Britain on the silver screen

Travelling through the UK, you may experience a sense of déjà vu - that’s because Great Britain is filled with locations you'll recognise from the movies. Several are being honoured this year with a host of BAFTA and Academy Award nominations so here are some of those places that you can visit in real life.

 

Dunkirk

Nominations: Eight Academy Awards including Best Picture and eight BAFTA Awards including Best Film.

Most of Dunkirk was filmed in France, but Britain makes some stunning cameos. Think of the scene when the civilian fleet sets sail from the seaside town of Weymouth in Dorset while on their return, they're bolstered to see the white-chalk cliffs of the Jurassic Coast. Weary soldiers receive a hero’s welcome when they pull into a postcard-pretty train platform; you can book your own journey on the Swanage Steam Railway.

 

Paddington 2

Nominations: Outstanding British Film, Best Supporting Actor and Best Adapted Screenplay at the BAFTA Awards.

London’s busy Paddington station appears in the sequel although exterior shots filmed at Marylebone Station. Visit the Paddington Bear Shop, then find the statue near Platform 1 and follow the rest of the Pawprint Trail. You can also follow in Paddington’s pawsteps at Portobello Market or wander the towpath of Little Venice where the bear gave chase to the thief from Mr Gruber's antique shop.

 

Phantom Thread

Nominations: Four Academy Awards including Best Picture and four BAFTA Awards including Best Actor.

The Victoria Bay Hotel near Whitby, North Yorkshire, was stripped back to fit the 1950s setting. Visit the modern incarnation and enjoy familiar views over the fishing village of Robin's Hood Bay - you might even recognise some of the staff who appeared as extras. The opulent glamour of Blackpool Tower Ballroom also made the cut as the perfect setting for a lavish party scene. Take a tour, enjoy afternoon tea, or spin on the famous dance floor.

 

Darkest Hour

Nominations: Six Academy Awards including Best Picture and nine BAFTA Awards including Best Film.

London’s Cabinet War Rooms, where Winston Churchill orchestrated Allied troops during World War II, were meticulously recreated for their role in this film. And of course, you can visit the real-life underground bunkers too, which stand exactly as they did in 1945. And while the Commons Chamber in the Palace of Westminster was another carefully constructed set, get a glimpse of the real thing with a guided tour of Parliament. Also in the capital is the film’s backdrop, picturesque Greenwich; explore the rest of this World Heritage Site which includes the Royal Observatory, the historic Cutty Sark, and the Meridian Line.

Up in Rotherham, Yorkshire is Wentworth Woodhouse which doubles up as the interior of Buckingham Palace. Privately owned for many years, this grand historic home has recently been opened to the public.

 

Victoria & Abdul

Nominations: Best Costume Design and Best Makeup & Hairstyling at both the Academy Awards and the BAFTA Awards.

Osborne House was Queen Victoria's beloved family home on the Isle of Wight, and the place where she first met Abdul. Peek inside royal life with a tour of the private apartments, bathing beach and children's play cottage. Queen Victoria later introduces Abdul to her Aberdeenshire getaway, Balmoral Castle, which remains the summer holiday home of the Royal Family today and open to the public from 30 March to 31 July. Don't miss the stunning setting of Cairngorms National Park that surrounds it, where the pair enjoyed a scenic picnic. 

The Crown filming locations around Britain

The Crown follows the story of Her Majesty The Queen in her accession to the throne, and as a young monarch faced with a country in the depths of turbulent post-war Britain. With the new Netflix series returning to British screens on Friday 8 December 2017, we’ve rounded-up some of the regal filming locations featured in the hit show.

 

Hatfield House, Hertfordshire, England

Home to the 7th Marquis and Marchioness of Salisbury and their family, this grand location also includes the Old Palace, which was owned by Henry VIII. The King had his three children raised in the palace, including Elizabeth I - she was there when she was told of her accession to the throne, making it a fitting place to use in filming for The Crown.
www.hatfield-house.co.uk

Getting there: Hatfield House is a 70-minute journey by train or car from London.

 

Wrotham Park, Barnet, Hertfordshire, England

This grand estate has been little changed since its design in 1754, and still remains in the care and charge of the Byng family. Surrounded by 300 acres of parkland, the secluded estate is an idyllic location for hosting private functions, banquets and parties.
www.wrothampark.com

Getting there: Wrotham Park is a 65-minute journey by train or car from London.

 

Ely Cathedral

Ely Cathedral was founded in 672 AD, with the current building dating back to 1083 AD. Used in the filming of The Crown, this spectacular location stood in for Westminster Abbey on the wedding day of Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip, re-enacted just as it was 68 years ago. The regal location has also starred in The Other Boleyn Girl, Elizabeth: The Golden Age, and The King's Speech.

www.elycathedral.org

Getting there: Ely is located in Cambridge, and is a two-hour drive or a 70-minute train journey from London.

 

Lyceum Theatre, London

Wind back the clock and you'll see Matt Smith (Prince Phillip) and Claire Foy (Queen Elizabeth) looking suave in 1940s garb at the Lyceum Theatre, oozing elegance in a post-war Britain. The Lyceum Theatre, opened in 1841, has a dramatic front facade and has hosted performances for nearly 200 years. Today the theatre is home to the ever-popular The Lion King.

www.lyceumtheatrelondon.org

Getting there: the Lyceum Theatre is closest to Temple London Underground station.

 

Knebworth House

Take a walk through 500 years of history, both on and off screen. With generations of the Lynton family residing at Knebworth since the Tudor times, each has been sure to make their mark on this magnificent building. With a romantic exterior adorned with turrets, domes and gargoyles the house is definitely worth a visit. Used, of course, as a location in The Crown, the house has also starred in The King's Speech, and Batman the Movie.

www.knebworthhouse.com

Getting there: Knebworth House is an 80-minute drive from London. Alternatively it's a 65-minute journey by train and public transport.

 

Slains Castle and Cruden Bay, Aberdeenshire, Scotland

Standing on a cliff top overlooking the North Sea, are the ruins of Slains Castle. This enchanting spot was once ruled by the powerful Clan Hay and in its prime the castle was a Scots Baronial Mansion with three gardens. Used in the The Crown the hauntingly beautiful spot is the perfect reason to explore Scotland's rugged, wild coastline, steeped in its own history. It is often said that the castle was the inspiration for Bram Stoker's Dracula. Make sure to stop at Cruden Bay, also used for scenes in the Netflix series.
www.visitscotland.com/info/see-do/slains-castle-p255271
www.visitscotland.com/info/towns-villages/cruden-bay-p315541

Getting there: Cruden Bay is less than a four-hour drive from Edinburgh, or four and a half hours by train and public transport. Edinburgh is an hour flight from London.

WHAT’S NEW in Britain in 2017