Do you fall asleep before the opening credits have even started? Or is your room covered in film posters and merchandise? Whether you are a casual viewer or glued to the screen every time, a trip to a famous movie filming location is always a treat.
Be sure to pack the popcorn as you take a drive to some of the most interesting movie filming locations dotted throughout the UK.
Glencoe - Scottish Highlands
As one of the most-loved James Bond movies, you’ll most likely recognise this filming location for one striking scene in Skyfall (2012). Bond and M travel along a fog-covered winding road through the neighbouring hills in Glencoe, in search of Bond’s childhood home in the Highlands. The iconic image of Bond’s Aston Martin traversing the road is a wonderful incentive to take a drive to this gorgeous landscape for yourself.
If this wasn’t enough, other films that have been shot here since include the science-fiction film Under the Skin (2013) and the recent Saoirse Ronan movie Mary Queen of Scots (2018), so the beauty of this wondrous site is sure to remind you of something you’ve watched.
For fans of nature as well as movies, there is plenty for you to enjoy in Glencoe. You can kayak on Loch Leven, or tick a few Munros off of your list. The Glencoe National Nature Reserve can give you plenty of insight into the fascinating and at times tragic history of the area. You can get to Glencoe via the A82 if you are heading from the North West Highlands or Isles, or if you want to head up from Glasgow.
Royal Mile - Edinburgh
If you’re a fan of Marvel movies, then you’ll probably recognise this location from a tense fight scene in the MCU. In Avengers: Infinity War (2018), Wanda and Vision have a heartfelt conversation whilst wandering up Cockburn Street in Edinburgh. After Vision is attacked, Wanda must fight back against one of Thanos’ children. The fight escalates and takes place all over town, with Wanda fighting outside of St Giles’ Cathedral on the Royal Mile, which you can see on your next visit to Scotland’s capital.
On a less extraordinary day, Edinburgh is just as beautiful, with plenty of cafés and shops for you to enjoy. The fight culminates in Edinburgh Waverley train station, which is just down the road from the steps that Ewan McGregor’s Mark Renton jumps down before being hit by a car in Trainspotting (1996) if you want an additional movie location to check out. You can get to Edinburgh via the M8 from Glasgow.
Rosslyn Chapel - Midlothian
Rosslyn Chapel dates back to the 15th century, and is located just off the A701. This historic building is best known for being the setting of The DaVinci Code (2006), a thriller movie based on Dan Brown’s novel of the same name - one of the best-selling novels of all-time.
You can walk through the chapel just as Tom Hanks and Audrey Tautou did during filming, and take in the atmosphere and history of the building itself. Since the film’s release, Rosslyn Chapel has become a popular destination for movie buffs - the chapel even sells copies of Brown’s book in the gift shop.
Aside from being the setting for some of the film, the chapel is also steeped in local history - with mysteries surrounding a ‘grail’ which the pillars of the chapel may contain - that you can learn about during your visit.
Chatsworth House - Derbyshire Dales
If you are more interested in period pieces, then this next spot may be of interest to you. Chatsworth House provided the filming location for the fictional country estate of Pemberley in Pride and Prejudice (2005). Home to Mr Darcy, it is here that Keira Knightley’s version of Elizabeth Bennet takes a tour, and begins to see a less standoffish side to her future love interest whilst exploring the grounds of the grand manor.
With several stately rooms for you to explore, as well as a large collection of art and sculptures, Chatsworth House is definitely worth a visit. Perhaps even more so at Christmas, when the house is transformed for the Christmas market and displays. A beautiful garden replete with water features and outdoor art exhibitions is located on the grounds, so this is the perfect place to take the family.
If you are a fan of Jane Austen or wish to take a similar stroll around Chatsworth House, you can turn off of the M1, or take the A6 and then onto either the B6012 from Matlock, or the A623 if you are journeying from Manchester.
Brecon Beacons - South Wales
The final instalment in Christopher Nolan’s trilogy of Batman films, The Dark Knight Rises (2012) was filmed in part in the Brecon Beacons. In fact, the Batcave itself is hidden behind Henrhyd Falls, which acts as the exterior cover for the place where Bruce Wayne works on secret projects as Batman.
As South Wales’ tallest waterfall, it is no surprise that this location was chosen. Amazingly enough, visitors are able to disappear behind the waterfall themselves - so you can feel just like your favourite superhero!
Why not hike the slippery paths up to the falls, and then take a journey back down through the beautiful Nant Llech valley? You can get here by car via the A4067 or the A4221, if you want to be at one with nature and cinema history.
Shere - Surrey
This is definitely a destination for any romantic-comedy fans out there, with the church scene in Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason (2004) and The Wedding Date (2005) both being filmed in this location.
The village of Shere in Surrey offers a quaint collection of buildings, pubs, and shops. With a museum and duck pond in tow, Shere is sure to be the relaxing getaway you are looking for. You can get to the village by following the A25 from Newlands Corner - the place where Agatha Christie disappeared in 1926, if you want to add another place of intrigue to your itinerary.
In the latter months of the year, you may be thinking of visiting Shere after having seen Nancy Meyers’ The Holiday (2006), which takes place over the festive season. It is here that Cameron Diaz comes to spend a week after having swapped her giant L.A home for Kate Winslet’s tiny cottage - which has become a firm favourite with home decor enthusiasts.
There is plenty of beauty to behold in this idyllic-looking village. Though, sadly, if you are journeying here in the hopes of seeing this cottage, it may surprise you to learn that it was actually created on a Hollywood sound stage, and so doesn’t actually exist. You will just have to enjoy the rest that Shere has to offer, and curl up with a cup of hot chocolate by the fire all the same.
Though these filming locations didn’t make our main list, they are worth checking out if you are a television enthusiast. For fans of the HBO series Game of Thrones (2011-2019), Northern Ireland is the place to go. You can visit the Dark Hedges if you fancy a fright - this road is lined by two gnarly rows of trees, and provided the filming location for ‘The Kingsroad’ episode.
You could also visit the Causeway Coastal Route, which doubled as Winterfell for some of the shoot.
Belfast may be of interest to you - you may recognise this location for the AC-12 offices in Line of Duty (2012-present), or the botanic gardens in The Fall (2013-2016) if you are more interested in crime dramas.
No matter where you decide to go on your next trip, make sure you actually get there. Don't just see these beautiful places on a screen - avoid any unexpected breakdowns by booking a car service with a professional mechanic, and be the main character in your own journey today.
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