- 8 million Brits reveal their holiday choices are inspired by on-screen locations
- Game of Thrones, Harry Potter and James Bond have the most influence on holiday destinations
- Discover the top tips to visiting your screen dream location holiday spots
Would you swap the West Indies for Westeros? Or the Hamptons for Hobbiton? New research from LV= has revealed more than eight million British holidaymakers are choosing to live out their screen dreams by letting a TV show or movie location influence their holiday choice. Almost 30% of those surveyed said they chose their holiday destination because they liked the movie or TV show, while 17% of 'diehard' fans said they wanted to stand exactly where their favourite actor had stood.
Here is a selection of some of the most popular locations and the TV shows or movies that inspired them.
Game of Thrones uses a huge variety of worldwide locations as backdrops, from Malta to Morocco and Iceland to Ireland. For a GoT inspired trip close to home, pop across to Castle Ward in Ireland, where fans can tour the filming locations and see the mountains, forests, castles and coastline that bring the Seven Kingdoms to life on-screen.
Everyone's favourite secret agent, James Bond, has missions which take him to glamorous locations all over the world. 007 enthusiasts can visit classic sites like 'James Bond island' in Thailand or more modern Bond screen locations like Mexico City and Venice.
Fans of the Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies often make pilgrimages to New Zealand's North Island, not only to take in the lush scenery of 'Middle-Earth' but also to visit the Hobbiton film set. Although much of the filming was done on a set, fans can immerse themselves in the fantasy by visiting exact reproductions of Bag End and The Green Dragon Inn.
The appeal of Friends and Sex and the City has brought thousands of visitors to New York City to follow in the footsteps of their favourite characters. Tours take holidaymakers to visit places like the apartment block where Monica, Rachel, Joe and Chandler lived – or the New York public library where Carrie Bradshaw was jilted by Big.
Nick, our social media guru at LV=, is a self-confessed movie and TV locations aficionado. He's been known to plan his family holidays around visiting famous on-screen landmarks, from Los Angeles to Cardiff, and West Dorset to Southern Spain. Nick's put together his top tips to help other film buffs plan their screen dream holiday.
1. Research. Research. Research
Do your homework before you go. It's unlikely you'll be the first person to make a pilgrimage to a famous on-screen location, so check out blogs, Tweets, photos and videos of other people's experiences. Popular franchises like Lord of the Rings and Game of Thrones even have location guides dedicated to their respective realms, to help you make the most of your visit.
2. Match the picture
Take screen grabs of the locations you want to visit before you leave and have them ready on a tablet or mobile phone. That way, when you're on location, you can check you're in exactly the right place and do a 'before/after' comparison.
3. Check for access
A lot of locations are private properties, so before you make your trek, check they will be open to you to visit – or are even still standing! Never trespass and always respect privacy. Learn from Nick's mistakes - don't travel all the way to LA to find out that the building you want to explore is shut on the afternoon you visit!
4. Go on a tour
Some shows and films are so popular that they have their own walking or coach tours to take you around to the key locations. Visit review sites like Viator or Trip Advisor before you go to check they'll meet your requirements.
5. Find a shoot
Some shows and movies frequently film in public locations, so follow popular hashtags or social media groups to find out when shooting is taking place. Sherlock fans use #Setlock, while Doctor Who fans often spot their favourite Time Lord and TARDIS in Central Cardiff's shopping district.
6. Make sure you're covered
Before you set off to stand in your favourite actor's footsteps, make sure you've got adequate travel insurance just in case the worst should happen.