As it’s National Comic Book Day this weekend, we thought we’d take a look at some real-world locations that have hosted film adaptations of our favourite superheroes.
Like the books themselves, there’s everything from billionaires’ mansions to villains’ lairs and heroic hideaways. If you’d like to pay any of them a visit, please stop off at the cottages4you website first. We feature a range of accommodation all over the UK – secret caves not usually included!
You may think the reason the Welsh tourist board aren’t crowing about their latest celebrity resident is because he’s a sociopathic vigilante who spends his nights beating up individuals with low moral fibre. But it’s probably because the latest (and last?) Batman film is shrouded in secrecy. Still, it’s obviously not so secret that Wales Online didn’t uncover the plot. According to their website, The Dark Knight Rises film crew recently visited Henrhyd Waterfall in the Brecon Beacons for a few days’ filming.
Considering the waterfall in question offers a stunning 30 metre drop and covers a cavern, it’s not too hard to guess what they were filming. So if you fancy posing by the entrance to the Batcave before anyone else, lace up your walking boots, strap on your utility belt and take a trip to the beautiful Beacons!
Batman’s other home, a revamped Wayne Manor, is said to be Woolaton Hall in Nottingham – as evidenced by the crew spending a few days there over the summer. And unlike Wayne Manor, Woolaton welcomes curious visitors for most of the year.
Not to be outdone, the Man of Steel has also visited these shores – or at least his villains did. Superman II featured Kryptonian villain General Zod and his band of merry misfits landing of Earth to cause trouble for our under-panted hero. And while the film attempted to convince you that the villains’ arrived in the American mid-west, the reality was closer to home.
Black Park in Buckinghamshire featured as the first location the villains visit (it’s opposite Pinewood Studios, so has hosted many more films including Bond, Dracula and Batman) and the small American town they invade was actually Chobham Common in Surrey!
We already pointed out the irony of Captain America filming pretty much everywhere but the USA before its release this summer. Still, US film tourism’s loss is our gain, as there are plenty of places to follow in “The First Avenger’s” footsteps – including the site of his first proper action scene.
The villainous HYDRA base in the film was located in an old army base in the Caerwent countryside. And while ‘old army base’ doesn’t sound like an ideal place to visit (nor indeed does ‘villainous HYDRA base’), we are assured that Caerwent village is lovely.
Early scenes of the good Captain chasing a villain through Brooklyn were actually filmed in the very hip Northern Quarter of Manchester, which makes it more ‘Coronation Street’ than ‘Mean Streets’. Still, there’s plenty of trendy bars and equally trendy beards on display if you fancy exploring the area.
Set in the swinging sixties, the recent X-Men First Class featured much setting of jets, but a significant portion of its running time was spent on UK shores. The iconic Xavier Mansion was actually Englefield House in Berkshire and although it’s a private residence you can still take a walk through the gardens from 1 April until the end of October.
A large amount of filming took place at Oxford to mark the scenes where Charles Xavier received his second superpower: a professorship. Oxford’s historic Catte Street hosted the majority of filming, including exteriors of the Bodleian Library. Hertford College also doubled as a pub – though, obviously, the reality is a different story!
Can you recommend any UK filming locations? Leave a comment below!