Find Archive Film Footage in the UK and Ireland

As part of its current Britain on Film season, the BFI has produced an interactive ‘film map’ that allows you to search for archive videos made in your local area. Tap in your postcode and the site brings up any films it has related to said location.

Find the map here:

The collection ranges from 1895 to the present day and includes adverts, newsreels, government-made films, TV shows and movies, as well as the world’s earliest home movies dating back to 1902.
London is particularly well represented, though it has to be said that the search can yield fairly broad results at present — better to think in terms of larger areas like the East End or the City rather than your local launderette. The project is in its early stages but has grand ambitions to grow the current catalogue of 2,500 digitized archive films to 10,000 by 2017.
Ultimately the aim is so create a huge interactive library that will offer instant insights into the past and easy access to a rich variety of material once locked away in warehouses and dusty attics. The BFI is keen for the public to get involved too, so the collection can expand further.

The map works for London, England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and Dublin.


Ireland on screen: 10 spectacular filming locations in Ireland

With Star Wars: The Force Awakens hitting cinemas around the world this month, many movie fans will get to see Ireland on the silver screen. But there are many more beautiful Irish landscapes that have stood in for exotic film locations - you might be surprised by some of them! Join us on this virtual journey across Ireland and plan your own pilgrimage to these big screen beauties.

1. The Cliffs of Moher, County Clare

The Cliffs of Moher are already a popular destination for tourists coming to Ireland. But what you might not know, while you wander through the impressive visitor centre and stroll along the stoney path by the cliffs’ edge, is that these impressive crags were featured in Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince. Ireland’s most famous cliffs also double as The Cliffs of Insanity in the 1987 comedy adventure film The Princess Bride. Other movies shot here, according to the official Cliffs of Moher website, include popular Irish movies Ryan’s Daughter and Into The West. Tip: fly to Shannon airport instead of Dublin and you’ll be just a few minutes drive from The Cliffs of Moher.
Credit: ©Chris Hill / Tourism Ireland

2. Trim Castle, County Meath

While most Braveheart fans, the biopic of Scottish freedom fighter William Wallace, would be forgiven for thinking the entire movie was filmed in Scotland, many of the battle scenes were actually shot across the water in Ireland. Trim Castle in County Meath, the largest Norman Castle in the Irish republic, was used as the city of York in the movie. Check the castle’s event schedule, as they often host screenings of Braveheart projected on to the castle walls in the summer months. If you’re in the area, you should also pay a visit to Bective Abbey, also used for another Braveheart scene in which the princess converses with her maid. Take in all of the medieval and Anglo-Irish sites with a private tour from Boyne Valley Tours, including stops at both Trim Castle and Bective Abbey, and see it all from the comfort of a hired car – they’ll even pick you up straight from your hotel! Prices upon request.
Credit: © Tony Pleavin / Tourism Ireland

3. Kilmainham Gaol, County Dublin

Similar to the Cliffs of Moher, Kilmainham Gaol in Dublin is an interesting tourist attraction in its own right, offering visitors an insightful look into Ireland’s turbulent past – this is where many Irish revolutionaries were locked up after the 1916 Easter Rising. Alongside some of Ireland’s most famous freedom fighters, many fictional characters have also been banged up here over the years; a very young Michael Caine in the The Italian Job, Liam Neeson in the Irish historical biopic Michael Collins and Cillian Murphy in the 1996 movie The Wind That Shakes The Barley. A music video for Ireland’s most famous rock band U2 was also filmed in the prison back in 1982!
Credit: ©Sinead McCarthy / Tourism Ireland


4. Parknasilla, County Kerry

The picturesque grounds of Parknasilla Resort, an eighteenth century manor house and four star hotel in County Kerry, is where The Lobster (released in October 2015) was filmed. The critically acclaimed film starring Colin Farrell and Rachel Weisz, is set in the future and involves singletons checking into a resort and being given 45 days to find a partner. If they fail to do so, they will be turned into animals and released into the wild! As on the big screen, Parknasilla Resort is the perfect place to find romance or enjoy a relaxing weekend with your other half, set among 500 acres of untouched wilderness and endless hiking trails which run alongside Kenmare Bay. Check out Skyscanner hotels to book stay or use our guide to Ireland’s best walking routes to plan your trip activities.


