Binge on the ‘Lord of the Rings’ series; dream of a Potions class in the Dungeons, away from the ‘muggle’ world (read: reality); search, in the humdrums of life, for your own accidental burrow through which to enjoy at the Mad Hatter’s tea party; or the obsession with ‘The Game of Thrones’! Plan a trip to these locations, where some these fantasies were shot ! Cue for diehard fans to finally honour their costumes.
The Hobbit Village, The Shire, exists for real, and it is a two-hour drive from Auckland in the lush green rural town of Matamata, which guarantees an overwhelming visit to the Tolkein fans. Rekindle your senses and imagination as you walk past more than 44 oozy-smelling Hobbit holes, or the very queer smial, the Bag End, or visit the Old Mill. For those who devoured the books, time to offer your taste buds, not only a meal, but a whole feast at the Green Dragon Inn: Middle-Earth dishes and richly brewed beverages are on offer, and so, do not shy away from second servings, or even second dinners, often garnished with exciting anecdotes about the Village and the shooting sequences.
Dominica served as the Cannibal Island for a riveting chase sequence involving Jack Sparrow, Will Turner and the tribal people. Start your tour from their native village, built in the High Meadow; then head to the chasm where the cages made of bones hung, in what is actually the Titou Gorge, in the Morne Trois Pitons National Park; then pay a visit to the voodoo priestess, Tia Dalma, navigating your way through the Indian River lined with mangroves; and finally, conclude your trip at the black sand Hampstead Beach, which follows a lush green jungle, where he broke free and rolled down the big wheel and where a three-way sword fight between Sparrow, Turner and James Norrington was shot.
An 18th century mansion, run by the UK’s National Trust, Antony House has been home, for more than 600 years, to the Carew Pole family. Its beautifully landscaped gardens, overlooking the River Lynher, served as sets for one of the few real life locations – combining real scenes and animation, for Tim Burton’s ‘Alice in Wonderland’. With its long English yew hedges and white roses, the expansive grounds made for a rather surreal location for a sumptuous tea party. Located between the towns of Torpoint and the village of Antony, in the county of Cornwall, the Antony House is open to visitors from 12.30 pm to 4.30 pm for a ticketed entry.
From Scotland to England, the ‘Harry Potter’ series was shot in multiple locations in Britain. Shop for all the necessities at the very beautiful, 19th century, Victorian Leadenhall Market, in London. Then board your train at Platform 9 ¾, at the King’s Cross station, where one can find the secret passage with half a trolley stuck in the wall. In England, visit the Alnwick Castle, home to the Dukes of Northumberland for over 700 years, where the exterior of Hogwarts were shot. For Snape’s potions class, head to the Lacock Abbey, 100 miles from London, or stroll amidst the flowering trees and plants of the Ashridge Woods, where the ‘Quidditch’ World Cup was shot.
From the Iron Throne at the Paint Hall studios, to the Castle Ward (or Winterfell to the fans), or even the Castle Black built in an old abandoned quarry near Belfast, the Game of Thrones has been a perfect gimmick for Northern Ireland to attract tourist. Also, visit the beech tree lined Kings Road, or the ‘Dark Hedges’, near Stanocum, County Antrim. Fly then, to the historic stone city of Mdina in Malta, which was the capital city of Seven Kingdoms, the King’s Landing. Or yet, to the 14th century Minceta Tower in Croatia – House of The Undying in season two finale. Conclude your journey in Morocco, where you relish the beautiful red citadel of Ait-Ben-Haddou, background for the glorious empire of Yunkai.