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September 2014: The Forest of Bowland

Is it sad that so few Britons know the Forest of Bowland, or great for those of us who do? Bowland covers a huge area, ...More
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Film & TV Set Information

Locations | Britains Favourite Film

You can drive four hours in say Utah or Texas without the scenery changing. Drive four hours in Britain and you can cross the country east to west, go from mountains to marshland, capital city to the quietest countryside. Thus directors have exploited the richness of British scenery as backdrops in thousands of movies. In some the landscape itself becomes a character.

London of course has long attracted film-makers. The less creative drop in a few shots of Big Ben, Buckingham Palace and London Bridge as unsubtle location reminders. More skilful hands bring out the character of the capital's components: take Notting Hill, where the W11 scene wraps itself round the characters; and Guy Ritchie, not always praised for his deftness, uses the bustle of Borough and Camden Markets to great effect in Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels.

Contrary to what some tourists believe, there is more to Britain than London. From the Cobb in Lyme Regis in the South to Ben Nevis in Braveheart in the North; from the East Coast beach at St Andrews in Chariots of Fire to the startling Portmeirion of The Prisoner on the Welsh Coast, directors have taken inspiration from the beauty of Britain's regions.

The temptation to use iconic locations can be too much for some directors, however - in Robin Hood Prince of Thieves Robin lands near Dover's white cliffs and expects to be in Nottingham by nightfall - only on ye high speed train.

Much can be done with special effects and studios, but there is no substitute for the real thing: would the Harry Potter films be as atmospheric without Alnwick Castle in Northumberland? Would Hot Fuzz have the same sleepy-creepy feel without Wells as Sandford? Explore the movies on our guide, then explore the locations in our country.

Tours
For private tours of Britain's film locations click here
For private tours of Harry Potter film locations click here

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All sympathy not consistent with acknowledged virtue is but disguised selfishness - Samuel Taylor Coleridge
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On this day:
French Surrender Quebec to the British - 1759, Theatre Royal Covent Garden Re-Opens - 1809, Darwin Sets Foot on Galapagos Islands - 1835, Jimi Hendrix dies in London - 1970
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