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Seven scene-stealing destinations in 2022’s biggest films — and how to visit them

Has the silver screen left you longing for the sultry shores of the Nile or the bright lights of Belfast? Here’s how to translate this year’s biggest blockbusters into incredible travel experiences, from Malta to Memphis and beyond.

Beale Street neon signs in Memphis.

Photograph by Craig Thompson
Published 18 Mar 2022, 18:00 GMT, Updated 22 Mar 2022, 09:25 GMT

Films may have the power to transport, but the destinations featured in this year’s finest flicks are even more appealing in real life. We’ve compiled a list of the latest movies whose international settings steal the show and roundup the best ways to use the silver screen as a springboard for your next getaway — from great American road trips into the Deep South to a walking pilgrimage through Northumberland.

1. Elvis

Memphis, Tennessee, USA

An Elvis biopic appears only once in a blue moon. Directed by Baz Luhrmann and starring Austin Butler, Tom Hanks and Olivia DeJonge, the King is back on the big screen this June. The film follows his rise to fame as movie star and rock legend from childhood poverty and examines the complex relationship with his manager Colonel Tom Parker. The film may have been shot in Australia, but fans should make a beeline for Graceland, Elvis’s Memphis mansion, which is packed with gold records, classic cars, jewelled jumpsuits and mid-century kitsch in his tropical Jungle Room.

How to do it: North America Travel Service is offering the Explore Memphis & the Mississippi Delta tour from £1,198 per person based on twin occupancy and a departure date in May 2022. Price includes return flights, accommodation and one-week car hire.

2. Where the Crawdads Sing

North Carolina, USA

There’s been a murder in the marshlands of North Carolina. Accused of the crime is young Kya Clark, played by Normal People’s Daisy Edgar-Jones, who survives solo on the serene coastal waterways after being abandoned by her family. This adaptation of Delia Owen’s bestselling coming-of-age novel will be released in July. Swamps around New Orleans and Houma, Louisiana masquerade as the Carolina coast on screen. But you can get acquainted with the southern state that inspired the book’s setting — from the broad Outer Banks barrier islands to the sandy headland of Cape Fear, where shipwrecks rest beneath the waves.

How to do it: America As You Like It has a ‘North Carolina Discovery tour’ from £1,285 per person for a May 2022 departure, including return flights, accommodation and car hire.

3. Jurassic World Dominion

Malta

Stomping onto screens this June is the sixth instalment of the Jurassic Park franchise, with a cast including Chris Pratt, Laura Dern and Jeff Goldblum. It marks the beginning of an era in which humans must live alongside dinosaurs. Malta’s golden capital of Valletta features with additional scenes shot in the fortified city of Birgu (also known as Città Vittoriosa) and the laid-back hilltop town of Mellieħa. Instead of sun-soaked tourists lazily roaming the island’s streets, enormous dinosaurs chase people through alleyways, over rooftops and across broad St George’s Square.

How to do it: Intrepid Travel offers a Highlights of Malta and Gozo trip, which visits Valletta and Città Vittoriosa. Departures from 1 May 2022 are for seven days from £1,160 per person and include B&B accommodation, ground transport, activities and a local guide.

4. The Worst Person in the World

Oslo, Norway

Joachim Trier’s witty film, nominated for two Academy Awards, hits UK screens in March. This dark romantic comedy-drama examines Julie’s journey to self-awareness as she turns 30. Capturing a generational feeling, the main character navigates everything from her confused career path and indecisiveness about children to a troubled love life. Based in Oslo, scenes take place in hilly Ekeberg, during sunrise at Akershuskai pier, in leafy St Hanshaugen Park and at contemporary cool Kunstnernes Hus art gallery.

How to do it: Visit Oslo has mapped some of the film’s key locations so fans can walk in Julie’s footsteps. Off the Map Travel offers an Oslo City Escape tour for three nights from £1,099 per person, including B&B accommodation, airport transfer and two Oslo tours (for example, a fjord boat tour and a visit to key spots featured in The Worst Person in the World).

(Left to right) Caitriona Balfe as "Ma", Jude Hill as "Buddy", Lewis McAskie as "Will", and Jamie Dornan as "Pa" in director Kenneth Branagh's BELFAST, a Focus Features release.

Photograph by Rob Youngson/ Focus Features

5. Belfast

Belfast, Northern Ireland

This Golden Globe winner is writer-director Kenneth Branagh’s most personal and poetic picture yet. Released in January, the semi-autobiographical coming-of-age drama follows nine-year-old Buddy’s childhood in Belfast at the onset of the Troubles in the late 1960s. As the city shakes with sectarian violence, Buddy’s working-class Protestant family must decide whether to stay or flee. Belfast may be shot in black and white, but the Northern Irish capital is even better in colour, where sights include the silver Titanic Belfast museum, the cobbled Cathedral Quarter and buzzing St George’s Market.

How to do it: Learn about the city’s tumultuous history on a black cab tour, which takes visitors to political murals, towering peace walls (some 25ft high) and areas that were besieged by the brutality of the Troubles. Book with Paddy Campbell’s or NI Black Taxi Tours.

Philae Island, an island in the Nile, Aswan.

Photograph by Egyptian State Tourist Office

6. Death on the Nile

Egypt

This Agatha Christie murder mystery sailed into cinemas in February with a cast including Gal Gadot, Kenneth Branagh, Russell Brand and Annette Bening. Drink in the Nile from an art deco steamer and visit ancient Egyptian sights such as the rock-cut temples at Abu Simbel, the pyramids and Great Sphinx of Giza. The colonial-era Old Cataract Hotel (now a Sofitel, from £140 a night) also appears on screen, which is no surprise as it was Christie’s luxury abode when she penned much of the novel. Though the majority of Death on the Nile was filmed in England, there’s never been a better time to visit the scene of the crime.

How to do it: Responsible Travel has a nine-day Nile Cruise Holiday in Egypt from £1,799 per person, including UK flights. In addition to a five-star cruise down the Nile, guests will visit Cairo, the pyramids, Luxor, the Valley of the Kings, Karnak and Aswan.

7. The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry

England, UK

When Harold Fry leaves home to post a letter to his dying friend Queenie, he continues walking — all the way to her hospice 450 miles away. Based on the novel by Rachel Joyce, this adaptation will be released later this year and follows Harold’s impromptu journey from Kingsbridge in Devon to Berwick-upon-Tweed. The film stars Academy Award winner Jim Broadbent, Linda Bassett and Penelope Wilton and marks the first feature from BAFTA winning director Hettie Macdonald since her work on Normal People. Harold’s pilgrimage becomes a walk of hope as he sheds listlessness, notices the world around him and faces grief.

How to do it: On Foot Holidays has a five-night self-guided walk (April-October) in Devon from £795 per person, based on two sharing. It includes B&B accommodation, two picnic lunches, luggage transfers, routes and maps. Exodus Travels offers a nine-day Walking the Northumberland Coast trip (from April), ending in Berwick-upon-Tweed, from £949 per person, including B&B accommodation, luggage transfers, routes and maps.

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