Posted 5 January 2015 by Andrew Gardner
As news of the next James Bond film broke last month I began to wonder if Sussex had ever featured in the famous franchise. And sure enough it turns out that Amberley Working Museum- right here on our home turf - was the location for Mainstrike Mine in A View To A Kill. Never mind that that was one of the least memorable Bonds, but at least it looked good.
In fact though, there are quite a lot of potential film locations in the areas we cover and one of our family's holiday games is trying to recognise houses that have appeared on celluloid. Some are private but many are open to the public, such as National Trust properties, and you can find yourself walking round with that funny deja-vu feeling until you realised where you've seen it before.
On the subject of which, I hear there was much excitement in Winchester before Christmas as man-of-the-moment Benedict Cumberbatch was in town filming something secret. Although variously rumoured to be Batman, an Emmerdale Christmas special or Harry Potter 57, we think it'll turn out to be The Hollow Crown, in which he plays Richard III and for which Winchester's ruined castle provided an ideal backdrop.
The city has already appeared in The Da Vinci Code and Pride and Prejudice, and the sight of Russell Crowe and Anne Hathaway filming Les Miserables a couple of years ago caused a great stir, as you can imagine. College Street near Winchester Cathedral was dressed up to look like 19th century Paris and most of the filming took place overnight. Marwell Zoo was used in Fierce Creatures and the ancient medieval buildings of the Hospital of St Cross featured in The Day of The Triffids (the 2009 serial, not the old film). And we couldn't do this without mentioning Chawton, where Jane Austen lived, because of course the film Becoming Jane used that area extensively.
So I can't promise that you'll end up as a film extra when you visit Sussex or Hampshire, but I can promise that at any time of year there are loads of fascinating things to see and do. Click here to see our selection of cottages and holiday homes across Sussex and Hampshire.