Straight from the silver screen: 4 recent movie locations to visit
Oscar-winning movies usually mean stunning cinematography – and 2014-15 has been no exception. We’ve got the lowdown on where to stay and how you can visit some of these iconic silver screen locations from over the past year.
The Theory of Everything
This brand new biopic following the life of theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking and his wife Jane Wilde, brought to life in no small part by excellent acting by Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones, is also made classic and memorable by the English location, which you can visit for yourself.
Stay at YHA Cambridge and stroll around the University grounds where Stephen and Jane first met, feeling the unmistakeable buzz of a new generation of intelligent discovery. Here, St John’s College is used for the May Ball scene, a wedding cake of a hall filled with grandeur, and the Cavendish laboratory where the atom was first split and Hawking was offered the key, passing him the task of discovering new scientific breakthroughs.
The Imitation Game
English mathematician and logician, Alan Turing (Benedict Cumberbatch) pioneers the enigma code during World War II, a breakthrough which saved countless lives. Set in another collection of gloriously English settings; visit Bletchley Park Buckinghamshire, centre of the code breaking and message analysing action: though this is no longer necessarily a world of tweed jackets, cardigans and sleeveless jumpers as it was in the 1930s and 1940s, the place is still steeped in antiquity with bucolic, British scenery.
Oxfordshire captures the charisma of eras past, where Cumberbatch and the crew filmed at Bicester Airfield. A place of privilege and rustic charm, you can spend some time rambling around here and stay at YHA Oxford, in the heart of the lively and historical university city, bursting with English charm.
Of course, timeless train station Kings Cross St. Pancras in London was also the iconic backdrop for a film scene. No longer connected by steam trains but still holding its old-world appeal, you can visit all of these locations within an hour from YHA London St Pancras, across the road from the station.
In this movie adaptation of a written real life memoir, Reese Witherspoon plays Cheryl Strayed, a woman who hikes the Pacific Crest Trail in the USA hoping to find a way to come to terms with her mother’s death, her experimentation with heroin and her divorce. Where following the trail in the book will take you on a 1,100 mile backbreaking journey to the Canadian border, up and over the Sierra and Cascade mountain ranges, you can enjoy some of the film’s stunning locations without a year’s strenuous hiking preparation.
Base yourself in Portland for a comfortable, relaxed and creative city environment from which to pen your hiking adventures and journey of self-discovery, just as Cheryl did.
From Portland, take the moderately difficult Tom Dick & Harry Mountain hike of 5.8 miles taking you through some of the most jaw dropping scenery from Wild, including postcard views from Mount Hood and the rugged Tom Dick & Harry peaks, which tower above Mirror Lake.
This poignant and incredibly shot coming-of-age drama follows a family in real time over twelve years. This film is really all about human interaction, but which often takes place on some beautiful backdrops: Mason and his father go camping together in the pristine wilderness of Pedernales Falls State Park, Texas, where you can go hiking, swimming, fishing or tubing in the park’s immense river.
If you’re really inspired to venture out into the wilderness, you can take a back country road trip to the Big Bend State Park, one of the USA’s best kept secrets and taking a big bite out of Mexico. Here is where the film ends, when Mason sits on a rock with Nicole and asks “do we seize the moment or do moments seize us?”
Although Big Bend is way out into the wilds, you can stay at HI Austin, which is just 50 minutes away from Pedernales Falls, and in a peaceful setting just a few minutes away from downtown Austin – one of the coolest and most laid-back cities in the US south.
… Just kidding, don’t get excited.
Got a favourite movie location you’ve visited? Let us know in the comments below.