Step into your own detective drama, zeitgeisty series or fantasy epic with a tour of these ready-made TV studios
1. SHERLOCK IN CARDIFFCardiff University – United Kingdom
Only a truly eagle-eyed detective would notice that much of Sherlock isn’t filmed in London, but rather another capital, 150 miles down the M4: Cardiff. Among the locations you’ll find here are Roland Kerr College, where the murderous cabbie lures Sherlock in the first episode (in reality, Cardiff University Chemistry School), and the National Museum of Wales, where the sleuth decodes strange symbols in ‘The Blind Banker’.
A good number of bars and restaurants in the Welsh city do impressions of their London cousins, but the loveliest watering hole in the series is the Bush Inn, 10 miles out of town, which doubled as the Cross Keys in ‘The Hounds of Baskerville’.
Arrive: Direct trains run to Cardiff from London.
Stay: The glittering, sail-like tower of St David’s Hotel offers bay views.
2. ACROSS THE BRIDGEOresund Bridge
Fans of the Scandinavian crime drama The Bridge will have no trouble locating the titular five-mile- long Oresund Bridge that straddles the strait between Denmark and Sweden, but there’s no foot access to the original murder scene on the border.
Luckily there are enough locations on both sides of the water to fill a weekend of wandering: Copenhagen’s city court features prominently, as do the market stalls of Blågårdsgade – a street in the Nørrebro district lined with bohemian cafés. Across the bridge in Malmö, look out for the Turning Torso skyscraper, an icon of the city. Bridge-themed tours are available in Copenhagen.
Arrive: BA, easyJet, Norwegian, Ryanair and SAS fly to Copenhagen from the UK.
Stay: The elegant Hotel Kong Arthur is a half-mile from Nørrebro’s streets.
3. SLEUTHING IN DORSETWest Bay – Dorset, United Kingdom
West Bay is a place to indulge in time-honoured British pastimes: scoffing fish and chips, paddling in a frigid sea and solving an especially unpleasant murder – this town on Dorset’s Jurassic Coast is the most prominent location in Broadchurch.
Get your bearings from the cliff atop East Beach, where Danny Latimer’s body is found at the start of the first series, before following the South West Coast path across heather-strewn slopes to the hamlet of Eype, and the clifftop cabin where Danny’s murder took place. It’s privately owned, so attempts to enter will likely prompt calls to the (real) police.
Arrive: West Bay is best reached by car. It’s two hours from Bristol and just over one hour from Exeter.
Stay: The Regency-style Haddon House is a short stroll from the beach.