Reel to Real Britain: A Visual Fiesta

Discover the charming cinematic backdrops
/ New Delhi
/ Film
Reel to Real Britain: A Visual Fiesta

Film and television has been proven to be a powerful motivator for travel

From the regal life of Bridgerton to suave spy sensation James Bond, the magical world of Harry Potter or the gangs of the Peaky Blinders, Britain’s iconic locations are setting the scene for popular film, TV and period dramas.
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For years, some of the most popular television series and films in the world have been framed in Britain’s rich history, culture and breath-taking landscapes as their backdrop. These range from Outlander and Harry Potter to Sex Education and Heartstopper. With the charming streets of Bath to the historic landmarks of Edinburgh and the stunning landscapes of Wales, the destination tourism board VisitBritain has listed some locations seen-on-screen that travellers can visit in Britain.

Film and television has been proven to be a powerful motivator for travel. According to VisitBritain research, almost a third of potential visitors are keen to visit locations used in filming and seen-on-screen. Expedia’s ‘Set Jetting Forecast 2024’ found that nearly 30 pc of travellers say that TV shows and movies are more influential today than they were before, highlighting the growing significance of screen tourism.

Paul Gauger

Paul Gauger

“Travellers want to put themselves in the picture and walk in the footsteps of the characters they see on screen. Screen tourism provides us with the opportunity to showcase our regional destinations, less-visited areas and hidden gems, exploring not just the iconic filming locations, but also the unique charm of each destination,” says Paul Gauger, VisitBritain Executive Vice President of the Americas, Australia, and New Zealand.

“VisitBritain will be launching a ‘Starring GREAT Britain’ international campaign later this year across its major visitor markets. By shining the spotlight on film and TV inspired experiences you can only have in Britain we’re encouraging visitors to come and discover more of our amazing destinations,” he adds.

Netflix’s latest hit series, One Day showcases the charming city of Edinburgh where main characters Emma and Dexter’s story began. To follow their trails, hike up to the top of Arthur’s Seat at Sunrise and enjoy the view overlooking the city, as Emma and Dexter did after the night they first met. Visit Grassmarket and walk up the Vennel Steps, where Dexter chases down Emma, for an incredible view of Edinburgh Castle. Or take in the history with walking tour with ‘Invisible Cities’. Walk up the Royal Mile and visit iconic attractions including the Real Mary King’s Close to enjoy the city’s culture.

Meanwhile, fans of Netflix‘s new show, The Gentlemen, can embark on an exploration of filming locations scattered throughout England. Many scenes from the show’s narrative were filmed at Badminton Estate in South Gloucestershire, home of the Duke and Duchess of Beaufort. This estate, known for hosting the famous Badminton Horse Trials, has been featured in many other hit series including Bridgerton and Queen Charlotte. Visitors can attend estate-hosted events or simply wander through the beautiful gardens. For those seeking the quintessential English country estate getaway, they can check out iconic venues such as Cliveden House in Berkshire, Grantley Hall in Yorkshire, or Bamburgh Castle in Northumberland.


Harry Potter’s filming locations is every Potterhead’s dream destination

To get acquainted with Amy Winehouse’s London with Back to Black, coming to theatres on May 10, visitors can explore the iconic London locations that shaped Winehouse’s rise to stardom. From a jazz show at Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club, where Winehouse once took the stage, to a trip to Camden Town and shop at the Stables Market before making a stop at the Amy Winehouse Statue, there are many other notable spots to uncover. Featured in the film were Metropolis Studios in Chiswick, London Zoo, Fitzroy Square and Primrose Hill, to walk in the footsteps of Amy Winehouse during the beginning of her career. Travellers can enhance their experience with a music-themed walking tour of London, tracing the footsteps of Winehouse and other beloved British music icons.


No 1 Royal Crescent in Bath is a powerhouse of Georgian architecture

Fans of Bridgerton can discover the filming spots across England, like the opulent Hampton Court Palace in Surrey, once home to King Henry VIII and now the on-screen residence of Queen Charlotte, to the meticulously restored No 1 Royal Crescent in Bath, doubling as the Featheringtons’ home, and the historic Hatfield House in Hertfordshire, which served as the interior setting for the Bridgerton family’s London residence.

And to join Doctor on his adventure through time and space, visitors can visit the iconic locations from Doctor Who ahead of the 14th season. Be it the natural beauty of Dunraven Bay in Wales, known to fans as Bad Wolf Bay, located along the scenic Wales Coast Path in Glamorgan, or a Doctor Who themed tour in Cardiff with Fogo’s Free Tours, which runs on a ‘pay as you feel’ basis.

The National Museum Cardiff is home to works by Monet and Rodin, plus Welsh artist Augustus John and for Doctor Who fans, the museum’s staircase is the biggest draw. Head down to London and walk in the footsteps of David Tennant, Matt Smith and Peter Capaldi, among others that have incarnated the famous doctor over the years with the Doctor Who London Walking Tour.

VisitBritain will be launching a ‘Starring GREAT Britain’ international campaign later this year

Fans of the series can also explore the iconic locations of Peaky Blinders, inspired by a real-life 1920s Birmingham street gang, in anticipation of the release of the new Peaky Blinders Movie which begins filming in September. They can discover the rich social history of the West Midlands at the Black Country Living Museum in Dudley, used as a filming location throughout all six seasons including, Charlie Strong’s scrap metal yard, the Blacksmith’s building and more. The Keighley and Worth Valley Railway in West Yorkshire is where all the train scenes were filmed and journey through a windswept land of heather and wild moors. Embark on a half-day tour of Peaky Blinders locations in Liverpool, where visitors can see sites such as Port Sunlight Village, and find Aunt Polly’s Home.

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