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Lights, Camera, Walk: Ten Movie Location Walks

Hollywood might be the home of the film industry, but the UK’s stunning scenery has played a key role in many movie blockbusters. If you’ve ever wondered where to find the real-life homes of Batman, Dr Frank N Furter or Truly Scrumptious then look no further than these film-based walking guides. Take a cinematic tour of our countryside with iFootpath…

Many of our stately homes, picturesque villages, rail stations, windmills and other landmarks have featured as the backdrops for the silver screen. Whilst indoor scenes are often filmed within purpose built studios, the outdoor scenes are generally reliant on real-life sets. Location scouts and dedicated location companies work full-time, matching story lines and characters with the best settings. The largest productions have multiple outdoor locations and sometime even continents can be relocated. So there’s a whole world of film sets to be discovered all across the country.

We’ve collated some of the best iFootpath walking guides that will lead you past a famous filming location. Discover the windmill of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Batman’s Wayne Towers and the rail platform of Brief Encounter.

Bolton-le-Sands and Carnforth, Lancashire

Carnforth rail station is the real-life setting for one of the most popular romantic British films of all time, Brief Encounter. The 1945 film tells the story of Laura and Alec who have a chance meeting at a railway station and is based on a Noel Coward play. The fictional Milford Junction was created at Carnforth rail station. The location was chosen as it was a busy station, as necessary for the plot, but it was also located far enough away from major cities to avoid blackout rules, shooting taking place in early 1945 before the end of the war. Today, fans can visit the platform and refreshment room as well as the heritage centre which includes memorabilia and screenings of the film. Discover this walk…

robin hood filmAysgarth Falls and Freeholder’s Wood, North Yorkshire

Aysgarth Falls are triple-flight waterfalls of High Force, Middle Force and Lower Force and stretch over a one-mile length of the River Ure. The falls have grabbed the attention of many cultural icons for more than 200 years, including Wordsworth and Turner, so it is no surprise that they also star in a Hollywood film. Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves was released in 1991, starring Kevin Costner and Alan Rickman. The theme song from Brian Adams, (Everything I Do) I Do It For You, spent 16 weeks at the top of the charts. It was at Aysgarth Falls that Robin Hood (Kevin Costner) met Little John (Nick Brimble), resulting in their iconic fight. Discover this walk…

Dabbling Duck Shere Village Trail, Surrey

Shere is considered to be a beautiful, quintessentially English country village. Being just about an hour away from London (where cast and crew are often based), it is no wonder that Shere has been chosen as a location for a number of film productions.  Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason, starring Renee Zellweger was partly filmed in Shere. Tonnes of false snow were sprayed over the church and graveyard meaning the village experienced an early-winter blizzard. The 2006 romantic comedy film The Holiday was also partly filmed in Shere. The film stars Cameron Diaz and Kate Winslet as two lovelorn women from opposite sides of the Atlantic Ocean, who temporarily exchange homes to escape heartbreak during the holiday season. Filming locations included The Square, the White Horse, Rookery Nook (opposite the White Horse) and Collins the Greengrocer (in the Square). Discover this walk…

chitty windmillTurville TV Trail, Buckinghamshire

The idyllic village of Turville in Buckinghamshire is a popular filming location for both TV shows and movies. Among them is Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, a classic musical adventure film starring Dick Van Dyke and released in 1968. Cobstone Mill, a windmill near Turville in Buckinghamshire, was the real-life home of Dick Van Dyke’s character, the eccentric inventor Caractacus Potts. It is from here that the adventures involving the delightful Truly Scrumptious and the magical car begin. Discover this walk…

Dorney Lake and Thames Path, Buckinghamshire

Location scouts looking for gothic mansions are spoiled for choice in the UK. The Rocky Horror Picture Show, starring Susan Sarandon and Richard O’Brien, was released in 1975. This musical comedy horror film has unrivalled cult status and its popularity endures. The story centres on a young engaged couple whose car breaks down in the rain near a castle where they seek a telephone to call for help. The castle is occupied by strangers in elaborate costumes celebrating an annual convention, including the mad scientist Dr Frank N Furter. The film was shot in Bray Studios and on location in Oakley Court, near Maidenhead in Berkshire. From this walking route, walkers will have the perfect view of Oakley Court from the opposite riverbank. This country house was also used as a setting for many Hammer horror films. Discover this walk…

railway childrenOakworth to Oxenhope Steam Trail, West Yorkshire

Heritage railways are understandably popular filming locations for both the large and small screen. This particular heritage line was the location for one of the most iconic railway films of all time, The Railway Children, released in 1970 and starring Jenny Agutter. At the time of filming, there were still very few heritage railways in Britain and this one was chosen as it included a tunnel, an important feature for several scenes. This walk will lead you on a journey discovering several locations from the film, including Haworth and Oakworth, and also includes a train ride through the famous tunnel for the return leg. Discover this walk…

Wollaton Park Trail, Nottinghamshire

Wollaton Park in Nottingham has a magnificent hall surrounded by a deer park and gardens. There is plenty to discover including a camelia glass house, lakes and tree-lined avenues, making it a great place to walk any time of the year. The hall itself is home to a natural history museum but it also has a darker side. As a popular filming location, Wollaton Hall doubled as Wayne Manor in the Batman film, The Dark Knight Rises. The 2012 film starred Christian Bale as Wayne/Batman and Michael Caine as the butler Alfred. Discover this walk…

harry potterJanet’s Foss, Gordale Scar and Malham Cove, North Yorkshire

Malham Cove is a large curved limestone formation, created more than 12,000 years ago by a waterfall carrying glacial meltwater. Above the cove is a beautiful limestone pavement, with deep fissures separating the sections of the limestone surface. This impressive natural phenomenon is understandably popular as a dramatic filming backdrop. Most famously it features as the location of a scene in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part I, with Harry and Hermione camping on the limestone pavement. Discover this walk…

Winchester and St Catherine’s Hill, Hampshire

Cathedrals are without doubt some of the most beautiful and ornate buildings in the country. Permission to film in cathedrals is difficult to secure and tends to be reserved for only the biggest budget productions. Gloucester Cathedral was used in many scenes in the Harry Potter films, becoming the backdrop for several corridors within Hogwarts School. More controversially, Winchester Cathedral was used to film scenes for The Da Vinci Code, the 2006 film starring Tom Hanks, based on the book by Dan Brown. The north transept was used to create scenes set in The Vatican. Some people protested about the use of a religious building for filming of something they considered to be a blasphemous storyline. In response the cathedral used the filming fee to hold an exhibition to debunk the book. Discover this walk…

Greenwich Observatory Trail, London

The Old Royal Naval College in Greenwich has a distinguished history as a Royal Navy training establishment between 1873 and 1998. The college was established in buildings designed by Sir Christopher Wren. Following its closure, the building has become the centrepiece of Maritime Greenwich, a World Heritage Site. What better setting then for the final clash on Earth in the film, Thor: The Dark World. The 2013 superhero film stars Chris Hemsworth as Thor, teaming up with Loki to save the Nine Realms from the Dark Elves. Discover this walk…

 

Why not also check out iFootpath’s Eleven of the Best: TV Location Walks

View the full iFootpath TV and Film Collection

 

(Photos courtesy of Warner Bros, KVWR and Warfield Productions)

November 2018

20 Walking and Hiking Snippets

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