Who doesn’t love an epic film night or binge-watching an amazing drama series on TV? It’s what the colder evenings were made for. There’s nothing better than snacks, a snuggly blanket, and getting everyone together for some top-notch telly-based entertainment.

Whether you’re into Hollywood blockbusters or big-name miniseries, many globally popular dramas and films have been filmed in the UK over the years. What’s more, many locations are easy to visit if you plan to travel here for a vacation.

Get the popcorn out, sit back, and relax as we take you through some of the most epic film locations in each of the UK’s four nations. We’ve also provided handy links so you can easily find your way to these wonderful places, and a few experts have pitched in with their ideas for places to see, too.

Lights, camera…ACTION!



Scotland

No serious Harry Potter fan would miss out on Scotland when planning a trip to the UK. There are so many beautiful locations to choose from in the most northern part of the country, it’s difficult to limit it to one or two. However, it’s essential to ensure you get to Greyfriars Kirkyard in Edinburgh’s Old Town.

J.K. Rowling is said to have used some of the names on the tombs for inspiration for her leading characters. So, when you’re there, look out for Thomas Riddle (aka Lord Voldemort), Robert Potter, William McGonagall (the terrible poet), and Elizabeth Moodie, amongst others. Want to go? Check out how to get to Edinburgh by train from london.

Make a pilgrimage to the Highlands, to Glenfinnan Viaduct in Lochaber, a key setting for many journeys on the Hogwarts Express. Or take a day or two to visit the beautiful nature reserves at Glencoe, Argyll – home to Hagrid’s Hut, which you can still see today on a visit (be careful of the hippogriffs!)

A steam train passing over Glenfinnan Viaduct in the Scottish Highlands with steam and landscape in the background.

Highclere Castle, a tall yellow limestone building with numerous windows and turrets and pavement and grass in front.

England

OK, let’s step off the Hogwarts Express at London Kings Cross and take a trip into the heart of England for a stately visit to one of the world’s most famous fictional upper-class homes – Downton Abbey. Search for your journey from Edinburgh to London on train.

If you’re a fan of the gripping costume drama set at the start of the 20th century, you simply can’t miss a chance to visit Highclere Castle, the home of the aristocratic Crawley family.

A guided tour of this magnificent home near London will take you right to the heart of the series. It’s a must for anyone who loves costume drama. Plan your journey by train from Manchester to London.

If that’s too sedate and you’re a fan of something a little darker and crime-driven, why not take a few day trips to sites featured in the gangland drama Peaky Blinders, starring Cillian Murphy?

Many of the series’ iconic locations are situated in the Black Country Living Museum, including the blacksmiths, chainmakers, and Workers’ Institute buildings. Visit their website to find out how to get there.

Sites such as St George’s Hall and Liverpool Cathedral are big draws for fans of the series, too. Some head even further north to the town of Bolton near Manchester to visit Le Mans Crescent, seen when Tommy Shelby runs out of the Magistrates Court. They transformed the crescent into a period street scene, and many locals were extras. Book your London to Manchester train.


Wales

Let’s head to the lush, green pastures of Wales now for some ‘right Royal shenanigans.’ If you’re a fan of the Netflix series The Crown, then you won’t want to miss the opportunity to visit the stunning town of Caernarfon in Gwynedd and its 13th-century castle.

This stunning location was, in real life (and in the series), the setting for the investiture of the Prince of Wales in 1969. King Edward I built the castle, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Its setting on the River Seoint is perfect for a walk after you’ve taken in the historical splendor of the town. You can find a travel guide and help to get there from Cadw.

We can’t mention Wales without momentarily harking back to Harry Potter. While you’re there, take a trip to Freshwater West, a stretch of golden sand on the Pembrokeshire Coast used as a backdrop for Shell Cottage in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Plan your trip with the help of the National Trust’s website.

Caernarfon Castle in Wales lit up at night with water in front and an orange and blue sky behind.

Downhill Beach in County Londonderry with rocks and sand in front and grassy cliffs and the bright sun behind.

Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland is the place to visit if you want to get into Game of Thrones country. Firstly, take a trip to Castle Ward, County Down. This estate provided some of the first season’s most recognizable locations. The farmyard there represented Winterfell, including the archery range where the Stark children practiced their skills. You’ll also be able to see Robb Stark’s army camp and the setting for The Twins. Here’s how to get there.

