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Our favourite filming locations in the UK and Ireland

From Star Wars to Downton Abbey, hundreds of popular movies and TV shows have been filmed in Ireland and the United Kingdom. Here is a handful of our favourite filming locations, which are not only worth visiting for their movie and TV connections, but are well worth visiting in their own right on one of our tailor-made tours.

Star Wars

Star Wars: The Force Awakens smashed box office records and introduced the world to Skellig Michael, a shard-shaped island off the Atlantic coast of Kerry in Ireland, which featured as Luke Skywalker’s refuge in the movie. Skellig Michael is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is home to the evocative ruins of a 6th century monastery.

Skellig_Michael_Co_Kerry_c_Tourism_Ireland_-_Copy.jpgSkellig Michael © Tourism Ireland

The sequel, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, includes many more memorable locations along the Wild Atlantic Way, chosen to represent Luke’s island Ahch-to, from Malin Head in Donegal - Ireland's most northerly point – to the cliffs of Loop Head in County Clare and the rocky shoreline of County Cork. A tailor-made tour of this part of Ireland’s dramatic coastline is a must for Star Wars fans!

Bridgerton

This sensational Netflix period drama, set in Regency era London, has set pulses racing around the world since it premiered last year. Outside scenes were largely filmed in the splendid Georgian city of Bath, with locations including Holburne Museum, which was Lady Danbury’s mansion, Abbey Green, which stood in for a market square in the series, and Bath Street as a Regency thoroughfare.

Holburne_Museum_c_VisitBritain.jpgHolburne Museum in Bath © VisitBritain

Other locations used in the TV series include Ranger’s House, an elegant Georgian villa on the edge of Greenwich Park in south east London, as the Bridgerton family home; Wilton House near Salisbury as Clyvedon Castle, the home of Bridgerton's Duke of Hastings, and Hatfield House, north of London, as the home of the Featheringtons and as the Gentleman’s Club.

James Bond

Bond will soon be back on our movie screens, so what better time to start planning a tailor-made tour following in the footsteps of 007, the world’s most famous secret agent? We could dedicate a whole website to locations featured in the long-running movie franchise, but some of the most memorable sights are in London. See the real life HQ of MI6 which stars in both Golden Eye and The World Is Not Enough, as well as the London Eye and Camden Lock which featured in Spectre. For a thrilling, Bond-style ride, take a high-powered boat trip on the River Thames!

London_view_and_River_Thames.jpgJames Bond's London

The National Motor Museum, Beaulieu, in the New Forest of southern England, has one of the biggest collections of Bond vehicles in the world, including the legendary submarine Lotus from The Spy Who Loved Me, so should definitely not be missed. Other filming locations in England include Blenheim Palace, the Eden Project in Cornwall and Stoke Park in Buckinghamshire.

Scotland is the setting for many classic Bond scenes. Eilean Donan castle featued in The World Is Not Enough, Gare Loch in The Spy Who Loved Me and Loch Craignish in From Russia With Love. The Cairngorms National Park is the location for a spectacular car chase in the new James Bond movie, No Time To Die.

Outlander

The historical drama TV series based on the novels of Diana Gabaldon was filmed at breathtaking locations all over Scotland. From ancient and mysterious standing stones to dramatic castles, and from magnificent stately homes to magical landscapes, an Outlander location tour is an inspiring journey!

Glencoe_c_VisitBritain_-_Arianna_Petrovan.jpgGlencoe © VisitBritain / Arianna Petrovan

See featured locations such as Glencoe in the Highlands, Doune Castle near Stirling, Linlithgow Palace – birthplace of Mary, Queen of Scots – and tranquil Loch Katrine, amongst many other places.

Poldark

The TV remake of one of the most popular romantic sagas in British literature has brought the wild and rugged landscape of Cornwall to the attention of a whole new generation of visitors to Britain.

Charlestown_c_Matthew_Jessop_-_Visit_Cornwall.jpgCharlestown appeared as Truro in Poldark © Matthew Jessop / Visit Cornwall

Come with us to see many of the Cornish landmarks that feature in the series, and where filming took place, from picturesque fishing villages to ancient smugglers' coves. Enjoy dramatic coastal vistas and the hospitality of traditional Cornish Inns; explore the wide and windswept moors and experience the workings of the fascinating Poldark Mine.

