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Bletchley Park Mansion, site of The Imitation Game. Photo by Shaun Armstrong, courtesy of VisitBritain.

Bletchley Park Mansion, site of The Imitation Game. Photo by Shaun Armstrong, courtesy of VisitBritain.

British films were nominated 21 times in several Academy Award categories this year, including two for Best Picture, two for Best Actor, one for Best Actress, one for Best Director, and two for Best Supporting Actress.

Two were winners in major categories: Eddie Redmayne won the Oscar for Best Actor for his portrayal of Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything, while Graham Moore won for Best Adapted Screenplay  for The Imitation Game.

If you’re headed to England this year, you can visit a number of location settings for these films. Here’s where:

The Imitation Game

 The inspiring but ultimately tragic life story of brilliant mathematician and codebreaker Alan Turing is the focal point of this historical drama set in the Victorian estate of Bletchley Park, Buckinghamshire, used as the unlikely headquarters for the British Government Code and Cypher School during World War II.  The Imitation Game was a Best Picture nominee.

Turing – played by Best Actor nominee Benedict Cumberbatch – broke the supposedly impenetrable German Enigma Code, hastening an end to the war. The once top-secret facility is now a tourist attraction, thanks in part to the hit movie. Keira Knightley, a Best Supporting Actress nominee, co-stars. An “Imitation Game” exhibition, featuring film costumes and props, will be playing at Bletchley Park until mid-November, 2015.  The estate is less than an hour’s train ride from London.

St. Johns College, Cambridge. Photo courtesy of VisitBritain.

St. Johns College, Cambridge. Photo courtesy of VisitBritain.

The Theory of Everything

Cambridge, England, is the backdrop for this film depicting the university days of physicist Stephen Hawking, as he develops both a love interest and a paralyzing neurological disorder. Eddie Redmayne, who starts as Hawking, won for Best Actor, and Felicity Jones, who plays Hawking’s first wife, Jane Wilde, picked up a Best Actress nomination. The Theory of Everything also got a nod as a Best Picture nominee.

St. John’s College at Cambridge University was used for filming. Couples can kiss on the same bridge near St. John’s where Stephen and Jane did. Or you can visit art museums, take a boat out on the river, and tour Cambridge’s other picturesque colleges. The city is just an hour from London by train.

Petworth House and Park. Photo by Martin Offer, courtesy of VisitBritain

Petworth House and Park. Photo by Martin Offer, courtesy of VisitBritain

Other Nominated Films

Mr. Turner, which won four nominations, tells the story of renowned 19th-century English landscape painter JMW Turner. Fans of the movie (and/or of Turner) can visit Petworth House, an estate where the artist lived and worked; many of his landscapes were based on the local countryside. Petworth House is in the town of Petworth in West Sussex, England.

Maleficent, a tale about an evil fairy starring Angelina Jolie that received a nomination for costume design, also uses the land around Petworth House for some of its location shots. Ashridge, a stately home in Hertfordshire, England, was used for location scenes as well.

You can go into the woods where the film Into the Woods was shot at Windsor Great Park, a 5,000-acre haven filled with woodlands, gardens, and trails to hike or bike. Meryl Streep received a Best Supporting Actress nomination for her role in the movie that weaves together tales of Cinderella, Rapunzel, Jack and the Beanstalk, and Little Red Riding Hood. It also received two nominations in  design categories.

 

An earlier version of this post appeared in StrideTravel.com, the top online resource for organized travel around the world.

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According to government and private surveys:

  • Leading-edge baby boomers (born between 1946 and 1955) and seniors account for four out of every five dollars spent on luxury travel today.
  • Roughly half the consumer spending money in the U.S.--more than $2 trillion--is in the hands of leading-edge baby boomers and seniors.
  • Baby boomers (born 1946-1964) travel more than any other age group.
  • When asked what they would most like to spend their money on, baby boomers answered “travel” more than any other category, including improving their health or finances.

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