Britain’s TV and film industry is booming, with locations across the country being used in popular shows and even Hollywood blockbusters. This is a list of filming locations for you to visit, photograph and brag about to your friends.
Our biggest sci fi export, the plethora of places it’s filmed at could feature in their own blog post, but I’m going to try and keep this short(!)
Featuring heavily from “Rose” and becoming the base for Jack Harness’s new Torchwood, Cardiff and the surrounding area is a must-visit for fans of the show. Just walking down Roald Dahl Plass is rather eerie, especially if the Water Tower is in operation.
If you want to eat out, there’s Bistro 10 where the Ninth Doctor dined with a Slitheen in “Boom Town”, while both the Eleventh and Twelfth dropped into the 50’s America-styled Eddie’s Diner (“The Impossible Astronaut” and “Hell Bent” respectively.)
But for the sheer number of spots in one place, check out the National Museum of Wales. It was used for *deep breath* “Dalek”, “The Lazarus Experiment”, “Voyage of the Damned”, “Planet of the Dead”, “Vincent and the Doctor”, “The Big Bang”, “The Day of The Doctor”, and more.
Another location serving several episodes is Dunraven Bay. The beach was used in “Journey’s End”, “The Time of Angels”, “Flesh and Stone” and “Dinosaurs on a Spaceship”, though it’ll always be best known for being Bad Wolf Bay, where Rose and the Doctor bid a teary farewell at the end of “Doomsday.”
Out of Wales and over to the Forest of Dean, where the gloriously-named Puzzlewood was used for the forest scenes in “The Time of Angels” and also served as the outskirts to the town of Christmas on Trenzalore in “The Time of the Doctor”.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Puzzlewood was also used to depict the woods that surrounded Maz Kanata’s castle on Takodana, including the big face off between Rey and Kylo. The rebel base on D’Qar was filmed at Royal Air Force Greenham Common in Berkshire.
Going a little further afield, the absolutely stunning Skellig Michael – off the coast of County Kerry in Ireland – serves as Luke’s island hideaway as seen at the end of the film (and in sequel The Last Jedi.)
Another big British export, and another series that uses a lot of locations! The obvious is King’s Cross Station, home to the famous Platform 9¾ (though if you want photos of the building used for the exterior shots, you’ll have to travel to Saint Pancras.) While you’re in London, pop over the Millennium Bridge – not destroyed after all! – and into Australia House, which was used for the interior of Gringotts Bank.
Of course, London is also the site of the Warner Bros. Studio’s “The Making of Harry Potter” which has painstakingly-recreated sets of Hogwarts’ Great Hall, Platform and Hogwarts’ Express, and Diagon Alley. This obvious costs (where most of the others don’t) but is a must for the dedicated Potterhead.
Real-life sets can be found inside Oxford University’s Christ Church College, Durham Cathedral, and the cloisters of Gloucester Cathedral, whereas the grounds of Hogwarts’ can be found at Alnwick Castle, which saw Harry, Ron, and Hermione learn to fly their broomsticks and, later in the Philosopher’s Stone, hosted the Quidditch match.
You can also follow in Harry’s footsteps by taking a train on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway and the West Coast Railway, which crosses the spectacular Glenfinnan Viaduct used often in the films. If you love steam trains as much as sci fi and fantasy (and if not, why?!) then this trip is definitely worth taking!