Harry Potter

One of the most successful movie series ever, Harry Potter was filmed at locations all over the UK and Ireland. In London, locations include Kings Cross Station (remember Platform 9¾?), the Millennium Bridge and City Hall. Filming elsewhere in England took place at Durham Cathedral, Alnwick Castle, and Malham Cove in Yorkshire, amongst many other places.

Glenfinnan_Viaduct_c_VisitBritain__Colin_Roberts.jpgGlenfinnan Viaduct and Jacobite Steam Train © VisitBritain / Colin Roberts

Scottish locations include the unforgettable Glenfinnan Viaduct near Fort William in the Highlands, along with the magical Jacobite Steam Train which stars as the Hogwarts Express, as well as Glencoe and Loch Etive. In Ireland, the Cliffs of Moher in County Clare and Lemon Rock in County Kerry were used for filming. Top off your travels with a visit to the award-winning Warner Bros’ Studio Tour, located at the Leavesden Studios near London!

Downton Abbey

Step back in time and explore the lives of the English aristocracy and their servants on an Edwardian country estate on a ‘behind the scenes’ tour of one of the most successful British TV dramas in history.

Credit_Highclere_Castle.jpgHighclere Castle

Visit majestic Highclere Castle, set in 5,000 acres of parkland in the glorious countryside of southern England. The major filming location for the series, the castle is still home to the Earl and Countess of Carnarvon, whose family have lived on the site since 1679, and who have their own fascinating family history for visitors to discover. Many of the outside scenes of the show were set in the picturesque Cotswold village of Bampton, and Beamish Open Air Museum in North East England featured significantly in the Downton Abbey movie.

Game of Thrones

One of the most popular and successful fantasy TV series ever made, Game of Thrones was filmed at dozens of locations around Northern Ireland including the iconic Dark Hedges – the Kings Road in the series; Castle Ward, which set the scene for Winterfell; medieval Inch Abbey, which was used as the set for the Riverlands scenes; the Cushendun Caves, portrayed as an area known as Stormlands and Ballintoy Harbour, which featured as the Free Cities.

Game_of_Thrones_-_The_Dark_Hedges_The_Kingsroad_No_Credit_Reqd.jpgThe Dark Hedges, a Game of Thrones filming location © Tourism Northern Ireland

The rugged coastline, historic castles and breathtaking scenery of Northern Ireland proved the perfect setting for this epic fantasy and fans can enjoy a tailor-made tour visiting many of the locations, which are all within easy reach of Belfast.

The Crown

The Crown is an award-winning historical drama following the life of Queen Elizabeth II. The hugely popular TV series was filmed at locations around the UK, but not at the places you may think! Buckingham Palace interiors were filmed at the lavish London mansion Lancaster House, while the Old Naval College in Greenwich was used for the palace's courtyard. Ely Cathedral in Cambridgeshire stood in for Westminster Abbey and, believe it or not, the Queen's quarters on the Royal Yacht Britannia were filmed at Eltham Palace in south London. 

Old_Royal_Naval_College_Greenwich_c_VisitBritain_-_Jason_Hawkes.jpgThe Old Royal Naval College in Greenwich © VisitBritain / Jason Hawkes

If you enjoyed watching The Crown, we have put together the perfect tour for you to discover Royal Britain. As well as including filming locations used in the drama, our tailor-made tour encompasses the royal residences and key landmarks associated with the British Royal Family. Find out more.

All Creatures Great and Small

The popularity of the latest TV adaptation of All Creatures Great and Small, based on the experiences of James Herriot, a Yorkshire veterinary surgeon in the 1940s, has brought to life the beauty of the Yorkshire countryside for a whole new generation of viewers. Read more here.

North_York_Moors_explore_yorkshire_-_copy.jpgThe North York Moors © Herriot Country

Some of the many other productions filmed in the UK or Ireland, which you may be a fan of, include Kingsman, Bridget Jones, Paddington Bear, The Queen, Braveheart, Peaky Blinders, Victoria, Call The Midwife, Sherlock Holmes, The Favourite, Doc Martin, Mission Impossible and lots more!

If you or your group would like to enjoy a tailor-made location tour of the UK and Ireland which includes visits to these, or some of the many other filming locations for your favourite movies or TV shows, please do contact our friendly team today.

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