Britain’s weather may not be very reliable at the moment, but its television certainly is, with more viewers tuning in to UK-based TV programmes than ever before. Subsequently, fans are tracking down and visiting the sets of their favourite television shows, putting certain towns in the spotlight and causing tourism to boom.
Last minute UK holiday rental provider, Snaptrip, looks at the locations of Britain’s most popular dramas and where TV fanatics are looking to head on their next UK break.
Liverpool (Peaky Blinders)
Although hit television show, Peaky Blinders, appears to be based in Birmingham, the majority of its filming is done in the centre and surrounding areas of Liverpool. Since it first aired, the show has risen to fame and with it various areas where it was set in Liverpool.
Fans can walk the same streets as Tommy Shelby at filming locations including Exchange Flags, Rodney Street, Croxteth Hall and even visit the spot where Alfie Solomons meets his end on Formby Beach.
The city has piggybacked on the success of the show by opening themed bars and restaurants where fans are immersed in the 1920s lifestyle seen on their screens. Following the success of its latest series in late 2017, 4,300 searches were made for the Peaky Blinders Bar, showing that searches for themed activities are mirroring the popularity of the show2.
Whilst there, Liverpool has as much music culture as it does film so make sure to catch its famous Beatles Tour, which comes out as the city’s top attraction, followed by the various art galleries and cathedrals it has to offer.
Highclere Castle, Hampshire
Historical drama, Downtown Abbey, first aired in 2010 and has since caused fans to flock to the picturesque surroundings in which it is set. Most of the drama is filmed at Highclere Castle in Hampshire which members of the public can visit for a pre-booked tour.
As the drama has become a global success, so has the stately owned building and its surrounding area. Searches peaked in 2015 when the final episode aired, however, despite this, it seems popularity has not yet died down. An impressive 37,000 people have searched for Highclere Castle in 2018, showing the drama is still boosting tourism three years later.
Not only has the show’s popularity taken the financial pressure off the building for now, the increase in tourism has helped fund a rolling programme of building repairs aimed at safeguarding Highclere for the next generation4.
Hampshire is home to the former capital city of England, Winchester, and boasts some of Britain’s most beautiful coasts and National Parks. Known as the home of writers Charles Dickens and Jane Austen, it also has ample history to offer tourists including Winchester Cathedral and The National Motor Museum.
British crime drama, Happy Valley, was set and filmed in the Calder Valley, West Yorkshire and has sparked a surprising number of searches for the surrounding area ever since.
Most scenes were filmed in the former mill town of Hebden Bridge, home to 4,500 residents and, although the most recent series aired in 2016 and showed little picturesque scenes of Yorkshire, 2,540 people have searched to find out where it is filmed in 2018. The award-winning drama has left a lasting impression on viewers years down the line and, as such, helped boost popularity for the small Yorkshire town.
Tourists can wander the streets where the drama was filmed, visit copious quirky cafés and restaurants as well as enjoy the stunning scenery that the local hillsides and River Calder have to offer.
Cornwall (Poldark, Doc Martin)
Home to some of the most popular seaside resorts in the country, Cornwall offers the ideal filming location for British television dramas. Amongst many, it has been the set for eight series of Doc Martin and most recently welcomed the cast of the 18th Century drama, Poldark.
Following the show’s success in Australia, America and the Middle-East, Poldark put small village, Charlestown, on the map and saw fans flocking from far and wide to see various locations where it is filmed.
Shortly after its season four premier in June 2018, searches on Rightmove for Charlestown rose by 75 percent, proving that viewers were impressed by the show’s portrayal of Cornwall5.
Whilst you’re in Cornwall, you won’t struggle to find things to do with attractions including the Eden Project, Land’s End and Tintagel Castle to explore. Nearby seaside resorts like Newquay and Falmouth are home to ample sandy beaches and harbours whilst the county’s mining heritage offers ample caves and caverns.
To help you explore the set of your favourite television programme, Snaptrip has over 60,000 properties available to rent across the UK: https://www.snaptrip.com/