Staycate with the stars; the UK locations you can visit for your summer holiday ‘as seen on TV’

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Can’t afford the bourgeois settings that HBO series show each week? How about a staycation at one of these production destinations in the UK instead?

While many intrepid travellers are looking overseas for their next holiday destination, informed by the works of The White Lotus for example, the truth of the matter is that we are still living in a cost of living crisis. That, and does a vacation really begin until you’ve arrived at your destination? Because it certainly doesn’t feel like a holiday has begun being stuck in passport control or a boarding lounge for a flight that is constantly delayed.

Instead, why not look inwards and take a staycation in the United Kingdom? Sure the roads can get quite busy and it’s not quite the spectacle of jetting off to a foreign destination, but given how production companies have embraced the British landscape for a number of popular shows on our TV screens, you can still get that enjoyment of spotting a landmark or a location that you may have seen on television.

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While you could easily undertake a day-trip to discover some of the filming locations in the latest season of Netflix’s “You,” which we have detailed recently, perhaps a day around London and its adjacent areas isn’t enough of a holiday? While there are package tours around parts of Ireland where Game of Thrones was filmed or the Wizarding World as part of the Warner Bros Studio Tour London, sometimes it’s nice to go at your own pace rather than being herded from one place to another.

What about some of the locations seen in Bridgerton, ahead of the release of Queen Charlotte next month, or perhaps the quaint village that was the location of ITV drama Doc Martin? For those of a certain age, we’d be remiss also to bring up the mysterious village that one Patrick McGoohan had to escape in the classic sci-fi drama The Prisoner

Peopleworld takes a look at some of the most popular television series that have been filmed in the United Kingdom, to help you with a couple of staycation ideas that still have the thrill of being “as seen on TV.” Would any of these locations be of interest to you? 

Happy Valley - Hebden Bridge

Hebden Bridge - the setting of the popular BBC series Happy Valley (Credit: BBC Pictures/Visit Calderdale)Hebden Bridge - the setting of the popular BBC series Happy Valley (Credit: BBC Pictures/Visit Calderdale)
Hebden Bridge - the setting of the popular BBC series Happy Valley (Credit: BBC Pictures/Visit Calderdale) | BBC Pictures/Visit Calderdale

Don’t let the storylines put you off visiting Hebden Bridge; despite featuring in the thrilling BBC series Happy Valley, Hebden Bridge has become known for its almost boho like revival, surrounded by beautiful landscapes, including the Calderdale Valley, Hardcastle Crags, and the Pennine Way, making it a great destination for nature lovers.

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The town has a rich history, dating back to the 14th century, and is known for its historic buildings, including St. Thomas' Church and the Hebden Bridge Picture House and has become renowned for its independent shops, cafes, and restaurants, serving up locally sourced and organic produce.

What’s more is that it is a simple train ride away from all the main routes up and down the country that happen to pass the mighty Leeds Train Station. From there, it’s a 48 minute train journey to Hebden Bridge, with the train station idyllically placed among the greenery and yet a short walk to the town centre.

Our pick where to stay is Hebden Bridge Townhouse, which offers a room for two people at an average of £129 per night, which includes breakfast, free WiFi and apparently cookies in your lodgings for your stay.

Bridgerton - Bath

Located in the southwest of England, Bath is known for its stunning Georgian architecture, natural hot springs, and rich history. Such is its rich history that it happens to also be one of the filming locations for the popular Netflix series Bridgerton, with Queen Charlotte set to premiere on the streaming platform on May 4 2023. 

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Bridgerton took advantage of the roman like architecture one can find wandering around Bath (Credit: Netflix/VIsit Bath)Bridgerton took advantage of the roman like architecture one can find wandering around Bath (Credit: Netflix/VIsit Bath)
Bridgerton took advantage of the roman like architecture one can find wandering around Bath (Credit: Netflix/VIsit Bath) | Netflix/Visit Bath

Bath is a UNESCO World Heritage site and has a rich history dating back to Roman times. The city is home to the famous Roman Baths, which are some of the best-preserved Roman remains in the world, using the area's natural hot springs to heat the baths which have been used for their healing properties for over 2,000 years.

The Thermae Bath Spa is a popular attraction, where visitors can relax in the rooftop pool and enjoy stunning views of the city.

Those wanting a bit of a regal weekend away from the rat race might want to look at the lodgings provided by Macdonald Bath Spa Hotel, a 10-minute walk from Bath Abbey and boasting the Vellore Restaurant; set in the former ballroom of the grand property, and serves an innovative British menu and world wine list. £253 for two nights (two adults) will give you access to the Classic Courtyard Double, situated in the wing of Macdonald Bath Spa Hotel with the price including breakfast.

