Top UK tourist hotspots made famous by pop culture – like Abbey Road

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London’s 23 Heddon Street, as featured on the cover of David Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust album, Castle Howard near York, where the classic Brideshead Revisited was filmed, and locations in Birmingham – home to the “Peaky Blinders” – are also popular trip sites.

And in Northern Ireland, Led Zeppelin fans flock to Giant’s Causeway, the album artwork for Houses of the Holy.

Following the results of a Premier Inn survey of 2,000 adults, a leading culture expert has revealed other cultural destinations worth checking out – such as Oxford’s “Narnia Door”, the inspiration for C.S. Lewis’s iconic book series, and the village of Portmeirion in Wales, site of the cult 1960s TV show, The Prisoner.

Dr Ruth Adams, senior lecturer in cultural and creative industries at King’s College London, worked with the hotel company to compile a map of the top 10 most culturally iconic locations.

The list includes London’s Portobello Road – which features in both Paddington movies, as well as being home to Will’s bookshop in the movie Notting Hill.

Dr Ruth Adams said: “Visits to TV, film, and musically significant locations are modern pilgrimages.

“For a small country, the UK punches well above its weight as both a tourist destination, and a cultural powerhouse.  

“We create world leading art and popular culture – from literature to film, television, and music – and many people like to plan their holidays around pilgrimages to sites of cultural significance, to get closer to their idols and fantasies.   

“Going to locations that the Beatles or David Bowie not only visited, but made iconic on album covers, can bring fans closer to the “aura” of these stars.” 

Visits to TV, film, and musically significant locations are modern pilgrimages

Dr Ruth Adams, King’s College London senior lecturer

Other cultural hotspots film buffs have flocked to include the town of Wells in Somerset, the setting for iconic comedy Hot Fuzz. 

However, on arrival, visitors sometimes find places are not always as they seem.

One small-screen aficionado was baffled when travelling to the village of Brentwood in Essex (the home of reality show The Only Way Is Essex) – because “it was nothing like TOWIE had made it out to be.”

The research found over half of Brits (51 percent) have visited a spot in the UK purely because it was linked to their favourite movie, TV show, literature, art, or music. 

And almost a third (31 percent) even say visiting a famous location really is a pilgrimage to them – something they feel they “need” to do. 

Premier Inn managing director, Simon Ewins, added: “Modern day pilgrimages to places made famous through popular culture are becoming even more popular, and there are so many of these hidden gems in the UK that make perfect locations for holidays and short breaks.

“There are many that may not have even realised the places they are visiting are famous backdrops.

“While many, like Battersea Power Station, are well-known to fans of Pink Floyd and beyond, there are many that are much more unassuming, but well worth a visit.

“We hope with the creation of our interactive map, visitors can create exciting plans this year to visit some of their favourite spots across the UK, and make the most of what the UK has to offer.” 

The research also found more than one in ten (12 percent) have even travelled as far as 250 miles to make one of these pop-culture-pilgrimages. 

Nearly two-thirds (65 percent) visit famous spots to see what they look like in real life, while 44 percent go just for the photo opportunities. 

And 21 percent admitted to having recreated famous scenes from TV and movies when they’ve visited a cultural hotspot. 

More than a tenth (12 percent) even claim to have moved to a town or city purely because of its connection to a piece of media or culture they adore. 

And a love of pop culture extends past making a trip – as the study, carried out via OnePoll, found that 13 percent have named a pet after a character in their favourite media. 

Meanwhile, one in ten go one step further, and have named their child after a beloved character in a film, book, TV show, or other piece of culture.

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