19:25 27 September 2015
From the first moving pictures captured on celluloid film in Hyde Park, London, in 1889, to modern-day blockbuster films, the UK is home to a significant cinematic industry, which has spanned well over a century. While many films, such as Kes, if…., Trainspotting, The 39 Steps, The Italian Job, and The Wicker Man, can be said to have put the UK film industry on the map, inspiring generations of copycats and well-earned admiration. It’s the franchises of James Bond, Harry Potter, and the comedy genius and gritty reality of Notting Hill, Billy Elliot,
Love Actually, Bridget Jones’s Diary, and Four Weddings and a Funeral that we all think of today. It’s the sheer variety of British cinema that makes our film industry so renowned and beloved.
Why do filmmakers consistently turn to the UK for locations and inspiration? Perhaps it’s because of the diversity of our landscape; vibrant cities, striking architecture, rolling countryside, and vast, dramatic coastlines, as well as a rich culture and history upon which to draw.
Reliving the movie magic
Whether you’re a movie buff, a fan of a particular genre, or you simply enjoy exploring interesting places, nothing beats the excitement of visiting a film set or taking a guided tour around a movie location.
Walking and bus tours are incredibly popular at the moment; they allow you to sample more than one location, hear all the behind-the-scenes gossip, and get up close and personal to buildings or streets that you’ve only ever seen at the cinema. Sherlock Holmes tours, for example, take you to numerous locations used within the many movies created around the fictional detective, while there are also organised trips around London that celebrate films such as Bridget Jones’s Diary, The Queen, Love Actually, The King’s Speech, Paddington and Sliding Doors. Outside of London, the Lake District is a fabulous place to visit if you’re a fan of Beatrix Potter, or the film Miss Potter; Lincoln Cathedral is a must for fans of The Da
Vinci Code; and Chatsworth House is perhaps the most romantic of locations for those who loved Pride and Prejudice.
As two of the UK’s biggest film franchises, both Harry Potter and James Bond have their own UK film tours, giving fans the opportunity to visit various famous locations, such as Kings Cross Station, the old colleges at Oxford, and Gloucester Cathedral, as well as Westminster, and the MI6 headquarters. The Bond in Motion Exhibition at the National Motor Museum, and the Harry Potter Experience at Warner Bros. Studios, are an absolute must. The latter is a wholly immersive experience, featuring props, scenery, costumes, sets and vehicles from each of the Harry Potter films, while interactive exhibits transport you directly into the world of the boy wizard. There’s a display featuring the model of Hogwarts Castle that was used in exterior shots, a replica of Diagon Alley, and a magical Great Hall to welcome you to the experience.
When it comes to film sets, immersive experiences, and informative tours around movie locations, few countries can offer what the UK does; we are renowned for our diverse films and great locations, as well as some of the hottest acting, writing and directing talent that’s on the scene right now.
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