Film inspired holidays – or ‘set-jetting’ – is becoming a major travel trend in 2013, not just in the UK but around the world. Popular TV series and films are doing wonders for tourism in the locations they were set in, with hordes of fans flocking to the filming locations to follow in their favourite characters’ footsteps.
Here’s our top film-inspired days out in the UK:
Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter
Want to step inside the magical world of Harry Potter? Just last year, the doors opened for everyone to explore the studio where the mindboggling special effects and amazing creatures in the Harry Potter films were made. You’ll have the chance to go behind-the-scenes and see breathtakingly detailed sets, stunning costumes, props and animatronics and much more. It’s a unique showcase of the extraordinary British artistry, technology and talent that went into making the most successful film series of all time. Tickets from £21.50 for under 15s and £29 per adult. Harry Potter fans can also try broomstick training at Alnwick Castle (a.k.a Hogwarts), visit platform 9 ¾ at King’s Cross station and go on a Muggle Tour of London. Visit www.wbstudiotour.co.uk.
Alpha Norwich tours
To celebrate the release of Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa, VisitNorwich is launching a new walking tour of the city, designed with Partridge fans in mind. The “Alpha Norwich” walk is a 90-minute guided tour of the city home to the iconicly ridiculous fictional TV and radio presenter, taking in some of his favourite haunts and several of the locations to feature in Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa, including The Guildhall, City Hall and The Forum. There will be five tours running over August 9th-11th, costing £6 per person (including an I Love Norwich bag and pot of Colman’s mustard!) and bookable through Norwich Tourist Information Centre (01603 213999). The tour can be booked on a private basis thereafter, costing £48 for groups of up to 20 people which will no doubt prove popular for stag dos (slacks and driving gloves optional). Visit www.visitnorwich.com.
Game of Thrones coastal route
Northern Ireland has been the home of the production of Seasons One to Three of Game of Thrones, something which has not only attracted fans from around the world to visit, but brought millions of pounds to its economy too, much like what The Lord of The Rings did for New Zealand. The production was based in Belfast, with filming taking place in Titanic Studios and across various Northern Ireland locations, including the Causeway Coast – home to the famous Giant’s Causeway – Antrim’s Larrybane Chalk Quarry (the setting for Renly Baratheon’s massive army camp), Tollymore Forest Park and Castle Ward. Film fans can follow The Causeway Coast and Glens Game Of Thrones itinerary – a three-day voyage of discovery that lets you experience the fantasy world of author George R.R. Martin for yourself. Plotting a path through the scenic splendour of the Seven Kingdoms, it takes you to where so many of the pivotal scenes were shot. Plus, see out feature on where The Game of Thrones was filmed around the world! Visit www.causewaycoastandglens.com/Game-of-Thrones-Itinerary.
Downton Abbey tours
You’d have to have been living in a cave for the Downton Abbey mania to have passed you by and it’s not just us Brits who are obsessed, the antics of the much-loved Crawley family have beguiled and entertained Downton fans around the world too. The TV show is so popular that Highclere Castle – the filming location and home of the Crawley family – is already sold out for this year’s openings, however Brit Movie Tours are offering a country film locations tour if you can’t wait until next year. Although it doesn’t go inside the castle, the tour does take you to Downton Village, Downton Place and the home of the Dowager Countess. Selected dates are available in August, September and October and the price is £79 per adult. Visit www.britmovietours.com.
Star Wars Miniland Experience
New for 2012, Legoland Windsor revealed its brand new Star Wars Miniland Experience, where the Star Wars Universe has been recreated using Lego. Rebel ships, the Forest Moon of Endor and the planet of Tatooine all feature in the exhibit which depicts several famous scenes using 1.5 million Lego bricks. The experience was planned in consultation with Lucasfilm Ltd to ensure complete authenticity. Several planets, including Naboo, the home planet of Queen Amidala, were created by dozens of model designers and builders; the miniland also features authentic Star Wars sounds, actions and lighting effects that bring the Star Wars saga to life. Prices from £45.60 per adult and £39 per child. Visit www.legoland.co.uk.