1. Port Isaac (Portwenn from “Doc Martin”)
Like it television counterpart, Port Isaac is a little fishing village located in Cornwall. From the Middle Ages until the mid-19th century, it was a very active harbor, but no relies mostly on tourism and the fishermen who still trawl its waters every day. As a filming location, it is most famous as Portwenn in “Doc Martin”, though its association with the good doctor began when it was used as a location for the film “Saving Grace”, featuring Martin Clunes as Dr. Martin Bamford. Two prequel TV movies were made featuring Clunes as Bamford before the character was rebranded as Dr. Martin Ellingham and given his famous surly disposition. “Fern Cottage” acts as the Doctor’s home/surgery, while many of the other well-known locations can be found along Fore Street, including the chemist’s shop, Louisa’s home, and the Old School Hotel (Louisa’s school).
2. Welwyn Garden City/Letchworth Garden City (Newton Haven from “The World’s End”)
A garden city is a town where the urban planning provides a self-contained community with proportionate areas for residences, businesses, and greenery. Both cities had their starts early in the 20th century and Letchworth contains the First Garden City Heritage Museum. Both cities are sure to gain notoriety with the filming done for Edgar Wright’s “The World’s End” where buildings doubled as the public houses on Simon Pegg and Nick Frost’s pub crawl. In Letchworth, The Three Magnets, The Collonade, The Arena Tavern, and The Gardner’s Arms (which is the title pub) are real pubs that double for fictional ones. Meanwhile, in Welwyn, you have The Peartree, The Doctors Tonic, and The Cork. Other pubs in the film are actually restaurants, shops, and even Letchworth’s movie theater.
3. Swaffham/Wells-Next-the-Sea (Market Shipborough from “Kingdom”)
My intellect has a crush on Stephen Fry. I also studied law. Naturally, when I found out there was a dramedy series in which Fry plays a lawyer, I was all over it. “Kingdom” takes place in Fry’s home county of Norfolk, where at least two towns play the role of Market Shipborough. Swaffham is about twenty miles from the coast and the marketplace is recognizable instantly to fans of the programme. The Greyhound Inn in the marketplace was used as The Startled Duck pub and Oakleigh House served as Peter Kingdom’s solicitor’s office. A drive north will take you to Wells-Next-the-Sea, a lovely coastal town that served as Market Shipborough’s harbor. In fact, I got really excited when I saw it in the programme as I had once traveled there.
4. West Bay, Dorset (Broadchurch from “Broadchurch”)
Fans of this gripping murder mystery (which, let’s be honest, include a high number of David Tennant fans), West Bay is the place to see all your favorite locales. Once known as Bridport Harbour, it contains two harbours and two beaches. West Bay Beach is where Danny Lattimer’s body was found, presumably after being thrown off the cliff. The real life newsagents shop served as the store for David Bradley’s suspected killer Jack Marshall and the Methodist chapel also appears in the programme. Not surprisingly, since “Broadchurch” aired, West Bay has seen a surge of tourism, something that local businesses are more than happy to oblige. With series two on the way, expect it to become an even more popular destination.
5. Llandaff/Skenfrith (Leadworth in “Doctor Who”)
Okay, I’ll admit I am cheating a bit here since Llandaff is actually part of Cardiff, though I’d say it arguably still counts since it wasn’t incorporated into the city until 1922. This part of the city first saw airtime as the city centre of Leadworth in the first Eleventh Doctor story “The Eleventh Hour”. The Cathedral Green is where the Doctor met Rory for the first time as he took pictures of Prisoner Zero posing as the coma patients. East of the Green is the white house in which Jeff and his grandmother lived. Additionally, BBC Wales has its headquarters in Llandaff. To visit “Upper Leadworth” from “Amy’s Choice”, drive northeast to Skenfrith. There you can find the retirement home hiding an alien invasion, St. Bridget’s Church, and Skenfrith Castle. If you’re in Cardiff to take in The Doctor Who Experience, it’s worth your time to visit Leadworth and maybe drive up to Skenfrith (of course, if you start to hear birds, you may have to question whether you’re really awake).
Which one is your favorite? Which ones have you been to? Let us know in the comments!