Britain on film

Here are some of our favourite Brit flicks, complete with real life locations you can visit.

Harry Potter films

Everyone’s favourite teen wizard has appeared at various magical locations all over Britain. Take a train from London’s King’s Cross Station to see Platform 9 ¾ from where the Hogwart’s Express departs, steam over the Glenfinnan Viaduct where Ron’s flying Ford Anglia lands and check out London’s Victorian Leadenhall Market, where you’ll find the entrance to the Leaky Cauldron. And if you’re searching for Hogwarts itself grab your broomstick and investigate Alnwick Castle, the Bodleian Library in Oxford and Durham Cathedral

Glenfinnan Viaduct, Scottish Highlands, Scotland
Glenfinnan Viaduct, Scottish Highlands, Scotland ©VisitBritain/Joe Cornish

 

James Bond films

We could dedicate an entire website to James Bond locations but there are several associated with the suave spy you won’t want to miss. The  National Motor Museum, Beaulieu in the New Forest has one of the biggest collections of bond vehicles in the world including the legendary submarine Lotus from ‘The Spy Who Loved Me’ and in London you can see the real life HQ of MI6 which stars in both ‘Golden Eye’ and ‘The World Is Not Enough’. For a thrilling, Bond-style ride, take a high-powered boat trip past MI6 with London Rib Voyages

The latest film, ‘Spectre’, also featured some iconic London locations such as the London Eye and Camden Lock – famous for its markets and alternative music scene. The spectacular Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire also appeared. 

 

The Theory of Everything

This moving portrayal of Professor Stephen Hawking won British actor Eddie Redmayne an Oscar. The film follows the renowned physicist’s student years at Cambridge University, where he met first wife Jane Wilde, and their consequent struggle with his onset of Lou Gehrig's Disease (or ALS). As well as filming in and around Cambridge’s historic university buildings, such as St John’s College which hosted Trinity College’s stunning May Ball in the film, other locations included Hampton Court Palace in Richmond, which doubled up as Buckingham Palace.

St John's College in Autumn, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, England
St John's College in autumn, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, England ©VisitBritain / Tim Fox

 

Pride and Prejudice 

This lavish adaptation of Jane Austen’s novel makes great use of sumptuous locations in Derbyshire, Lincolnshire and Kent. Follow Keira Knightley’s Elizabeth Bennet to Chatsworth House in Derbyshire, used as the home of Mr Darcy (Matthew Macfadyen), stride out into the glorious Peak District and visit Stamford, the Georgian town in Lincolnshire that became Meryton Village. 

 

Miss Potter 

The beautiful Lake District landscape that captivated Beatrix Potter and inspired her beloved children's books is showcased in the film about the author's life, ‘Miss Potter’, starring Renee Zellweger. Woven around romance and heartbreak, you'll fall in love with the destinations featured in the film, such as Derwentwater – a popular holiday spot for Miss Potter. For a full list of locations check out the movie map.

Rowing boats on the shores of Derwent Water near Keswick in the Lake District national park.
Rowing boats on the shores of Derwent Water near Keswick in the Lake District National Park ©VisitBritain / Adam Burton

 

Love Actually 

This festive flick, starring Hugh Grant as the British Prime Minister, follows the romantic lives of various unlucky-in-love Londoners in the run-up to Christmas. As soon as you touch down in the capital, you’ll find yourself in the film’s first and last film location – Heathrow Airport. Then head out to explore other hotspots such as Gabriel’s Wharf on the South Bank, where a worried Liam Neeson talks to his stepson about the agony of being in love. Or pay a visit to famous department store Selfridges. In a funny scene there with Rowan Atkinson (aka Mr Bean), the late Alan Rickman tries to illicitly buy a golden necklace for a flirtatious work colleague, as his wife (Emma Thompson) is busy shopping. 

 

Braveheart 

Cry 'Freedom!' on Mel Gibson's trail in the Highlands. To experience Braveheart country at its best, grab hiking boots or a mountain bike and head out into Glencoe, Glen Nevis (the wettest valley in Europe) and around Loch Leven: all a short journey from highland HQ, Fort William

 

The Queen 

Helen Mirren's Oscar-winning turn as Her Majesty after the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, also made a star of several Scottish houses. You can practise your royal wave at Culzean Castle, Castle Fraser in Aberdeenshire and the royal residence at Balmoral. The wonderfully wild Glenfeshie Estate also features, as do London's most famous royal and political sights.

Stairs in Culzean Castle, Strathclyde, Scotland
Stairs in Culzean Castle, Strathclyde, Scotland ©VisitBritain / Britain on View

 

The King's Speech 

This beautifully shot and touching story of King George VI’s (Colin Firth) struggle with his stutter was filmed at a number of locations around the UK. Ely Cathedral stood in for Westminster Abbey

In the movie you’ll spot an exact replica of the Coronation Chair, the 14th-century seat that’s been used for coronations since 1308 and that can still be seen on a tour of the abbey today. Ely itself is well worth a look – it towers impressively above the surrounding fenlands and has a rare octagonal lantern, built when the old tower collapsed in 1322.

Statues inside Ely Cathedral, Cambridgeshire, England
Statues inside Ely Cathedral, Cambridgeshire, England ©VisitBritain / Rod Edwards

 

Bridget Jones films 

The hit Renee Zellweger rom coms, based on the books by Helen Fielding, are set to become a film trilogy with the much anticipated release of ‘Bridget Jones’s Baby’ in autumn 2016. As with the last 2 films, London looks set to take the limelight. But not exclusively – Bridget was spotted in Somerset, being filmed in a mock-up of the famous Glastonbury music festival.

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