Film and television can be huge draw cards for attracting tourism to travel destinations; The Lord of the Rings for New Zealand, Tiffany’s Manhattan flagship store from Breakfast at Tiffany’s and Lara Croft: Tomb Raider for Bayon Temple at Angkor Thom in Cambodia.
If you’re planning a trip to Britain and Ireland, there are a number of films to watch that showcase the region and culture. Whether you’re planning on immersing yourself in the history and metropolis that is London, or wandering the bright green pastures that Ireland has become known for, these are the films you need to watch (ranging from drama, to comedy and action and everything in between) to give you a nice little taste of what’s to come!
Love Actually (2003)
Despite being a Christmas film, this British classic can be enjoyed any time of the year. While parts of the story also take place in France and the USA, the main plot takes place around people living in London.
Watch it for: British humour and iconic locations including Heathrow Airport, Somerset House, 10 Downing St, Notting Hill and many more.
Snatch is a good film for preparing you for the vast array of accents you’ll encounter in the UK. Set in the London criminal underworld, the film follows the search for a stolen diamond, boxing promoter “Turkish” and gangster “Brick Top”.
Watch it for: its cultural diversity, promotion of sporting endeavours, tolerance, travel and of course the accents.
Notting Hill (1999)
No British film list would be complete without the inclusion of Notting Hill, the 1999 rom-com classic. Set in the West London neighborhood of the same name, this film shows you all there is to life in Notting Hill – from Portobello Road, cinemas and restaurants, The Ritz Hotel and more.
Watch it for: British humour and countless iconic locations including (and in addition to the above) The Travel Bookshop: 13-15 Blenheim Crescent, 280 Westbourne Park Road, Rosmead Gardens and more.
Bridget Jones’s Diary (2001)
Based on the novel of the same name, Bridget Jones’s Diary is a modern interpretation of Jane Austen’s classic Pride and Prejudice. Based in the Southbank neighbourhood of Borough, Bridget Jones’s Diary showcases the local scenery, and will make you want to pub-crawl through London ASAP.
Watch it for: it’s clever take of Pride and Prejudice + visit Bridget’s flat; The Globe Tavern in Borough.
Harry Potter series (2001 – 2011)
For a more wondrous vision of Britain, a Harry Potter movie marathon is definitely needed! While you can visit Warner Bros. Studio Tour to walk around the set and see how they convey the magic from set to screen, there is much to see around Britain too!
Watch it for: The extensive list of iconic sites to see including, Glenfinnan Viaduct in Scotland, Kings Cross Station, London Zoo, Millennium Bridge and Alnwick Castle to name a few!
While this film doesn’t paint the prettiest picture of Britain, it’s worth watching for the lasting legacy it had in British pop culture at the time of release.
Watch it for: The impact it made during the 1990’s British cultural period known as ‘Cool Britannia’.