Once that’s whetted your appetite, set off for Downhill Demesne, County Londonderry, and see Downhill Beach, which was Dragonstone in the second season of the drama. The beach was where Stannis Baratheon rejected the Seven Gods and allowed Melisandre to burn their effigies…

Still fancy some more inspiration for epic film locations in the UK? Here are a couple more ideas from those in the know…


What can a movie tour do to enhance your experience of seeing the film?

“A movie tour can put you in the character’s shoes. You can walk where they did, see what they saw, not just what was on the screen. A movie location tour is magical, if given by the right tour guide. We can transport you to the fictitious world that you draw so much inspiration from, and make it real.” Miketheyorockyfilmtour.net

How can movies bring young people together?

“So many of our exchange students are inspired to study abroad by the movies they watch. Movies can bring young people together by giving them a new lens to look at the world and by showing them perspectives and ways of life they may have never considered. No matter where you go in the world, people watch movies. That one fact can be the start of a new friendship between young people which can lead to more understanding and cultural awareness globally.” Kelsey Ross – Marketing and Social Media Coordinator – yfuusa.org

What in your opinion makes for a great movie/film tour?

“The best movie tours include exclusive behind the scenes tours of key locations from famous films. I love when a knowledgeable tour guide shares little known stories and anecdotes that draw you into the experience of the production of each film. A great film tour should leave you with a new appreciation of a film’s production story.” Jeremy SchmidtEdge of Cinema

Which book/film crossovers have been the most inspiring for readers (in your opinion)?

“The book “How Do You Live?” by Genzaburo Yoshino (tr. Bruno Navasky) about a boy who examines philosophical questions about life has inspired a lot of our readers. It was just adapted into a Studio Ghibli film called, “The Boy and the Heron”, made by Hiyao Miyazaki, which has become the fourth highest earning anime film in North America. People love to explore the big questions about life and it often helps to get a little guidance to provoke thought about what the answers might be. It’s one of our best sellers.” Cathryn Siegal-Bergman – Owner – Clevobooks.com

Can film locations inspire wedding themes?

“Absolutely yes! Movie film locations definitely inspire wedding themes. We continue to have couples looking to recreate the Twilight wedding in our forest ceremony site. Many brides are looking for a fairytale forest setting. Think The Seven Dwarves cabin in the woods that sheltered Snow White! Other couples have asked for a Robinhood Prince of Thieves romantic, rustic, woodsy setting. We have also seen requests to recreate the Shire from Lord of the Rings. People want to feel transported to their own fairytale story on their wedding day.” Melaniecarolinacountryweddings.com

Has interest in films and TV series increased people’s interest in adventure sports?

“People’s interest in adventure sports has increased over the last few decades for many reasons including advances in equipment technology, the internet, and mainstream film and television embracing the adventure sport’s culture.

In particular film and television has glamorized adventure sports creating and airing reality TV competitions and rite of passage stories. These stories and competitions lure the viewer to try adventure sports. ” Joe Moerschbaecherpvadventures.com

What makes a movie site tour so good?

“Movie site tours really excel when you have a guide who not only knows the ins and outs of the specific movie/industry but can share fascinating behind-the-scenes anecdotes, giving you a real sense of the filmmaking process. It’s that personal touch that brings the whole experience to life. There’s also the element of interaction. It’s not just about walking through areas, buildings, or static sets; it’s about being able to touch, feel, and maybe interact with some of the famous locations. Hands on engagement makes visits memorable. Getting a bit of a behind the scenes look, that normally only the crew or locals get to see adds an element of exclusivity, making visitors feel like they’re part of something special.

A guided journey that flows seamlessly, allowing visitors to absorb everything without feeling rushed takes a lot of training and well-thought-out planning — and of course, who doesn’t love a good photo op? Designated spots with iconic backdrops become not just pictures but tangible memories that visitors can take away and share with others. Ultimately, it’s about storytelling. Giving people compelling narratives that weave together the history, production details, and cultural impact of the movies, tv shows, as well as the cities that they are filmed in. That is what captures the imagination and leaves a lasting impression ” Patrick Kelly – Founder / President – TopDogTours, Inc.

What makes for a really good film tour?

“I think a successful film tour is not only the opportunities you have to show your film to an audience all over the world, but it’s the people you meet and the friendships you create.

If you can leave a film festival feeling more excited about future possibilities; whether it be your existing film or possibly other projects, you have had a successful tour. You should leave a festival tour knowing more people in your field, perhaps collaborating with many, and most importantly; have newfound friendships and people to share your successes and experiences with.” Susan Gorrell – Executive Director – Julien Dubuque International Film Festival