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Film Sets in the UK - A Road Trip

Filming Locations in the UK: Game of Thrones, Downton Abbey, Harry Potter

film sets famous films in the UK: Game of Thrones, Downton Abbey, Harry Potter


The UK is home to some of the most inspiring locations in the world. Come with us on a journey through their fantastic stories...

In recent years, cable television programmes and feature films producers have made the rustic, unspoiled beauty of the British countryside the setting for epic fantasy series like Game of Thrones, Downton Abbey and Harry Potter. Despite these three completely different film worlds, they have one thing in common - a unique backdrop, so real that it cannot be produced by special effects on the computer.

Every year British majestic nature attracts thousands of fans to the actual locations. Are you planning a visit to Britain? Then you should definitely plan a memorable road trip to the locations of your favourite series. With a luxury car hire in the UK with Auto Europe you will travel with class and style and see where your favourite shows have been filmed.



Film Sets in the UK: The Ultimate Fan Road Trip

Road Trip overview famous film sets in the UK: Game of Thrones Northern Ireland
Road Trip famous film sets in the UK: Downton Abbey England
Road Trip famous film sets in the UK: Harry Potter England

Game of Thrones Tour in Ireland:  A 3-Day Road Trip:


Road Trip famous film sets in the UK: Game of Thrones Belfast to Glenarm Northern Ireland with Auto Europe
Road Trip famous film sets in the UK: Game of Thrones Glenarm to Ballycastle Northern Ireland with Auto Europe
Road Trip famous film sets in the UK: Game of Thrones Ballycastle to Londonderry Northern Ireland with Auto Europe
Road Trip DistanceDuration
Belfast to Glenarm
30 miles
 54 minutesM2
Glenarm to Ballycastle
 29 miles
51 minutesA2
Ballycastle to Londonderry
47 miles
1 hour 13 minutesA836 to A838

The sites in Game of Thrones are sprawling landscapes, rugged and stunningly beautiful. They play an essential role in the credibility of the series and act in most cases as a character itself. What many people do not know: some of the most scenic locations can be found in Northern Ireland. Join us on this three-day road trip tour of Northern Ireland.


Game of Thrones Road Trip Day 1: Belfast to Glenarm


Road Trip Game of Thrones Belfast to Glenarm Northern Ireland


Your journey begins early in the morning in Belfast, the capital of Northern Ireland. Start your day well rested, with a balanced Irish breakfast in one of the recommended café-restaurants such as "The Bakery", "Saphyre" or "Cinnamon" and start your 80-mile long road trip on the M2. Continue to the A2, then take the famous Causeway Coastal Route.

Less than five miles behind Larne, near Ballygally, you'll get to your first Game of Thrones landmark - Cairn Castle. This impressive landscape was the backdrop to the beginning of the series as Ned Stark, Will - the deserter from the Night's Watch - was beheaded.

The sightseeing highlights, Glenarm Castle and the beautiful Glenarm Forest Park, await you in Glenarm. Some of the jewels of the series have been created by local jeweller Steensons and can be admired there. Among other things, King Joffrey's crown was made here by hand.


Game of Thrones Road Trip Day 2: Glenarm to Ballycastle


Road Trip UK film sets Game of Thrones Glenarm to Ballycastle Northern Ireland

On the second day of your road trip to filming locations in the UK, you can expect a 55-mile long drive from Glenarm to Ballycastle. After a short drive, you will reach Slemish Mountain.

Originally famous for St. Patrick who herded his sheep there, the mountain has now served as the backdrop for the scene where Daenerys Targaryen rides with her army, the Dothrakischer soldiers, to Vaes Dothrak. Your next stop will be in the small seaside Cushendun.

Here you can visit the cave where the sorceress Melisandre gave birth to the shadow beings in the second season. Further on, it will lead you to Murlough Bay along the A2 in about 22 minutes. The true fans of the series will immediately recognise the road: Theon Greyjoy and his sister took it on their way to Pyke.

The small town Larrybane is the next stop on your itinerary. You're in for beautiful panoramic views, limestone cliffs and the beautiful ocean, which have all served as the location of several key scenes again. The most important scene shot here is certainly that where Brienne defeats Ser Loras in a tournament for a place in Renly's Kingsguard.

Here Renly swore to vengeance for Ned Stark's death and was killed shortly afterwards by Melisandres spirit. Just another 15 minutes of travel time on the A2 towards the west and you will reach Ballycastle. Spend your evening here before continuing your road trip.



Game of Thrones Road Trip Day 3: Ballycastle to Londonderry


Road Trip overview UK film sets Game of Thrones Ballycastle to Londonderry Northern Ireland


On the third day of your Game of Thrones Road Trip, take a total of 53 miles from Ballycastle to Londonderry.

After a short drive you will stop at Ballintoy Harbour. Ballintoy Harbour is the place where Theon Greyjoy returned to Winterfell after his years at home. At the nearby beach Theon was "baptised" in the faith of the Drowned God.

