From Bond To Bridgerton: Five UK Road Trips From The Big Screen
With the next James Bond film, No Time to Die
, finally set to hit the big screen in Autumn, now is the perfect time for Bond fans to enjoy a 007 themed getaway.
Image Peter Wolf
From studios to famous filming locations, themed road trips offer a fantastic way for fans to enjoy a holiday with a difference, visiting iconic sites from the Bond franchise, and other films besides.
To help provide some inspiration and tips for last minute UK getaways, CarParts4Less, the online car parts retailer, has revealed five film and TV themed road trips to explore before the end of summer, from James Bond to romantic comedies.
1. James Bond
Route: London, Buckinghamshire, Peterborough, Glen Etive, Eilean Donan – 631 miles
Estimated time: A week to enjoy your destinations
This epic route is perfect for fans of 007. Starting in central London at the SIS (also known as MI6) headquarters, the route travels into Buckinghamshire to visit the famous Pinewood Studios, where numerous Bond films, and far more besides, have been filmed.
Staying in Buckinghamshire, the route then visits Stoke Park Golf Club, where Bond took on Auric Goldfinger in a game of golf, before heading up to Nene Valley Railway in Peterborough. This stretch of railway doubled for a Soviet train line in the films Octopussy and Goldeneye.
Finally, the last leg of the route is a long drive into the highlands of Scotland, where it stops first at Glen Etive, the location of the Bond family home in Skyfall, before finishing at Eilean Donan castle, which features in The World is not Enough as the MI6 Scottish headquarters.
2. Harry Potter
Image by Emphyrio from Pixabay
Route: London, Oxford, York, Alnwick, Edinburgh – 463 miles
Estimated time: A week to make the most of the route
For fans of the Harry Potter series, there are a huge number of locations you can visit in the UK. Start in the centre of London, where you can visit platform nine and three quarters at Kings Cross station. Before leaving the capital, you can also stop at the Warner Brothers Harry Potter studios.
From here, you will drive to Oxford, admiring Christchurch College and Bodleian Library, which featured as Hogwarts' great hall and library. You’ll then drive north to York, where you’ll find a number of Harry Potter shops, as well as The Shambles, the inspiration behind Diagon Alley.
From York, you’ll drive further north to finish your journey in the enchanting city of Edinburgh. Here you will experience the city that gave J.K. Rowling her inspiration for the series, as well as hunting for Harry Potter easter eggs, such as the grave of Tom Riddle.
3. Period Dramas (e.g. Bridgerton, Downton Abbey, Peaky Blinders)
Image by leefenn-tripp from Pixabay
Route: Greenwich, Hampshire, Frome, Cheshire, Bakewell – 404 miles
Estimated time: A long weekend will allow you to experience all the destinations
This route is perfect for fans of history and period dramas, taking in stunning country houses that have featured in some of the nation’s favourite films and TV shows. Begin your route in Greenwich, London, where you can find the home of the Bridgerton family, Ranger’s House.
From here, leave the capital and drive west towards Newbury, Hampshire, where you will find the impressive Highclere Castle, which featured in the world-famous series, Downton Abbey. Then continue your journey towards Frome, Somerset, to visit Orchardleigh House, which was a filming location for the 2006 BBC series, Tess of the D’Urbervilles.
Now head north to Cheshire, where you’ll find the beautiful home and gardens of Arley Hall, the residence of Thomas Shelby from Peaky Blinders. Your final stop is the renowned Chatsworth House, near Bakewell, Derbyshire, which has been the site of films such as Pride and Prejudice and Jane Eyre.
4. Romantic Comedies (e.g., The Holiday, Four Weddings and a Funeral, About Time)
Image by Teo Viedma
Route: Saint Austell, Brighton, Shere, Notting Hill, Hampstead Heath – 350 miles
Estimated time: A long weekend will give you the best balance of travel and exploration time
This route starts in the picturesque town of Saint Austell, Cornwall, which is the nearest town to the family home and beach featured in the 2013 film, About Time, before snaking its way along the scenic south coast.
The next stop is Brighton, where Paul Bettany and Kirsten Dunst escape to in the 2004 rom com Wimbledon, before journeying up to the village of Shere, Surrey. This beautiful village is home to the cottage where Cameron Diaz spent her Christmas in The Holiday.
The last leg of the journey takes place in London and visits the famous Portobello Road, the site of Hugh Grant’s home in Notting Hill, before ending at Kenworth House in Hamstead Heath. You’ll recognise this location as the spot where Grant visited Julia Roberts on set in Four Weddings and a Funeral.
5. Game of Thrones
Photo by K. Mitch Hodge on Unsplash
Route: Belfast, Larne, Ballymena, The Dark Hedges, Ballintoy, Binevenagh – 105 miles
Estimated time: A weekend will be enough to see the sights
Start in Belfast and then head out along the beautiful Northern Ireland coastline to Larne - your first destination from Westeros. Visit the stunning Sallagh Braes, which you’ll recognise from the scene where The Hound tried to find peace after being left for dead by Arya Stark.
You’ll then head along the coast towards Ballymena, where you’ll visit the Cushendun Caves, the spot where Melisandre gave birth to the shadow that killed Renly Baratheon. From there you can visit the spectacular Dark Hedges, which appeared in the series as The Kings Road.
From here, head back to the coast to visit Ballintoy. Ballintoy harbour is the spot where Theon returned to the Iron Islands for the first time, whilst the nearby Larrybane Quarry is the site of the tournament where Brienne of Tarth is first introduced. Finally, head to Binevenagh, where Daenerys is taken after she is rescued by her dragon, Drogon.
A spokesperson for CarParts4Less, said: “Road trips are such a great way to see large areas of the country, and are a great holiday option for individuals and families who want to see and do a little more during their getaway.
“We hope that these themed tours offer some inspiration for movie and TV fanatics who want to do something different for their holiday. Whether you do the trip in a couple of days, or a couple of weeks, they’re sure to keep you interested and engaged.”