No Christmas markets this year!

That’s not surprising and probably a good thing too. What with Covid-19 most if not all Christmas markets that I have visited in the past years have been cancelled for 2020. 

On this day ten years ago I was in central Birmingham for a meeting. When I arrived I was pleasantly surprised to see they had a Christmas Market, it looked so much nicer than anything I had seen before.

After my meeting and before I headed home on the train I had a good look round. They had a wonderful range of stalls selling toys, Christmas ornaments and a range of delicious looking food.

If I recall I didn’t actually buy anything, but had been sorely tempted.

Gryffindor Dormitory and Common Room

The first time I went to the Warner Brothers Harry Potter Studio Tour was in 2015, just after they had added the Hogwarts Express and Kings Cross set to the tour. At the end of November 2019 we made a return visit, mainly to see how different it was dressed for Christmas and with snow.

The Gryffindor dorm and common room were dressed for Christmas with a tree, decorations and presents.

 

Gryffindor is one of the four Houses of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and was founded by Godric Gryffindor. Gryffindor instructed the Sorting Hat to choose students possessing characteristics he most valued, such as courage, chivalry, and determination, to be sorted into his house. The emblematic animal is a lion, and its colours are scarlet and gold.

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The Ministry of Magic

The first time I went to the Warner Brothers Harry Potter Studio Tour was in 2015, just after they had added the Hogwarts Express and Kings Cross set to the tour. At the end of November 2019 we made a return visit, mainly to see how different it was dressed for Christmas and with snow.

The Ministry of Magic always looked huge on the big screen, all done via the clever use of CGI. However they did build some physical sets to complement the virtual ones.

The Burrow

The first time I went to the Warner Brothers Harry Potter Studio Tour was in 2015, just after they had added the Hogwarts Express and Kings Cross set to the tour. At the end of November 2019 we made a return visit, mainly to see how different it was dressed for Christmas and with snow.

As you can see not too much Christmas stuff in the Weasley’s home The Burrow. I think that may have been a real opportunity.

The Weasleys’ home, known as the Burrow, is located outside the village of Ottery St Catchpole,. The Burrow was used as the Order of the Phoenix’s headquarters, due to the compromised Fidelius Charm placed on 12 Grimmauld Place, in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows until it lost its given protection. The Weasley house has seven floors. It is also quite dilapidated, managing to remain standing only by magic. Despite the house’s rundown appearance, Harry remarks on his first visit that it was the best house he had ever been in and it becomes his second favourite place in the world (after Hogwarts). The well-hidden orchard nearby doubles as a Quidditch pitch for the Weasley boys and Ginny Weasley. A multitude of garden gnomes infests the garden of the Burrow. There is also a small hangar located there that Arthur Weasley uses as a workshop to tinker with muggle items that he brings home (much to Mrs. Weasley’s chagrin).

Carol Singer #366photos2020

Carol Singer #366photos2020 #366photos

This is one of a set of resin carol singer tree decorations. We bought these tree decorations over ten years ago from a now defunct Christmas shop in Weston-super-Mare and we have never seen them ever again in any other retail outlet. No idea who manufactured them or if they are still available.

Potions Classroom

The first time I went to the Warner Brothers Harry Potter Studio Tour was in 2015, just after they had added the Hogwarts Express and Kings Cross set to the tour. At the end of November 2019 we made a return visit, mainly to see how different it was dressed for Christmas and with snow.

The Potions Classroom, though a magnificent piece of film set design and full of amazing props, didn’t have a festive theme….

Cabot Circus Christmas Changes

On my way to do a pick up from the Vue Cinema, I took a photograph of the festive Cabot Circus.

Cabot Circus Christmas

Searching Flickr I found this similar images from December 2012.

Cabots Circus by David X Mitchell via Flickr CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Its interesting to see the differences. Cafe Rouge has gone and has been replaced by Five Guys. I noticed recently that Giraffe had closed and the unit was now a Slim Chickens. On the ground floor was was SoHo (which has moved around the corner) is now a Tortilla and a Typo. In 2012 Patisserie Valerie was still open, today it’s closed and boarded up.

Gringotts Bank

The first time we went to the Warner Brothers Harry Potter Studio Tour was in 2015, just after they had added the Hogwarts Express and Kings Cross set to the tour. At the end of November 2019 we made a return visit, mainly to see how different it was dressed for Christmas and with snow.

There were two new parts to the tour, which we hadn’t seen, the first was the Forbidden Forest, which to be honest I wasn’t too impressed with, then again I wasn’t that impressed with the way the forest looked in the film. The second part we hadn’t seen, which opened this year was the Gringotts Bank set. Well that set was amazing. The level of detail and attention was incredible. I also liked the “destroyed” version as well.

The Yule Ball

The first time I went to the Warner Brothers Harry Potter Studio Tour was in 2015, just after they had added the Hogwarts Express and Kings Cross set to the tour. At the end of November 2019 we made a return visit, mainly to see how different it was dressed for Christmas and with snow.

I had seen the Yule Ball set before, but that time it was in the main part of the tour, this time it was placed at the end of the Great Hall.