Ah, the United Kingdom. Land of iconic skylines, rolling green hills and charming pubs, all scenery that makes for amazing film backdrops. It’s no surprise, then, that countless landscapes across the country have been used to bring films to life. Just a little clever camera work and London is suddenly transformed.
Many of these sets have carried on exactly as they were, primed and ready for film worshippers to see where their favourite actors and actresses once stood. Here are some must-see movie sets that should top any film buff’s list of sites.
The iconic Mr. Darcy may be too good to be true, but his estate certainly isn’t. Chatsworth House stood in for Pemberley Hall – Mr. Darcy’s stately home – in the 2005 adaptation of Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice. It’s even thought that Chatsworth Hall was Austen’s real life inspiration for the fictitious Pemberley, as she began work on the book following a visit to the area. Chatsworth’s Sculpture Hall is a particular must-see and was used for Elizabeth Bennet’s (Keira Knightly) introduction to Mr. Darcy (Matthew Macfadyen). In fact, the striking marble bust used in the scene is still on display in the gift shop today.
Harry Potter Studios
Harry Potter Studios in London is the crème de la crème of UK film sets. Where else can you find everything from one of the world’s biggest film franchises of all time? Found in a giant warehouse-style building are a vast collection of original sets, costumes and props used in the Harry Potter films, including the grand Great Hall from within Hogwarts Castle, Dobby the House Elf and the very brooms that were used for games of Quidditch.
Osterley Park and House
The spacious Wayne Manor – home to Bruce Wayne’s Batman – is actually located in Hounslow, West London. Director Christopher Nolan chose the 16th-century manor Osterley House to play Wayne Manor in the hit film The Dark Knight Rises because of its massive rooms and grand interior, not to mention the real life secret door hidden in a book case, which acted as the perfect entrance to the iconic bat cave.
With its jaw-dropping exterior and soaring ceilings, it’s no shock that Ely Cathedral has been used as a set for a great many films, especially where the royal family are involved. The cathedral was transformed into Westminster Abbey for the Academy Award-winning film The King’s Speech, the Palace of Whitehall for the lavish Elizabeth: The Golden Age, as well as being used as the interior for grand ceremonies in The Other Boleyn Girl. Those specific sets have since been removed, but Ely Cathedral is still so breath-taking, you won’t have any trouble conjuring up images of its days in the spotlight.
Old Royal Naval College
The vast majority of recent Hollywood-mega film Les Miserables was actually filmed in England and not France. In fact, many of the sweeping panoramic city shots were done in front of the solemn landscape that is the Old Royal Naval College in Greenwich, London. Its interior can also be spotted in scenes such as when Inspector Javert is rallying his counter troops in the College’s Painted Hall.