The UK may not come with all the glitz and glam of Hollywood, but film crews keep coming back to the streets and fields of Great Britain. There’s a pretty sweet collection of film locations in the UK under its grey skies—and we’re not just talking period dramas.
Forget the tea and crumpets, these film sets are more about pints down the local, butterbeer, and martinis (shaken, not stirred).
Ascot & Glencoe – Skyfall
With a whole host of filming locations in the UK and overseas you’ve probably visited half of the backdrops for the 2012 James Bond instalment, even if you don’t realise it. Two of the most interesting have got to be Ascot and Glencoe, after the famous racecourse was used as Shanghai International Airport and the film crew were “blown away” by the natural beauty of Scotland’s Glencoe. Interestingly, the Skyfall team were always scheduled to film in Shanghai, but rather than use the real airport, Ascot was covered with replica signs and logos, then filled with Chinese extras.
While we’re on the subject of all things Bond – there’s a new interactive visual that’s just been released showing some of the iconic Bond cars from over the decades put together by Grange and Motorparks. You can view it by clicking here
Castle Ward, County Down, Northern Ireland – Game of Thrones
HBO’s huge TV hit Game of Thrones quickly became a global phenomenon and Northern Ireland was home to many film locations in series one. County Down’s Castle Ward doubled up as Winterfell, where King Robert Baratheon first meets the Starks and you can walk the same path with the Game of Thrones Tour – complete with an archery experience on the same ground Brandon Stark practised in season one.
Warner Brothers Studio Tour – Harry Potter
The second biggest film franchise in cinema history is suitably honoured with possibly the most immersive film landmark in the UK. The Warner Brothers Studio Tour in London takes you behind the scenes of the film series, to see where the magic all began, with a showcase of sets, props and animatronics used in the motion pictures. Throughout the tour you can learn more about how the films were made, as you explore sets and exhibitions that preserve the fantastic work of the film designers, plus limited edition artwork, film reels and jewellery.
Duke Of Albany, New Cross Gate – Shaun of the Dead
Dubbed the Winchester Tavern for the comedy horror, the external shots of Shaun’s favourite local boozer were taken outside the Duke of Albany pub in New Cross Gate. Sadly, the only visit you can make here now won’t involve any ale or dry roasted nuts, because the former pub has been converted into luxury flats.
Osterley Park, London – The Dark Knight Rises
Also known as Wayne Manor in the 2012 Batman film, Christian Bale and Michael Caine moved into Osterley Park for a week of filming. You can visit this Georgian county home when it isn’t closed for shooting and visit the actual secret tunnel used to access the bat cave! Osterley was chosen as the new Wayne Manor after the former estate was burnt to the ground in the previous film and director Christopher Nolan reportedly “fell for Osterley’s spectacular interiors,” which you can admire for yourself.
So there’s way more to UK film locations than period dramas and you can expect to see the cameras rolling at these and other landmarks for years to come.