Location, Location, Location! Top 10 Films checks out 10 MUST-SEE British movie locations from 10 great movies inc. Harry Potter,, Gladiator, Shaun of the Dead & The Dark Knight Rises…
For film buffs, just watching the movie is never enough. Sometimes you watch a movie and it gets so under your skin that you really need to see more, such as the places where poignant scenes were filmed, to really get a sense of what made the scene so real. Here we look at ten can’t miss destinations for British film buffs.
10. Pride & Prejudice
The movie Pride and Prejudice released in 2005 bought to life the love story from Jane Austen’s famous novel of the same name. Depicting the awkward romance of Elizabeth Bennet and Mr Darcy the movie is full of beautiful yet romantic scenes. Especially memorable is the scene where Mr Darcy, played by Matthew MacFadyen, first proposes to Elizabeth, played by Keira Knightley. This scene was filmed at the Temple of Apollo in Stourhead Gardens, Wiltshire. A National Trust garden, Stourhead Gardens are open to the public, making this a welcome addition to any movie buff’s location itinerary.
9. Shaun of the Dead
Part comedy, part zombie movie spoof, Shaun of the Dead, directed by Edgar Wright, brings to life a zombie apocalypse in a normal suburban area. Shaun (Simon Pegg) and his band of survivors look for a safe haven in their local pub The Winchester Tavern. Surrounded by slow moving zombies, the characters bicker and brawl to the entrance of the pub which is in fact the former Duke of Albany Pub which can be found on Monson Road, New Cross, London. Although the pub is now flats, you can still view the exterior where key scenes from the movie were filmed.
8. Robin Hood
In the 2010 version of the timeless classic Robin Hood, Ridley Scott went out of his way to recreate medieval England, especially Sherwood and Nottingham. However Chalus Castle which features in the film is not found in either. It can instead be found in Bourne Wood, Farnham, Surrey and is also the location that the opening battle scenes from Gladiator were set in too. With two great movies set there, it should be on any movie buff’s location hit-list for the UK.
7. X-Men First Class
A prequel to the X-Men movies, X-Men First Class shows the origins of the X-men and the founding of Xavier’s “School for the Gifted.” The school features in all of the X-men movies and is therefore a prime destination for both X-man fans and movie buffs. The outside of Xavier’s School is actually Englefield House in Theale, Reading. With many scenes set outside the school, it’s easy to feel the atmosphere as you view this English manor house.
6. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
With Harry Potter fans camping out for days to get their hands on the books it was hardly surprising that the Harry Potter films were such a success in terms of box-office revenue. JK Rowling’s Chamber of Secrets film was predominantly set around Hogwarts, the school for magicians. To get to Hogwarts, the children had to travel from platform 9¾, accessed by running through a brick wall. For those wanting to see platform 9¾, you need to get yourselves down to platform 4, King’s Cross Station, King’s Cross London which was the setting of those platform scenes not only from this movie but other Harry Potter movies too. With all Harry Potter films set in the UK, there are plenty of other Harry Potter film attractions to see too.
5. 28 Days Later
Directed by Danny Boyle, 28 Days Later tells the story 28 days after a zombie apocalypse in Britain. Jim (Cillian Murphy) wakes up in a London hospital to find the place deserted. As he steps out onto the streets of London, he is both dazed and confused about what he sees. One of the scenes shows Jim standing on a deserted London Bridge. This scene was shot on Westminster Bridge in Westminster, London and is easily accessible for any film buffs wanting to get a feel for the scene. However as the bridge is rarely empty, you’re unlikely to be able to really get to grips with the terror of the scene in the movie itself but there’s plenty of other things to see at London Bridge.
4. The Dark Knight Rises
The last in the Batman trilogy, The Dark Knight Rises proved to be a hit with Batman fans throughout the world. In the movie there are many scenes of the infamous ‘Bat Cave’ which is home to the array of strange and wondrous vehicles and weapons that Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) uses in his role as Batman. The exterior of the Bat Cave hides behind an epic waterfall which is actually Sqwd Henrhyd Falls in Coelbren, Powys in Wales. Accessed by a short hike, this waterfall really conjures up images of dark caves and bats to get you into the spirit of the adventure.
3. The Mummy Returns
One of the blockbuster films of 2001 was The Mummy Returns, sequel to The Mummy. Set in Egypt, the opening scenes show the Hamunaptra excavation site, supposedly the location of a lost civilisation in the heart of the desert and resting place of Imhotep, a 3000 year old mummy. Authentic as the scene looked as a movie set, you might be surprised to hear that this scene was actually filmed on British soil. The Hamunaptra excavation site was actually filmed in Bryant’s Lane Quarry in Heath, Bedfordshire.
2. Bridget Jones’ Diary
Bridget Jones’ Diary, inspired by the book by Helen Fielding, quickly became a firm favourite with women throughout the country. A film that was both hilariously funny and completely relatable, it was no wonder that it become a blockbuster. Filmed completely in the UK and predominantly around London, there is a wealth of film locations to visit for this movie. Probably the most well-known and memorable of which is the scene where Daniel Clever and Mark Darcy fight on the street. This scene was filmed outside the Globe Pub on Bedale Street in Southwark, London, and was also the location of Bridget’s flat, making it a popular destination for film buffs.
Ridley Scott’s Gladiator was one of the blockbuster movies of 2000. With no expense spared, the battle scenes were not only realistic but awe-inspiring too. Those who have seen the movie will know that it starts with a battle in Germania which appears to be against savage brutes. Far from being shot in the dense forests of Europe, this scene was actually shot in the pristine native forest of Bourne Wood in Farnham, Surrey. Open to the public all year round, this location will be a hit with not just film buffs but the rest of the family too.
So whether you are a fan of fast-paced action movies, British comedies or romantic films, there are a wealth of movie locations to see throughout the UK.