Here’s a list of top Brit flicks, complete with great British locations.
1. 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.
2. The Da Vinci Code
Follow Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks) and Sophie Neveu (Audrey Tatou) through London’s extraordinary historical centre to the Knight’s Templar’s Temple Church and Westminster Abbey then check out Lincoln Cathedral which stands in for the abbey’s interior in the film.
3. 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 at 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.
4. 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 Bennett to Chatsworth House in Derbyshire, used as the home of Mr Darcy (Matthew Macfadyen), stride out into the glorious Peak District and discover Stamford, the Georgian town in Lincolnshire that became Meryton Village.
5. 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, mainly shot on location in Northern England. For a full list of locations check out the Miss Potter movie map.
6. Brief Encounter
Fans of this classic love story can still find the café at Carnforth Station in Lancashire, where Trevor Howard and Celia Johnson found love over cups of tea. The tearoom has a convincing claim, following a recent refurbishment, as the only café in the world to be lovingly restored with the aid of a David Lean film.
7. Four Weddings and a Funeral
Hugh Grant and his floppy-fringed friends larked all over London and the Home Counties while making this 1992 comedy. As well as capital locations like the Royal Naval College at Greenwich and the National Film Theatre on South Bank, the film shows off some of England’s hidden gems, especially the jaw-dropping medieval church of St Bartholomew the Great in Smithfields.
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.
9. The Queen
Helen Mirren’s Oscar-winning turn as Her Majesty in the day’s 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.
10. 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.