As we enjoy our TV and films, we often get sucked into the fictional world of our favourite characters, and fantasise about the life within their universe. Whether this a hit TV show or a blockbuster masterpiece, we’re very familiar with the streets, where many of these people grew up on – but what are some of the most known?
One of our favourite soap operas, Coronation Street is set in the fictional town of Weatherfield in Salford. The long-running serial drama has definitely made its way into the hearts of many UK TV viewers since it aired on our TVs in 1960 on ITV. Created by Tony Warren, the street is thought to have been built in 1902 and compromised of a row of seven terraced houses with the iconic Rovers Return Inn and corner shop at each end.
The show itself is the longest-running soap opera in the world. Because of its popularity, writers had to introduce new characters and locations over the years to create a more representative environment for viewers at home to relate with. Today, you’ll still find the iconic Rovers Return Inn and D&S Alahan’s corner shop, but also be introduced to The Kabin newsagents, Roy’s Rolls café, and lingerie-making business Underworld as well as other communal areas.
There are a few iconic storylines you’ll remember from this show, from the ‘Free the Weatherfield one’ campaign where Deirdre Rachid was given an 18-month sentence for crimes she didn’t commit to Hayler Cropper née Harold Patterson becoming the first transgender character on the show.
You can actually visit the studio in real life, and experience the set itself with an outdoor street tour, that takes place on the weekends. Located at MediaCityUK in Manchester, the 80-minute tour also includes the set of Rosamund Street and the never-before-seen Victoria Street.
Baker Street is home to famous detective Sherlock Holmes, which he lived and worked at 221b Baker Street (although you may need to wear your deerstalker cap to find it, as the building is strangely located between 237 and 241. Penned by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Sherlock has become one of the most influential literary characters associated with British culture.
In today’s world, the address is exhibited in a museum, which is open every day from 9:30am to 18:00pm and costs £15 for an adult and £10 for under 16s. You’ll be able to explore the home Sherlock shared with his main companion, Dr Watson — including the sitting room, the laboratory, the iconic study and more.
It may be surprising to you to know that when the stories were first published, the actual street itself wasn’t fictional but the address ‘221b Baker Street’ was as the addresses in Baker Street did not go as high as 221 until later. The Abbey National Building Society occupied the addresses 219-229 from 1931 and had to employ a full-time secretary to answer mail addressed to Sherlock Holmes! There was a 15-year dispute on who should receive the letters though, the building society or the museum.
Privet Drive was introduced to us within the wonderful world of Harry Potter inside JK Rowling’s first novel titled Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone which was published in 1997. Located in Surrey, this street was home to the Dursley family, which included Vernon, Petunia, and their son Dudley, who all lived at number four.
In 1981, one of greatest wizards of all time, Albus Dumbledore had visited this street to leave the nephew of Vernon and Petunia’s, Harry James Potter, on their doorstep after his parents were tragically murdered by the Dark Lord, Voldermort.
Privet Drive is a suburban street that consists of ‘boxy’ houses with gardens at front and back – all designed identically. The name of the street came from a privet bush, which is a hedge that isolates houses as Rowling herself thought this linked quite well as the Dursley’s had a desire to segregate themselves from the Wizarding World — despite having strong family ties.
In real life, you can visit the Warner Bros. Studio Tour London to see the film set. Sometimes, the interior is open to the public so make sure you check ahead of visiting, although we know you’ll be just as pleased posing next to the vintage street sign. The actual home that was used in the first film recently made headlines after being put on the market for almost £500,000!
Cherry Tree Lane
If you’ve recently seen Disney’s Mary Poppins Returns, then you should be familiar with Cherry Tree Lane. We were first introduced to the fictional street in 1934, when author P.L. Travers released the first book of her Mary Poppins series. The street is most notably home to the Banks family, who lived at number 17 and has been passed down to each generation.
On this street, there have been many remarkable and magical events that have occurred, which includes Mary Poppins herself landing on it. What else makes this location supercalifragilisticexpialidocious is that it’s also home to Admiral Boom and Mr. Binnacle, who were once members of England’s navy and keep their house in ‘shipshape’ — with an actual ship on the roof which fires a cannon twice a day! As well as this, there are countless chimney sweepers and path illustrators!
Though there’s no specific location of where Cherry Tree Lane could be, it’s thought that Travers based her vision off townhouses in Kensington or her own home on Smith Street in Chelsea — which now has an English Heritage plaque outside.