If you’re a movie lover, when you go on vacations you like to find the places where the scenes from your favorite movies or TV shows were filmed. If you’re planning on visiting the United Kingdom, but don’t know where to find these locations, here are the top eight places in the United Kingdom that every film and TV lover must visit!
Highclere Castle is the gorgeous estate where every season of the award winning period drama, Downton Abbey, was filmed. The estate is owned by the Earl and Countess of Carnarvon who live there during the winter months and host many events on the property for the public. Most recently, they hosted a vintage garden party and a drinks reception with Julian Fellowes, the creator and writer of Downton Abbey. The castle is only open on select dates throughout the year and tickets sell out fast, so those interested should check the website regularly for upcoming dates. Even if tickets are sold out online, the castle tends to hold a number of admissions at the door and visitors can try their luck at these during the open dates.
Visitors have the option of touring the castle to get an inside look at the set of Downton Abbey and the rich history of the castle. If you’re more outdoorsy, you can take advantage of the 5,000 acres of adjacent property and explore the gardens. History aficionados can visit the “Egyptian Exhibiton.” The 8th Earl of Carnarvon discovered the tomb of Tutankhamun and the castle holds this “Egyption Exhibiton” to give visitors insight into that part of history. Guests can also buy tickets for afternoon tea or stay overnight in the London Lodge. Student tickets range from £7.00 to £20.00, depending on how much you want to see.
The Kenwood House was the 30-year home of Dido Elizabeth Belle, the first black British aristocrat. Her story was depicted in the 2014 film Belle starring Gugu Mbatha-Raw. After her mother died, Dido’s father sent her to live with his uncle, the Earl of Mansfield. The movie details Dido’s struggle to come to terms with herself while living a complicated life between ranks– neither a full member of society, nor a slave. Kenwood also houses the famous picture of Dido and her cousin Elizabeth.
In addition to the beautiful gardens and house guests can tour, you can also see the stunning collection of artwork by artists such as Rembrandt, Vermeer, Van Dyck, Gainsborough, and Reynolds. Entry into Kenwood is free and open year round with the exception of some holidays. A scene from the 1999 film Notting Hill was filmed at Kenwood, featuring Hugh Grant’s character visiting James’ film set.
Although one scene from Notting Hill was filmed in the Kenwood House, most of the scenes were filmed in Notting Hill itself. Fans of the movie can take a trip to Notting Hill in London to find many of the filming locations! Walk down the famous Portobello Road which was featured in the film, buy keepsakes at the Portobello Market, and view the Victorian homes and colorful shops.
Visitors can stop at the real Travel Bookshop, which was the inspiration for the shop in the film on 13-15 Blenheim Crescent. Or visit The Notting Hill Bookshop specifically made for fans of the film on 13 Blenheim Crescent. Tourists can also find Hugh Grant’s house in the film, with the blue door, on 280 Westbourne Park Road in Notting Hill.
Fans of the book Me Before You, as well as the film starring Emilia Clarke and Sam Claflin, will appreciate visiting Pembroke, a town in Pembrokeshire, West Wales. Me Before You is the story of Louisa Clark who works as a caretaker for Will Traynor, a man who became a quadriplegic after a road accident. They eventually fall in love and go on adventures throughout the town. Pembroke Castle was very prominent in the movie and is a very important part of the book. The castle hosts concerts, ghost tours, exhibitions, a historic tour of the castle, as well as musical shows and more. The castle is open year-round and general admission only cost £6.60 for adults. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and Snow White and The Huntsman also filmed scenes on the beaches of Pembrokeshire.
West Wycombe Park
West Wycombe Park was the location of popular films such as Labyrinth, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, X-Men: First Class, Austenland and our personal favorite, What a Girl Wants. The park, which features a stunning yellow chateau used in the movies previously mentioned, sits on more than 5,000 acres and has been owned by the Dashwood family since the early 1600s. The park hosts private events such as weddings, dinners, and corporate events, while the public is welcome to go fishing, hunting, and clay shooting during the summer. Tourists can also take a guided tour through the “Hell-Fire Caves” or relax in the “Hell-Fire Tea Room”. Admission is only £9.50 for adults.
Longford Castle is most popular for being the model for Genovia, the fictional kingdom ruled by Queen Mia of the Princess Diaries film series. The Princess Diaries stars Julie Andrews and Anne Hathaway and follows a high school girl who finds out from her estranged grandmother that she’s royalty. For £14, visitors can tour the castle and view artwork by Van Dyck, Claude, Teniers, Hals, Reynolds, and Gainsborough. The castle is only open 28 days out of the year and tickets sell fast. If you’re planning to visit, get your tickets far in advance at their website.
Dover Castle is probably most widely recognized as the prince’s castle from Into the Woods. Into the Woods is a musical starring many of Hollywood’s finest actors and follows a married couple tasked with collecting particular items to undo a curse set on their family. The castle can be seen in the background in many of Chris Pine’s scenes and during Prince Charming and Cinderella’s wedding. Visitors can tour the medieval castle and get a feel for what life was like in the days of King Henry II. The castle also boasts recent history with their WWI fire command post and their underground hospital. The castle is situated in Dover, Kent and tickets cost £18.30 or are free if you become a member of English-heritage.org.
Harry Potter Studio Tour
And of course, this list would not be complete without arguably the most popular British film series, Harry Potter. The Harry Potter movies included 8 films, spanned over 10 years, and grossed more than 7 billion USD in revenue. The “boy who lived” still lives on in our hearts, and in the Harry Potter Studio Tour. Located 20 miles Northwest of London, fans have the opportunity to visit two soundstages and view iconic props and costumes from the movies. Visitors can also try butterbeer ice cream, ride on broomsticks in front of a green screen, and visit platform 9 ¾. Tickets cost £35.00 and you usually want to book a month in advance.
So whether you’re the type of person who binged watched every season of Downton Abbey, re-watched the Harry Potter series five hundred times or the person who doesn’t even own a TV, everyone can appreciate the picturesque landscapes and beautiful settings of some of Britain’s most popular filming locations.
[accordion_tab title=”Collegiate Correspondent: Danielle Wilkinson” default]
Danielle is a junior at Purdue University studying mass communication. Being aware of the world we live in is something that’s very important to her family and because of that, they have traveled to over 10 countries since she was born. She studied abroad in Barcelona Summer 2015 and is planning to study abroad in London in Spring 2017. Danielle is originally from Atlanta, Georgia so she knows all about sweet tea, southern hospitality, and temperatures 75 degrees and above. She loves traveling because “it gives you a chance to be a different kind of you. You can let loose, explore, and have fun, all while discovering new parts of the world and of yourself” and she thinks that’s incredible. When she is not traveling, you can either find her at home writing while enjoying a cup of chai tea, binge watching shows on Netflix, or hanging out with friends.