Fancy walking through a scene in your favourite movie? These stunning locations are perfect stomping ground for film buffs
Maybe it’s just us, but leaping up to exclaim ‘I’ve been there!’ when spotting familiar locations on screen is one of life’s little joys. No? Well, visiting these locations is still well worth your time. Last year, major international productions shot and produced in the UK contributed £3.4bn to the economy. Here are 10 walks that visit famous film sets.
Rosslyn Chapel, Midlothian
Many scenes in The Da Vinci Code were shot in the spectacular interior of Rosslyn Chapel, the 550-year-old preserved structure an apt setting for mysterious adventures. With the chapel under construction during the time of filming a model was used for external shots, so be sure to visit to see the building in its proper glory. Make a day of your trip by heading right from the chapel car park towards Roslin Glen for a woodland walk. The ruinous Rosslyn Castle is also within walking distance.
Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire
Lush Puzzlewood, located in the Forest of Dean, was used to film the climatic fight scene in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. There are fun family trails to follow and intriguing caves to explore. A local carpark makes for easy access, and if you want to extend your walk through the forest then head towards the Cannop Ponds. Lightsabers optional.
Calanais Standing Stones, Western Isles
Okay, so Disney Pixar’s animated adventure Brave wasn’t exactly filmed here (for obvious reasons!) but these 5,000-year-old stones on the Isle of Lewis served as inspiration for the eerie forest settings. Parking at the visitor centre makes for a gentle stroll to the stones, but you can extend your walk to visit some of the smaller Calanais stone structures by following the path to the right of the main circle. The site can get busy, so be wary of peak times in the summer.
Devil’s Pulpit, Stirlingshire
Here’s one for the kids: the Devil’s Pulpit gorge features in a few ‘blink and you’ll miss it’ scenes in Detective Pikachu. There are some places to park near the site, but there have been issues with crowding in the past so please be respectful when choosing where to leave your car if driving. Head through the woods and follow the rushing sounds of the water below to eventually lead you to the stone staircase down to the striking red bank. Just make sure no one is looking for Pokémon at the same time – the descent is steep and usually slippery.
Ashdown Forest, Sussex
A.A Milne was profoundly inspired by Ashdown Forest, so it was a given it would be featured in the biopic Goodbye Christopher Robin. There are plenty of ‘Pooh’ walks available if you want the immersive experience, from the 14-mile ‘Clumps Walk’ to the playful 3km Gills Lap route that takes you to some of the sites home to Winne-the-Pooh’s adventures. Head to ashownforest.org and take your pick from the 13 suggested walks.
Freshwater West, Pembrokeshire
This wild yet peaceful shore was the setting for one of the more heart-breaking scenes (no spoilers!) in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1. There are plenty of National Trust paths to follow, some taking you beyond the beach towards the wildflower-scattered fields further inland. You can also spot an old, rustic shack that was used as a seaweed-drying hut on the foreshore.
Hawley Woods, Hampshire
Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron burst onto the screen with an engrossing fight scene, the backdrop being Hampshire’s very own Hawley Woods. Thankfully, you can explore in peace now that it’s strictly a villain-free zone. Hawley Lake offers a pleasant circular route or you can head through Hawley for a Blackwater riverside walk.
Dartmoor National Park, Devon
The moors of Dartmoor National Park are featured in abundance throughout War Horse. Notable areas that appear in the film include Ringmoor Down near Sheepstor, the scenic Hexyworthy Bridge and the striking Combeston Tor. The Grade II listed Ditsworthy Warren House was a prominent setting in the film and can be reached from Gutter Tor.
Henrhyd Falls, Brecon Beacons
Wales’ tallest waterfall served as the iconic Batcave in The Dark Knight Rises. Walkers can experience the moment of magic captured on film by peering behind that curtain of crashing water – you’ll find a vibrant, glittering space to inspect. The nearby Nant Lech river valley is also worth a visit.
Glen Etive, Argyll and Bute
The vast open spaces surrounded by stark and impressive mountains made for an exciting setting during the finale of Skyfall. Following the A82 to Glen Etive makes it easy to spot the sweeping shots featured in the film, but if you want a real feel for the area then tackling Ben Cruachan or exploring eerie Rannoch Moor is recommended. The impressive Loch Etive is not to be missed either.
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