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Pop culture is a driving force behind many holiday locations. From books to the latest films or Netflix series, through social media and trendsetting celebrities, certain locations have become very popular.

CLC World takes a look at some of the top popular culture destinations. The good news is, many of them are on the doorstep of CLC World resorts – how’s that for good luck?

United Kingdom

It’s a kind of magic – Harry Potter locations

After the train to Hogwarts steams away from Platform 9 ¾ King’s Cross towards Hogsmeade station, it crosses a beautiful viaduct – the Glenfinnian Viaduct.  The bridge is 380 metres long and 31 metres high and was completed in 1898.

Edinburgh city is a popular destination for HP fans as this is where JK Rowling sat in a coffee shop and wrote the first book. There are a number of tours, some free, that you can enjoy around the city.

Alnwick Castle was the location for Hogwarts students and staff going about their daily activities in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. ​Harry and Ron crash-landed the Weasley family’s flying car in the Inner Bailey. There’s a whole Harry Potter experience, which the kids will love.

Both the viaduct and Edinburgh are within easy reach of CLC Duchally Country Estate, where you can practice your wizardry in the 27 acres of grounds.

Cornish treats – from grumpy doctors to rugged heroes

When Poldark returned to the screens in 2015, it made a lot of women very happy and reaffirmed why Cornwall is so popular as a holiday destination. Rugged coastlines, pretty beaches and loads of open space. One of the locations is Charlestown, just a pasty’s throw from CLC Trenython Manor. The harbour needs little change to make it an historic location, a definite must.

The village of Port Isaac which tumbles down the hillside to the harbour is the location for Doc Martin, another popular UK TV series.

Portholland, two adjacent villages – West Portholland and East Portholland – which lie at opposite ends of the same beach –  was a filming location for the village scenes of the Welsh island ‘Cairnholm’ in the 2016 film Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. It is possible to walk between the two villages on the beach at low tide.

High Class at Highclere

The UK was gripped by the goings on at Downton Abbey, with the indomitable Dame Maggie Smith as the matriarch. Head to Highclere Castle in Newbury, near Reading and enjoy the beautiful stately home and its gardens.

Home to the Earl and Countess of Carnarvon, the estate has fantastic walks, splendid rooms in the castle and wonderful formal gardens.

Are you an Outlander fan?

If so, then Scotland is peppered with fantastic locations from the series, based on Diana Gabaldon’s novels. Drummond Castle Gardens doubled as the gardens of Versailles in season 2.

The idyllic area around Loch Rannoch and Kinloch Rannoch is used as a backdrop for Claire and Frank’s second honeymoon. Tibbermore Parish Church portrayed as Cranesmuir Church, the scene for the infamous witch trial.

 

Spain

Is it a winter of discontent? Game of Thrones locations

The city of Dubrovnik and Fort Manuel in Malta became very popular destinations after Game of Thrones first aired. However, a lot of locations were in Spain, particularly Andalucia with its variety of landscapes and historic buildings. All the locations mentioned can be enjoyed on a day trip from CLC Club La Costa World on the Costa del Sol.

The Water Palaces of Dorne were filmed on location at Seville’s Alcazar. In the centre of the city, this Moorish castle has enchanting gardens with the typical Arabic water features.

Daznak’s Pit is a similar gladiatorial site, the Osuna Bull Ring. Some pretty gory goings on happened therein Game of Thrones, including Daenerys Targaryen impaling 163 of the Great Masters on spikes.

The Long Bridge of Volantis is represented by the Roman bridge in Córdoba. Whilst there, it would be madness not to enjoy the pretty patios, the mosque-cathedral and myriad other sights in this beautiful city.

Take a detour through the province of Córdoba and you can stop off at the Castillo de Amodóvar del Río which doubled as Highgarden. It will be worth it, it’s one of the best preserved castles in the country.

It’s all about the money

Set in Madrid, Money Heist is a Netflix success.  Most of the action from the Spanish series takes place in the Royal Mint of Spain, so it’s not uncommon to see people standing outside it taking a selfie. However, the façade you see on the screen is not actually the Royal Mint, but the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC).

Other key Madrid locations are Plaza de Callao (the square in which thousands of €50 notes thrown in the air) or the Ministry of Public Works (in reality, the façade of the Bank of Spain), and the hundred year old Gran Vía (where Marseille rides his bicycle whilst driving the police crazy in season 3).

Other parts of Europe

The Da Vinci Code film series

Whether you enjoyed the films in the series – The Da Vinci Code, Angels & Demons, Inferno – or not, the locations were unarguably fantastic.

From Italy’s Florence, Venice, Rome and the Vatican City, to Malta, Paris, Istanbul, and a plethora of UK locations including Lincoln Cathedral and Burghley House. You could travel for years taking all these in.

Prague – the double agent

This captivating city has posed as other cities for decades. It acted as a lavish Vienna in Czech native Milos Forman’s 1984 Oscar-winner Amadeus, while Casino Royale called upon it to serve as Venice, London and even Miami.

The Mission: Impossible franchise has made Prague its second home, occasionally allowing the city to play itself. However, it has also dressed up the castle as the Kremlin. The city is a versatile actor!

Further Afield

Are you looking for a ring?

The Lord of the Rings trilogy is set in the imposing mountains of New Zealand, making the country a mecca for Tolkien fans. The country is now known Middle-earth with themed tours of Queenstown, Matamata and the Southern Alps available.

But it’s not just the fantasy land of Hobbits, Narnia is also rooted in this delightful country. For fantasy lovers, it’s the top destination.