Only two miles away is Dunseverick, where Renly had his first encounter with the fire priestess. The scene in which the brothers Renly and Stannis are arguing as to who can now claim the Iron Throne.

Less than 3 miles away is the small town Bushmills. This is the home of dark hedges where Arya Stark, disguised as a boy, escaped from the capital of the Seven Kingdoms, King's Landing. In Downhill, your Game of Thrones road trip through Northern Ireland comes to an end at the Downhill Beach. The beach at the foot of Mussenden Temple was the place of the memorable scene where Melisandre burned the seven gods of Westeros. Take the A2 an reach Londonderry in just 50 minutes, where you can refresh yourself with a delicious pint, a hearty Irish dinner and a good night's sleep.



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Downton Abbey Tour England: A 3-day Road Trip


Road Trip overview UK film sets Downton Abbey Bampton England with Auto Europe
Road Trip overview UK film sets Downton Abbey Shilton &  Swinbrook England with Auto Europe
Road Trip overview UK film sets Downton Abbey Cogges Witney England with Auto Europe
Road Trip DistanceDuration
Bampton to Shilton
5 miles
13 minutesB4020
Swinbrook to Cogges
8 miles
19 minutesBurford Road up to B4047
Cogges to Witney
1.2 miles
6 minutesB4022

After Downton Abbey was first aired on the BBC, the series immediately gained worldwide recognition and a huge number of fans. The beautiful landscapes have also contributed to the overall success of Downton Abbey. Surprising but true: The elegant and stately backdrop consists of actual, real-world locations. Much of the series has been shot in the counties of Oxfordshire and the Cotswolds. Our three-day road trip takes you to the most beautiful film locations of Downton Abbey.


Downton Abbey Road Trip Day 1: Bampton


Road Trip overview UK film sets Downton Abbey Bampton England


Bampton should be particularly familiar to Downton Abbey fans. Most of the village scenes have been shot here, especially street scenes.

Visit the Churchgate House, which is the home of the Crawley family in the series. Bampton Community Archives and Library is housed in an old building, formerly a grammar school, which served in Downton Abbey as a backdrop of the Cottage Hospital.

The St. Mary church served the creators of the series as the location of the parish church of St Michael and All Angels. Many of the local pubs have been integrated into the production of the show. After a day of sightseeing, you should, as it has probably done even your favourite character of the series, select one of the pubs and enjoy a pint in peace. The best choice would be the Grantham Arms or The Dog & Duck.


Downton Abbey Road Trip Day 2: Shilton & Swinbrook


Road Trip overview UK film sets Downton Abbey Shilton Swinbrook England


On the second day of the Downton Abbey-inspired UK tour leave Bampton and drive about one mile on the B4020 to Shilton.

Shilton lies quite near the picturesque Roman road, regionally known as Akeman Street. Even if the road has not been featured in Downton Abbey, it is well worth visiting! Pay a visit to the old smith, a sightseeing highlight in Shilton, known as Red Lion in the series, where John Bates used to work.

Are you ready for the next stopover? Then head down in your car hire with Auto Europe onto the B4020 and drive north until you reach the Buford Road. Turn on the Buford Road left and drive until you reach the A40. Turn left onto the A40 and then immediately take the first right. Follow the road until you eventually reach the small town of Swinbrook.

Make sure you pay attention to the beautiful country estates and huge farmlands during your trip. Swinbrook is relatively small and although it has been used as a location for the series, with respect to lodging, it does not offer any typical tourist properties.

Therefore, we recommend you to reserve a room at the Swan Inn in advance. And the Swan Inn is exactly the reason why you should travel to Swinbrook. In Downton Abbey, it served as the location of the inn where Branson and Lady Sybil stayed overnight while planning their controversial escape in the second season.


Downton Abbey Road Trip Day 3: Cogges & Witney


Road Trip UK film sets Downton Abbey Cogges Witney England


After a relaxing night in one of the historic accommodation in Downton Abbey-style, leave Swinbrook driving on the same road you took to get here. Continue until you come to the A40 and then turn left. Shortly after you reach a roundabout, take the third exit to the B4047. After the road has transitioned to the B4095, take the turnoff to the B4022. Turn right onto the B4022 and then right again to Cogges Hill Road.

In Cogges begins the last leg of your 3-day Downton Abbey tour. In Cogges, which is located just outside of Witney, you can visit the old Victorian farm, in the series known as Yew Tree Farm, visit the home of Mr. Drewe, the tenant of the fourth season. Many agricultural scenes of the show have been filmed in this historic landscape.

Cogges is not just a typical tourist location. Our recommendation: Shoot some nice pictures in Cogges and then go back to Witney or even into somewhat more distant Bristol. Make this tour the Wychwood Brewery and visit the Oxford Bus Museum.

To top the experience off, we encourage you to go on a hike along the Thames Path National Trail and schedule a visit to the historic Minster Lovell Hall. In Witney, there is a good selection of restaurants and pubs available.

