On the TV tourist trail: from Game of Thrones to Downton Abbey

Whether you're a fan of Thrones' Ned Stark, or Broadchurch's Ellie Miller, there's a location tour to take. Here's our pick of the latest on location television tours

Game of Thrones

Game of Thrones locations are doing great business, with hotel bookings in Ouarzazate, Morocco (the city of Pentos in season one) up 100%. Closer to home, Viator has bus tours to the show's Northern Ireland locations (£72pp), and walking tours in Dubrovnik (£48pp), setting for King's Landing. Self-drive tours in Iceland take more intrepid travellers to locations beyond the Wall, including Vatnajökull glacier (discover-the-world.co.uk/en/holidays/iceland/beyond-the-wall, from £620pp for four nights).

Midsomer Murders

Perennial detective drama Midsomer Murders shows little sign of slowing down, now sold to more than 200 countries. Tourists from all over the world flock to South Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire locations such as Wallingford, Warborough and Dorchester on Thames for fictional Midsomer county (visitmidsomer.com). The average Midsomer murder rate is 32 per million inhabitants, three times the rate of the actual area and equivalent to murder rates in Latvia and Chile.

Doctor Who

Doctor Who and spin-off Torchwood have bolstered tourist numbers in Cardiff. As part of the 50th anniversary celebrations at The Doctor Who Experience , visitors can upgrade Experience tickets (family £46) with an official tour of the Tardis set (family £74.50) and Cardiff Bay. Fans might spot the new Doctor, Peter Capaldi, filming on location this autumn.


The popularity of the TV whodunnit has drawn tourists to West Bay, Dorset and Clevedon, Somerset. Writer Chris Chibnall calls Broadchurch "a love letter to the scenery of the Jurassic Coast". Many tourists are already finding their own way around, but Literary Lyme Walking Tours has launched a route in West Bay, to Broadchurch's locations (£8). The second series, in the works, won't do business any harm.

Downton Abbey

Fans of ITV's Edwardian juggernaut can take bus tours between Downton village's Bampton and Highclere Castle in Hampshire (britmovietours.com, £95). A visit with P&P Tours (£125) includes afternoon tea at Highclere. Despite the hefty price tag, advance tickets for the 2013 summer season have almost sold out. Tickets for the castle itself (highclerecastle.co.uk, £5-£18) have also sold out but eager fans can try their luck with walk-up tickets, available each day until 12 September. Dates for 2014 have yet to be announced – the Dowager Countess would not be amused.

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Publication Date: Sun, 11 Aug 2013 06:00:00 GMT
Source: The Guardian

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