To celebrate Valentine’s Day we’ve taken a loved-up trip around some of Britain’s most romantic movie locations. Here are 12 of our favourites…
1) Edinburgh provides the opening and closing scenes of One Day, which premiered in August (2011) and was based on the internationally best-selling book. After spending the night together after their college graduation, Dexter and Em are shown each year on the same date to see where they are in their lives. They are sometimes together, sometimes not, on that day. It includes some beautiful panoramic shots of Edinburgh.
2) Haddon Hall in the Peak District, has stood in for Mr Rochester’s home, Thornfield, in three film and TV adaptations of Jane Eyre, including the new 2011 film.
3) Will Lady Mary marry Matthew Crawley? Will Matthew even survive World War One? Millions were glued to their televisions to watch the first series of Downton Abbey, broadcast in countries around the world, and Brits can’t wait for the second series to begin later this month (September 2011). Downton was filmed at Highclere Castle, near Newbury, Berkshire.
4) C .S. Lewis, a world-renowned writer and professor, and author of the Narnia books, leads a passionless life until he meets spirited poet Joy Gresham. The dreaming spires of Oxford were the setting for their real-life romance, portrayed in Shadowlands (1993) – with an ending that left not a dry eye in the house.
5) Chatsworth in the Peak District was Pemberley in the 2005 Pride and Prejudice film, where Elizabeth Bennet (Keira Knightley) unexpectedly encountered Mr Darcy (Matthew Macfadyen).
6) Hugh Grant and Andie McDowell became much better acquainted in a bedroom at the Crown Hotel in Amersham, in Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994). Other locations include St Bartholomew the Great church in London, for the final dramatic wedding scene, and Luton Hoo, in Bedfordshire, now a hotel, where Hugh Grant was stuck in a cupboard while two other wedding guests got to know each other better in the bedroom…
7) A young Shakespeare, out of ideas and short of cash, meets his ideal woman and is inspired to write one of his most famous plays in the film Shakespeare in Love (1998). The romantic final scene was filmed on Holkham Beach in North Norfolk.
8) Snowdonia was the location of Camelot as portrayed in the film First Knight (1995) starring Richard Gere, Sean Connery and Julia Ormond. The area has also appeared in the classic James Bond film From Russia with Love starring Sean Connery, as well as in the movie Prince Valiant with Joanna Lumley, Jodie Kidd and a young Katherine Heigl.
9) Queen Victoria was in deep mourning after the death of her husband Prince Albert, withdrawing from public view. During a visit to Balmoral Castle in Scotland, her servant John Brown helps restore her spirits, but the relationship creates concern among her courtiers, who see their own influence diminishing and the Queen’s reputation being tarnished. The story was filmed as Mrs Brown (1997), with Judi Dench in the title role, and Billy Connolly as Brown, and film locations included the Ardverike estate in the Scottish Highlands, and 14th-century Duns Castle in the Scottish Borders stood in for Balmoral in the film.
10) Edge of Love (2008) tells the story of the famous Welsh poet Dylan Thomas (played by Matthew Rhys), his wife Caitlin (Sienna Miller) and their married friends, the Killicks (Keira Knightley and Cillian Murphy). Laugharne, where Thomas lived, was one of the filming locations alongside the picturesque seaside town of Tenby, and Betsy-y-Coed in Snowdonia.
11) Whisky Galore (1949) tells of the Scottish love affair with the world famous drink, filmed on the island of Barra, in the Outer Hebrides.
12) The King’s Speech (2010) was a tribute to the work of an outstanding speech therapist, but arguably as important was the support and love of the Queen by his side. Ely Cathedral stood in for Westminster Abbey, and Elland Road stadium in Leeds, for Wembley Stadium in the award winning film with Colin Firth and Helena Bonham Carter.
Ely Cathedral image via musical photo man on Flickr