21 Spectacular Film Locations You Won’t Believe Are In The UK

Westeros? Outer space? 1940s Brooklyn? Nope, these places are just around the corner.

1. Langdale Pikes, Cumbria

Creative Commons / Flickr: earthwatcher

It might look like some unexplored fantasy land, but these breathtaking peaks are in the heart of the Lake District. They played host to Kristen Stewart and Chris Hemsworth during the filming of Snow White and the Huntsman.

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Universal Pictures

atlasofwonders.com / Universal Pictures

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2. Blea Tarn, Cumbria

Creative Commons / Flickr: johnash

Blea Tarn may sound like something out of A Song of Ice and Fire, but the mountain lake is actually another feature of the Little Langdale area used for Snow White, albeit with lashings of CGI.

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3. Cathedral Cave in Little Langdale, Cumbria

Cathedral Cave, a secret 40-foot-high hole hidden deep under Little Langdale, was also used for the film.

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4. Marloes Sands, Pembrokeshire

Creative Commons / Flickr: kennysarmy

Aside from extravagant fairytale towers added digitally to nearby Gateholm Island, this Welsh beach is shown in Snow White just the way it is in real life.

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Universal Pictures

BlueBoltl/©Universal Pictures / courtesy Everett Collection

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5. Bourne Woods, Surrey

Creative Commons / Flickr: tim_uk

Stewart saves Hemsworth from a troll among these trees in the same movie.

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Universal Pictures

Rhythm & Hues/©Universal Pictures / courtesy Everett Collection

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6. Cheddar Gorge, Somerset

Getty / Matt Cardy

The Westcountry’s geographic pride and joy was exploited by filmmakers for 2013’s big budget fantasy epic Jack the Giant Slayer. Producers built a 100-metre track on the top of the cliffs for their cameras but had to abandon filming when wind speeds whipped up to over 15mph.

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Warner Bros.

©Warner Bros. Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection

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7. Norwich Cathedral

Creative Commons / Flickr: michaelcjones

Bryan Singer’s film, which stars Nicholas Hoult, also used the 12th-century cathedral in Norwich as a stand-in for a fairytale castle. Well over 100 years in the making and free to visit, it’s one of the most stunning cathedrals in the country. The BBC produced a story on the venue’s transformation for the film.

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©Warner Bros. Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection

Warner Bros. Pictures / youtube.com

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8. Hampton Court Palace

Soho VFX used photographs of Hampton Court Palace and Bodiam Castle to inform the creation of sets for the Kingdom of Cloister in Jack the Giant Slayer.

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Warner Bros. Pictures / youtube.com

Warner Bros. Pictures / youtube.com

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Photoshot/Everett Collection

Hoult and Eleanor Tomlinson at the Jack the Giant Slayer press junket, Hampton Court Palace, Surrey, on 12 February 2013.

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9. Puzzlewood, Gloucestershire

Creative Commons / Flickr: shipcreak

Jack the Giant Slayer also took advantage of this sprawling 14-acre wonderland in the Forest of Dean.

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Daniel Smith/©Warner Bros. Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection

Warner Bros. Pictures / youtube.com

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Creative Commons / Flickr: 25962120@N03

A maze of twisted trees and verdant intrigue, Puzzlewood has also played host to TV shows such as Merlin, Doctor Who, and Atlantis, and apparently made a big impression on J.R.R. Tolkien.

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10. Ashridge Estate, Hertfordshire

Creative Commons / Flickr: 12608538@N03

The bombastic 2012 epic Les Misérables might have been set in revolutionary France, but large portions were shot in England. Ashridge Estate stood in for the outskirts of Paris in the middle of winter.

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Universal Pictures

©Universal Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection

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11. Ashridge Estate (again)

Creative Commons / Flickr: ukgardenphotos

The estate’s Frithsden Beeches, the product of leaving a large wood to nature, also appealed to the film’s producers. It was also a big draw for the makers of Sleepy Hollow.

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Paramount Pictures

©Paramount / courtesy Everett Collection

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12. Redcar, North Yorkshire

Creative Commons / Flickr: hwr21

This windswept beach stood in for Dunkirk during the filming of Atonement in 2006, with locals playing the parts of the soldiers.

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Universal Pictures / youtube.com

Universal Pictures

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13. Wollaton Hall, Nottingham

Creative Commons / Flickr: rutty

Looking for Wayne Manor as it appeared in The Dark Knight Rises, the final part of Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy? It’s an Elizabethan manor in Nottingham, and entry is free.

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Warner Bros. Pictures / bleedingcool.com

Warner Bros.

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14. Northern Quarter, Manchester

Creative Commons / Flickr: staceycav

The region’s pre-war buildings were transformed into 1940s Brooklyn for 2011’s Captain America: The First Avenger, which saw a crew of 500 spend £1 million in the area.

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©Paramount / courtesy Everett Collection

Paramount Pictures / youtube.com

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15. Westminster Cathedral

Creative Commons / Flickr: just1snap

John Francis Bentley’s Byzantine touches made Westminster Cathedral ideal for the role of a 16th-century Spanish palace in 2007’s Elizabeth: The Golden Age.

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Universal Pictures / youtube.com

Universal Pictures

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16. Rye, East Sussex

Creative Commons / Flickr: ugardener

The tiny English town, which is two miles from the sea, was overrun by the likes of George Clooney, Matt Damon, and Bill Murray last year when it acted as a German market town for the filming of The Monuments Men.

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20th Century Fox

20th Century Fox / youtube.com

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17. Mussenden, Northern Ireland

Creative Commons / Flickr: jmcphotos

Windswept Downhill Beach, on the Causeway Coast, was used as Dragonstone in Game of Thrones. Melisandre did her whole “night is dark and full of terrors” thing here.

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18. The Mourne Mountains




Northern Ireland’s rugged terrain looms large in Game of Thrones.

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19. The Dark Hedges, County Antrim

Creative Commons / Flickr: 67165210@N00

A twisted passageway of 200-year-old trees planted by the Stuart family in Northern Ireland, the Dark Hedges plays host to Arya and Gendry in the second season of Game of Thrones.

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20. Old Man of Storr, Isle of Skye

Creative Commons / Flickr: jixxer

This empty landscape was picked by Ridley Scott for Prometheus. It was the first outdoor UK location for any of the Alien films.

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Twentieth Century Fox

atlasofwonders.com / Twentieth Century Fox

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21. Glen Coe, Scotland

Creative Commons / Flickr: dave_apple

This epic landscape was used in scenes showing the film’s titular spaceship’s first landing on a distant planet.

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atlasofwonders.com / Twentieth Century Fox
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