5. Grafton Street, Dublin City Centre

Without doubt Ireland’s most famous street and a shopping haven for both locals and visitors alike, Grafton street has welcomed many big name movies over the years. The most popular being Irish musical Once, starring Glen Hansard from The Frames who plays a struggling street musician alongside Czech immigrant Marketa Irglova. Many famous Irish musicians started their days busking on Grafton street before they got their big break, including The Script and U2. Many of these famous musicians return to Dublin each December to busk on Grafton street on Christmas Eve, in what is now a much-loved Christmas tradition – head there over the festive season and you may just be able to catch ‘the next big thing’!
Credit: ©Tourism Ireland

6. Powerscourt Estate, County Wicklow

The colorful Powerscourt Estate in County Wicklow, known as Ireland’s garden county, has been a filming location for over 25 movie and TV productions. It all begin in 1944 with the filming of Henry V. Some of the best known movies shot here in recent years include scenes from King Arthur with Clive Owen and Keira Knightley, Ella Enchanted which is a modern day take on Cinderella, the 1970 production of Black Beauty and TV series The Tudors starring Irish actor Jonathan Rhys Meyers.
Credit: ©Beth Ellis / Tourism Ireland

7. Youghal, County Cork

The seaside town of Youghal in the south of Ireland is the iconic filming location of the 1956 film Moby Dick. The historic walled town was used as the setting for ‘New Bedford’ in the movie, which featured old Hollywood movie legends Gregory Peck and Richard Basehart. The town is now home to Moby Dick’s pub, which was said to be a favourite watering hole of the film’s director John Huston. Youghal has really capitalised on the film’s fame and also hosts annual Moby Dick themed events, including a Moby Dick Literary Festival and a Moby Dick Triathlon. Find direct flights to Cork here and you could be having a whale of a time too!
Credit: ©Chris Hill / Tourism Ireland

8. Curracloe Strand, County Wexford

If you’re visiting the sunny south east, as County Wexford is affectionately known, be sure to pay a visit to Curracloe Strand in Ballinesker, the location for the opening scene (lasting 20 minutes) in the epic American war film Saving Private Ryan. This stunning coastline was transformed into Omaha Beach, picked because of its similarity to the historic beach of the same name in Normandy where the battle actually took place. It is said that over 2,000 men from the Irish Defence Forces were deployed to Wexford to help with the filming of this scene, which took almost two months to complete.
Credit: ©Sinead McCarthy / Failte Ireland

9. Trinity College, Dublin

Trinity College Dublin, situated in the most central part of Dublin city, has always been a popular choice for film directors. The beautiful grounds of the university, which was founded in 1592 and is one of the oldest in the world, was the setting for 1983 comedy/drama Educating Rita which starred Michael Caine and Julie Walters. Funnily enough, Trinity College was chosen because it looked like a “typical English university”! Bollywood movie Ek The Tiger, one of the biggest grossing movies of all time in India, was also filmed in Trinity, with many of the university’s’ students standing in as extras. Visit yourself and see the magnificent medieval manuscript, the Book of Kells, housed in the college’s Old Library. Tickets start at €10 for adults, €9 for concessions.
Credit: ©Brian Morrison / Tourism Ireland

10. Skellig Michael, County Kerry

Saving the best for last, it’s easy to see why directors and producers regularly choose Skellig Michael for a stunning scene backdrop. This rocky outcrop of an island 11km off the Kerry coastline is home to a well-conserved sixth century monastic settlement and one of the largest puffin colonies in Ireland. It also stars in the latest Star Wars movie, Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Director JJ Abrams picked Skellig Michael as the filming location for key scenes, stating that while he was given the choice of many incredible destinations, nothing came close to this secret Irish island. The island is very tricky to get to, with boats only departing when the weather and tides are just right and no one allowed to stay on the island more than a few hours. Various companies offer ferries to and tours around the island, so do some research before you head off tread in Luke’s steps and find the perfect boat for you.


“Game of Thrones” and “Outlander” Enhance Appeal of Ireland and Scotland

balintoy-harbourIreland and Scotland are taking a page from New Zealand’s playbook by showing off the real-life settings for onscreen fantasy worlds. Rather than Tolkien’s tales of Middle Earth, the fantasies in question come from the hit HBO series “Game of Thrones” and the STARZ series, “Outlander.”

Tourism Ireland has partnered with HBO to showcase “Game of Thrones” locales for the second year in a row. In addition to cheeky promotions (“dragon’s eggs” at local markets); official signage points the way to filming locations throughout Northern Ireland.

