WATCH FILMS AND SERIES MADE IN THIS AMAZING PLACE
|Huddling up on the sofa and flicking through the TV channels is an essential way to entertain yourself while the UK is in lockdown. You cannot visit Northumberland, but you can watch it on the tele. Stay at home, pull on your PJs, grab your favourite snacks and pop one of our recommendations on:
Alnwick Castle, otherwise known as Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, has a starring role in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Most famously, Alnwick Castle is the spellbinding backdrop for Harry and the gang’s first Flying Lesson, when poor Neville Longbottom goes off-piste on his broomstick and Harry flies through the grounds to catch Neville’s ‘Remembrall’.
One to binge-watch, ITV’s most-watched drama Vera takes full advantage of the county’s jaw-dropping landscapes. If you haven’t seen it, Vera is the protagonist of a British crime drama and Northumberland is her staggering side-kick. Spotted in the cobbled village of Blanchland, fishing villages Alnmouth and Amble and on the rocky outcrops of The Farne Islands, Vera showcases the North East at its finest (…there’s no need for a green screen when you’ve got the North East as your backdrop).
GAME OF THRONES
We have to admit that Game of Thrones wasn’t actually filmed in Northumberland. However, George R. R. Martin confirmed that Hadrian’s Wall inspired his own, giant ice wall (that is not to suggest that Wildlings and White Walkers are based on Northumbrians and Scots…). This is enough of a claim to fame for us, and if you know anything about Hadrian’s Wall then it is difficult to miss the undeniable parallels between the two when reading the saga or watching the TV series. The 73 mile wall was built under the orders of Emperor Hadrian in AD122 and Northumberland holds the longest stretch of it as it rises and plunges across some of the county’s incredible landscapes.
ROBIN HOOD: PRINCE OF THIEVES
A throwback to the early 90s, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves took advantage of more than one of Northumberland’s striking natural settings. Aside from its unusual and striking appearance, Sycamore Gap’s cameo in Robin Hood is probably the reason that it’s one of the most photographed trees in the county. If you’ve never seen it, it is a dip in the county’s National Park landscape, with a sycamore tree resting at its base, and Kevin Costner and Morgan Freeman battled against villainous knights beside it.
Downton Abbey, with its opulent sets, roaring fireplaces and flickering candles in the background of almost every scene, is the quintessentially British series that is perfect to watch on a rainy day.But did you know that Northumberland had a part to play in it? Alnwick Castle was cast as the magnificent Brancaster Castle in Downton Abbey’s 2015 and 2016 Christmas specials, when the Crawley family are invited to stay and scandals, secrets and budding romances play out.
TRANSFORMERS: THE LAST KNIGHT
The camera loves Alnwick Castle, and it made yet another appearance in the fantastical Transformers movie, The Last Knight. Mark Wahlberg, Laura Haddock and Anthony Hopkins stand before the magnificent fortification, and rumour has it that hundreds of plastic daffodils were planted in order to replicate the hosts of daffodils that grace the castle grounds in spring. Filming then moved to Bamburgh Beach, where Northumberland’s sweeping coastline and the staggering view of Bamburgh Castle can be seen in the background.
The hilarious, much-loved pseudohistorical British sitcom of the 80s selected Alnwick Castle as the background for its first series’ title screen. Now known as Blackadder, the series was actually named ‘The Black Adder’ before it was later changed, and saw Rowan Atkinson riding on horseback through the snow-covered grounds of Alnwick Castle.
Main Picture of Hadrian’s Wall by Roger Clegg
For more information about this beautiful county go to www.visitnorthumberland.com