Britain's top 10 film locations


Great Britain has a long and proud history of film and TV making but it's not just about Pinewood Studios and the great facilities that we have here. The UK is packed with incredible period houses, villages, harbours, castles, scenery that can easily be turned into just about anything you might need. Whether you're wanting a ready made 'Wayne Manor', a working Georgian harbour or a dramatic battlefield site; we have it all. We chose 10 of our favourite UK filming locations; all of which are well worthy of adding to your list of 'must-see' places on your Great British Trips Itinerary.

1. Old Royal Naval College, Greenwich
orncGreenwich is a hub for movie makers from around the globe. The incredible Old Royal Naval College has been used inside and out for countless Hollywood blockbusters including Les Miserables, Skyfall, Sherlock Holmes, The King's Speech, The Mummy Returns, The Duchess, and The Golden Compass. The 2015 version of Cinderella used the interior as the Palace Interior whilst the Pirates of the Caribbean movie saw Jack Sparrow escape the King's clutches by swinging from a chandelier in one of the grand rooms.
The site itself is free to enter and open daily but they also run a guided film set tour at 2pm each day for a mere £5 so film buffs can see just what took place and where. Image copyright (C) Disney Enterprises Inc

2. Alnwick Castle, Northumberland
alnwickThis 14th Century Castle is a stunning backdrop in this ancient National Park which has recently been made an essential stop on any journey through the north thanks to the Harry Potter movies. Alnwick doubles as the exterior to the iconic Hogwarts School and features prominently in the first 2 movies. Quidditch is available to visitors who can take part in broomstick training on the same spot that Harry took his first lesson. The castle has also been used more recently in an episode of Downton Abbey in which Lord Sinderby rented out the 'Brancaster Castle' for a shooting holiday.

3. Highclere Castle, Berkshire
Highclere castleThis stately home has quickly become one of the most sought after attractions in Britain after it shot to fame as Downton Abbey. The series quite likely saved the house which was in much need of renovation and repair before filming started but visiting is not quite as easy as you might think. With visitors limited to just 1200 per day and opening days restricted to a maximum of 70 days per year, tickets do sell out well in advance and 2015 is now full. But for the most hardcore of fans fear not; the house does reserve a few tickets each day that the house is open for a few lucky walk-up visitors.

4. Glencoe, Scotland
GlencoeThe Scottish region of Glencoe is said to be one of the most stunning places to visit in Britain and as such it can certainly boast its share of top movie backdrops. Probably one of the most famous would be that of Mel Gibson's Braveheart - a fair chunk of which was filmed in the region. The area is also featured in 4 Harry Potter movies and the nearby Jacobite Railway begins its journey in Fort William which also doubles as the famous viaduct backdrop for the Hogwarts Express. Other legendary Scottish themed films such as Highlander and Rob Roy used the area and in 2012 Prometheus used this and other Scottish locations as key filming spots.

5. Chatham Historic Dockyard, Kent
ChathamThis huge ex-naval base is a fantastic and educational family day out as much of the dockyard has been reconstructed with Georgian factories and historic warships. However, the real draw of the area is the number of top TV programmes and movies that have been filmed here. This year the big Meryl Streep Suffragette movie was shot here along with Les Miserables, Sherlock Holmes, Children of Men, 2015's The Man from U.N.C.L.E and The Mummy to name but a few. TV credits include Downton Abbey, Mr Selfridge and Call the Midwife.

6. Chatsworth House, Derbyshire
chatsworthThis breath-taking Stately Home in Derbyshire was clearly Jane Austen's inspiration for Mr Darcy's Pemberley and the obvious choice for the filming location of Pride and Prejudice starring Keira Knightly. Unlike the popular 1990's TV adaptation in which Colin Firth first shot to fame and was filmed at nearby Lyme Park, Chatsworth House offered a level of scale and grandeur that simply suited the big screen. The grand house has also been used recently in The Duchess, Jane Eyre and the TV follow up to P&P, Death Comes to Pemberley. The house is open to the public for tours most days and photos can still be taken with Mr Darcy's bust.

7. Ely Cathedral, Cambridgeshire
ElyStunningly intricate and wholly under-rated, Ely Cathedral is one of the most stunning Cathedrals in Britain. The Cathedral provided a suitable stand-in for Westminster Abbey during the historic King's Speech movie. Ely Cathedral was also used in Elizabeth: The Golden Age and The Other Boleyn Girl. The Cathedral is open daily to visitors but those wishing to take part in a service can avoid the entrance fee by donation to the Cathedral.

8. Antony House, Cornwall
AntonyThe 18th Century National Trust Property Antony House is a beautiful house with stunning surrounding gardens. The whole area was beautifully captured by Tim Burton during the filming of blockbuster Alice in Wonderland. The House, Garden, Shop and Tea room are all open regularly during the summer season for visitors to enjoy and explore the familiar location.

9. Osterley, London
OsterleyAnother great National Trust filming location but this time in London is the Georgian Country House Osterley which you may know better by its interior as Wayne Manor from the 2012 The Dark Knight Rises. The house comes complete with a secret tunnel hidden behind a bookcase (which sadly doesn't actually lead to the real batcave as Christian Bale may have you believe!) and some incredible original features. The house was also featured in Edge of Love, The Young Victoria and Renee Zellweger's Miss Potter. The house and gardens are open throughout the year for visitors and as always, those with a National Trust card will get in free. If you're looking for the impressive exterior of Wayne Manor however, you will need to head further north to Nottingham's Wollaton Hall; an enjoyable museum house that's worthy of a visit of its own.

10. Charlestown, Cornwall
CharlestownA firm favourite with international movie makers the world over, Cornwall's unspoilt fishing towns, harbours, dramatic coastline and unique weather conditions make it ideal for both period and modern tv and film locations for a whole variety of film types. Top of the list is probably Charlestown in Cornwall, a small harbour town that has barely changed since the 18th century. This port comes complete with underground tunnels, a great beach and period buildings and has been used as a filming location for many classics since the medium was invented. Plenty of harbour scenes are set here including Richard Curtis' About Time, Alice in Wonderland, Mansfield Park, Dr Who and The Three Musketeers (although really the list is endless).

Other popular filming locations around Cornwall include Port Isaac which is most well known for the TV Series Doc Martin - a programme filmed here entirely but the town has also been used a lot over the years; other credits including Poldark and Saving Grace. The large town of St Ives was used in the most recent Pirates of the Caribbean offering whilst Die Another Day, Alice in Wonderland and Thunderbirds Movie to name but a few made use of various locations around Cornwall.

 

By Ruth Lancey

Date: 2017-11-28 13:18:01