Over at Anglotopia Towers, our favorite way to spend an evening is to pop in a British Show DVD and let the Telly take us away to Britain. Many British TV shows are filmed on location rather than in a studio, so watching British TV can be a great way to explore parts of Britain you’ve never seen.
So, we thought it would be fun to put together a list of British TV shows where the location is star and you can visit. These are our favorites – please share yours in the comments at the bottom.
Doc Martin – Cornwall
Watch just one episode of Doc Martin and you’re bound to begin planning a trip to Cornwall. Cornwall is in England’s far southwest and it is an area famous for its sunny beaches and rather strange culture, which is on full display in Doc Martin. The show takes place in a fictional town called Port Wenn but it’s actually filmed in the very real village of Port Isaac, located on the northern coast of Cornwall.
Foyle’s War – Hastings
Most of the show is set in the seaside town of Hastings during World War II. The show itself was generally shot in the town and in the surrounding area. Later seasons went further afield and the new series airing this fall on PBS was shot in Ireland. That said, after seeing all the scenery from Foyle’s War in Hastings, I definitely want to add this to our itinerary for a future trip to England!
Brideshead Revisited – Castle Howard
This classic series is famous for so many reasons, but its easily recognizable for the starring location – Brideshead which is actually the massive stately home Castle Howard, located in Yorkshire. It’s open to the public and it’s a must visit if you’re in the area.
Downton Abbey – Highclere Castle
Most people are shocked to learn that Downton Abbey wasn’t a real stately home but it is a real place called Highclere Castle, located in the green hills of Berkshire. It’s still the stately home of the Lord and Lady of Carnarvon and it’s open to the public on select days of the year for tours. Many of the interiors on Downton Abbey are filmed inside the stately home (except for the servants areas which are filmed on a set).
The Prisoner – Portmeirion - North Wales Coast
The classic thriller The Prisoner was filmed in the seaside folly village of Portmeirion in North Wales. It was a planned community built by an eccentric aristocrat meant to look like an Italian village. It’s now a popular tourist attraction and you can even rent self-catering cottages inside the village. They’ll let you leave though, Number One.
Midsomer Murders – Somerset
While Missomer Murders is set in the fictional English county of Midsomer (which has a proclivity for gruesome violence), it’s actually a stand-in for green and hilly Somerset, located at the heart of England.
Life on Mars – Manchester
While Life on Mars protrarys a gritty 1970′s Manchester, it’s without a doubt the star of the show (well, after Gene Hunt). Most shows like this are set in London so it was a breath of fresh air to see a hit show set in Manchester. It even makes you want to pay a visit.
All Creatures Great and Small – Yorkshire
The classic stories by James Herriot were set in the green dales of Yorkshire and the hit TV show created from the stories was filmed there. It was also filmed in the village of Thirsk where there’s even a James Herriot Museum where you can visit the real sets they used to on the show.
Gavin & Stacey – Wales and Essex
This charming romantic comedy is a great slice of life of modern Britain, showing the marked cultural difference between to very distinct areas of Britain – Wales and Essex. It’s a great show and a great insight into modern Britain and it’s various cultural differences.
Cranford – Lacock Wiltshire
While this adaptation of Elizabeth Gaskell’s stories is supposed to be set in Cheshire, the village scenes were actually filmed in Lacock in Wiltshire. The village is actually mostly owned by the National Trust, which work hard to preserve it’s historical charm. So much so, that it’s often used in the filming of period dramas that need a village.
What’s your favorite British TV show where the location is the star? Let us know in the comments!