A trip to the cinema is pure escapism, with special effects and epic locations transporting us to many other worlds.
Some scenes are so impactful, they even inspire viewers to visit locations, giving rise to a tourism trend known as ‘set-jetting’.
So which films and TV are likely to shape our travel plans in 2019?
1. Game Of Thrones
Where: Northern Ireland
The show, based on author George R. R. Martin’s A Song Of Ice And Fire series, returns to screens for its eighth and final season on April 14. Venture along the path of the three-eyed raven by visiting one of the many age-old landscapes of the Seven Kingdoms in Northern Ireland. Eager fans can retrace previous filming locations by stopping off at The Dark Hedges, an avenue of beech trees along Bregagh Road between Armoy and Stranocum in County Antrim; Ballintoy Harbour, where the Iron Islands shots are filmed; and Cushendun Caves, where Melisandre had her shadow baby. Even better, once the show finishes, there are plans to open seven sets and a studio tour to visitors.
More: Game of Thrones sets and studio tour will open to public in Northern Ireland
Where: Oregon, USA
Based on the sadistic history of Nurse Ratched from the cult classic One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey, this new Netflix show will follow her murderous progression through the US mental health system. Sinister thrill-seekers can visit Oregon, the home of her perverse past, and can escape to locations such as Crater Lake, Mount Hood, Multnomah Falls, Timberline Lodge, and Haystack Rock.
3. The Handmaid’s Tale
Where: Massachusetts, USA
The dystopian landscape of Gilead returns to our screens in 2019, and is set to inspire viewers to take a trip to the US state of Massachusetts, where the story is set. In reality, much of the filming was done in Toronto, but some scenes were shot in Boston. Fenway Park, the Charles River and Back Bay all feature.
4. The New Pope
Where: Rome, Italy
Following on from first series, The Young Pope, this follow up sees Jude Law return to Italy’s Vatican City, where filming took place. You too can tour the Vatican, and explore other Roman locations featured, such as the church Santi Luca e Martina, 17th century Villa Doria Pamphili, and Villa Medici – The French Academy in Rome.
Following on from the success of The Jungle Book, Disney have commissioned a live-action remake of Aladdin, which promises to be a Middle Eastern delight. Will Smith is playing the Genie, while Guy Ritchie directs. The story is set in the fictional land of Agrabah, and although much of the filming took place in Surrey, England, some scenes were shot in Jordan’s Wadi Rum Desert (above).
6. The Favourite
Where: Salisbury, England
Irish-produced The Favourite has been nominated for 10 Oscars, and the punchy period drama could draw visitors to Hatfield House in the same way Downton Abbey did to Highclere Castle. The house opens from April 6 for the 2019 season, with visits to the house, garden, park and woodland walks from £19/€22. Dating from 1611, the home of the 7th Marquess and Marchioness of Salisbury stars as the background to a feast of intrigue in Queen Anne’s court in the movie, and is crammed with art and Jacobean craftsmanship.
More: How to visit the real Downton Abbey
NB: Nos. 1-5 by Sarah Marshall, from suggestions by flight booking engine Kiwi.com. No.6 by Pól Ó Conghaile.
Ireland on Screen: Our bumper travel guide to Ireland’s best TV & movie locations