How blockbuster movies and big-budget TV series can impact the towns and cities they are set in
Standout locations that are featured in blockbuster movies and big budget tv series put unknown gems on the global map. There are so enticing to tourists as they transform these new settings and provide the feeling of entering the worlds we only see on screen. Quite often, movie producers scout real-world locations in an attempt to increase the authenticity of the motion picture, implementing the natural backdrops into scenes that can often be seen in action-adventure films.
Here’s a few locations that have provided the backdrop for various prolific films and television series.
The much-loved and cherished historical site Highclere Castle, Hampshire, has become a global phenomenon, with the unprecedented success of the ITV series ‘Downton Abbey’. There are numerous options when it comes to taking a tour of the set and its various locations, with many operators offering walks through the castle, Oxford and Bampton, transporting fans back to the Downton era.
The surge in tourist attention followed the post-Edwardian drama was first shown in 2010, and within just two years the UK media was reporting that the village of Bampton was struggling to cope with the influx of people all seeking to stroll the same streets as the characters on the series.
While The UK’s capital is full of trendy districts, the most famous of these is Potobello Road, due to its picturesque streets being featured in the 1999 romantic comedy, ‘Notting Hill’. Tourists flocked to the likes of Portobello Road, the Coronet Cinema, the Ritz Hotel, and The Travel Bookshop, where Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts’ characters met for the first time.
Portobello Road’s feature in the film secured its reputation as a must visit location when visiting the capital city. The street is lined with plenty of shopping and cafes and the Portobello Road market is guaranteed to be busy on weekends, so consider this on your visit.
The story of blossoming romance has encouraged many ‘Notting Hill’-style proposals, and the bookshop from the film is currently facing many demands from couples, with their heart set on the store as an engagement venue. The owners have noticed the demand in doing so as the 20th anniversary of the film approaches, and they are willing to help couples to stage the big question in an extra special way, with the iconic bookshop backdrop.
Warner Bros. purchase of the rights to transform J. K. Rowling’s first Harry Potter novel into a film marked the moment where residents of Alnwick would see their town receive a huge influx of tourism that would be ongoing to the present day.
The motion picture featured both internal and external shots of Alnwick’s grand castle for the first two films. This included the famous scene with Madame Hooch in the castle courtyard, where Harry first learns to fly his broomstick amid his meddling enemy Malfoy.
Alnwick Castle holds the prestigious title of the second largest inhabited castle in England. The castle and its surrounding gardens were impacted from the film franchise, The Hog’s Head Inn, a pub located in Alnwick, owned by the Inn collection who also own pubs in Durham and pubs in Seaham, named the pub as a nod to the wizarding world pub located in the fictional town of Hogsmeade.
This popular crime series had its views on the edge of their seats every week. Olivia Colman and David Tennant teamed up to investigate murders on the local streets and beach of West Bay in Dorset. In 2015, the West Dorset Tourist centre launched the ‘Broadchurch’ walking trail to honour the hit series. Many avid fans have since enjoyed following the route which passes through some of the most iconic shots that featured in DC Hardy and DS Miller’s murder mystery, including the Jurassic Pier, the newsagents, Sea Brigade Hall, Wessex Police Station, and Hardy’s home by the riverside. End the tour by stopping for a coffee in the Broadchurch Café, a regular haunt for Tenant and Colman’s characters.
Game of Thrones
Game of Thrones has been continuously dubbed as the biggest tv show ever. Although ‘Game of Thrones’ has broadcasted in as many countries as there are death scenes in the series, one of those is Scotland. The fourteenth century Doune Castle in Stirling was transformed into Winterfell for the first season by the crew and cast, and since then it has become one of the most famous castles in the country. In the summer months, it is best to arrive early as the crowds are near guaranteed to come flocking to the historic site.
Guided tours are available to the public, but it is advised to book tickets beforehand. Some couples-to-be are choosing the venue for their wedding ceremony, something which may appeal to committed fans of the HBO series. One survey by Historic Scotland found that the year-on-year figure of visitors to the castle has grown by a staggering 30.2%.
There has been speculation that the crew are reportedly scouting out Isle of Sky for the series prequel, so the Scottish island could be in the pipelines to experience a similar boost in tourism.
Pride and Prejudice
Kiera Knightley and Matthew Macfadyen starred in the leading roles of 2005 feature length fil adaptation of Jane Austen’s celebrated classic ‘Pride and Prejudice’. The film was set in the stunning walls of Chatsworth, Derbyshire, a grand country house nestled in acres of greenery. The late Duchess of Devonshire, Deborah Cavendish gave the estate an impressive makeover, with art installations, an organic farm, and breath-taking gardens.
Visitors can take guided tours of the amazing venue and admire the antique silver and antiquity of the setting of one of Austen’s most famous stories.
Although increase interest in a location can have both positive and negative elements, there is no denying that the impact of a major television series or film can be huge, as fans get to relive the plot first-hand.