Experience the Cinematic Magic of Great Britain

Breathtaking valleys. Tumbling waterfalls. Crumbling pagan ruins. From north to south, Great Britain is a land made for the silver screen.  With captivating stories of medieval and wizardly fantasies, royal family life, and sophisticated secret agents…travel advisors can bring these tales to life and surprise their clients with a magical journey following in the footsteps of their favorite characters.  

Film and TV-inspired itineraries are great for friends, families and multi-generational travel, offering a wonderful way to bond over their favorite stories, while also revealing a new, unexpected dimension of travel to Britain, beyond the big cities. According to VisitBritain research, one-third of all visitors get their inspiration to come to Britain because of what they see on film and television, clear evidence that these types of immersive travel journeys hold huge revenue-earning potential for travel advisors. Here are highlights for advisors to consider:

On the heels of many British-made movies being released in 2020, next year is an excellent time to visit Britain. In celebration of the April launch of No Time To Die, the 25th installment in the James Bond series, trace the routes of Daniel Craig and that of the first female 007, Lashana Lynch, with trips to locations made famous by the quintessential British secret agent, from the pomp and circumstance of London’s Horse Guards Parade to the sapphire lochs and emerald forests of the Scottish Highlands.

Explore the magic of The Secret Garden, whose remake will be out in spring 2020 starring British acting legends Colin Firth and Julie Walters, with a stroll through the flower-strewn orchards and hidden hideaways of Helmsley Walled Garden. The scenic five-acre garden is located in the North York Moors at the beginning of the Cleveland Way National Trail, easily reached by public transportation.

Clients can rediscover their inner child with Peter Rabbit 2 by heading to Hill Top, the idyllic country house and gardens that inspired Beatrix Potter’s classic stories. This was also Potter’s treasured home, filled with fond memories from childhood and adult life. Tour the elegant furnishings of Potter’s parlor, see antiques prized by the author, and appreciate spectacular views of the Lake District.

Downton Abbey fans can get their fix with a trip to dramatic Highclere Castle in Hampshire, just a one-hour train ride from London. Discover the stories of the Carnarvon family, who lived in the magnificent Victorian house for generations, stroll the gardens, and sip tea in the café. Head to Swinbrook in The Cotswolds, north of Highclere, where Lady Sybil and her chauffeur, Branson, eloped, then tour Bampton, the locale for scenes of Downton village. Today’s travelers have a fascination with royal heritage. As the new movie centers around the visit of King George and Queen Mary to Downton, now is the perfect time to entice your clients to Visit Britain Like A Royal.

Fans of The Crown can live out their royal daydreams with a special four-day itinerary, taking in both filming locations and classic royal hotspots. Inspired by the new series, which illuminates the lives of the British Royal Family in the 1960s and 70s and reveals Olivia Coleman in the role of Queen Elizabeth for the first time, the tour will see Crown aficionados zipping around London and driving along quintessential country lanes, stopping at some of southern England’s historic highlights along the way.

Venture to Northern Ireland and be immersed in the land of the Seven Kingdoms in the Emmy-award-winning Game of Thrones®. Walk through the woodlands or along the river of Tollymore Forest. Stroll the winding paths of 18th-century Castle Ward, aka Winterfell. Visit Cushendun Caves in the Glens of Antrim, the backdrop for the Stormlands. See the show’s King’s Road, actually Dark Hedges in real life, a striking avenue of centuries-old beech trees on the approach to Gracehill House.

View over Glenfinnan valley with steam train on viaduct. Highlands, Scotland. Credit: ©VisitBritain/Guy Richardson

Grab a broomstick and discover the iconic places of Harry Potter® in England and Scotland. Ride the Jacobite steam train through the Glenfinnan Viaduct in Lochaber, Scotland – the train that was used as the Hogwarts Express. Trek in Glen Nevis in the Scottish Highlands, which was the backdrop for quidditch matches in the first two Harry Potter movies. Visit Durham Cathedral’s Chapter House, where Professor McGonagall showed the young wizards how to turn animals into water goblets. Train for broomstick flying at Alnwick Castle in Northumberland, England, the site of Madame Hooch’s lesson in the first film.

This is just a snapshot of the film and TV-inspired trips to Britain that travel advisors can create for their clients – also consider King Arthur (filmed in Wales), The Theory of Everything, Paddington, Hamlet, Braveheart, Shakespeare in Love, Maleficent Themed movie itineraries can be ideal for first-timers or repeat visitors.  With the convenience of an efficient rail network, short flights and scenic drives, travelers can easily seek out unique locations that are off the beaten path.

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