In Scotland, visitors are keen to follow the trail of the time-traveling female protagonist of the “Outlander” series. Visit Scotland has created an interactive map to mark film locations.

Tour operators have introduced specialty itineraries that explore the fictional settings of the shows.

“There is definitely an interest in film tours. People watch these shows and they want to go see the locations, which are often quite beautiful,” said Brenda Staben, a front line agent with Hobson Travel.


“Ireland has so many places of wild beauty. And people are so friendly. I just had a client get into a car accident there. While they were waiting around, the lady they hit took them to lunch,” Staben tells Travel Agent.



Of course, tourists do spend money. And film tourism has become big business. “Game of Thrones” cross-promotions and tours have brought quite a bit of revenue to Ireland, as well as other film locations such as Croatia and Malta.

Visit the village where the jewelry and crowns used in ‘Game of Thrones’ are made. Guests can meet the artisans in their workshops, and maybe even order their own custom piece. The hotels are very much into it as well. At Ballygally Castle, where client can stay, there are jewelry displays from the show. They also have a ‘Game of Thrones’ afternoon tea. But you won’t find any dainty finger sandwiches,” said Reilly.

Guests can also practice some archery and learn how to pick up a sword at Castle Ward, used for the outdoor courtyard of Winterfell.



How to Take a ‘Game of Thrones’ Tour of Northern Ireland

Game of Thrones MapCourtesy Northern Ireland Tourist Board

The Northern Ireland tourism board hopes to attract tourists by billing itself as “The Real Westeros,” thanks to its large number of Game of Thrones filming locations.

Game of Thrones has already brought more than £87 million to Northern Ireland, where many of the show’s scenes filmed, but that hasn’t stopped local officials from looking for new ways to cash in on the hit HBO show. With GOT’s fifth season debuting on April 12, the Northern Ireland Tourist Board has put together a map of the series’ filming locations, including a three-day itinerary for the ultimate Game of Thrones road trip. The new, free resources are designed to bring more tourists, and tourism dollars, to the region.

The Discover Westeros tour includes stops at Castle Ward, better known to fans of the show as the Stark’s home, Winterfell; Ballintoy Harbour, which stood in during a pivotal scene for Theon Greyjoy in season two; and The Dark Hedges, which is featured during Arya Stark’s escape from King’s Landing with Yoren, of the Night’s Watch.

You can download the full itinerary, maps, and details about where Game of Thrones will be filming next at


Northern Ireland TV and Film Locations

Northern Ireland has long been an inspiration for local writers and playwrights such as C.S. Lewis (Chronicles of Narnia) and Colin Bateman (Divorcing Jack).


More recently, it has also been the go-to location for film and TV executives looking for the ideal location for the new productions.

Northern Ireland Film Locations

Northern Ireland offers an unrivalled variety of landscape and setting, all within a compact and easily accessible area – hence its popularity with film-makers and crews.

Game of Thrones (2011 – Present) – An epic fantasy television series created for HBO. This production is an adaptation of George R R Martin’s series of fantasy novels, and is filmed at the Paint Hall Film Studios in Belfast as well as a number of locations around Northern Ireland including Ballintoy Harbour, Tollymore Forest Park and Castle Ward Estate.


Keith Lemon – The Film (2012) – Comedy starring Celebrity Juice host and comedian Keith Lemon and Kelly Brook, Keith Lemon The Film is filmed in various Belfast locations including Linenhall Street, Titanic Drawing Offices, House of Fraser (Victoria Square), The Waterfront Hall, W5 at Odyssey, The Merchant Hotel, Bedford Street, Linen House Hostel, Old Northern Bank on Waring Street, Café Vaudeville, Donegall Square North.


The Fall (2013 – Present) – A BBC2 thriller currently in production in Belfast, stars former ‘X Files’ actress Gillian Anderson, as well as Irish actors Jamie Dornan, who will feature as Christian Grey in the upcoming movie and Gerard McCarthy of Hollyoaks fame. The psychological thriller follows a serial killer who stalks his victims in and around the city of Belfast. The second series is due to air in November 2014.


Dani’s Castle (2013 – 2014) – This CBBC television production was filmed on location at historic Killyleagh Castle in County Down. Series 3 has been commissioned to be filmed in County Down in 2015.


