SO we’re back where we came in. As Lockdown 2.0 starts today, many travel plans are being put on hold as we hunker down in our homes and binge-watch movies and TV seasons on Netflix.
But here’s the thing – you can still get a virtual travel fix in favourite films and shows on streaming services such as Netflix, Prime and Disney+. Here are eight destinations to armchair shop as you draw up your location wishlist.
New York City
FROM Friends with Benefits to Hitch, there’s hardly an inch of New York City which hasn’t featured in an iconic rom-com scene. But few have embodied the city more lovingly than the 1998 hit You’ve Got Mail starring Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan in an online romance.
Taking viewers all over NYC as their paths (almost) cross throughout the movie, some of the Upper East Side’s most magical spots are revealed, including iconic brownstone apartments lined by crisp autumn leaves.
Kathleen’s Shop Around The Corner is located at 106 West 69th Street, now a family-run laundrette, there’s Williamsburg Bridge, and don’t forget Cafe Lalo, where the star-crossed lovers meet for the first time.
When we’re more able to see the sights in person, On Location Tours offers a guided You’ve Got Mail tour of NYC, bringing the film to real life.
Watch: Netflix. Web: www.nycgo.com
OKAY so Johnny Depp isn’t the flavour of the month just now, but you can escape to the rugged shorelines of Puerto Rico with Captain Jack Sparrow, Penelope Cruz and Keith Richards.
In Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, Sparrow encounters mermaids, zombies and countless tribulations in his quest to find the Fountain of Youth, his many adventures showcasing Puerto Rico’s natural beauty.
Viewers will spot Fort San Cristobal, located in Old San Juan, as well as the idyllic desert island on which Cruz’s character is stranded at the end of the film, but which is actually a small cay about four miles off the coast of Puerto Rico’s eastern tip.
Watch: Disney+. Web: www.discoverpuertorico.com
STILL with Pirates of the Caribbean, head for remote Castaway Cay, owned by The Walt Disney Company, which can be discovered through various Captain Jack Sparrow adventures.
It’s rumoured that real-life pirates lived on the island in the early 1700s with hidden coves providing great hiding spots to wait for passing ships, making it the perfect destination for the film franchise.
During The Curse of the Black Pearl, viewers can explore the island’s quiet beaches, hidden waterways and wild coastlines as they watch Sparrow fighting out at sea for the Black Pearl or finally rescuing Elizabeth Swann.
Fans of the Disney favourite can join Disney Cruise Line’s Bahamian Cruise to discover the island’s true glory for themselves as they spend two days sunbathing on the beach, snorkeling, water sliding or trying out the monkey bar course over the warm water.
Departing on March 7, 2022 from Orlando, Planet Cruise is offering the four-night cruise from just £915 per person including flights, flexible booking terms and full board cuisine.
Watch: Disney+. Web: www.planetcruise.com
GARNERING a huge following on Netflix, Schitt’s Creek offers an escape to the Canadian province of Ontario. Whilst it’s a fictional town, viewers who journey with the Rose family will experience some of Ontario’s undiscovered towns including Goodwood, Orangeville and Stouffville.
An hour away from Toronto’s centre, a former motel-turned-residence in Hockley Valley doubles up as The Rosebud Motel – the endearing family’s new home – whilst Ted’s Veterinary Clinic is actually an animal hospital in Whitchurch called Thicketwood.
Lovers of David’s character will be glad to know that scenes from the Rose Apothecary were filmed in a local shop which sells similar products in real life. Schitt’s Creek is a great choice for those dreaming of quiet Canadian towns and scenic views this lockdown.
Watch: Netflix. Web: www.ontariotravel.net
THE upcoming Underground 6 is a big-budget Netflix original directed by the award-winning Michael Bay. The explosive (of course it is, this is Bay we’re talking about) film stars Ryan Reynolds and follows a group of off-the-map vigilantes who aim to take down the criminals governments steer clear of.
Much of the filming took place in the UAE capital of Abu Dhabi, which doubles for a number of cities and countries including Las Vegas, California, Hong Kong, Nigeria and the fictional country of Turgistan.
Viewers will be taken on an high-octane journey as the characters face the desert of Al Ain, wander past world-famous artwork at Louvre Abu Dhabi and battle atop Aldar Headquarters building, which is the first circular building of its kind standing over 100 metres tall.
Fans of the film will feel like royalty with a stay at the five-star Emirates Palace hotel, which acts as the mansion for the film’s villain, the Turgistan dictator Rovach Alimo. The film showcases the emirate’s modernity, spectacular architecture and breathtaking desert landscape at its best.
Watch: Netflix. Web: www.visitabudhabi.ae/en-gb
VIEWERS who tune into the feelgood, smash hit musical Hairspray will be transported to the colourful and diverse city of Baltimore.
Set in the swinging 60s, the film tells the story of quirky teenager Tracy Turnblad who has one dream – to dance on national television.
The latest version of the singalong movie – a musical filmed live – features songs such as Good Morning Baltimore and You Can’t Stop the Beat, and brings a taste of Charm City’s vibrant neighbourhoods and quirky characters to the screen.
It was Baltimore’s authentic local charm which inspired director and producer, John Waters, of the original Hairspray film.
Watch: Amazon Prime. Web: www.baltimore.org
NEW Amazon Prime documentary titled It All Begins With A Song: The Story of the Nashville Songwriter captures the struggles, successes and creative processes of Nashville songwriters, who are the hugely talented but largely unknown masterminds behind some of the world’s most successful hits.
The documentary captures the stories behind the tracks and the fascinating way that music fills the city of Nashville and its history.
As well as giving viewers a taste of Tennessee’s creative capital city, the film will have you reaching for your guitar during lockdown.
Watch: Amazon Prime. Web: www.visitmusiccity.com/itallbeginswithasong
FOR years, Illinois has been front and centre of a handful of epic movies without audiences even realising. Those who are experiencing déjà vu as the UK enters a second lockdown can escape with Groundhog Day.
As a replacement for Pennsylvania during winter, the Illinois town of Woodstock served as the backdrop for Bill Murray’s unshakeable time loop as a weatherman.
From the Woodstock Opera House acting as the exterior of Rita’s hotel to the Old Courthouse as Connor’s favourite spot to while away his repetitive evenings, most of the film’s key scenes were filmed in this small town.
When travel resumes, fanatics of the classic can even stay at The Cherry Tree Inn Bed & Breakfast to follow in Bill’s footsteps each morning
Watch: Netflix. Web: www.enjoyillinois.com