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Lights, Camera, Action!

Ever watched a film and wished you were there? It’s not such a far-fetched dream as you might think; many settings that look as though they’ve been manufactured in a special effects studio are actually real places! Here are some of our favourite real-life film locations…

Tunisia – Star Wars

George Lucas shot many scenes from sci-fi epic Star Wars in the deserts of Tunisia, most notably those set on the planet Tatooine, birthplace of Anakin Skywalker. Anakin’s ‘hometown’ of Mos Espa remains for fans to visit and can be found in the desert just outside of Tozeur in southern Tunisia. Star Wars buffs would also enjoy visiting the Yardangs, where Darth Maul and Qui-Gonn battled it out in Episode I, or staying in Luke Skywalker’s subterranean home in Matmata.

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New Zealand – The Lord of the Rings

Tolkien’s magical world was brought to life by Peter Jackson in the spectacular landscape of New Zealand. Mordor is better known as the Tongariro National Park, with the huge Mount Ngauruhoe being used as Mount Doom, and the Milford Sound was used for many shots of Isengard and elvish settlement Lothlórien. The most visited site for LOTR fans is the set of Hobbiton, which was built in exquisite detail on a sheep farm near the North Island town of Matamata.

Skopelos – Mamma Mia

The sleepy island of Skopelos has become a lot busier since the release of Mamma Mia in 2008, in which it was used to depict ‘Kolokairi’. Although the island’s mayor and residents have pledged not to allow the island to become a tourist circus, visitors flock here all year round to photograph the beaches and visit the church where Meryl Streep and Pierce Brosnan’s characters tied the knot at the end of the film. Fly to Skiathos then get a ferry to Skopelos to relive your favourite moments!

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India – The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

Finding a piece of footage that showcases India’s beauty as well as The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel did would be a challenge; this film depicted India perfectly in all its colourful and chaotic glory. While the film is set in Jaipur, Rajasthan, the hotel is actually the Ravla Khempur, 5 hours away in Mavli. The hotel is fully functioning and it is possible to stay here, and film buffs can complete their experience with a film location tour that includes Rajasthan and the main sights of Delhi.

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Space – Gravity

You may only need to wait a little bit longer to visit the site of this year’s Oscar-nominated Gravity! Virgin Galactic are hoping to launch their first commercial flights into space by autumn 2014, for the humble price of $250,000 a ticket…

By Kate Moxon – Online Marketing Assistant at