‘Tis the season for stars – atop your Christmas tree, adorning wrapping paper, twinkling on a thread of fairy lights – but how about the human kind? The stars from the big screen frequent Winchester more than the average person knows!
‘In Winchester?’ We hear you ask? Why not we say! We have the history, the architecture, the unadulterated countryside, they very mise-en-scene every director seeks. Just one of the many reasons we think Winchester has so much to offer. Whether you are a film or series buff, a bit of a groupie or simply want to tell your friends that you have walked in the footsteps of Tom Hanks (the one and only) you need look no further.
We humbly ask that you indulge us as we share our top five favourites and leave the rest of this journey of discovery to you. (We challenge you to guess the movie/series before you reach the end of the paragraph!)
1. In the words Carson “The business of life is the acquisition of memories. In the end that’s all there is.”– So why not begin your journey making a rather unique memory by visiting Highclere Castle and Gardens which was originally recorded as far back as the Domesday Book in 1679. Did you guess it? Yes! Downton Abbey! Our own Maggie Smith graced these halls and lawns, why not tread the same paths, and remember your favourite quote?
2. How’s your film trivia? Who said this? "Don't Let It Worry You. It's Me, I'm Extremely Famous."…ok we’ll give you another clue (same character) "Why Spiders? Why Couldn't It Be 'Follow The Butterflies'?" - Ronald Weasley of course! To see the flying ford from Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets visit Beaulieu Motor Museum. See what other famous vehicles you can recognise.
3. Perhaps one of the most iconic and historic buildings in our beautiful city is Winchester Cathedral. More history than you can swing a cat at: Jane Austen was buried there, it hosted Bloody Mary’s wedding, the crypt still floods on a regular basis and even the graffiti there dates back to the 1600’s! But did you know The Da Vinci Code, The Crown, Elizabeth: The Golden Age and The Ruth Rendell Mysteries were filmed here? Can you uncover the rest?
4. “Do you hear the people sing?”! Yes indeed we do! We hear Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Helena Bonham Carter and Anne Hathaway singing their hearts out in the halls of Winchester College. Les Miserables (2012) was filmed here! Alongside BBC comedies, TV dramas and The Riot Club! A must see set for your mini staycation. Walk the walk, talk the talk and sing the songs as you visit this stunning location founded in 1382 by William of Wykeham.
5. With so many wonderful locations to choose from we had a hard time picking just 5, so we went for sites in and around Winchester! If you have ever seen Location, Location, Location – you guessed it, Winchester was the obvious choice. If you enjoy hunting for the hidden gems, then you will be delighted to learn that many an episode of the Antiques Roadshow was filmed here and even our loveable monk with a keen eye for detail frequented this city in the Cadfael Mysteries!
We hope this snippet of famous scenes, actors and props has been a helpful starting point in discovering the stars of Winchester. If you want to see more, why not Book a Winchester Lodges stay today and get ready for your close up!