British television filming locations

Dr Who

Some of Australia's most popular TV programs — dramas, comedies and sci-fi nonsense involving Time Lords and Daleks — come from the other side of the world. And for fans of these British TV shows, it's possible to combine a trip to the UK and Ireland with a bit of a pilgrimage. After all, why not check out the filming locations from your favourite programs while you're there?

Doctor Who

The wildly popular recent revamp of Doctor Who is filmed in the Welsh capital Cardiff. The city and its surrounding area double up for all manner of places — whether it's London or some bizarre alien planet.

Popular locations include the Millennium Stadium, the Wales Millennium Centre and the Queen's Arcade shopping centre. Meanwhile, the Cardiff Royal Infirmary tends to be used for hospital scenes.

Location maps are available from the Tourist Information Centre, while thoroughly obsessive fans can go to the Doctor Who Up Close exhibition at the Red Dragon Centre in Cardiff Bay. It features the TARDIS and plenty of Daleks as well as other costumes and monsters from the hit BBC sci-fi series.

Father Ted

The surreal priestly comedy was a British production but was set and filmed in the Republic of Ireland. Most of the filming was done in County Clare and the Parochial House is in Glenquin — the real version is called McCormack's.

Further scenes were shot on the Aran Islands, a windswept trio well off the usual tourist trail. The famous sweeping shot from the intro sequence to each episode is over Inis Oírr, the smallest of the islands.

For Father Ted junkies, the Aran Islands play host to one of the world's most bizarre festivals every year. Tedfest is a celebration of all things Craggy Island — and it includes strange sights such as five-a-side football for priests and nuns.

For more information, visit Friends of Ted.

Pride and Prejudice

No, not the recent film version but the one with a panty-dampening Colin Firth in a wet shirt from 1995.

The hugely popular TV adaptation of the Jane Austen novel was shot all over Britain. The village of Meryton was actually Lacock in Wiltshire. The village is owned by the National Trust and is something of a celluloid floozy — it's also appeared in Cranford and the Harry Potter movies.

Nearby Luckington Court was chosen as Longbourn, the Bennet family home. Unfortunately for visitors, this is usually used for weddings and special events.

Meanwhile, for Darcy's Pemberley estate, two locations were required. The exteriors were shot at Lyme Hall near Manchester, but the interior scenes took place in Sudbury Hall, Derbyshire. Lyme Hall is part of the sprawling Lyme Park. Again, it's National Trust-owned and open to visitors for most of the year. The lake is the one that Mr Darcy emerges from in the most notorious scene.

Sudbury Hall is also open to the public and, bizarrely, includes a museum of childhood.

Last of the Summer Wine

The inexplicably popular comedy about old men rolling down hills in bathtubs has been running since just after the dinosaurs died out and the small town of Holmfirth in Yorkshire has turned into a major tourist attraction as a result.

Even without the Last of the Summer Wine tack, it's worth visiting — it's in the gorgeous Holme Valley on the cusp of the Peak District. But most people don't come for the scenery — they come to visit the Wrinkled Stocking Cafe, which is next to Nora Batty's house in the show.

Holmfirth also features a small exhibition about the show and an obligatory gift shop. The pub that makes a regular appearance isn't in Holmfirth, though — it's the White Horse in nearby Jackson Bridge.

The Bill

The popular (and seemingly endless) police series is set in the fictional London borough of Canley. This is — judging by references made in the series and the postcode of the Sun Hill police station — theoretically in East London, especially around the Whitechapel area.

The station, however, is supposed to be on Pennington Street in Wapping. Go there, though, and all you'll find is the big News International newspaper headquarters.

The real location is at the other end of the city — Sun Hill nick is actually a special studio on an industrial estate in Deer Park Road, Merton.

Most of the outdoor filming is done in the south-west of London too. Wander around Colliers Wood and South Wimbledon and a few bells may ring. Two of the main housing estates featured are the High Path Estate in South Wimbledon and the Cambridge Estate in Kingston.

Inspector Morse

Oxford hardly needed putting on the British tourist map, but the enduring popularity of Inspector Morse means that even more visitors pass through in order to soak up the atmosphere of their favourite detective's home city.

It seems as though the whole city featured in the show at one point or other, but some locations got more of a look in than others.

Brasenose College, Exeter College and Corpus Christi have doubled for the fictional Lonsdale College and Beaumont College, while other popular tourist hotspots featured have included the Radcliffe Camera and the Bodleian Library.

Meanwhile, for those fancying a nice pint, two pubs that have been graced by Morse include The Eagle and Child and the Turf Tavern.

Have you made a memorable movie or television program pilgrimage? Perhaps the Sex and the City tour of New York, or even the Home and Away journey to Palm Beach (... I mean, Summer Bay)? Tell us about it.

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