New research from Virgin Media O2 reveals nearly half of Brits (48%) would visit a destination if a movie has been filmed there, with Brits on average willing to travel a huge 173 miles* to see iconic film locations - the equivalent of driving from Newcastle to Liverpool.

The study shows that visiting movie locations is a key tourism driver for staycations, with a whopping £7,020,842,928 estimated to be spent per year on travel and accommodation. And as a nation of film fanatics, it’s perhaps not surprising that one in four Brits (26%) admit they’d rather plan a trip to visit a film location over visiting a family member or friend (23%).

And it seems social media is playing an increasing role in influencing the locations people choose to travel, with 28% of Brits more likely to be swayed by a trip they’ve seen on social media compared to a recommendation from a friend (23%). To help inspire movie buffs ahead of booking their next trip, Virgin Media O2 has launched a new way of finding film locations via its new Movie Mapper tool which enables users to search by show, genre or region to find their favourite film locations across the country.

Film fanatic, Thomas Duke aka Stepping Through Film, who shares his adventures visiting movie locations across the world with his 400K followers on Instagram, offers his top tips on visiting famous film destinations and how to make the most of their trip:

  1. Check the Opening times: Be sure to research opening times and check that the location is open to visitors. Some sets are purpose built specifically for a film, so double check in advance of visiting that the set is still operational.
  2. Have a GoldGreenfinger:Where you can, get public transport. Not only is this better for the environment, in some instances it can also save you some cash.
  3. Live up to Great Expectations:When visiting a destination, treat it with the upmost respect. Be friendly with the locals, don’t drop litter and never vandalise.
  4. Be Far From The Madding Crowds: Try to visit the location early in the morning as you’ll be more likely to avoid the crowds and get better photos. If you do get there first thing, try to be conscious of noise so you don’t disrupt the locals.
  5. We Need To Talk About Kevin Props: If you’re a real movie mega fan, immerse yourself into the magic by bringing props, it really can bring your experience to life and add a jovial layer to your photos.
  6. Trainspotting: Depending on the location you’re visiting and what you’re hoping to see, do your research before so you’re aware of the little extras that might enhance your experience. For example, if visiting somewhere like the Glenfinnan Viaduct in the Scottish Highlands, check train times before you go as seeing a train across the viaduct will help transport you back to the iconic train scene. 
  7. Taxi: If you’re making the journey to somewhere remote, for example, Honeysuckle Cottage in Surrey, find out in advance where the nearest taxi rank is or how you’ll get there and back. And don’t forget to check the weather before you head off to see if you’ll need an umbrella – unless you fancy signing in the rain.

Once at their film pilgrimage, four in five Brits (79%) Brits reveal they document their trip by taking photographs, with 21% admitting to throwing themselves into reenacting a scene from the film. And love could be in the air for some lucky film fans, as 11% of 35 – 44 year olds admit to wanting to propose to their partner at the location.

Some Brits are willing to go that extra mile, perhaps too far, to get the perfect shot, with 20% prepared to ask a complete stranger if they can enter their home and nearly one in ten (9%) men even willing to risk getting fined. Google Trends findings also reveal that over the past five years, searches for ‘film locations’ spike dramatically around the festive season, likely due people wanting to visit the locations of their favourite Christmas classics such as The Holiday.

Virgin Media O2 reveals Brits’ favourite film locations in the UK



Film location


Glenfinnan Viaduct, Scottish Highlands (pic)


Highclere Castle, Hampshire


Chatsworth House, Derbyshire


The Notting Hill Bookshop, London


Honeysuckle Cottage, Surrey


Royal Liver Building, Pier Head, Liverpool


The Duke of Albany, New Cross, London


St Ann’s, Nottingham


Piccadilly Circus, London


Kedleston Hall, Derbyshire

David Bouchier, Chief TV and Entertainment Officer at Virgin Media O2, said: “With such a varied selection of movies and streaming services available on Virgin TV, our customers can find thousands of films at their fingertips.

“We’ve created our easy-to-use Movie Mapper to complement our hassle-free navigation on Virgin TV, allowing film fans across the country to immerse themselves in their favourite movies and get inspired for their next trip beyond the screen. We can all now create our own memories at some of the most iconic film locations in the UK.”

Virgin Media TV customers can get into the movie mood and find inspiration for their next holiday destination via the movie section on Virgin TV. And for holidaymakers looking to visit a film location overseas (17%), or just those in need of a holiday, O2 is the only major mobile provider in the UK to offer inclusive roaming in the EU as standard, up to 25GB.