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Top 0 Overused UK Film Locations

VO: Richard Bush WRITTEN BY: Kimberley Payne
Hey… this place looks familiar. Welcome to WatchMojo UK and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Overused UK Filming Locations. For this list we’ve looked at UK film sets that are used over and over again for the big screen, and also in television. Time to test your movie knowledge and see how many of these places you recognise. Special thanks to our user WordToTheWes for submitting the idea on our interactive suggestion tool: WatchMojo.comsuggest
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Top 10 Overused UK Film Locations


Hey… this place looks familiar. Welcome to WatchMojo UK and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Overused UK Filming Locations.

For this list we’ve looked at UK film sets that are used over and over again for the big screen, and also in television. Time to test your movie knowledge and see how many of these places you recognise.

#10: Borough Market

As one of the biggest and oldest markets in London, this place is famous for the quality of the food they sell and the sheer amount of it. Due to the popularity of the market and its instantly recognisable interior, both the location and its surrounding area have been used in several films – from “Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels” to “Bridget Jones’s Diary”. Plus, it was used for external shots of The Leaky Cauldron in “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban”. No, you haven’t had one too many butterbeers. It’s actually Borough Market every single time.

#9: Isle of Skye

This island in Scotland has so many incredible features, you really have to see it to believe it. And, if you’re a movie buff you’ve probably seen it more times than you realise! With so many unique views and beautiful landscapes, it’s no wonder it attracts film crews from all over. The misty setting seems an ideal location for fantasy films, drawing in directors for pictures like “Stardust” and “The BFG”. But there’s a sinister edge to the Isle of Skye too, as it was also the location for horror classic, “The Wicker Man” and Ridley Scott’s sci-fi prequel, “Prometheus”.

#8: Alnwick Castle

Located in Northumberland, this Medieval monument demands attention. And so, it offers a unique and impressive backdrop, steeped in genuine history – the like of which Hollywood could just never create in an artificial studio. Again, it’s one of the many locations used by the Harry Potter crew in “Philosopher’s Stone” and “Chamber of Secrets” – but the movie magic doesn’t stop there. Alnwick Castle has also served as the stage for “Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves” and TV’s premier period drama, “Downton Abbey”.

#7: Somerset House

The extravagant exterior of Somerset House has shown up in lots of big budget films – and is it any wonder? A neoclassical treasure found along the Strand in London, this isn’t exactly a ‘location you might’ve missed’. Even the casual cinema-goer has likely clocked its appearance on more than one occasion. You’ll spot it in some of the UK’s biggest film franchises, including multiple James Bond and Sherlock Holmes outings. From “Sleepy Hollow” to “London Has Fallen”, it’s a location for all genres, providing an atmospheric setting to many a memorable scene.

#6: Luton Hoo

This sprawling country house on the border between Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire has a slightly shorter list of big screen appearances compared to some of today’s other locations. But the blockbusters it has been in are big, bold and often surprising – not unlike the house itself. With stunning interiors, it also boasts a massive 5-acre walled garden – a likely deal-breaker when they decided to shoot “The Secret Garden” here. Other than that, 007 stopped by for “The World is Not Enough”, and Steven Spielberg set up shop here for “War Horse”. Throw in Hugh Grant & co. for “Four Weddings and a Funeral”, and Luton Hoo’s filmic versatility is obvious.

#5: Houses of Parliament

Although very few films shoot inside the actual Houses of Parliament, it’s hard to find an establishing shot of London that doesn’t include them – alongside the iconic Big Ben. It seems to be a must-have for any film-maker working in the Big Smoke. Of course, there are some examples that are more notable than others. It’s front and centre for almost all of “Darkest Hour”, and then there’s that memorable opening scene from Danny Boyle’s “28 Days Later”… What better way to show that something’s seriously wrong than a glimpse of the streets outside Parliament completely deserted?

#4: Leadenhall Market

The second London market to make our list, Leadenhall is arguably even easier to recognise on film than Borough Market, largely thanks to its striking and memorable look. Despite its differences though, it too has been used for the entrance to The Leaky Cauldron, this time during an early scene in the Boy Wizard’s first adventure; “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone”. Leadenhall’s another regular in London-based films, if you look hard enough for it. And,if you’re a fan of early ‘90s synthpop duo Erasure, you’ll probably recognise it from their music video for “Love to Hate You”.

#3: Durham Cathedral

Heading out of the capital and to England’s north east, this cathedral and its surrounding areas are not only amazing to look at – but they’re also a pretty effective place to film, apparently. Most often used as a stand-in for other real world or fictional locations – including for some of the exterior shots of Hogwarts Castle in the Potter films – it was also used in British crime series “Inspector George Gently” and in the Cate Blanchett movie, “Elizabeth”. But its biggest role is arguably yet to come, as it’s slated for a significant slice of the action in Marvel’s “Infinity War” follow-up.

#2: Dover Castle

Castles, cathedrals and country manors are perhaps understandably popular when it comes to filming in Britain. But few locales offer sheer size and spectacle to match today’s runner-up, which was built in the 11th century and remains one of the biggest castles in England. While some overused locations smell of lazy ‘look, we’re in Britain’ storytelling techniques, the world’s leading production companies and directors seem to be queuing up to get Dover Castle into their picture – with it featuring in everything from Disney’s “Into the Woods” to “Johnny English”, and the second Avengers film.

#1: Mentmore Towers

Usually referred to as simply ‘Mentmore,’ this country house in Buckinghamshire rises above all others when it comes to ‘location of choice’. With a grand and gothic design to turn any filmic backdrop into a superb setting, you might’ve noticed it in “Eyes Wide Shut”, two of “The Mummy” films or Terry Gilliam’s 1985 dystopia epic, “Brazil”. Perhaps most famously of all, it doubles up as Wayne Manor in Christopher Nolan’s “Batman Begins”. And if it’s good enough for the Caped Crusader, it’s good enough for us!
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