Have you spotted a delightful scene in a movie that you wish you could visit? It might be closer than you think. Suttons, retailers of vegetable seeds, has investigated famous destinations and where you can find them.
The Dark Hedges, Northern Ireland
If you are a Game of Thrones fan, you’ve probably heard of the famous Dark Hedges. This is a row of beech trees that sit on Bregagh Road in Northern Ireland. They were first featured in episode one of the second series as King’s Road — the path that Arya took as she escaped from King’s Landing dressed as a boy, travelling through the Hedges to reach the Night’s Watch.
Television fanatics and other tourists flock to the spot on a daily basis. To locals, this is a surprise as it is a rural road in Ballymoney, out of the way from the main villages. The avenue is quite difficult to find though and there is to be more signs built so that it is easier for tourists to visit the spot. Local legend also says that the avenue is home to a grey lady who walks between the trees as it gets dark.
The spot sits nicely amongst other attractions on the Northern Irish coast. This is where destinations lie such as the Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge and the Giant’s Causeway. They are part of the popular Game of Thrones tours that are in Northern Ireland. The trees have been voted one of the world’s most beautiful places by the Architectural Design magazine, too. They were planted in the 18th century and intertwine to create a mystical avenue. If you’re one for bright hues and colours that stand out, this might not be for you. However, the earthy tones of the trees are certainly spectacular.
Stourhead Landscape Gardens, Wiltshire
Stourhead Landscape Gardens in Wiltshire became famous in the 2005 production of Jane Austen’s classic — Pride and Prejudice. It’s situated in Wiltshire and is not something to be missed. It is the place where Mr Darcy first proposed to Lizzie, before she made her exit across the Palladian Bridge. Work on the garden begun in 1740 and wasn’t completed until 1780. It’s since been described as a ‘living work of art’ — if that doesn’t convince you to visit, we don’t know what will!
Also drawing people to the gardens is the lake that sits in the centre. See a range of trees, from beech to Spanish chestnut, and explore the temples that sit close to the lake. Visit the garden in spring and you’ll also see rhododendrons in bloom, while in early summer, you can enjoy the azaleas.
Alnwick Gardens, Northumberland
Alnwick Castle shot to fame once the 2000 production of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone was released. It was in the grounds of this castle where Harry and his friends learnt to fly their broomsticks. Students of Hogwarts walked through the courtyards and baileys of Alnwick Castle too, as they went about their day-to-day lives. Features of the castle were even shown as a path to Hagrid’s cabin and the Forbidden Forest.
If you’re a garden lover, however, it might be Alnwick Gardens that draws your attention. The gardens are home to 200 species of roses; see the Christmas rose bloom in December and the English shrub rose open up in June. It’s wonderful all year round too, so you can enjoy brightly coloured water lilies in March and the delicate Peruvian lily in June. There is also a large water feature that sits in the centre of the garden, which is something else to admire.
Head over to the Poison Garden where you can find plants that can kill. Educate yourselves on a range of flora that can cause death through pleasure or pain and see how some of the most popular drugs are grown. Just be sure to follow the recommendations that you do not smell or touch the plants, as visitors have been known to faint due to inhaling toxic fumes.
The Eden Project, Cornwall
The Eden Project is believed to be the world’s biggest indoor rainforest. It’s made up of two huge biomes — a Rainforest Biome and a Mediterranean Biome. It is home to the longest zip wire in England too, which flies you over the biomes to give you a birds-eye view of the spectacles beneath. In 2002 though, the Eden Project became Gustav Graves’ Ice Palace and high security lair in the James Bond film, Die Another Day.
The two biomes together provide you with an opportunity to see plants that would never normally grow in the UK. Experience tropical heat in the Rainforest Biome and discover over 1,000 varieties of plants — it’s even complete with a waterfall. Visit an authentic south-east Asian home too, as well as a vegetable garden to see how herbs, flowers and trees grow in the climate.
Stroll through temperatures between 9 and 25°C in the Mediterranean Biome. This climate is usually well-known for luscious fruits and tasty wines. Take a walk through the iconic grass trees, see huge aloe veras and walk by tulips in the springtime. There’s also a perfume garden, which is filled with scented plants such as jasmine, roses, lavender, and thyme.
Aysgarth Falls, the Yorkshire Dales
Remember the scene where Robin Hood fights Little John in the film Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves? The falls are made up of three different waterfalls that are within walking distance. It was at the upper and middle fall that shot to fame in the Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves film. You can pay a small, voluntary fee to get close to where the scene was filmed.
Head further up the River Ure to explore the area around the falls. Discover the village of Carperby and Castle Bolton as well, while in the spring and summer, expect to see wild flowers through the valley. Visitors have said that the site is best explored after heavy rainfall, when the water is most powerful and the falls look especially spectacular.