Hi-de-Hi! and TV’s top pilgrimage sites

Maplins holiday camp is set to open to the public, like many other iconic TV locations...

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Hurrah, the holiday camp where Hi-de-Hi! was filmed is being saved from closure. And, better yet – at least for people with fond memories of Yellowcoats – it’s being turned into a Hi-de-Hi! resort, a veritable Graceland for Paul Shane fans.

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But Warner’s holiday camp in Dovercourt (which doubled as Maplins in the series) is far from the only TV location that’s been turned into a shrine by its viewers. Indeed, many telly landmarks have become pilgrimage sites in their own right, attracting viewers with the same pull that Glastonbury exerts on music fans. And, thanks to the magic of YouTube, we can all take a virtual trip to some of Britain’s favourite TV landmarks…

Dad’s Army The beloved sitcom about Captain Mainwaring and his hopeless Home Guard platoon was set in the fictitious Walmington-on-Sea, which was actually the town of Thetford in Norfolk, whose population erected a statue of Mainwaring in 2005 in the series’ honour. The show’s exteriors were all shot in Thetford, and there are still a lot of sites familiar to Dad’s Army fans standing today, as this clip shows:

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lNcmi5IfMQk

The Prisoner Portmeirion, the architect Sir Clough William-Ellis’s folly, was the perfect otherworldly setting for Patrick McGoohan’s philosophical spy series The Prisoner. These days The Village is open to all Prisoner fans, who delight in snooping around the buildings and shops of the 60s TV show. Still no sign of Number One, though…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ZUFWD5XiTY

Brookside Brookie was easily the best soap on British TV back in the 90s. It had Jimmy Corkhill and Cracker, big Sinbad and no end of controversial storylines to keep viewers happy. And while the show was inexplicably cancelled in 2003, Brookside Close itself still stands and attracts aficionados to this day:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_AZZtmAGNus

Balamory What’s the story in Balamory? How about the fact that the peaceful, multi-coloured town known to millions of children is actually Tobermory on the Scottish Isle of Mull? Despite the show having been off-air since 2005, its kaleidoscopic shops and buildings still draw lots of nostalgic fans over from the mainland:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9X9hd76lxSA

Downton Abbey Highclere Castle in Hampshire has always been an impressive building, but it’s taken on a whole new lease of life since Downton Abbey started filming in its grounds, attracting everyone from tourists to Australian TV crews…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OQy-k1Pd290

Have you ever taken a trip to one of your favourite TV shows’ landmarks? Know anywhere in the UK you think would make a great outdoor location for a series? Post a comment and let us know. 

Oh, and if you go to the Hi-de-Hi! resort when it opens, do us a favour and take a camcorder, won’t you?