Top 5 gardens and landscapes from the big screen you can visit
You might know how to visit all your favourite buildings from the movies — such as Mentmore Towers in Buckinghamshire which became the Dark Knight’s Wayne Manor in Batman and scenes from Durham Cathedral which became the classrooms for Harry Potter and his friends. But what about famous gardens and landscapes that might be near you? If you’ve spotted a scene in a film that you’d like to visit, then read on we tell you where to find them:
The Dark Hedges, featured in Game of Thrones
The Dark Hedges are a row of beech trees that sit on Bregagh Road in Northern Ireland. They were made famous by Game of Thrones. They were first featured in episode one of the second series as King’s Road — the path that Arya took as she escaped from King’s Landing dressed as a boy, travelling through the Hedges to reach the Night’s Watch.
After the popularity of the show, the destination has become a hit for tourists. To locals, this is a surprise as it is a rural road in Ballymoney, out of the way from the main villages. The avenue is quite difficult to find though and there is to be more signs built so that it is easier for tourists to visit the spot. Local legend says that the avenue is home to a grey lady who walks between the trees as it gets dark.
The spot isn’t far from other tourist spots on the northern coast either. This is where attractions lie such as the Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge and the Giant’s Causeway. They are part of the popular Game of Thrones tours that are in Northern Ireland. The trees have been voted one of the world’s most beautiful places by the Architectural Design magazine too. They were planted in the 18th century and intertwine to create a mystical avenue. If you’re one for bright hues and colours that stand out, this might not be for you. However, the earthy tones of the trees are certainly spectacular.
Stourhead, featured in Pride and Prejudice
Made famous by the 2005 production of Pride and Prejudice, Stourhead Landscape Garden in Wiltshire is not something to be missed. It is the place where Mr Darcy first proposed to Lizzie, before she made her exit across the Palladian Bridge. Work on the garden begun in 1740 and wasn’t completed until 1780. It’s since been described as a ‘living work of art’ — if that doesn’t convince you to visit, we don’t know what will!
A lake sits in the middle of the famous garden, making the destination truly spectacular. See a range of trees, from beech to Spanish chestnut, and explore the temples that sit close to the lake. Visit the garden in spring and you’ll also see rhododendrons in bloom, while in early summer you can enjoy the azaleas.
Alnwick, featured in Harry Potter
If you’re staying in Alnwick, or stopping by, don’t hesitate to visit Alnwick Castle that became Hogwarts in the famous film of Harry Potter in 2001. It was also in the grounds of this castle where Harry and his friends learnt to fly their broomsticks. Students of Hogwarts walked through the courtyards and baileys of Alnwick Castle too, as they went about their day-to-day lives. Features of the castle were even shown as a path to Hagrid’s cabin and the Forbidden Forest.
The gardens that are joined to the castle are a must-see for gardening enthusiasts. The gardens are home to 200 different species of roses; see the Christmas Rose bloom in December and the English Shrub Rose open up in June. It’s wonderful all year round too, so you can enjoy brightly coloured water lilies in March and the delicate Peruvian Lily in June. There is also a large water feature that sits in the centre of the garden, which is something else to admire.
Venture over to the Poison Garden where you can see and read about plants that can kill. Educate yourselves on a range of flora that can cause death through pleasure or pain and see how some of the most popular drugs are grown. Just be sure to follow the recommendations that you do not smell or touch the plants, as visitors have been known to faint due to inhaling toxic fumes.
The Eden Project, featured in Die Another Day
This destination sits in the south of the UK, in Cornwall. It’s considered to be the world’s biggest indoor rainforest and is made up of two huge biomes — a Rainforest Biome and a Mediterranean Biome. It is home to the longest zip wire in England too, which flies you over the biomes to give you a birds-eye view of the spectacles beneath. In 2002 though, the Eden Project became Gustav Graves’ Ice Palace and high security lair in the James Bond film, Die Another Day.
The two biomes bring you an opportunity to see plants and wildlife that wouldn’t normally be found in the south of England. Experience tropical heat in the Rainforest Biome and discover over 1,000 varieties of plant — it’s even complete with a waterfall. Visit an authentic south-east Asian home too, as well as a vegetable garden to see how herbs, flowers and trees grow in the climate.
Soak up some heat too as you can feel temperatures from between 9 and 25°C in the Mediterranean Biome. This climate is usually well-known for luscious fruits and tasty wines. Take a walk through the iconic grass trees, see huge aloe veras and walk past tulips in the springtime. There’s also a perfume garden, which is filled with scented plants such as jasmine, roses, lavender and thyme.
Aysgarth Falls, featured in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves
You can take a trip to the falls where Robin Hood fought Little John in the film. It’s situated next to the village of Aysgarth in the Yorkshire Dales. The falls are made up of three different waterfalls that are within walking distance. It was at the upper and middle fall that shot to fame in the Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves film. You can pay a small, voluntary fee to get close to where the scene was filmed.
It’s a lovely walk on a fine day too. You can walk further than the falls along the River Ure to explore the village or Carperby and Castle Bolton as well, while in the spring and summer, expect to see wild flowers through the valley. Visitors have said that the site is best explored after heavy rainfall, when the water is most powerful and the falls look especially spectacular.
This piece was written by Suttons, retailers of vegetable seeds.