Herding Hill Farm Camping and Glamping is a Hadrian’s Wall campsite located in glorious Northumberland. One of the favourite walks of our campsite guests is along Hadrian’s Wall from Steel Rigg to Sycamore Gap, probably the most famous tree in the UK. Featuring in the 1991 Kevin Costner movie Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves, it is also known as the Robin Hood Tree. Kevin Costner and Morgan Freeman battled the knights beside Sycamore Gap. The Sycamore Gap tree also appeared in the music video for Bryan Adams' (Everything I Do) I Do It for You which featured on the film's soundtrack and spent sixteen consecutive weeks at number one on the UK Singles Chart, the longest uninterrupted run ever.
Sycamore Gap, Hadrian’s Wall, Northumberland has also appeared in the TV crime drama Vera and in the documentary series More Tales from Northumberland with Robson Green. It narrowly escaped damage in 2003 when a helicopter carrying a film crew filming a history series for TV gardener Alan Titchmarsh crashed metres away. Alan Titchmarsh was on the ground when it crashed and escaped injury, and the helicopter crew escaped with minor injuries.
Numerous films and TV shows have been filmed in Northumberland over the years, so what are the most famous? They amazing Northumberland landscape has also inspired many writers and directors with George R. R. Martin of Game of Thrones fame confirming that Hadrian’s Wall inspired his own, giant ice wall.
Alnwick Castle, also known as Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, starred in the Harry Potter films Philosopher’s Stone and Chamber of Secrets and is one of the most famous Northumberland film sets. It is a lovely day out from Herding Hill Farm. The Outer Bailey is recognisable as the area where Harry learned to fly broomsticks. Harry also learned the rules of wizarding sport Quidditch in the Outer Bailey. Visitors to the castle, young and old, can unleash their inner Harry Potter and learn how to fly with broomstick lessons.
Alnwick Castle was also cast as the magnificent Brancaster Castle in Downton Abbey’s 2015 and 2016 Christmas specials. Blackadder also saw Rowan Atkinson riding on horseback through the snow-covered grounds of Alnwick Castle.
The fifth instalment of the movie series Transformers, The Last Knight, produced by Stephen Spielberg, was filmed in part at Bamburgh Castle and beach. Hollywood actors Mark Wahlberg and Sir Anthony Hopkins filmed scenes at the Castle and on the beach below. The movie was also filmed at Alnwick Castle where rumour has it, thousands of plastic daffodils were sited to replicate the real ones there that flower each Spring. Bamburgh Castle has been used as a filming location for a number of television and film projects such as Elizabeth (1998) and Michael Fassbender’s Macbeth (2015). Richard Burton also came to Bamburgh in 1963 to film Becket and brought Elizabeth Taylor with him. Bamburgh beach also featured Vanessa Redgrave and Timothy Dalton as Mary Stuart and Lord Darnley, riding their horses in the 1971 movie Mary, Queen of Scots.
This screen adaptation of Eric Lomax’s memoirs as a prisoner of war has a star-studded cast, including Colin Firth and Nicole Kidman. A former British Army officer, who was tortured as a prisoner of war at a Japanese labour camp during World War II, Eric discovers that the man responsible for much of his treatment is still alive and sets out to confront him. As well as scenes in flung destinations in Australia and Singapore, the film features Holy Island and Berwick upon Tweed where Eric lived in the last few years of his life.
The island was visited by Roman Polanski for his 1971 adaptation of Macbeth.
The popular TV detective series Vera featuring Brenda Blethen is filmed across the North East and makes full benefit of the jaw-dropping landscapes of Northumberland, including Kielder. Anyone familiar with the area will notice towns and villages such as Blanchland, Alnmouth, Craster and Amble feature as well as the Farne Islands. Inspector George Gently is another TV detective series filmed across the North East.
Northumberland supplied several locations for the 1997 movie Elizabeth starring Cate Blanchett as Queen Elizabeth I. The burning of the Protestant martyrs at ‘Bishopsgate, London’ is undertaken at Alnwick Castle. Alnwick Castle also becomes ‘Leith Castle’. Chillingham Castle supplies both the interior of ‘Leith Castle’ and the hunting lodge, where Elizabeth meets up with Robert Dudley (Joseph Fiennes). The cells of the ‘Tower of London’ were filmed at Warkworth Castle. The apartment of arch-manipulator Sir Francis Walsingham (Geoffrey Rush), and the chamber in which sinister Catholic priest Ballard (Daniel Craig) is tortured, are both Aydon Castle, near Corbridge and just a short drive from Herding Hill Farm.