Lonely Planet Writer

It's elementary, my dear Watson, how top British TV series are revolutionising UK travel

You may think we’re all glued to popular British TV series for their gripping storylines, but it transpires that we’re also getting holiday inspo from them as we’re being influenced to visit their filming locations. New research by last-minute cottage provider, Snaptrip.com, reveals that TV programmes are raising the profile of destinations across the UK. It is predicting an upcoming trend in staycation destinations, as for avid fans, these TV programmes offer exciting new locations to visit.

Highclere Castle is the location for the television programme Downton Abbey. Image: David Goddard
Highclere Castle is the location for the television programme Downton Abbey. Image: David Goddard

The results came after the company took an in-depth look at Google Trends data to discover the most popular holiday locations that have featured in some of the biggest British TV shows. Looking closely at whether interest levels rise after an episode airs, their research reveals that viewers are really curious about where their favourite shows are created, as figures massively increase after new episodes of particular shows hit British screens.

Of the fan favourites analysed, the top five shows proving the most influential are Broadchurch, set in West Bay, Dorset; Downton Abbey, which is filmed in Highclere Castle in Hampshire; and Sherlock, set in Baker Street, London. Rounding up the top five is Wolf Hall, set in Penshurst Place, Kent, and Call the Midwife, which showcases Chatham Historic Dockyard in Kent.

Cliffs on the Jurassic Coast at West Bay, Dorset, where Broadchurch is set. Image: Steve Parsons/PA Images via Getty Images
Cliffs on the Jurassic Coast at West Bay, Dorset, where Broadchurch is set. Image: Steve Parsons/PA Images via Getty Images

Other TV hotspots drawing in tourists are Stanley Dock in Liverpool, which featured in Peaky Blinders; Lancaster House, which doubled up as Buckingham Palace in Netflix’s The Crown, and Castle Ward in Northern Ireland, where exterior scenes for the Game of Thrones‘ hotspot, Winterfell, are filmed. Based on its analysis, Snaptrip.com predicts that picturesque Loch Ness in Scotland, which is the backdrop for ITV drama, The Loch, and Doune Castle in Perthshire where Amazon’s historical drama Outlander is filmed, will soon feel the benefit of primetime exposure.

Baker Street tube station with a statue of Sherlock Holmes outside. Image: Chris Stowers
Baker Street tube station with a statue of Sherlock Holmes. Image: Chris Stowers

“Although many of the destinations featured may be associated with the dramatic, and sometimes harrowing, storylines we’ve watched, that doesn’t appear to be deterring Brits from taking a day trip or even a mini break to these notable locations,” says Matt Fox, CEO at Snaptrip.com.

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