I have to confess, first and foremost, that I am a bit of a film nerd. This film buff-ness has transferred into my travelling, and I love visiting places where some of my favourite films and TV shows have been filmed. In fact, I went on holiday to Bruges in Belgium based solely on the film In Bruges (2008) and dragged my family around to as many of the locations seen in the film as I could, even climbing to the top of the Bell Tower.
Places I Have Visited:
Chatsworth House – Pride and Prejudice (2005)
Chatsworth House in Derbyshire was used as Mr Darcy’s (Matthew Macfadyen) grand residence, known as Pemberley, in the 2005 adaptation of the book. It is believed Jane Austen herself used Chatsworth as the inspiration for Pemberley when she visited in the 19th century. The grand staircase and ceiling of the Painted Hall from the movie are still there, and the last time I visited, I walked along the black and white checked floor, looking up at the beautifully painted ceiling just like Elizabeth Bennet (Keira Knightley).
Alnwick Castle – Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (2001)
I am a huge Harry Potter fan, and all but one scene of Harry Potter was filmed within the UK (100 internet points for whoever can tell me the film and the country of that one scene!). One of the most famous locations is Alnwick Castle in Northumberland, which can be recognised from the first two films. You can walk in the same spot where young Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) had his first flying lesson, and according to their website, you can now have your own lesson!
Cambridge University – The Theory of Everything (2014)
Much of the film about Professor Stephen Hawking takes place in Cambridge, and the beautiful old buildings which make up the various university colleges are wonderful to see on screen. Filming took place around St John’s College, which hosted Trinity College’s May Ball in the film. I can’t wait to visit the city again soon!
Wollaton Hall – The Dark Knight Rises (2012)
You may not know that Bruce Wayne’s manor can be found in the East Midlands, very far from Gotham City. Wollaton Hall, in Nottingham, doubled up for the billionaire’s home in the last film of Christopher Nolan’s fantastic Dark Knight Trilogy about the caped crusader. It has been a few years since I visited, but I lovingly remember running around the garden and seeing the deer grazing in the grounds when I went as a child.
Royal Naval College, Greenwich – Thor: The Dark World (2013)
London has been the filming location for countless films, and the stunning Royal Naval College on the banks of Thames has been the backdrop for a few hits in recent years, including Les Misérables (2012), Skyfall (2012) and the second Thor film The Dark World. As the god of thunder is battling aliens, you can see the college in the background, very nearly getting destroyed. The place is open to visitors so you can marvel at the creation of Sir Christopher Wren.
Places I Want To Visit:
Highclere Castle, Berkshire – Downton Abbey
The 5,000-acre estate and Jacobethan castle shot to fame in Downton Abbey, and in fact, the show could have saved the property from closing as it needed millions of pounds worth of repair. The place now gets up to 1200 visitors a day, mostly fans of the show, and I would like to visit and walk in the steps of the Crawley family.
Edinburgh – Trainspotting (1996) and T:2 (2017)
Trainspotting is one of my favourite films and was filmed around Edinburgh and parts of Glasgow. I can’t wait to go back and visit the many locations, such as Princes Street where Renton (Ewan McGregor) and Spud (Ewen Bremner) sprint down in the opening scenes of the film to the sound of Iggy Pop’s Lust for Life. I highly doubt I will recreate the scene myself, however.