If you prefer nice little cafés, be sure to head to Eden, while the restaurant in Witney Lakes Resort offers delicatessen for you to sample during your road trip on the Downton Abbey tour. Enjoy a soothing cup of English coffee at Coffeesmith and head to Shake-shop where you will find a large selection of sweets that will enchant you. For a typical English accommodation, plan to spend a night at Lamb Inn, a cozy little pub. The Old Swan & Minster Mill are also recommended. For a Downton Abbey-like experience you should sleep in the majestic Eynsham Hall.


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Harry Potter in England & Scotland: A 3-Day Road Trip


Road Trip Overview Great Britain Film Sets Harry Potter Glenfinnan Viaduct England
Road Trip UK film sets Harry Potter Northumberland Durham England
Road Trip UK film sets Harry Potter Oxford London England


Road Trip DistanceDurationRoad
Glencoe to Northumberland
195 miles
4 hours 14 minutesA68 to B6341
Durham to Oxford
250 miles4 hours 24 minutesA1 to A34
Oxford to  London
60 miles
1 hours 35 minutesB4022

Harry Potter books and subsequent films based on the books have taken the world by storm. J. K. Rowling has invented a world that is absolutely fantastic, but sometimes still realistic.

Many of the locations from the films are real places in England and Scotland, which has most certainly contributed to this. For this reason we have put together a very special car hire tour for you. Visit with us all important Harry Potter locations on the road trip which will lead you from the Hogwarts Express to Hogwarts Library and to the Leaky Cauldron.

Harry Potter Road Trip Day 1: Glenfinnan Viaduct & Glencoe, Scotland


Road Trip Overview Great Britain Film Sets Harry Potter Glenfinnan Viaduct England

Your Harry Potter Car journey begins, quite conveniently, exactly where Harry's travel to Hogwarts began - near the Glenfinnan Viaduct, on the west coast of Scotland. The iconic bridge over which the Hogwarts Express speeds up catches the eye almost instantly. The scene with Harry, Ron and the flying Ford Anglia which then ends up in the Chamber of Secrets has also been shot here. If you have planned your road trip between May and October, you'll be able to take a ride with the Jacobite Steam Train over the viaduct, and also sample chocolate frogs.


Harry Potter Road Trip Day 2: Northumberland & Durham


Road Trip overview UK film sets Harry Potter Northumberland & Durham England


On the second day, you'll have around four and half an hour's drive ahead. The journey continues from Glencoe in Scotland to Northumberland in England, a trip that is definitely worth your time. While in Northumberland visit Alnwick Castle where at Philosopher's Stone Madame Hooch had flight hours.

Exit the Glenfinnan Viaduct on the A830, drive past Lock-Eil and Fort William Rock, and continue on the A82 to Glencoe. This landscape will instantly seem familiar, especially that of Glen Nevis. The exciting Quidditch scenes as well as the Triwizard Tournament from the Goblet of Fire episodes have been filmed here. The same goes for the "Chamber of Secrets", as Ron's spell goes wrong and he starts to vomit slugs. Inside the cathedral you will also find Professor McGonagall's classroom.


Harry Potter Road Trip Day 3: Oxford & London


Road Trip overview UK film sets Harry Potter Oxford & London England


The third day of your road trip takes you first to Oxford and then to London, the last stop of your Harry Potter tour. London is home to so many different attractions, so that any additional scheduled days will definitely pay off.

But first you'll need an almost five-hour ride from Durham to Oxford via the A1 and M1. Once you arrive with your car hire in Oxford, you should visit Oxford University. Here are some of the major Harry Potter film locations concentrated in one spot.

The Duke Humfrey Library represents the Hogwart's library in the film, while the Divinity School with its high vaulted ceilings, featured the infirmary of Hogwarts.

After another half an hour on the road trip to London along the M40 and the A40, you will reach the three major Harry Potter film locations.

In Leadenhall Market you will find the entrance to the Leaky Cauldron - more specifically an optician shop in the Bull's Head Passage. Then go on with a car hire in London and visit the reptile house of the London Zoo. Here Harry discovered his ability to speak to snakes in "Philosopher's Stone".

A visit to Kings Cross holds memories of two important movie moments. Outside the station is St Pancras. Here Harry and Ron flew through the air in "Chamber of Secrets". Once inside the station, look for the tracks 4 and 5. Do you recognize them? You should as they made their appearance as "Platform 9 ¾"!



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Film Sets in the UK Plan early and never miss an attraction!


Now that you've got the idea of what to see at the film locations of Game of Thrones, Downton Abbey or Harry Potter, you only have to start the planning for your trip. A large crowd of fans makes the locations quite popular destinations.

Therefore, book your accommodation in advance if you plan a very specific hotel for overnight. In addition, early planning is recommended for car hire in the UK as well! The early bird .... you know! The variety of available fleet provided by our partners, together with our informative guides and Road Trip Tips, guarantees a luxurious trip to Westeros, Downton Abbey or Hogwarts. Have a nice trip!

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