I’ve always had a thing for gardens, nature and landscapes. Perhaps it was my countryside upbringing or my mother’s love of plants that have filtered down into my bloodstream. I made brilliant use of my National Trust Student Membership whilst it lasted and enjoy nothing more than discovering a new garden on a piece of the countryside no matter the weather.
We’re blessed with a beautiful countryside just waiting to be explored and Suttons, garden lovers and retailers of vegetable seeds, have put together this list of the top 5 places in the UK you can visit that also just so happen to feature on the big screen.
The Dark Hedges – Game of Thrones
Situated on Bregagh Road in Northern Ireland is The Dark Hedges, an avenue of beech trees made famous by the popular TV series, Game of Thrones. It was 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.
Following its appearance on TV, it has become a massive tourist attraction. The trees are situated close to the northern coast, where other attractions lie such as the Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge and the Giant’s Causeway. Voted one of the world’s most beautiful places by the Architectural Digest magazine, The Dark Hedges are a sight to see for tree-lovers. They were planted in the 18th century and intertwine to create a mystical avenue.
Stourhead Landscape Garden – Pride and Prejudice
Featured in the 2005 production of Pride and Prejudice, Stourhead Landscape Garden in Wiltshire is a wonderful garden to visit. 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, I don’t know what will!
Alnwick Garden – Harry Potter
Alnwick Castle in Northumberland was the castle that transformed into Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry for the first time in 2000 during the filming of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. It was also within the grounds of this castle that Harry and his friends first learnt to fly their broomsticks.
One could argue that it was the castle on the screen and not the gardens, however, neither would be the same without the other. The gardens are home to 200 different species of roses; you can see the Christmas Rose bloom in December and the English Shrub Rose open up in June. For those interested in the dark arts there is also a Poison Garden where you will discover plants that can kill. Voldemort would approve.
The Eden Project – Die Another Day
The Eden Project is situated in the south of the UK, in the county of 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. For the adrenaline junkies among us, it is home to the longest zip wire in England which flies you over the biomes to give you a birds-eye view of the landscape beneath.
In 2002 the Eden Project became Gustav Graves’ Ice Palace and high-security lair in the James Bond film, Die Another Day.
The biomes are a great way to see plants and wildlife that you’d have to usually cross oceans to see. Experience tropical heat in the Rainforest Biome and discover over 1,000 varieties of flora and fauna — it even has 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 this exotic climate.
Aysgarth Falls – Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves
To visit the waterfalls where Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves famously fights Little John, you’ll have to visit the village of Aysgarth in the Yorkshire Dales. The falls are made up of three smaller waterfalls that are within walking distance of one another. It was at the upper and middle fall that shot to fame in the Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves film. As with most waterfall sites this, one is actually best visited during heavy rain in order to see the waterfall at its most powerful.
Now the only question is ‘which will you visit first?’
*This post was kindly sponsored by Suttons, but all opinions are my own