Walking in Godzilla’s Footsteps
Filming locations are fun fictional places to visit while traveling, giving tourists the opportunity to live their favorite movies and shows through the magical sets and locations. There are so many locations and tours all over the world that are worth a visit, but here are a few to read about today. I’d love to hear which filming location sounds the most interesting to you! Which filming location have you seen before?
The Alcazar of Segovia in Segovia, Spain This one really isn’t a filming location, but if you’re looking for a magical castle to inspire you, try Segovia Castle in Segovia, Spain. The castle is rumored to have inspired Walt Disney, along with Castle Neuschwanstein of Bavaria, Germany, in his design of Cinderella’s Castleat the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World. Segovia is a charming, small town a perfect daytrip away from Madrid that also has an amazing, historical Roman aqueduct and a Gothic Cathedral. You can take the high-speed train to get to Segovia, which is a fun adventure too! We loved visiting Segovia, walking along the aqueduct, through the tiny little streets, and up to the castle.
Hotel Sidi Driss in Tunisia The Hotel Sidi Driss is in Matmata in Tunisia and is nicknamed the “Star Wars Hotel”; it was first used as a filming location for Stay Wars Episode IV: A New Hope and then used again in Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones. The hotel was used for the Luke Skywalker’s home on Tatooine. The hotel is built in traditional Berber architecture, with 5 ‘pits’ in the ground. You can sleep at the hotel for around $10 a night, and while you can’t stay in the Star Wars set rooms, you can eat in one of the pits, which is now the hotel restaurant.
Game of Thrones in Ireland Many movies and TV shows have been filmed in Ireland including Braveheart, The Princess Bride, Leap Year, and Saving Private Ryan. Many TV shows have been filmed there as well, such as Game of Thrones which is filmed in and around the studios in Northern Ireland. While the film studios aren’t open to the public, you can visit Castle Ward in County Down, which served as most of the Winterfell exteriors in Season One as well as the grassy army camps throughout the series. At Castle Ward you can participate in the Archery Tour where you can dress up in Stark Family costumes, stand exactly where Jon Snow and Rob Stark stood, and shoot medieval arrows using ancient bows.
Hawaiian Countryside in Oahu, Hawaii Often referred to as the “Backlot of Hawai’I,” Kualoa Ranch is a private nature preserve and working cattle ranch that is less than an hour from Waikiki and has been home to tons of different shows and movies including Jurassic Park, 50 First Dates, Hawaii Five-O, and so many more. You can even find Godzilla’s footprint! Nearly across the street is the Mac Nut Farm where you can sample more flavors of macadamia nuts than you can even imagine. Head out the back of the store and you can take a cultural tour (one of my favorites!) and along with eating fruit off the trees, and learning out to open a coconut, you will also see sites where shows were filmed including Gilligan’s Island, Lost, Fantasy Island, and Tears of the Sun.
Highclere Castle, Bampton, and Downton Abbey With a day trip from London, you can visit famous Downton Abbey filming locations including Bampton Village and Highclere Castle. Bampton Village was used as the backdrop for the fictional Yorkshire Village of Downton Abbey and main sites include Isobel Crawley’s house, Downton hospital, the church, the site of the Downton fair, and the Grantham Arms pub. You can also visit Highclere Castle in Hampshire that was featured as Downton Abbey. Inside the castle, you can tour staterooms as well as the main hall and the library and even have a cup of tea in the castle’s tearooms.