Fast & Furious 6 – and other films shot in unlikely British locations

The latest instalment in the high-speed car chase franchise was filmed in Glasgow - we track down more Hollywood flicks shot in unassuming UK settings…

The latest instalment of speed-filled auto action from Vin Diesel, Dwayne Johnson and Paul Walker wasn’t filmed in quite such an exotic location as the previous five films – California, Tokyo, Brazil, Panama and Florida – but on the glamorous streets of Glasgow!


But Vin Diesel couldn’t get enough of Glasgow’s Broomielaw area. “I wish we could have shot more of Glasgow, it was great there and it helped so much with this movie,” he explained to STV News last week. “Glasgow and Scotland should take pride in Fast & Furious 6, it was in part made by them.”

This is not the first time Glasgow has doubled as an exotic location: see below for more Hollywood flicks set in the Scottish city, plus other unlikely shooting locations sure to make you do a double take…

Fast & Furious 6 – shot in Glasgow

Cadogan Street, in Glasgow’s Broomielaw area, attracted crowds of spectators when the crew were filming the high-speed chases and stunts for the film. They watched as the special effects team flipped a speeding police car in the air, and then crashed it onto other cars in the road. Apparently, Glasgow city (here standing in for London) is getting quite the reputation among Hollywood execs as being a great location to shoot gritty scenes.

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Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – shot in Liverpool

More than 35,000 vehicles travel through the Queensway Tunnel in Mersey each day, but most of their drivers probably don’t realise that this is the exact setting for the chase scene for a £164 million movie. In this thrilling scene Harry and Hagrid race through the tunnel in their flying motorbike and sidecar, while Death Eaters on broomsticks chase them.

Clash of the Titans – Wales

This epic fantasy film starring Sam Worthington and Liam Neeson looks so incredibly dreamy that it could have been shot on a sun-scorched desert island. However, this beautiful location is not the Ancient Greece of myth and legend but Llanddwyn Beach on the Isle of Anglesey, in good old Wales. A lot of the scenes from the film took place in this underrated moody landscape, including the disused and atmospherically rugged Dinorwig Quarry, near Llanberis in Gwynedd.

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Batman Begins – Essex

The opening scenes of this mega-movie starring Christian Bale, Michael Caine and Liam Neeson were shot in Towie territory. However, instead of white stilettos and implants you’ll see Christian Bale as Batman, fighting inmates during the opening prison scene of the film. The exact location? It’s the historic Coalhouse Fort in East Tilbury. This place was once used as a Victorian coastal defence fort, nowdays it hosts guided tours of the grounds and tunnels. It’s also believed that the site is haunted, locals claim they have seen many mysterious and spooky goings-on here. 

Cloud Atlas – Glasgow

Like Vin Diesel ad co, Halle Berry, Tom Hanks, Susan Sarandon and Ben Whishaw visited Glasgow to shoot scenes for the recently released sci-fi movie. They also featured cars, but this time vintage ones, including a Lincoln Continental Mark IV, and utilised some of the city’s urban decoration in the form of graffiti-adorned wall (above). This is where we see Halle Berry playing Luisa Rey – a ’70s journalist investigating a corrupt nuclear power plan – run out in front of a car.

Sherlock Holmes – Liverpool

The Guy Ritchie film may be set in London, but much of it was filmed in the ‘Pool around Stanley Dock and Clarence Docks. Under the arches of this former tobacco warehouse Sherlock (Robert Downey Jr) tries to save Watson (Jude Law) after he triggers a trapwire and causes an explosion. Interestingly, this very building is the world’s largest brick warehouse. It was made with 27 million bricks, 8,000 tons of steel and 30,000 panes of glass – well worth a look up close.  

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Superman IV – Milton Keynes

1987 movie Superman IV: The Quest For Peace was arguably a sequel too far, and struggled with financing. Although it saw Christopher Reeve’s Superman ward off a volcanic eruption of Mount Etna, reconstruct the Great Wall of China and save the Statue of Liberty, some of it was shot in humble Milton Keynes. The United Nations Building, Metropolis, is actually Milton Keynes Central Railway Station: and when Superman flies in to make a speech for the United Nations, he’s actually standing in a car park.

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Images courtesy of Richard Rogerson, Bob Shires, Glyn Baker, Wiki Commons