Best TV and Movie Set Tours in the UK

by Jules on March 18, 2013

Watch your favourite British film or TV series come to life in front of your eyes with a movie set tour that guarantees a real insider’s view.

Harry Potter Tours

Diehard Harry Potter fans can opt for a week-long tour of the UK, taking in key film set locations such as London, Oxford, Gloucester and Alnwick. Suburban London doubled as ‘Little Whinging’ and the famous landmarks of Big Ben and the Parlianment buildings first welcomed Harry to the city inhabited by ‘muggles’. In London visit the Leaky Cauldron entrance, site of Platform 9 ¾ and the Ministry of Magic. Explore Gloucester Cathedral which was the setting for the Gryffindor Common Room and explore the old colleges of Oxford which the setting for the grand staircase and the Hogwarts hospital. Finally, a visit to beautiful Alnwick Castle and Durham Cathedral in northeast England is a must! See where it all began with Harry Potter’s flying lessons – a must for all fans, old and young.

James Bond Tours

This year marks the 60th anniversary of James bond and what better way to celebrate than with a sensational tour of Bond’ s haunts, complete with the odd martini of course! Visit the Mi6 Headquarters, pass by Westminster, live like James Bond and if budget is no issue, take a high speed boat trip down the Thames, as seen in The World Is Not Enough. Serious Bond fans should also check out the ‘The Bond in Motion’ Exhibition at the National Motor Museum in Hampshire which has 50 Bond cars on display including the Aston Martin DB5, Lotus Esprit S1 and the iconic Rolls-Royce Phantom III from 1937!

Downton Abbey Tours

The UK is eagerly awaiting series 4 of Downton Abbey after that shocking end in the Christmas special! In the meantime there’s always a fascinating insight into the real life locations used on a set tour. Number one on the list must be Highclere Castle – which is Downton Abbey itself, home to the Crawley family. Located in Newbury in Hampshire, Highclere Castle presells tour tickets to view the opulent rooms, oak staircases and decadent parlours. A word of warning though – tickets sell out months in advance! Visitors can also visit the real life sets of the cottage hospital, Matthew Crawley’s house, the Dower House and St. Mary’s Church in the quaint Cotswolds village of Bampton.

Doctor Who Tours

Cardiff in Wales has been the setting for Doctor Who since 2005 and this year sees the 50th anniversary of the cult British TV series. Visitors can experience the real life locations such as the site of the rift cracked open, Amy Pond’s village and Rose Tyler’s workplace. Many scenes in Torchwood and The Sarah Jane Adventures are also filmed around Cardiff. Rhossili Beach has also featured in Doctor Who and has also just been voted the best beach in the UK and the 10th best beach in the world!

Jane Austen Tours

As we celebrate the 200th anniversary of Jane Austen’s literary masterpiece, Pride and Prejudice, what better time to take a tour of the author’s haunts? Austen lived and wrote around Bath, in the west of the UK. Notable sites include The Wheatsheaf coaching inn where Jane would post her letters, the Steventon Church where the family attended service as well as many key sites throughout Bath itself. Her former home at Chawton now houses the Jane Austen’s House Museum, where she spent the last eight years of her life. And the Jane Austen Center at 40 Gay Street in Bath is a fantastic museums with exhibits spread over several rooms, with informative talks daily.

Image Credit; 4; Cardiff Harbour Authority

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