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Five of the best - movie destinations

Mad Max: Fury Road - Namibia

 

The Mad Max series returned to the big screen after a 30-year absence with Namibia as the futuristic backdrop. Dramatic red desert and vast photogenic sand dunes are just part of the destination’s appeal. You can also take a safari to see lions, desert elephants, giraffes, zebras, hyenas and oryx and visit the atmospheric Skeleton Coast, named for its proliferation of whale carcasses and old shipwrecks. Most tourists book a safari package or a fly-drive. With parts of the country Malaria-free it’s also a good bet for a family adventure.

 

Moomins on the Riviera - Finland

 

Those well-loved children’s characters The Moomins may appear in cartoon locations only but you can revel in some themed attractions in their homeland, Norway. There’s family fun to be had at Moominworld (open until late August), which combines chances to meet the characters with activities like rock-climbing and gold panning. At Tampere Art Museum, you can browse 2,000 original Moomin illustrations by Tove Jansson and see a five-story Moomin model house. Söderskär, an island with a lighthouse, is the likely inspiration for Moominpappa at Sea and makes a picturesque day trip. 

 

Game of Thrones - Northern Ireland

 

You don’t have to stray far from home to explore the fantasy world of Game of Thrones. Northern Ireland was the star for many locations in Winterfell and elsewhere and its Antrim coast substituted ‘The North’. Castle Ward was used for part of the Stark family home, the dramatic 200-year-old trees at Balleymoney known as The Dark Hedges provided the backdrop for Kingsroad, and the Cushenden caves were the birthplace of the shadow baby. You can even commission your own Thrones inspired jewellery from Steeensons in seaside Glenarm, the shop that made the finery for the series. North of the Wall scenes were filmed in Northern Iceland (see our lead feature for more on the country).

 

 

Mad Men - New York

 

We said a fond farewell to Mad Men this spring but you can relive some of that bygone glamour by checking out the New York haunts of Don Draper and co.

Peggy celebrated her first copywriting assignment by dancing the twist at P.J. Clarke’s (915 Third Avenue). In a later series Don got Roger drunk on martinis with embarrassing consequences at The Grand Central Oyster Bar inside the famous station. Don had several meetings with Conrad Hilton at The Waldorf Astoria and ran into old flame Rachel Menken while on a date at Sardi’s (234 W. 44th Street).

You won’t be able to get into Don’s offices at 405 Madison Avenue, or 1271 Sixth Ave but you can stay or dine where Don’s new ad agency was temporarily housed in The Pierre Hotel 2 E. 61st St.

 

Star Wars episode VII: The Force Awakens - various locations

 

The small island of Skellig Michael in County Kerry, Ireland; Abu Dhabi’s Rub’ al Khali desert; Krafla Volcano in Iceland and New Mexico are among locations believed to have been used for the much anticipated new Star Wars episode. You can also still visit intact sets from the original 1977 film in Tunisia and pick up one of the traditional hooded robes which inspired Obi-Wan Kenobi’s outfit. The oasis town of Tozeur and the salt lake Chott el-Jerid were the setting for Mos Espa on Tataouine, the Skywalkers’ home planet. You can wander passed the market, Sebulba’s Café, the pod-racing arena and Watto’s shop.