While most of our favorite movies are filmed on closed sets, sometimes the producers venture out of the studio and use the surrounding environment to create a more authentic visual. Lucky for us, some of these locations are within our reach. If you want to walk in the same footsteps as your favorite celeb, then here are a few movie locations you can actually visit.
The Shire, Lord Of The Rings
If you are a Lord Of The Rings fan and curious to see what the real-life Shire looks like, then you are in luck. Instead of searching for Middle-Earth, just book a ticket to the Hobbiton in New Zealand and you will get to experience a tour around the movie set. The construction of the Shire was only meant to be temporary and knocked down after filming was complete, but the set has become a permanent addition to the family-run farm. Matamata is situated just two hours south of Auckland and if you are planning to make the drive, you may want to check out other Lord Of The Rings filming locations on the way like the Waitomo Caves, Volcanic Ruapehu, and Mt. Sunday.
Hogwarts, Harry Potter
The Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry is by far one of the most magnificent pieces of architecture ever filmed, and most of it was shot in England. Christ Church College and Cathedral in Oxford served as the inspiration behind Hogwarts’ Great Hall because of its immaculate dining hall and 16th century stone staircases. The school’s hallways in both The Philosopher’s Stone and The Chamber Of Secrets were filmed at Gloucester Cathedral. Some of the classrooms we see throughout the films were shot in Lacock Abbey in Wiltshire. Sections of the Bodleian Library of Oxford University and Alnwick Castle in Northumberland were also used to bring the grand hallways of Hogwarts to life.
Avatar had some of the most remarkable CGI effects in movie history. Pandora was made to look like paradise, one we all wish we could visit. Well, the good news is that Pandora was based on real-life forests in China. Zhangjiajie National Forest Park is renowned for its sandstone quartz pillars that tower well over 600 feet high, giving the illusion that the mountain is floating above the ground. The lush hiking trails span over days and many walkways and bridges have been built to accommodate the massive influx of tourists since the movie’s release. There is even a glass bridge known as the Coiling Dragon Cliff skywalk that coils around the sandstone quartz pillars and stands at almost 4,600 feet above the ground. This is the closest to paradise we will ever get.
Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters, X-Men
The breathtaking Hatley Castle, which is located in British Columbia, Canada was filmed as the exterior of Professor X’s School for the Gifted. The castle was initially used in the 1996 Generation X chapter. The impressive castle was then used for the X-Men, X2: X-Men United, as well as X-Men: The Last Stand. Parkwood Estate in Oshawa and Casa Loma in Toronto also served as filming locations for the X-Men franchise.
From Hobbit holes to the majestic dining hall of Hogwarts, these are just a few locations you can visit to feel like a part of your favorite movie too.