If you have a deep love for a certain film or TV show, there’s nothing quite like visiting the location it was filmed in and standing right there where your favorite scenes were shot. Even if you only have a passing interest in TV and film, seeing the locations for yourself can stir an emotional response and a feeling of greater connection with the story.
The UK has many great film locations, due to the landscape and its many old stately homes, castles, and areas of countryside almost untouched by modern life. You can take tours of film locations, walk in the footsteps of your favorite characters, and find out how old houses and ordinary locations were transformed into the film sets you know and love. To get you started, in no particular order, here are nine iconic film and TV locations to visit in the UK.
1. Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire
In the film starring Robert Downey Jr., Blenheim Palace stands in for Buckingham Palace, and it does a good job of it. Located miles from the Oxfordshire countryside, Blenheim Palace was the birthplace of Winston Churchill. There’s a special exhibition on his life and adventures in the house. You can even visit the room he was born in. The palace is the choice for many films and TV shows to set a scene or two in, due to its grand size, splendor, and the gardens and land surrounding it. The palace also featured in James Bond, Harry Potter, Mission Impossible, and Gulliver’s Travels. There’s a lot to see here, including formal gardens, a walled garden, a maze, nature trails, and buggy rides.
2. Morlais Park, Wales
One of the series’ most significant battle scenes, the battle at the Inn of the Slaughtered Lamb, was filmed at Morlais Park, the former quarry, in southeast Wales. The park is made up of a series of four limestone quarries situated on the west and north slopes of Morlais Hill. Each of the quarries offers its own atmosphere and secluded gathering points for large groups, making it the ideal location for the big battle scene in Willow, the new Disney+ TV show. Nearby are the ruins of Morlais Castle, and like the quarry, the sheer size of it is awe-inspiring.
Pro Tip: This is a popular location with climbers and photographers and you’re likely to see a lot of people here scaling the walls of the quarries and photographing the landscape. If you visit because you love Willow, be aware you’re unlikely to get this site to yourself.
3. Weston Park, Shropshire
The film Benediction, released in 2021, is about the life and works of the war poet, Siegfried Sassoon. It’s a very British film and so it’s no surprise that the movie was filmed in various locations around the UK. But when it came to recreating The Reform Club in London, which Sassoon and his fellow poets frequented, the library at Weston Park was the first choice. Once at the house, the film crew decided it was so perfect they’d film more scenes there, including using the orangery for a party scene and using part of the house as the setting for Sassoon’s mother’s house. Visitors can see inside this 17th-century house and walk through the gardens. It’s a beautiful old house and a lovely place to visit whether you know the film or not. You can even stay in one of the cottages or the Victorian Wing of the house and feel like you’re part of the story.
4. Somerleyton Hall, Norfolk
When it came to filming season four of The Crown, the filmmakers needed a location to double as Sandringham House, The Queens’ private country retreat, Somerleyton Hall stood out as the perfect place. The two houses share a lot in common. They were both Jacobean houses originally, both were remodeled in Victorian times, and so they have a similar look and feel to them. The hall featured a lot in this series and was the backdrop to many of the scenes showing the tension between Prince Charles and Diana. Today, the hall hosts weddings and can be booked for private events and parties by private request only. The gardens can be enjoyed by visitors from Easter to October.
Pro Tip: The house is still a home and isn’t open to the public for general admissions. It is used for private functions, but if you visit because you love The Crown, you won’t get to see the interior and where the filming took place. You can view the house from the outside and enjoy the gardens, but be aware that this is a private residence.
5. Sainsbury Centre, Norwich
Avengers: Age Of Ultron
The Sainsbury Centre is a museum and gallery of visual arts, and in the film, Avengers: Age of Ultron, the center was used as the Avengers’ head office. It’s hard to believe this was the location for such a huge movie when you visit. It feels unassuming and quite modest inside. It even feels a little bit ordinary. It’s free to enter and you can wander around at your leisure, enjoying the exhibits in peace and tranquility. It’s a lovely place to visit, but it certainly doesn’t feel like a film set. It’s an interesting building though, and from the outside, you can see why it was chosen. If you’re a fan of the Avengers movies, the outside of the building looks just as it did in the film, so it’s a great place to have some photos taken and stand where your favorite characters stood.
6. Callendar House, Falkirk, Scotland
This 11th-century house in Falkirk in Scotland was an easy choice for part of the filming of Outlander, due to its age and the period look and feel to it. As soon as you approach you can see that this is ideal for the period show. The kitchen at Callendar House was used as the kitchen in the Duke of Sandringham’s home, Belhurst Manor. The kitchen at Callendar House is still a focal point for visitors, whether you’re traveling to the house because you love Outlander or not. It’s in the kitchen where you’ll find members of staff in period costume telling stories of what it was like to work below stairs and offering samples of 19th-century food for you to try. On the grounds, there’s a nature trail, a golf course, woodland, and children’s play areas.
7. Trinity House, London
Trinity House is conveniently located in the city a short walk from the Tower Hill underground station behind the iconic Tower of London and overlooking the River Thames. The venue is the working home of the General Lighthouse Authority of England and Wales and stands behind a cobbled and railed courtyard, the setting for a segment of the James Bond movie Skyfall. The railings have been featured in several filmed productions including Lara Croft: Tomb Raider. The house overlooks Trinity Square Gardens and its memorials. Although it is normally closed to members of the public, there are guided walking tours that members of the public can book.
8. Inch Abbey, County Down, Northern Ireland
Game Of Thrones
The ruined Inch Abbey in Northern Ireland was the location for the scene in Game of Thrones when Rob Stark became the king in the north. It’s free to wander around the ruin and information boards are giving an overview of its history, but there aren’t any facilities here. The abbey dates back to the 12th century. It’s a beautiful spot and it’s a place of pilgrimage for Game of Thrones fans. Walking tours are organized from Dublin, and include cloaks, swords, and shields so those taking part can look and feel like they’re part of the filming. Whenever you visit, you’re likely to see many visitors in full Game of Thrones costumes.
Pro Tip: If you take the walking tour, be prepared for a lot of walking. This is a full day, with lunch included, and you need to have a good level of physical fitness.
9. Assembly Rooms, Bath
Built in 1769, these grand rooms were originally used for parties and social gatherings, and not much has changed. Today the rooms can be hired for weddings, events, and parties, just as they always were. Visitors can also pop in for a look around while in the lovely city of Bath. The rooms were used in the TV show, Bridgerton, as the location for some of the incredible balls that were held in the popular Netflix series. You can take a walking tour of some of the filming locations for Bridgerton in Bath, which includes the Assembly Rooms.
Pro Tip: You can book the walking trip and take the tour with a group of other visitors, but if you have a large party with you, you can book the tour privately so you get to visit the Bridgerton sites with your one-to-one guide.
For more information on traveling to the United Kingdom, check out these articles: