This weekend I went to the cinema to see Skyfall, James Bond’s 23rd movie. It’s a classic Bond film with plenty of high-speed chases, a menacing villain, a heap of cool gadgets – and stunning destinations…
Don’t worry, no need for a spoiler alert, but one minute Bond was racing through Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar, the next he was following a baddie up a skyscraper in Shanghai. Before I knew it he was off to Macau to enjoy a cocktail with a mysterious lady.
As one breath-taking scene of a destination followed another, I came away wondering whether I should book a holiday to one of these exotic locations. Or indeed if I’ve ever planned a holiday in the past after being inspired to visit a place I’d seen in a film or on TV.
Following in famous footsteps
After trawling through my travel memories I’ve come to the conclusion that I don’t book holidays purely as a result of watching a film, but I have taken many a detour so that I can see movie locations. On my most recent holiday, to Andalucia, Spain, we drove an extra 100-odd miles so that we could see for ourselves the desert where Sergio Leone filmed his Spaghetti Westerns.
And while on a skiing trip to California, we stayed an extra day in San Francisco. Why? Because there was no way I was leaving until I sat on the step in Alcatraz’s exercise yard, just as Clint Eastwood had done some 25 years earlier.
The TV travel bug
Already I know of two friends who are heading off to Brazil in 2013. They claim it’s got nothing to do with being inspired by Michael Palin’s new BBC documentary about the country, but I’m sure there will be plenty of people who will watch the TV show and be tempted to travel.
Tourism in New Zealand certainly benefited after starring in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, with holidaymakers flocking to see Middle Earth. And with The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey being released in UK cinemas in December, more of us may be booking a trip south soon.
Have you seen any destinations on the big screen and then visited them for yourself? Did they live up to your expectations?
Have you ever visited a film or television location while on holiday?
No I haven't (59%, 86 Votes)
Yes, and it lived up to my expectations (24%, 36 Votes)
Yes, but I was disappointed (11%, 16 Votes)
I'm not sure (6%, 9 Votes)
Total Voters: 148