But travel can also send me to new worlds that are full of drama and excitement, especially if the destination has been part of a film set. Sometimes I turn a corner and feel the familiar sense of déjà vu. The familiar scene I see however, evaporates with the realisation that I’ve only seen it on the silver screen.
Today, computer generated graphics are so realistic it’s often a challenge to work out film sets that are real, and those that are digitally created. So if you fancy stepping into a film here’s my top three untouched sets. Click the links for more information about each destination.
New Zealand & Middle Earth: no trip to New Zealand is complete without wandering around like Bilbo Baggins. The Lord of the Rings films are virtual adverts from the tourist board, with beautiful vistas of rolling green hills and craggy snow-capped mountains. Here’s more information about a trip to JRR Tolkein’s fantasy kingdom.
Jordan & the home of the Holy Grail: The Treasury at Petra, in Jordan, provided the stunning backdrop to Indiana Jones and the Crusade, as the entrance to the temple housing the Holy Grail. You used to be able to go inside The Treasury, but it’s now roped off. However, you would have been disappointed. It’s a plain dark square cavern. There are no curtains of cobwebs or wobbly stone floors waiting for an unsuspecting gold digger. Travel around Jordan for a week or more and travel through time from Roman rule to Lawrence of Arabia's desert.
Cambodia and the Temples of Doom: Ta Prohn, near Siem Reap, is the Angkor Wat temple that became part of Lara Croft’s Tomb Raider set, and Indian Jones and the Temple of Doom was also filmed here. Tree roots cling to and ooze over the ruins. Luckily I wasn’t offered any monkey brains.
Here’s a few more out of the way sets to explore:
- USA, Lower Manhattan, New York: The Tribeca firehouse at 14 North Moore Street made a star appearance in Ghostbusters.
- USA, Astoria, Oregon: the 19th century Captain George Flavel House Museum, was the Pirate Museum in The Goonies, where Mikey’s dad worked.
- UK, Monson Road, London: home of The Winchester pub in Shaun of the Dead, now renovated.
- UK, Carlton Street, Edinburgh: The stone bridge archway is the site of the opening scene in Trainspotting when Renton tries to run away after shoplifting.
Where’s your favourite film set? We’d love to hear from you. Drop us a line.