It’s more than likely that any 2020 travel plans abroad have been halted, but not all hope is lost as holidaying at home can be just as exciting. Here are some brilliant destinations that have featured in some of our favourite movies, whether you’re looking for a week-long break or just a day out.
Hot Fuzz (2007)
This Edgar Wright movie shows all the chaos that can happen in the countryside, such as in the fictitious village Sandford, which was filmed primarily in Wells, Somerset. This idyllic and quaint town is home to a lot of mayhem in the movie but would make a peaceful weekend away for any fans of the film.
Pride and Prejudice (2005)
The grand location of Chatsworth House is a worthy home for Jane Austen’s romantic hero Mr Darcy. Chatsworth House is said to be the place of residence Austen had in mind for the Pemberley estate, with its beautiful views of the Derbyshire Dales. The place where Elizabeth fell in love with Mr Darcy, any film fan visiting this magnificent location will surely fall in love too.
Whilst James Bond jets off to countries all across the world in this 2012 Sam Mendes flick, there are plenty of iconic scenes filmed in our country’s capital. Through Parliament Square, across Westminster, with an amazing view of Trinity Square Gardens - if you were visiting London, you’d likely stumble on a James Bond filming location wherever you go!
The Da Vinci Code (2006)
This Ron Howard movie was filmed in many culturally significant locations across France and England. However, one of its famous locations within the UK is Rosslyn Chapel in Scotland. This striking chapel with intricate stonework and marvellous architecture has been associated with the Holy Grail for decades, but Medieval historians are yet to be convinced. Nevertheless, this Scottish delight will astonish anyone who visits.
The Theory of Everything (2014)
Detailing the life of famous physicist, Stephen Hawking, The Theory of Everything was mostly filmed at Cambridge University. The place where Hawking started his journey to scientific discovery, the University of Cambridge is one of the most prestigious educational institutions in the world and founded in 1209. The city of Cambridge is a breath-taking backdrop for this spectacular movie.
Downton Abbey (2019)
In 2019, the beloved series Downton Abbey transcended television and graced the big screen for the first time ever. Any fans of the series will instantly recognise Highclere Castle, Hampshire, as the main filming location representing the home of the Granthams, but there are some other fantastic settings too. Two marvellous Yorkshire stately homes also feature in the film, Harewood House and Wentworth Woodhouse, which both make for an amazing day out.
Chariots of Fire (1981)
Chariots of Fire boasts one of the most famous beach scenes in the history of cinema and was filmed right here on home turf (or sand) at West Sands, St Andrews. For ten years running, West Sands has held a beach race to pay homage to this iconic scene.
About Time (2013)
This Richard Curtis movie epitomises British romantic comedies and has a number of stunning filming locations around Cornwall and London. In Cornwall, one of the most picturesque locations is Vault Beach, Gorran Haven, as well as the quaint town of St Austell, which features main character, Tim Lake’s, family home. On the other hand, the film’s tourist and hospitality scenes take place in London, at places such as the National Theatre.
A movie that is as epic as it is historically inaccurate, this portrayal of Mel Gibson as William Wallace features the awe-inspiring views of Glen Coe and Loch Leven in the Scottish Highlands. Glen Nevis Valley also becomes the village of ‘Lanark’. Surprisingly, a lot of Braveheart was filmed in Ireland, with Trim Castle masquerading as the city of York, as well as London Square.
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (2001)
Every Harry Potter fan out there has wished they could go to Hogwarts at some point in their lives – and, in some ways, you can! Alnwick Castle, Northumberland and Gloucester Cathedral were the main filming locations for any scenes at Hogwarts, with a few scenes also filmed at Durham Cathedral.
This is definitely not a complete list, as so many locations were used to emulate the magic of Harry Potter. However, a visit to Alnwick Castle will have you pointing out the place where Harry rode his first broom.
Let us know if you’ve been to any of these fantastic filming locations, or where else you may be holidaying in the UK this year.
Images via IMDB.
Review by Caitlin Hall.
Caitlin Hall is a freelance writer who is currently studying for an English Literature degree at the University of York. A film enthusiast whose favourite film is Zodiac (2007), primarily because she loves Jake Gyllenhaal. More of her reviews can be found at https://caitsfilms.wordpress.com and her Twitter account is @caitonfilm.