Good Vibrations (2012) – This film is based on the story of Terri Hooley, who owned record store Good Vibrations, and championed the emerging Belfast punk scene in the 1970’s. Terri started a small record label, and is famous for discovering and launching famous Derry band The Undertones.


The Shore – Short Film (2012) – This Oscar winning film (best live action short) is the story of friendship and reconciliation starring Ciarán Hinds and Conleth Hill as childhood friends Joe and Paddy. The film has won Best Live Action Short Film at the 2012 Oscars. Written and directed by Belfast local Terry George, and produced by his daughter Oorlagh, the film was shot entirely in Killough, Co. Down.


The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby (2012) – The BBC’s drama department’s modern-day take on the 1839 novel was filmed at various locations across Northern Ireland including Belfast City Hall, and Brownlow House. The production, supported by Northern Ireland Screen, features local names such as Adrian Dunbar, Bronagh Gallagher, Jayne Wisener and Andrew Simpson among its cast.


Blandings (2013 – 2014) – The series is based on author PG Wodehouse’s hilarious accounts of the life and times of Lord Emsworth of Blanding Castle. It was filmed at Crom Castle, Co. Fermanagh and stars well-known actors such as Timothy Spall, Jennifer Saunders, David Walliams and Mark Williams, just to name a few.


Privates (2012) – This BBC1 drama is the story of the last intake of conscripts for National Service in 1960; eight young men undertake basic training at a windswept camp in Yorkshire, as the end of the era of deference meets the world of rock n’ roll. The cast which includes Patrick Baladi (The Office; Mistresses) as Captain Gulliver: Marc Silcock (Hollyoaks, Emmerdale) as Corporal Jimmy Hobbs: and Jack Fox (Fresh Meat) as Private White-Bowne filmed on location in Northern Ireland at Ballykinler Army Base, Tyrella Beach and South Promenade, Newcastle.


The Wipers Times (2013) – Filmed on location at Ballywalter Park Estate, Co Down, Belfast City Hall and the Co. Down Railway Museum. Starring Ben Chaplin, Michael Pain and Emilia Fox amongst its cast members, the film tells the true story of how one man turned the horrors of war into a black comedy.


Miss Julie (2014) – Set on Midsummer’s Eve in 1890 in Crom Castle in County Fermanagh, Miss Julie details a battle of both sexes and classes, staring well-known actors Colin Farrell and Jessica Chastain.


Dracula Untold (2014) – Vampire mythology combined with the true history of Prince Vlad tell the origin of Dracula starring Luke Evans. Filmed at many locations across Northern Ireland including: Tollymore Forest Park, Roe Valley Country Park, Mount Stewart House and Gardens, Giant’s Causeway, Divis Mountain and Scrabo Country Park. Find out more about Dracula Untold.


Shooting for Socrates (2014) – Starring local actors Conleth Hill, Bronagh Gallagher and Ciarán McMenamin, Shooting for Socrates depicts the story of Mexico 1986 when Northern Ireland met the mighty Brazil in the World Cup finals, filmed at Windsor Park, Belfast and around Belfast City.


Line of Duty (2014) – Series two was filmed entirely in Belfast, telling the story of police corruption.


City of Ember (2007) – A science fiction fantasy film filmed at the Paint Hall Film Studios in Belfast and Cavehill, starring Holywood actors Bill Murray and Tim Robbins.


Your Highness (2011) – A Universal Studios Picture comedy that was filmed on location in Northern Ireland. Starring Natalie Portman, the production was filmed in the Paint Hall Film Studios in Belfast and utilised many of Northern Ireland’s stunning locations to create their very own ‘Kingdom of Mourne’ including; Tollymore Forest Park, Castle Ward, Cairncastle, Dunluce Castle and the Giant’s Causeway.


Robert Overlords (2013) – Starring Sir Ben Kingsley and Gillian Anderson, Robert Overlords is a science fiction film where Earth has been conquered by Robots from a distant Galaxy. Survivors are confined to their houses and must wear electronic implants, risking incineration by Robot Sentries if they venture outside. Filming locations include: Belfast Met, Donaghadee, Greencastle Beach, Tollymore Forest Park and Carrickfergus Castle.


Philomena (2012) – Philomena is the true story of one mother’s search for her lost son. Starring Judy Dench and Steve Coogan with filming in various County Down locations including Bryansford, Killyleagh, Rostrevor and featuring the Mourne Mountains.