In the movie Pleasantville, geeky teen David is transported into his favourite TV show via a magical remote control. Thankfully for you, there’s a more realistic way to see your favourite places on television (unless you’re a Trekkie) by visiting the filming locations or the area that inspired the creators.
Stars Hollow (Gilmore Girls)
Real Life Location: Washington Depot, Connecticut, USA
Have you ever wanted to stay at the Dragonfly Inn or grab a coffee at Luke’s or take your chances with whatever food is currently being served at Al’s Pancake World? (If you’re not a Gilmore fan, just know that it’s definitely not pancakes.) Well then, why not visit Stars Hollow?
I’m not talking about the CW set in California but the adorable Washington Depot in Connecticut, which GG show runner Amy Sherman-Palladino stumbled upon when planning her show about two women who drink coffee and talk fast.
Despite feeling somewhat let down by the 2016 Netflix reboot, I cannot wait to visit Washington Depot when I finally visit Connecticut. Maybe, I’ll even meet my very own Jess and Rory arguing over Dickens in Stars Hollow Books.
King’s Landing (Game of Thrones)
Real Life Location: Mdina, Malta
Have you ever wanted to walk around King’s Landing but thought better of the idea because you would probably end up on the wrong side of Cersei Lannister? I know I have.
Luckily, there’s a way to visit the largest city in the Seven Kingdoms without risking your life; you can visit the walled, medieval city in Malta, which was used as the filming location. Despite being labelled as the largest city in the show, Mdina is actually a little smaller and takes roughly an hour to explore.
Make sure to get a photo of yourself entering the Mdina Gate, the actual entrance to King’s Landing. Bonus points if it’s on a horse.
Springfield (The Simpsons)
Real Life Location: Portland, Oregon
This should come as no surprise to anyone but The Simpsons likes to play fast and loose with the location of the show, but as Lisa once said: “It’s a bit of a mystery, yes, but if you look at the clues, you can figure it out.”
Luckily, the Film Theorists took this seriously and worked out that Springfield is based on Matt Groening’s hometown of Portland, Oregon, and named after the nearby city of Springfield. It makes sense, given that Groening pitched the show on the fly and even based the main characters on his own family.
Now, I know this will stir up some controversy on social media, but I’m gonna call it now; if you want to enjoy a cold Duff at Moe’s or hang out at Android Dungeon, Portland is the place to do it.
Downton Abbey (Downton Abbey)
Real Life Location: Highclere Castle, Hampshire, England
For those of you who dream of wearing long intricate gowns, making out with Irish Chauffeurs, and holding your own in a battle of wits against the Dowager Countess (I wish you luck), Highclere Castle is the place for you.
The filming location for the period drama really makes the most of their TV fame, even hosting Roaring Twenties-themed garden parties, open days, and guided tours. You’re unlikely to run into Thomas or Lady Mary, but you might meet the current occupants Lord and Lady Carnarvon.
For those of you who can’t quite make it to the Home Counties yet, there’s even an app where Carson himself takes you on a guided tour.
Twin Peaks (Twin Peaks)
Real Life Location: North Bend, Washington, USA
Are you craving a “damn good cup of coffee” and a slice of cherry pie? Well, look no further than Twede’s Café in the town of North Bend, the setting of David Lynch’s cult psychological thriller.
You probably won’t find Special Agent Dale Cooper on the stool next to yours, but you can rest assured that you won’t find Laura Palmer’s body either.
Once you’ve finished your coffee and pie, why not take in the view of Mount Si and the Snoqualmie Falls (as shown in the opening credits) and stay a night at the Great Northern Hotel (otherwise known as The Salish Lodge & Spa)?
Have you ever visited any of these places? If so, what did you think of them? Would you like to see a future list of fictional locations from movies/books/video games that you can visit in real-life? Share your thoughts in the comments below.