Step into the Forbidden Forest
The Forbidden Forest may be strictly off-limits to Hogwarts students, but visitors to the Studio Tour are invited to defy Professor Dumbledore’s orders and follow the footsteps of Harry, Ron and Hermione deep into the grounds of the Forbidden Forest.
Home to an abundance of creatures, the Forbidden Forest offers shelter and protection to Hippogriffs and Acromantula among many others. It’s also well known to beloved half-giant Hagrid in his role as Care of Magical Creatures professor, see one of Rubeus Hagrid’s original costumes on display, lantern in hand, to welcome you through the Hogwarts gates deep into the forest. Filled with 19 trees each with a diameter of over 12 feet, you can walk beneath the giant entwined roots on their journey and even control the weather using the same techniques created by filmmakers.
Amongst the imposing trees, you’ll encounter a full-size model of Buckbeak and have the opportunity to bow to the majestic creature. See up close the incredible detail and craftsmanship that went into creating the magnificent Hippogriff. Each feather had to be individually inserted and glued by the Creature Effects team who were busy adding feathers right up until the final moment Buckbeak was needed on set for Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.
As you venture deeper into the depths of the forest, you’ll come face-to-face with Aragog, the Acromantula. Emerging from his dark lair, the enormous spider will appear before visitors along with spiderlings from his family. Created by Nick Dudman, Creature and Make-Up Effects Designer, with help from Production Designer Stuart Craig, Aragog had a leg span of over 18 feet and was even able to crawl out of a hole and deliver dialogue in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.
Watch and learn how the Forbidden Forest was designed and built by many of the crew members who worked on the hugely successful magical film series. Including Oscar® and BAFTA winning Production Designer Stuart Craig, Construction Manager Paul Hayes, BAFTA winning Creature and Makeup Effects Designer Nick Dudman and BAFTA winning Special Effects Supervisor John Richardson.