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Top film locations to visit in the UK

Elizabeth Yu / 28 January 2016 ( 11 September 2018 )

From Dad's Army to Swallows and Amazons, Absolutely Fabulous and The BFG, explore the film locations on our own doorstep.

Lake Windermere - setting for Swallows and Amazons, 2016 top film locations to visit
Much of the filming for the remake of Swallows and Amazons took place in the beautiful Lake District

From Private Pike to Bridget Jones, Edina and the BFG, the return of some the UK’s best-loved characters and stories to the big screen showcased some of our beautiful landscapes and cities.

Many of these films were set in and shot in Britain so you can explore the set locations yourself and also visit the real-life places that served as an inspiration for our favourite stories.

Dad’s Army

When the classic comedy Dad’s Army was remade for the big screen it brought together a stellar, award-winning British cast including Bill Nighy, Michael Gambon and Toby Jones. No doubt cries of “Don’t panic!” and “You stupid boy” still reverberate in Yorkshire, largely in the seaside town of Bridlington, which stars as Walmington-on-Sea.

Fans can visit Bridlington Old Town High Street and Market Place, which served as set locations. Also worth visiting are Flamborough Bay, where the German landing was filmed, Sewerby Hall, where some scenes were shot, and the steam trains at Pickering.

Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie

Our favourite fashionistas Edie and Patsy ooze glitz, glamour and err… mayhem. While the blockbuster saw the notorious twosome take a trip overseas, there is still plenty of the usual shopping, drinking and clubbing their way around London’s trendiest hotspots.

So why not take yourself to the capital’s best shopping hotspots and splash the cash Ab-Fab style? Harvey Nichols, Selfridges and Harrods are typical Edie and Patsy haunts, while Knightsbridge and Oxford Street both offer a shopper’s paradise for the fashion-obsessed.


The much-loved children’s story The BFG by Roald Dahl 's second film iteration was directed by the highest-grossing director of all time Steven Spielberg and starred Wolf Hall’s Mark Rylance as the Big Friendly Giant.

Film-goers will be able to spot a variety of famous English landmarks including Blenheim Palace and Buckingham Palace. And the landscape of the Isle of Skye in Scotland was used to create the story’s Giant Land.

Swallows and Amazons

Much of the filming for the big screen remake of Swallows and Amazons, based on the classic novel by Arthur Ransome took place in Lake District, where the novel is set.

Fans can indulge in the iconic scenery around Lake Windermere, Coniston Water and Derwentwater and visit the real locations that inspired Ransome. An afternoon cruise on the Coniston Launch takes you to ‘Wild Cat Island’, ‘The Amazons’ boathouse and the other spots that Ransome used to create his fascinating world.

You can also pay homage to the author by visiting his final resting place at St Paul’s Church, Rusland. At the Arthur Ransome Room in The Museum of Lakeland Life, Kendal, his desk, typewriter, pipes, books and general memorabilia are kept.

Discover some further afield Oscar winning film locations you can visit

The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.

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