Movie Buffs

Most people associate Liverpool with football and The Beatles. Only a few, however, think of cultural and heritage sites while planning their trip. Did you know that Liverpool is also a prime location when it comes to Hollywood movies? Directors and set designers find this city incredibly easy to shoot in, which is why so many of your favourite movies from the last decade feature scenes that were shot here. We’re not just talking about movies that revolve around British characters or stories – read on to find out which Liverpool location is commonly used to depict an old-timey New York City!

If you’re a cinephile, you probably make it a point to explore locations that you’ve seen appear in films when you travel. Doesn’t it make you feel a bit closer to the characters you love? While this is a great way to pay tribute to your favourite films, you may find that planning your vacation takes a lot more consideration than it does for others who simply want to visit the known tourist locations. To make your planning much easier, we’ve curated a list of locations in Liverpool that were used to shoot some of the most famous movies in the world. 

Here’s a quick snapshot of the movies that we’ll be covering:

1. Chariots of Fire (1981)

2. Yentl (1983)

3. The Dark Knight (2008)

4. Sherlock Holmes (2009)

5. Nowhere Boy (2009)

6. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (2010)

7. Route Irish (2010)

8. Captain America – the First Avenger (2011)

9. Fast and the Furious 6 (2013)

10. Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit (2014)

11. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016)

12. Tolkein (2019)

Chariots of Fire (1981)

Chariots of Fire was one of the most celebrated films of its time, portraying the story of two men who were competing in the Olympics. Its soundtrack is one of the most iconic ones too. While the film was shot all over UK, you’ll find a few hotspots from Liverpool in the film such as the Port of Liverpool building, the Royal Court Theatre, the Birkenhead Woodside Ferry terminal and the Oval Sports Centre in Bebbington. 

Yentl (1983)

If you’re a hardcore Barbara Streisand fan, then you probably love the movie Yentl, which chronicles the story of a woman who dresses up as a man to receive Talmudic education. During the final scene of the movie, the protagonist, Babz, boards an Atlantic steamer to head off to America. However, you’ll be shocked to know that this scene was filmed on Liverpool’s Isle of Man Ferry Boat right on the Mersey River!

The Dark Knight (2008)

Who can forget Nolan’s Batman trilogy and the impact it had in terms of redefining the superhero genre? Now, while Gotham is in America, you’ll find that there are quite a few scenes that were shot in Liverpool. If you’re wondering where to head off to, then it’s the Liverpool waterfront! Re-watch the movie and see if you can spot it!

Sherlock Holmes (2009)

Guy Ritchie did a wonderful job of adapting Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s iconic character, Sherlock Holmes, for the big screen and many fans loved Robert Downey Jr’s interpretation of the same. If you’re a fan of the detective and want to step into his shoes, then maybe you should visit the Stanley and Clarence docks in Liverpool and re-live the explosive ending of the film!

Nowhere Boy (2009)

Nowhere Boy is based on John Lennon’s adolescence, so it’s no surprise that the movie was shot in Liverpool in some parts. If you want to pay homage to the film and visit all the locations that it was shot in, then you should check out the Woolton Picture House, the Mersey River, Liverpool docks, Liverpool Cathedral, South Brick street, Sacred Heart Catholic College in Crosby, and St. George’s Hall. Make sure you visit all of these spots to truly get a sense of Lennon’s life. 

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (2010)

If you’re a Potterhead, you’ve probably planned a trip to key areas in Scotland and London so that you can visit the studios and filming locations there. But what if we told you that the movie was also filmed in Liverpool? Do you remember the high-octane scene when Harry and Hagrid flee the Death Eaters and zoom through a muggle tunnel? That’s the Birkenhead Tunnel in Liverpool. Visit this place and enjoy a moment of pretending you’re a part of the crew, fleeing Death Eaters and trying to get Harry to safety.

Route Irish (2010)

Route Irish is an action film based on a security contractor who’s out to uncover what really happened to his friend. If you’ve seen this, you know that it’s largely set in Liverpool and even features one of the funniest comics to come out of the city, John Bishop. If you want to check out all the places that this film was shot in, then you must head down to St. Brides Church, The Malmaison Hotel, and the Merseyside Dance Initiative, which is located right on Hope Street. 

Captain America – the First Avenger (2011)

The Marvel Cinematic Universe inspired fans across the globe to track character arcs that almost spanned a decade, proving that the fandom is always loyal no matter how much time passes between the beginning of a journey and its end. Captain America – the first Avenger, introduced the man in blue, and the world fell in love with Chris Evans as Steve Rogers. Now, most of the movie is set in America, however, the scenes that show the training center in New York (set in 1940, not the future) were actually filmed at Stanley Dock. Head to this location if you’re an MCU fan who wants to show some love to the franchise!

Fast and the Furious 6 (2013)

The Fast and the Furious franchise is a huge one that’s all set to see its ninth installment launch. If you want to drive your car down the same streets and lanes as your heroes have, then you need to check out Liverpool’s Drury Lane, the Birkenhead Tunnel, and even the seaside resort called Wirral’s New Brighton. As the franchise is vastly popular, these locations in Liverpool had to be closed off during the shooting phase as the stars would attract millions of fans. 

Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit (2014)

Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit follows the story of its titular character who’s traveling to Russia in order to check up on Cherevin, a businessman. However, while doing so, he uncovers a secret terrorist plot and ends up being part of a rip-roaring adventure that revolves around stopping the same. There are many different locations in Liverpool that were used to create scenes for the film. Some of these include the Canada Boulevard, the Birkenhead tunnel (which features in a ton of movies, as you’ve already read), and the Liverpool Waterfront, which is a World Heritage Site. 

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016)

Fans of Harry Potter have another reason to rejoice – the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them was partly shot in Liverpool! The movie follows the journey of Newt Scamander as he embarks on an adventure to re-capture magical beasts that have been unleashed in New York City (unwittingly by them, of course). You’ll be surprised to know that many of the New York scenes were filmed in Liverpool. So, grab your Nargle and head down to St. George’s Hall and the city’s cultural quarter. 

Tolkein (2019)

Tolkein is a biographical film based on the life of J.R.R. Tolkein, the author of the Lord of the Rings, and The Hobbit. The movie focuses on the author’s early life, depicting his childhood and his time spent as an English teacher. For those who didn’t know, the author had enlisted in the First World War and lost loved ones – all of which features in the film. The movie ends with him feeling inspiring to write The Hobbit, and is a must-watch for fans of both, the Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. Locations like the Town Hall and St. George’s Hall were used in the film. 

With so many exciting locations for you to check out, there’s no way that you can get bored when visiting Liverpool. Make sure you include all of these places in your itinerary and bookmark this page so that you have something to refer to while you’re planning the trip. 

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