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March 2017: The Vale of Evesham

September is surely one of the best times to see the Vale of Evesham. Given that the area is often dubbed ‘England’s fruit basket’ it ...More
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The Da Vinci Code

Year: 2006
Director: Ron Howard
Cast: Tom Hanks, Audrey Tautou, Ian McKellen , Alfred Molina, Jürgen Prochnow, Paul Bettany, Jean Reno, Etienne Chicot, Jean-Pierre Marielle, Clive Carter, Seth Gabel
Set Locations:
Locations in the book include the wonderful Temple Inn in London EC4, Roslin Chapel -not far from Edinburgh, Westminster Abbey, Lincoln Cathedral, Belvoir Castle (Castle Gandolfo) and Burghley House (Chateau de Villette)
Director Ron Howard’s 2006 feature film ‘The Da Vinci Code’ was one of the most eagerly anticipated films of the year. Based on the controversial book of the same name by Dan Brown, it tells a story of murder and intrigue based upon supposed hidden stories from the bible and the true nature of the Holy Grail. These stories suggest (amongst other things) that Jesus was actually married, had offspring and that this lineage is believed to have survived.

Both the book and the film attracted the horror of the Christian church, who pointed out the historical inaccuracies of both. The film also received a lukewarm reception from the critics and, although it was a big box office success, left many feeling that it had not come close to living up to the hype. There is little doubt, however, that the protests and negative publicity helped to raise the curiosity levels and assisted in inflating the box office takings.

The cast features Tom Hanks, Audrey Tautou, Ian McKellen, Jean Reno, Paul Bettany and Alfred Molina. Hanks and Tautou, as Langdon and Neveu, must unravel the puzzles before them and unlock the story that is unfolding in time to stop one of the world’s greatest mysteries from being lost forever.

If you fancy following the trail yourself, you would certainly have some travelling to do. Fortunately, a great many of the fantastic locations used for the film are actually in the UK.

The film used the Albert R. Broccoli 007 Stage at Pinewood Studios in Buckinghamshire for many of the interiors and the shots representing the inside of The Louvre. Castel Gandolfo is actually a combination of Belvoir Castle in Belvoir, Leicestershire, which was used for the aerial shots and Burghley House in Stamford, Lincolnshire. The beautiful Lincoln Cathedral, which can be seen for miles around on the approaches to Lincoln, is also featured in the film and sits in the picturesque Cathedral Quarter of Lincoln. Westminster Abbey and Winchester Cathedral are two other very big ecclesiastical tourist attractions seen in the film.

Biggin Hill Airport, which played a major part in the Battle of Britain , is also used in the film, along with Shoreham Airport in West Sussex (used to represent a French Airport). Other locations seen include the Caledonian Hilton Hotel in Edinburgh, the Docklands area of London and Fairfield Halls in Croydon, just south of London.

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On this day:
Caxton Prints his version of Aesops Fables - 1484, First Henley Regatta - 1839, Driving Tests and Speed Limit introduced - 1934, Queen sends 1st Royal email - 1976, SDP Created - 1981
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