't need a company to arrange this for you, you can just travel at your own pace. You can tap your Oyster or contactless card in and out at Euston and Watford Junction to pay your fare; and I presume the shuttle bus from Watford Junction will be super obviously sign-posted as this is a huge tourist draw.
posted by citands at 5:21 AM on September 19 [1 favorite]

Best answer: A car from central London to Watford could take anything up to 4 hours, depending on the traffic and time of day (from bitter experience). It will certainly take 90mins.
posted by tinkletown at 12:38 PM on September 19

Best answer: Just an added note that you want to make sure to get the actual train from Euston (west midlands train I think) which stops at Watford Junction but will be going on somewhere else like Milton Keynes, and takes about 20 minutes, rather than the orange overground trains which are going to Watford Junction as their last stop but take about 50 minutes and stop all over the place.
posted by mosswinter at 5:57 AM on September 20

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