It may feel like every iconic movie or TV moment is to be found somewhere in America or, if you’re a Lord of the Rings fan, New Zealand but there are actually loads of places in Europe that have been used in mega-famous films. You just need to know where to look…
It’s always amazing to see locations from your favourite films and TV series in the flesh and, depending on how much of a fan you are, it can make a holiday something really special. We’ve rounded up some of the most iconic locations that have been used to shoot scenes from wildly popular movies and TV series. If you’re looking for a holiday that visits some of your favourite movie sets, then make sure you don’t forget everything that Europe has to offer.
Take the Scottish Highlands for example. Clachaig Gully in Glencoe is the filming location of Hagrid’s hut in one of the most successful film franchises of all time – Harry Potter, specifically in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. Glenfinnan Viaduct, also in the Highlands, in Lochaber is featured in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets when Harry flies over it in his flying car.
From a modern franchise to a classic film that has stood the test of time – The Sound of Music was almost exclusively filmed in and around Salzburg in Austria. The Von Trapp holiday home was set in the Leopoldskron Palace and the nuns sang to Maria in the Nonnberg Abbey courtyard. This Abbey is open to the public even though it’s still home to a religious order – so you might want to keep your singing toned down if you do visit! If you visit the Mirabell Palace and Gardens then you may also recognise the place where the kids and Maria danced around singing Do-re-mi.
Whizzing over to England, you can find many locations for big Hollywood films set in rather unexpected places. Surrey and Berkshire, for example, are where Ridley Scott filmed his version of Robin Hood, starring Russell Crowe. The great director transformed Windsor Great Park in Berkshire into Sherwood Forest by building a massive 15 metre high portcullis and a village of straw huts. As it’s a protected site, Scott found himself restricted by the rules governing some of the ancient trees in the area.
Scott’s version of Robin Hood didn’t exactly set the world on fire, sadly, but a TV series that continues to enthrall and enrapture fans is Game of Thrones. And season 4 is just about to start filming in Split, Croatia. Filming will start in Dubrovnik in August and September and then shift to Split for the latter half of September into October. Split is a beautiful coastal city – it’s not clear why the location is shifting to Split but you can bet there is a good reason for it. If you want to get out there and find the crew at work, then reasonably priced flights to split can be found online easily..
Back in the UK, if you happen to be in Liverpool or Manchester then you may recognise many of the locations used in the Robert Downey Jr Sherlock Holmes. Many of the supposedly London scenes were actually filmed in and around both of these great northern cities. For example, director Guy Ritchie shot some of the action sequences at Stanley Dock in Liverpool and Manchester Town Hall.
This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to filming locations in Europe. Next time you wonder where your favourite film or TV series was actually filmed, do a bit of research and you may be surprised!