By Simon Lewis
Guy Ritchie has reinvigorated every film genre from gangsters to Victorian detectives – and now he’s bringing it to the oldest tale of all. In King Arthur: Legend Of The Sword he pits a musclebound, streetfighting Arthur (Charlie Hunnam) against his scheming uncle (Jude Law) against a rugged landscape of mountains and lakes.
The film was shot on location in the Scottish Highlands and the legendary Isle of Skye – and just by booking online, you’ll be entered into the running to stay at the magnificent lochside Torridon Hotel (where the cast and crew stayed) and another on the Isle of Skye, with a chance to see all the breathtaking locations that feature in the film.
From fantasy kingdoms and faraway lands to even alien worlds, the British Isles have posed as many of our favourite film locations. Below are just a few of our favourite scenes shot in the UK – can you guess where?
Watch the clips and scroll down for the answers…
3. Tragic news comes to an all-American farmhouse
(skip to 2:53)
HOW MANY DID YOU GUESS?
1. The ‘attack on Takodana’ scene from Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015) was filmed on Derwentwater in the Lake District. (So that’s Han Solo, Chewbacca, Finn and Poe Dameron taking on the merciless forces of the ‘First Order’ about four miles from the Keswick branch of Greggs.)
2. The epic opening battle scene from Ridley Scott’s Gladiator (2000) was filmed at Bourne Wood in leafy Surrey. There was some worry about the ecological impact – but the site has since been used for Harry Potter, Marvel and Transformers films, bringing over £70 million per year to the Surrey economy.
3. The tearjerking scene in Saving Private Ryan (1998), where an army officer drives through Iowa cornfields to bring Mrs Ryan news of her three dead sons, was actually filmed on Gunsite Road near West Kennet in Wiltshire. The all-American farmhouse was built for the shot and later dismantled.
4. OK, the flying car isn’t real. But both the steam train and the impossibly high viaduct – crucial to the appeal of Harry Potter And The Philosopher’s Stone (2001) – are a very real part of the scenery at Glenfinnan in the wild West of Scotland. You can now book a steam train ride of your own: just google ‘Hogwarts Express’.
5. From The Force Awakens, this first fight between evil Kylo Ren and reluctant jedi Rey launches a power struggle that will define the entire new trilogy. And on what distant planet was it filmed? Puzzlewood in the Forest Of Dean, 100 yards from Coleford Garden Centre.
6. In the opening scene of Prometheus (2012), Noomi Rapace discovers ancient cave paintings showing the way to a distant planetary system, where a deadly terror lurks. These spooky rocks are the ‘Old Man Of Storr’ on the Isle Of Skye – the same mystic landscape that King Arthur explores in the new Guy Ritchie film. Which brings us neatly back to where we started.