The UK is one big, gorgeous movie set in itself – walking around towns like Oxford, Cambridge or Bath makes you feel like you are part of a movie. For this reason many film makers have chosen places around Britain to film some great classics. Discovering the filming location of some of your favourite movies makes is quite exciting, so here we look at where you can find some of them.
- Harry Potter movies
The Warner Studios near Watford offers a great day out for young and old fans alike and there you can see Diagon Alley, the Hogwarts Express, Privet Drive, etc. However, the film locations of the eight movies about the teen wizard are scattered all over Britain. Get a train from London’s King’s Cross station and you can find Platform 9 ¾ from where the Hogwarts Express departs to take the young wizards to the magical school. The Glenfinnan Viaduct in the Highlands is where Ron’s flying Ford Anglia lands and London’s Leadenhall Market is the entrance to the Leaky Cauldron. You can see parts of Hogwarts in Alnwick Castle in Northumberland, the Bodleian Library in Oxford and Durham Cathedral. Magical!
Tip for fans of the books: J.K. Rowling, the author of the Harry Potter books, went to university in Exeter and parts of the city are said to have inspired her for places in the books – Gandy Street in the town centre looks a lot like Diagon Alley and the Old Firehouse pub is said to be the Leaky Cauldron. The author hasn’t confirmed this but if you’re in the area, it’s worth checking them out.
- James Bond movies
The James Bond film locations can be found all over the world – some of the latest movies have been filmed in Brazil, Turkey, Czech Republic, Italy, etc. There are some locations in the UK though that you wouldn’t want to miss if you are a fan. The original MI6 headquarters appears in ‘Golden Eye’ and ‘The World is Not Enough’, while the Old War Office Building in Whitehall is featured as MI6 HQ in ‘Octopussy’, ‘License to Kill’ and ‘A View to Kill’. The National Motor Museum at Beaulieu in the New Forest has one of the biggest collections of Bond vehicles in the world – you can even find the Lotus submarine from ‘The Spy Who Loves Me’.
- The Da Vinci Code
You can follow the footsteps of Professor Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks) and Sophie Neveu (Audrey Tatou) trying to resolve the mystery of the Da Vinci Code around many locations in London and around the UK. You can find the Temple Church and Westminster Abbey in London and then check out Lincoln Cathedral which is used as the abbey’s interior. The painting Madonna of the Rocks is in the National Gallery on Trafalgar square which is free to visit and the Horse Guards Parade near St. James’s Palace in London is where the mysterious ‘Teacher’ lures Remy and poisons him.
- Notting Hill
The Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts classic romantic comedy turned the West London neighbourhood into a major tourist hotspot. The Portobello Road market is now one of the top 10 tourist attractions in London and the blue door must be one of the most famous British film locations. You can find it at 280 Westbourne Park Road, Notting Hill, London W11. The film features loads of places in the area so just wander about and you can come across the Coronet cinema, the tattoo parlour at 201 Portobello Road, etc.
- Pride and Prejudice
The star-studded 2005 adaptation of Jane Austen’s novel featuring Keira Knightley, Rosamund Pike, Donald Sutherland and Judy Dench among others made great use of locations across Derbyshire, Lincolnshire and Kent. The home of Mr. Darcy is Chatsworth House in Derbyshire and in the beautiful Peak District you can find Stamford, the Georgian town in Lincolnshire which became Meryton Village.
- Four Weddings and a Funeral
This 1992 romantic comedy that turned Hugh Grant into the king of the rom-com genre seems to wander all around Britain from Scotland to Somerset but it was actually filmed entirely in London and the Home Counties in the South East. Some of the major London locations are the Royal Naval College in Greenwich and the National Film Theatre on the South bank.
The recent super successful BBC period drama takes place in 18th century Cornwall. Much of the action is outdoors and the breathtaking scenery of Cornwall adds loads to the series. The filming locations are scattered all over Cornwall – the Levant Mine plays the role of Tressiders Rolling Mill and Owles and Crowns near Botallack is Ross Poldark’s Wheal Leisure, and Bodmin Moor and Padstow area stood for most of the outdoors/cliff scenes. You can find the BBC breakdown of the filming locations across Cornwall here http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/nbVFGmB7lFVmJJKpjrCQV/poldarks-cornwall-locations
- The Queen
The Queen, starring Helen Mirren, tells the story of the days after the death of Princess Diana and made a star of the Scottish houses. The top royal locations featured in the film are Culzean Castle, Castle Frazer in Aberdeenshire and Balmoral, as well as Glenfeshie Estate and some of London’s royal and political sights.
- Love Actually
Love Actually is the ultimate London rom-com package featuring emblematic places like Downing Street 10, Somerset House, Heathrow Airport,St. Christopher’s Place, etc. On Gabriel’s Wharf, in front of the Riviera restaurant, is the bench where Daniel (Liam Neeson) discovers that his son is – actually – in love. Mark (Andrew Lincoln) lives a bit further east in the Oxo Tower Wharf complex where he embarrassedly leaves Juliet (Keira Knightley) with the wedding video. The dodgy end of Wandsworth where the PM looks for his Natalie is actually in Herne Hill, 102 Poplar Road, and Peter and Juliet live on 27 St Luke’s Mews, Notting Hill.
- Downton Abbey
The real castle that plays the role of Downton Abbey in the period drama is Highclere Castle in Berkshire (South East England) which is the home of the Earl and Countess of Carnarvon. The castle opens at different period throughout the year and next it will be open from Sunday 12th July to Thursday 10th September.
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