The UK is home to some incredible filming locations, and you might be surprised by just how many of your favourite TV programmes are shot, right here, in Britain. From Game of Thrones to Broadchurch, there are places all over the country slowly becoming known for their appearance in the nation’s most-loved shows.
In fact, many lesser known areas (like West Bay in Dorset, featured frequently in the hit crime drama Broadchurch), seem to be benefitting from their involvement on our screens.
Here at Snaptrip, we were curious to find out how much of an impact a TV show can actually have on tourism. Carefully analysing Google Search Trends data, we’ve compared the search volume of particular locations featured in some of the UK’s most-watched shows, looking closely at whether interest levels rose after an episode aired.
Turns out, we’re all really curious about where our favourite shows are created with figures massively increasing after a new episode hits British screens. For avid fans, they even offer exciting new locations to visit, with many making for incredible staycation destinations. We’ve gathered up some of the best places from the UK’s most influential shows – take a look at the hotspots you need to visit.
Broadchurch lovers, head to the south-west of England. While Broadchurch itself is a fictional town, it’s mostly filmed in three locations: West Bay, Bridport and Clevedon. The pretty seaside town of Clevedon is in North Somerset, providing a great place to explore during summer, while the dramatic cliffs in West Bay are perfect for anyone feeling more adventurous.
Despite Downton Abbey being over, the shows popularity doesn’t seem to be dwindling. If you’d love to visit the real-life locations, head to Highclere Castle and explore the home of the Crawleys. Pre-booking is advised, as only a limited number of walk-in tickets are sold for the handful of days that the castle is open to the public.
Another Downton must-see is the village of Bampton. Found in Oxfordshire, fans will recognise many familiar buildings, including Isobel’s house, the Cottage Hospital and more.
A frequent landing spot for the Tardis, the Roald Dahl Plass was often used as a film location in the BBC’s Doctor Who. Found in Cardiff, the destination also featured in Torchwood.
Since Sir Arthur Conan Doyle released Sherlock Holmes, Brits have been huge fans. Visit 211B Baker Street for real and take a trip to London, Marylebone – sadly you won’t find Benedict Cumberbatch there, but there is a fantastic Sherlock Holmes Museum to discover.
Call the Midwife
A huge majority of the critically acclaimed Call the Midwife was shot inside a closed studio in Surrey, but there are a handful of scenes located elsewhere. Poorer areas of London from the 50s and 60s were re-created at Chatham Historic Dockyard in Kent, and if you sign up for a tour you’ll receive free entry. Not only will you learn a lot about the location, you’ll be able to hear loads of behind-the-scenes secrets too.
Many destinations throughout Cornwall were used to film Poldark. Now onto its third series, Poldark enthusiasts can enjoy a break in the beautiful coastal county and jump between each filming site. First up, head to the rugged Bodmin Moor for a challenging walk, before exploring Botallack Mine, St Agnes Head, and Charlestown.
Emmerdale has been running since 1972, and even to this day, the soap opera is really popular throughout the UK. The show has been filmed across Yorkshire and within an ITV studio based in Leeds – you can book a tour, known as the Emmerdale Studio Experience, online.
Older episodes of Emmerdale were filmed in various locations – head to Otley and Eshlot if you’re visiting for the tour. Don’t forget to stop at The Woolpack, the famous inn from the show.
Game of Thrones
Game of Thrones is set to return to UK screens on July 17th and there are plenty of places around the country for fans to visit. With Titanic Studios, the gigantic film studio used by HBO for Games of Thrones, based in Belfast. There are also many Game of Thrones tours available that’ll take you to some of the most well-known locations.
However, if you’d rather visit Northern Ireland and explore yourself, make sure you don’t miss the following spots:
- Castle Ward, County Down – Explore the historic farmyard, known by many as the location for Winterfell
- Tollymore Forest Park – Known for being the Haunted Forest, where White Walkers began descending on men
- Ballintoy Harbour, Ballycastle – Found near to the village of Ballintoy, the small fishing harbour that was used as the landscape for the Iron Islands
There are so many historical locations open to the public that star in Wolf Hall. Barrington Court in Somerset, Lacock Abbey and Great Chalfield Manor & Garden in Wiltshire and Chastleton House in Oxfordshire can all be visited.
Lacock Abbey is even known for featuring in Harry Potter, avid fans will recognise the cloisters from Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.
If you love Peaky Blinders, a trip to Liverpool should be on the cards. The UNESCO World Heritage Site of Stanley Dock was the location for one of the most dramatic scenes throughout the fourth season, placed right before the beautiful River Mersey. Rodney Street, Seacombe Ferry Terminal and even Formby Beach have all made appearances too.
But what about up and coming releases? So many incredible shows are due to hit our screens later on in the year, and we have a feeling people will be flocking to the following filming locations to see where their favourite scenes were filmed.
Season 3 of Outlander, a spell-binding drama, is set to hit the UK and air on Amazon Prime in September 2017. Based on the third book by Diana Gabaldon, fans can visit many of the filming locations without having to leave the UK.
Head to Doune Castle in Perthshire if you’re a fan of the Scottish rebels – the location stands in for fictional Castle Leoch – or visit the iconic Blackness Castle (close to Edinburgh) to explore the headquarters of the villain Black Jack.
Just released in June, ITV’s The Loch features a lot of destinations in Scotland too. Aside from Loch Ness, the six-part crime drama was also filmed at Fort Augustus, Carn Mohr Mountain and Fort William, all of which make for exciting weekend trips into some of Scotland’s breath-taking wilderness.
Looking for more ideas for your next staycation? Don’t forget to check out all the other articles on the Snaptrip blog – they’re full of helpful tips and suggestions to make your next getaway extra special!