Real life movie sets you can actually visit

Whether you’re a movie buff or just an attraction-driven traveller, these movie sets have been salvaged from the backlot and turned into popular tourist destinations! Which one’s going to be at the top of your holiday list?

The Hobbit Hole from Lord of the Rings (New Zealand)

There are many places to see the beautiful lands and attractions that make up Middle Earth, but one of the coolest is the hobbit home of Bilbo Baggins. This film set was constructed in Waikato, in northern New Zealand and movie set tours are offered daily. You’ll get a real life glimpse of Middle Earth here, complete with inspections of Bag End, the Party Tree and a replica of the Green Dragon.

Bridge to Hogwarts from Harry Potter (Scotland)

Remember that huge, pillared bridge that Harry Potter and his pals cross on the Hogwart’s Express? Like many of the film’s sets, this is an actual real life bridge –called Glenfinnan Viaduct – located in Lochaber in the Highland region of Scotland. The good news is that you can actually travel along the viaduct on the Jacobite Steam Train ride, which takes place during the summer.

Tom Hanks’s Deserted Island in Castaway (Fiji)

The small Fijian island of Monuriki served as the location for the Tom Hanks movie, Castaway and as the film suggests, it’s uninhabited. Luckily, though, you can still take a tour of this island and diving and beach-relaxing here is recommended.

Doc Brown’s House from Back to the Future (USA)

Great Scot! Is this really where Doc Emmett Brown lives? Situated in Pasadena, California, the exterior of the Gamble House was used as Doc Brown’s residence in the Back to the Future trilogy. And yes, you can take a tour inside, though don’t expect to see Michael J. Fox anywhere near by!

That Beach from The Beach (Thailand)

Speaking of islands, remember that old, unsuccessful Leonardo DiCaprio movie about a tropical island holiday that goes horribly wrong? This flick was filmed on none other than Koh Phi Phi Leh island in Thailand. If you’re in the area, take a daily boat tour to the island and check out its famous Maya Beach.

Shawshank Prison from The Shawshank Redemption (USA)

While the Shawshank State Penitentiary is entirely fictional, its set is indeed very real. The Ohio State Reformatory served as the set for this movie, with interior and exterior scenes filmed here. What is it now? It’s a popular tourist attraction in Ohio, of course! Several different tours are available of the prison, and if you love the movie, the ‘Shawshank Trail’ is a must.

Planet Tatooine from Star Wars (Africa)

If you are a huge Star Wars freak or perhaps just keen for a trip to the Sahara in the north of Africa, the country of Tunisia is calling! George Lucas originally chose this location to act as Luke Skywalker’s home planet of Tatooine and it was later revisited during the filming of the prequels (Darth Vader is also from here). Today, remnants of the set can still be seen and visited in Tunisia, though they are reportedly being engulfed by sand dunes.

Photo credits: palestrina55