Honeymoon activities for TV lovers

Honeymoon activities for TV lovers

Film is last week’s news: nowadays it’s all about iconic TV series. Alexandra Gregg explores the most romantic show locations to inspire your honeymoon

Your honeymoon is certainly not a time for watching television: instead you should be out exploring the world, starting your married life together. But that doesn't mean you can't visit the locations featured in your favourite programmes. We've rounded up some of the prettiest and most amorous sets for you and your new spouse to discover…

1. Game of Thrones (HBO)

Tollymore Forest Park, Newcastle, Northern Ireland

Move over Joffrey Baratheon! In Tollymore, Mother Nature is Queen. The award-winning Game of Thrones is now in its fourth season, having filmed all over the world: from Croatia to Scotland, and Morocco to Iceland. But it's the fairytale forests of Northern Ireland that we love - and we reckon you and your partner will too.

Nestled in the foothills of the Mourne Mountains, the entrance to this romantic wilderness is lined with a striking avenue of deodar cedars. With towering giant redwoods and shrub-lined river banks, you can almost hear a pin drop in the vast Tollymore Forest Park (pictured) and it's hard to envisage hundreds of cast and crew descending upon this nature reserve to create the seven medieval kingdoms of Westeros. And with its rocky outcrops, bridges, exotic trees and hidden coves you can see why it appealed to the makers of this popular TV show.

Oak wood from the park was once the preferred material for White Star liners, which include Belfast's "unsinkable" Titanic. You can walk its abundant trails all year-round, from 10am to sunset.

2. Downton Abbey (ITV)

Highclere Castle, Berkshire/Hampshire border, England

Highclere Castle is the grand home of the Earl and Countess of Carnarvon. But to the discerning TV buff, it's also home to 1900s period drama Downton Abbey. The aristocratic Crawley family and their servants frequent the corridors of this opulent Victorian mansion (fictionally set in Yorkshire), surviving social faux pas, money woes and some of history's most notable events.

While the castle and its tranquil grounds are currently closed to the public, it will come to life at Easter-time, showing off its stunning paintings, tapestry and architecture made famous by the show. Most of the 2014 tickets have now been sold (priced £20pp for entry to the grounds, castle and exhibition) however 'Heroes at Highclere' - a special commemoration of the centenary of WWI - will be held on Sunday 3 August and tickets are yet to go on sale. So if you and your new spouse are heading to England for a honeymoon in July/August, keep an eye on www.highclerecastle.co.uk for updates.

3. Lost (ABC/Sky One)

Oahu, Hawaii

It may be over, but the mysterious islands, bountiful beaches and dense, tropical forests of Lost still remain fresh in the minds of TV viewers worldwide. The majority of the show was filmed in Oahu, Hawaii, including the Ka'a'awa Valley: one of the region's best-kept secrets. The emerald-clad gorges are renowned in Hollywood though, so you won't just conjure up memories of Lost here, but also those of blockbusters like Jurassic Park and Pearl Harbour.

To make a visit to this undeveloped valley truly romantic, you can either view it by air or on horseback, galloping through the northern part of the neighbouring Kualoa Ranch and deep into the Ka'a'awa. A typical two-hour riding tour costs $99pp (£60) and takes you through forested areas and past WWII bunkers, against a backdrop of the Kualoa Mountains and the roaring Pacific Ocean.

4. Top of the Lake (BBC/UKTV)

Queenstown, New Zealand

First aired at the Sundance Film Festival, crime mini-series Top of the Lake was filmed and set entirely in New Zealand. Brought to life by Oscar-winning writer and director Jane Campion (The Piano), it follows the disappearance of a 12-year-old girl and the authorities efforts to track her down. It doesn't exactly scream romance, we know, but some of the filming locations are stunning.

Moke Lake, dwarfed by lofty mountains, is picture perfect and ideal for adventurous couples especially, with trails to hike and fresh waters to swim, kayak, or fish. The former gold-mining gorge of Skippers Canyon is also featured and with historic remains at every corner, as well as the breathtaking Skippers Bridge (suspended 90m above the Shotover River) it's a must-visit. Don't miss the glacial valleys and snow-capped peaks of the Southern Alps, which were capturing during a helicopter search scene of the show?

5. Atlantis (BBC)

Morocco

Telling the legendary tales of Hercales, Medusa and the whole Greek mythology gang, the dusty world of BBC's Atlantis offers desert-scapes aplenty for and your partner to explore. The show's makers selected Morocco for the bulk of the filming because of this North African gem's plentiful offerings: we're talking Atlas Mountains, olive groves, vast desert, undeveloped beaches and ancient kasbahs.

The Berber town of Ouarzazate, also known as the 'door of the desert', takes centre stage, but the cast and crew shot several scenes at the unspoilt Essaouira, an idyllic beach retreat for any honeymoon and virtually untouched by tourism. They also spent time in the UNESCO city of Ait Benhaddou, a fortified city built from mud brick. Expect newlywed snaps like no other when you have your photo taken in front of this majestic metropolis.

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