How big budget movies and tv series influence our towns and cities

Standout locations that are featured in blockbuster movies and big budget tv series put unknown gems on the global map. The are so enticing to tourists as they transform these new settings and provide the feeling of entering the worlds we only see on screen. Quite often, movie producers scout real-world locations in an attempt to increase the authenticity of the motion picture, implementing the natural backdrops into scenes that can often be seen in action-adventure films.

Here’s a few locations that have provided the backdrop for various prolific films and television series. 

Notting Hill

The UK capital is full to the brim of quirky districts but none more so than the famous Portobello Road which became one of the most well-known locales in London after its picturesque streets featured in rom com ‘Notting Hill” which graced our screens in 1999. Tourists flocked to the likes of Portobello Road, the Coronet Cinema, the Ritz Hotel, and The Travel Bookshop, where Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts’ characters met for the first time. 

Notting Hill

This movie has solidified the reputation of Portobello Road as a must visit when in the capital city, the street is lined with plenty of shopping and cafes. The Portobello Road market is guaranteed to be busy on weekends, so consider this on your visit. 

The tale of blossoming romance has inspired many ‘Notting Hill’-style proposals, and the bookshop from the film is currently facing many demands from couples, with their heart set on the store as an engagement venue. The owners have noticed the demand in doing so as the 20th anniversary of the film approaches, and they are willing to help couples to stage the big question in an extra special way, with the iconic bookshop backdrop. 

Pride and Prejudice

The 2005 feature length film adaptation of Jane Austen’s praised classic ‘Pride and Prejudice’. Kiera Knightley and Matthew Macfadyen graced the corridors of Chatsworth, Derbyshire, a grand country house nestled in acres of greenery. The late Duchess of Devonshire, Deborah Cavendish gave the estate an impressive makeover, with art installations, an organic farm, and breath-taking gardens. 

Tourists can take guided walks through the astounding venue and revel in the antiquity of the setting and plenty of stunning antique silver

Downton Abbey

Highclere Castle, Hampshire is a much-loved and cherished historical site turned global phenomenon with the unprecedented success of the ITV series ‘Downton Abbey”. There are numerous options when it comes to taking a tour of the set and its various locations, with many operators offering walks through the castle, Oxford and Bampton, transporting fans back to the Downton era.  

The tourist boom which followed the post-Edwardian drama was first shown in 2010, and within just two years the UK media was reporting that the village of Bampton was struggling to cope with the influx of people all seeking to stroll the same streets as the characters on the series. 

Game of Thrones

Although ‘Game of Thrones’ has broadcasted in as many countries as there are death scenes in the series, one of those is Scotland. The fourteenth century Doune Castle in Stirling was transformed into Winterfell for the first season by the crew and cast, and since then it has become one of the most famous castles in the country. In the summer months, it is best to arrive early as the crowds are near guaranteed to come flocking to the historic site. 

Doune Castle

Guided tours are available and buying tickets beforehand is advisable. Some couples-to-be are choosing the venue for their wedding ceremony, something which may appeal to committed fans of the HBO series. One survey by Historic Scotland found that the year-on-year figure of visitors to the castle has grown by a staggering 30.2%. 

The crew are reportedly scouting out the Isle of Sky for the series prequel, so the Scottish island could be in the pipelines to experience a similar boost in tourism. 

Harry Potter

Warner Bros. successful purchase of the rights to adapt J. K. Rowlings first book into a film meant that the town of Alnwick would see a surge in continuous tourism that would be ongoing to the present day. 

Both internal and external shots were taken of Alnwick Castle for the first two films, including that famous scene with Madame Hooch in the castle courtyard, where Harry first learns to fly his broomstick amid his meddling enemy Malfoy.

Alnwick Caste

Alnwick Caste, which is England’s second largest inhabited castle, and its surrounding gardens had had several effects from the film franchise, one of many pubs in Alnwick is now named the Hog’s Head Inn, The Inn Collection franchise who also offer hotels near Sunderland, decided on this name as a nod to wizarding worlds impact on the town. 


The hard-hitting popular crime drama saw Olivia Colman and David Tennant investigate murders on the local streets and beach of West Bay in Dorset. In 2015, the West Dorset Tourist centre launched the ‘Broadchurch’ walking trail to honour the hit series. Many avid fans have since enjoyed following the route which passes through some of the most iconic shots that featured in DC Hardy and DS Miller’s murder mystery, including the Jurassic Pier, the newsagents, Sea Brigade Hall, Wessex Police Station, and Hardy’s home by the riverside. End the tour by stopping for a coffee in the Broadchurch Café, a regular haunt for Tenant and Colman’s characters.