Imagine visiting the filming location of some of your favourite films: ‘Gladiator’, ‘Robin Hood’, ‘Harry Potter’, ‘Avengers: The Age of Ultron’ or even more recently 'The Huntsman: The Winter’s War’. Around Farnham and Surrey, there are innumerable locations that allow you to do this: Bourne Woods, Waverley Abbey or even Frensham Little Pond. Just a short drive out of Farnham and you can experience a little bit of Magic.
Bourne Woods have been used for many films due to its proximity to the London film studios, the feeling of isolation from the 21st century and the excellent access and facilities on site. In addition is has a variety in the landscape: heathlands, woodlands and a large expanse of open area where many villages are erected and even on one occasion a castle for ‘Robin Hood’ or a village in ‘Gladiator’. Down one track encased with trees the Avengers fought against a speedy foe in the snow. When there is no filming it is a great place to go dog-walking or clear your head.
Waverley Abbey, currently closed for the filming of a new Tom Cruise film, was recently home to Chris Hemsworth and the cast and crew of The Huntsman: The Winter’s War, and previously to the cast and crew of ‘28 Days Later’, ‘Elizabeth’ (1998) and ‘Into the Woods’. Although parking is limited this site is of historic significance being the first Cistercian Monastery founded in England by a small group of monks from France settled in this quiet spot by the River Wey in 1128, and Waverley soon became the springboard for Cistercian settlement in southern England. The impressive remains include the fine 13th-century vaulted refectory or dining hall for the lay brothers, the Cistercians' labour force. As with many monasteries’ Waverly Abbey’s demise came during the reign of Henry VIII. From a film and historical perspective, this English Heritage site is well worth a visit.
Finally, Frensham Little Pond; a fish pond amidst stunning heathland and abundant wildlife is a great area to get away from everyday stresses, no phone, no car noise and heathland as far as the eye can see. The Little Pond is owned by the National Trust as such parking for its Members is free. The Ponds were created in the 13th century, to supply fish to the Bishop of Winchester and his court, whilst visiting Farnham Castle. Today the pond and surrounding area is a sanctuary for wildlife with always something new to see. When not an idyllic, peaceful sanctuary it has been used for filming ‘The Huntsman: Winter’s War’, ‘47 Ronin’ and ‘Pride and Prejudice and Zombies’. Why not pay a visit, but watch out for any stray Zombies!
So why not come down to Farnham, Surrey and the surrounding areas and visit the film locations of some of your favourite film and some of the best films of our times. Go to the middle of Bourne Woods or Little Frensham Pond and Common, find a spot away from your troubles and your strife, breathe and relax.
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