Do you enjoy visiting the filming locations of your favourite films or TV series?
Game of Thrones in Northern Ireland
When Game of Thrones, the most successful TV series ever, first hit our screens back in 2011 it gave Northern Ireland’s magnificent landscapes the kind of publicity tourism boards would give their eyeteeth for. Being a huge GoT fan, when I visited the Emerald Isle last year, being able to see some of these iconic locations made the trip even more exciting for me. I strolled down the Kingsroad in the shadows of the famous beech trees, tried my hand at archery in Winterfell and watched the waves crash against the shores of the Iron Islands. I’ve not yet made it to any other filming locations from the series, but I hope I’ll be able to put that right before too long.
The Dark Hedges, Northern Ireland featured in the first series of Game of Thrones
There is a downside though. The Dark Hedges, aka the Kingsroad, is now so popular with tourists that it is hard to photograph without swarms of people in the picture. I was very lucky when I visited, it was on a chilly January morning when few others were around. Out of season and early in the morning before the tour buses arrive is definitely the time to visit such a popular location.
It’s not just dramatic landscapes that feature as filming locations, impressive buildings are much sought-after too. Various locations in Northern Ireland were used in the 2016 film, The Lost City of Z, including Belfast City Hall (featured image). You can see a list of film productions made in Northern Ireland here, Northern Ireland Screen.
Jason Bourne in the Canary Islands
Recognising the great boost to tourism and the local economy that the filming and television industry can bring to a destination, many places offer huge tax incentives to film production companies.
One such place is the Canary Islands. The surreal scenery of Teide National Park in Tenerife, has featured in a number of films and TV shows including One Million Years BC, Doctor Who, Clash of the Titans, Wrath of the Titans, the sixth instalment of Fast and Furious and most recently, Jason Bourne, the fifth in the film series stemming from The Bourne Identity. Will tour guides finally drop the pretence that scenes from Star Wars and Planet of the Apes were also filmed there? I hope so.
Teide National Park, Tenerife – While filming Jason Bourne, various locations around the island were used for scenes set in Beirut, Athens, Reykjavik, Macedonia and even Rome.
Film locations guide
Travel Republic have written an excellent famous film locations guide that includes iconic places such as Burj Khalifa in Dubai, the world’s tallest building, which Tom Cruise scaled in Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol and Tiffany’s flagship store on New York’s Fifth Avenue, where Audrey Hepburn enjoyed Breakfast at Tiffany’s. The guide includes great tips from travel bloggers about the location, where to find it and the best time of year to go.
Burj Khalifa, Dubai, featured in Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol
Have you ever visited somewhere and thought what a fabulous setting it would be for the next chapter of your favourite TV or film series?
The path to Halnaker Windmill near my home in West Sussex is a favourite haunt of mine. I’m convinced that a fairytale land must lie at the end of this tunnel of trees, I just haven’t figured out how to open the gateway. If I ever disappear you will know I have succeeded!
The path to Halnaker Windmill, West Sussex, England
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