Photo by bixentro licensed under CC
You don't have to head for Hollywood to be a part of the movies. Hundreds of tourist attractions around the UK have been used as backdrops for films. Let us introduce you to a few...
Montacute House, Somerset
Somerset is a hotbed for movie locations. Minehead and the West Somerset Railway saw much of the Beatles film A Hard Day’s Night made there, while Freshford and Monkton Combe were home to the Ealing classic The Titfield Thunderbolt.
But the National Trust property Montacute House (pictured above) has to be the winner. Not only was it used for the 1995 version of Sense and Sensibility and the Oscar-winning Elizabeth in 1998, but Aardman Animations even used it in their recent Wallace and Gromit outing, The Curse of the Were-Rabbit.
Black Park and Burnham Beeches, Buckinghamshire
Shepperton, Pinewood and Bray Studios are in the heart of Buckinghamshire, so it’s no surprise that the county is a popular location for filming.
Two beautiful areas of park and woodland – both near each other – have played host to dozens of TV shows and movies.
Burnham Beeches is in the southern tip of the county and has seen scenes from The Crying Game, Goldfinger, The Princess Bride and Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix all filmed here. Filming is restricted to only 20 days a year and the money goes directly to fund the maintenance of the woodland.
Black Park country park, meanwhile, has 530 acres of woodland, grassland and heathland, plus a beautiful lake, directly next to Pinewood Studios. Many of the Carry On films, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Casino Royale have all been shot here.
- Find out more about Burnham Beeches
- More information about Black Park country park
Piece Hall, Halifax
Moving further north, Yorkshire and its attractions have featured in many famous films. The recent adaptation of Atonement used Redcar for some of its scenes, while The Full Monty was based completely in Sheffield.
But Halifax has the most prestigious location: Piece Hall is a Grade-1 listed building and the last survivor of the 18th-century cloth halls. It has been used as long ago as 1959 for Room at the Top, starring Laurence Harvey, and more recently for Brassed Off.
Piece Hall now acts as a social and cultural centre point for Halifax, and you can learn more about it at its Visitor Centre.
- More information about The Piece Hall
Famous for being Wales' first national park as well as home of its highest peak, the 838 square miles of Snowdonia also regularly doubles up as a film location.
The Welsh slate quarries were used in Tomb Raider 2, while the Watkin Path was turned into the Khyber Pass for Carry On Up the Khyber. The early James Bond outing, From Russia With Love, used Snowdonia as a backdrop and then, more than 30 years later, Sean Connery returned to film much of the Arthurian tale First Knight.
Snowdonia is an outstandingly beautiful area, full of castles, steam railways, bird reserves and the odd mountain or two, as well.
- All about Snowdonia as part of the National Trust
Home to thousands of students and the world-famous university, Cambridge’s gleaming spires have been the inspiration for any number of films.
Possibly the most well-known is the Oscar-winning Chariots of Fire, way back in 1981, which used a variety of streets and colleges. However, the famous Trinity College courtyard scene was actually filmed at Eton College in Berkshire.
Going further back in time, Elizabeth: The Golden Age made use of Cambridge and particularly the River Cam, as did the Merchant-Ivory classic Maurice in 1987. Punting is still a much-loved activity today, whether you do it yourself, or get one of the local students to ferry you.
Photo of Piece Hall by Tim Green licensed under CC
Photo of River Cam, Cambridge by Jim Linwood licensed under CC