Outlander - Doune

Doune Castle - or as fans of Outlander like to call it, Castle Leoch (Credit: STARZ/Historic Environment Scotland)Doune Castle - or as fans of Outlander like to call it, Castle Leoch (Credit: STARZ/Historic Environment Scotland)
Doune Castle - or as fans of Outlander like to call it, Castle Leoch (Credit: STARZ/Historic Environment Scotland) | STARZ/Historic Environment Scotland

For those wishing to go a little more remote, we have two options for you - the first is heading up to the Scottish wilderness and the places where much of the popular TV series Outlander was filmed. In particular, we suggest Doune in Stirlingshire - the site of Doune Castle, used as Castle Leoch in the series. The 14th-century castle is a popular tourist attraction and is known for its well-preserved Great Hall. Monty Python fans will already be quite familiar with the location, and maybe even the audio-tours the late Terry Gilliam would narrate.

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Doune is also located in the heart of the Trossachs, a beautiful area of rolling hills, forests, and lochs, so the intrepid holidayer can enjoy hiking, cycling, and other outdoor activities in the area, and can also explore nearby villages such as Callander and Aberfoyle, not to mention Doune Ponds, a beautiful nature reserve located on the outskirts of the village known for its range of birds and other wildlife.

Tennis fans might also be interested in Doune - in particular, our choice of lodgings being owned by former Wimbledon champion Andy Murray. Cromlix is set in 34 acres of secluded woodlands and garden and the Glasshouse Restaurant. For the sum of £310 per night (two adults) the Cottage Room will provide guests with woodland views from the second floor and comes with breakfast included. 

Doc Martin - Port Isaac

Port Martin in Cornwall, the setting of ITV's popular light drama Doc Martin (Credit: Visit Cornwall/ITV Pictures)Port Martin in Cornwall, the setting of ITV's popular light drama Doc Martin (Credit: Visit Cornwall/ITV Pictures)
Port Martin in Cornwall, the setting of ITV's popular light drama Doc Martin (Credit: Visit Cornwall/ITV Pictures) | Visit Cornwall/ITV Pictures

Going in the opposite direction, the ITV series starring Martin Clunes was primarily filmed in the picturesque coastal town of Port Isaac in North Cornwall. Port Isaac, which is also known as Portwenn in the show, serves as the main filming location and features heavily in the series, providing the perfect backdrop for the show's idyllic Cornish setting.

Many of the show's most iconic locations, such as the village square, the harbour, and the local pub, were filmed on location in Port Isaac. Fans of the show can visit these locations and see the real-life versions of the places they've come to know and love on screen, including Doc Martin’s house - just don’t expect to be let in!

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Port Isaac is also home to The South West Coast Path, offering stunning coastal walks with breathtaking views of the sea and surrounding countryside. It's a great way to explore the area's natural beauty and get some exercise at the same time.

Should Peopleworld end up going on a work holiday, we’ve looked at Padstow Townhouse as our ideal lodgings; for £375 per night, you can stop in the “Popcorn” suite, suitable for lovers of all things vintage with its vintage furniture, fireplace and a king-size French bed. Continental breakfast is once again included in the price.

The Prisoner - Portmeirion

One for fans of retro television and science fiction - Portmeirion happens to be the location where the classic dystopian television series “The Prisoner” was filmed, which itself influenced a number of other television shows and films with its picturesque yet ominous setting. 

Fans of classic cult sci-fi series The Prisoner will no doubt be very familiar with the 20th-centrury architecture in the mysterious village - Portmeirion to everyone else (Credit: ITV Pictures/Visit Wales)Fans of classic cult sci-fi series The Prisoner will no doubt be very familiar with the 20th-centrury architecture in the mysterious village - Portmeirion to everyone else (Credit: ITV Pictures/Visit Wales)
Fans of classic cult sci-fi series The Prisoner will no doubt be very familiar with the 20th-centrury architecture in the mysterious village - Portmeirion to everyone else (Credit: ITV Pictures/Visit Wales) | ITV Pictures/Visit Wales

Maybe a lot of that style can boil down to the architecture throughout the area - built in the mid-20th century by Sir Clough Williams-Ellis in the style of an Italian village, Portmeirion’s colourful buildings, ornate details and strikingly beautiful gardens make it a perfect location for architecture enthusiasts. Portmeirion also has several beautifully landscaped gardens, including the stunning Japanese Garden, the Mediterranean Garden, and the Tropical Garden,  offering a tranquil and peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life.

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After a long day exploring the beautiful Welsh countryside, why not unwind in a cosy log cabin with breathtaking mountain views? O Dan Y Coed Swedish Log Cabin with Wood Fire Hot Tub in Chwilog is the perfect place to do just that and is situated just a short drive from the picturesque village. The two bedroom chalet itself boasts two bedrooms, a living room, and a fully equipped kitchen with modern appliances - and if you're looking for a little extra indulgence, the private hot tub with sea views is the perfect place to soak your worries away.

For £715 per night though, be thankful it does house up to four people so perhaps splitting the bill might be in order - but we think it’ll be worth it.

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