Keighley and Worth Valley Railway which appeared in The Railway Children

Keighley and Worth Valley Railway which appeared in The Railway ChildrenImage: Flickr

Lights, camera, action at places we love to recognize from the small and silver screens 

American and Canadian visitors to Britain are usually never quite as interested in film sites as British tourism folks seem to expect. Even King’s Cross Station, though, had come up with a Platform 9 3/4 for Harry Potter fans. For classic film buffs, however, Britain hardly lacks memorable film locations. Here is a great selection of recognizable locations from some of our favorite films.

Castle Howard, Yorkshire

Brideshead Revisited put Castle Howard on the map. The Yorkshire estate is a wonderful visit, virtually unchanged since the filming of Evelyn Waugh’s classic there in 1980. You can easily see Charles and Sebastian cavorting in its palatial interior or rowing on the lake. It’s an easy drive, or bus ride, east from York.

Castle Howard. Image: Geordie_Snapper for Flickr

Castle Howard. Image: Geordie_Snapper for Flickr

Highclere Castle, Hampshire

The phenomenal popularity of Downton Abbey has immeasurably raised the profile of Highclere Castle, home to the 7th Earl of Caernarvon. The stately home is an easy drive 60 miles west of London on the M4 near Newbury. Try to arrive early to avoid the crowds that Highclere draws these days.

Highclere Castle. Image: Howard Noyce for Flickr

Highclere Castle. Image: Howard Noyce for Flickr

Read more: What to expect from Downton Abbey 

Castle Combe, Wiltshire

Long termed “the prettiest village in England,” Castle Combe just might be. The southern Cotswold village near Chippenham has been a film set many times, perhaps most famously with Rex Harrison in Doctor Doolittle (1966). The village draws visitors who recognize the limestone cottages and 14th-century market cross.

Castle Combe. Image: Dana Huntley

Castle Combe. Image: Dana Huntley

Pennan, Aberdeenshire

Tucked under the cliffs on the north Aberdeenshire coast, Pennan is the unforgettable tiny harbor still recognizable as the film setting of Local Hero. The iconic red telephone box still sits on the quay - one of the most popular public phone boxes in Britain. Stop in to the Pennan inn where the walls are filled with memorabilia.

Pennan: ISTOCK

Pennan: ISTOCK

Lyme Regis, Dorset

Meryl Streep was at her most dramatic walking the Cobb at Lyme Regis in The French Lieutenant’s Woman. Jane Austen’s Persuasion was set here as well. The friendly, small harbor town is the epicenter of Dorset’s Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site that stretches from Sidmouth to Weymouth.

Read more: Everything you need to know about Jane Austen

The Cobb @ Lyme Regis. Image: Baz Richardson for Flickr

The Cobb @ Lyme Regis. Image: Baz Richardson for Flickr

Cambridge, Cambridgeshire

There are many scenes from Cambridge recognizable from the Academy-award winning Chariots of Fire. Perhaps none are as memorable as the race Harold Abrams and Lord Lynley run against the clock around Trinity College Great Court. Visit Gonville and Caius College, as well, and Kings College Chapel.

Trinity College, Cambridge. Image: michael.bowtell for Flickr

Trinity College, Cambridge. Image: michael.bowtell for Flickr

Dorchester, Dorset

So much of the surrounding countryside is recognizable as “Thomas Hardy country” Dorchester itself, though, is Casterbridge - played out in The Mayor of Casterbridge, Tess, and Far From the Madding Crowd. You almost expect to see Alan Bates or Julie Christie strolling along Corn Street.

Read more: Ten of the best literary homes

Carnforth Station, Lancashire

The train station on the way to Grange over Sands or Kendel was famously filmed as Milford Junction in the 1945 classic Brief Encounter. Trevor Howard and Celia Johnson met there every Thursday in their doomed romance. Take the train down to More-combe Bay for a bit of art deco time travel as well.

Carnforth Station. Image: Ian R. Simpson for Flickr

Carnforth Station. Image: Ian R. Simpson for Flickr

Keighley, West Yorkshire

Ride the Keighley & Worth Valley Railway from Keighley into the classic 1970s movie The Railway Children. All along the five-mile heritage railway line to Oxenhope appear scenes from the critically-acclaimed film, including Oakworth Station and the Bronte Parsonage at Haworth.

Keighley and Worth Valley Railway. Image: Flickr

Keighley and Worth Valley Railway. Image: Flickr

Lyme Park, Cheshire

When Jane Austen’s heroine Elizabeth Bennet first clapped eyes on Darcy’s Pemberly, she rather thought it might be something to be mistress of the place. In the 1995 filming of Pride and Prejudice with Colin Forth and Jennifer Ehle, Darcy’s stately country home would be Lyme Park.

Lyme Park. Image: ISTOCK

Lyme Park. Image: ISTOCK