Homes on popular TV series are drawing in the tourists

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Sir Ridley Scott has long moved on to big-budget blockbusters, but the Hovis advert he directed in 1973 still draws buyers to Gold Hill in Shaftesbury, Dorset.

Jane Colston bought her holiday cottage, which featured in the ad, in 2006.

‘We first saw it in a newspaper and decided there and then we had to own it,’ says Jane, 55, who, with husband Simon, 54, lets the cottage to tourists for 43 weeks a year. 

Blockbuster appeal: Sir Ridley Scott has long moved on to big-budget blockbusters, but the Hovis advert he directed in 1973 still draws buyers to Gold Hill in Shaftesbury, Dorse

Blockbuster appeal: Sir Ridley Scott has long moved on to big-budget blockbusters, but the Hovis advert he directed in 1973 still draws buyers to Gold Hill in Shaftesbury, Dorse

‘That advert still sells our cottage to visitors — it encapsulates a Victorian wholesomeness.

‘One visitor from Chicago told me he had a poster of what he called Hovis Hill on his office wall,’ says Jane. 

‘His fascination with the street grew until he just had to come here and experience it for himself.’

Jane does particularly well from visiting Americans, many of whom arrange their whole UK trip around Shaftesbury, with its typically English independent shops, delis and cafes. 

Now she hopes that the hill will work its magic when it comes to selling.

Updown Cottage, renovated in 2007, retains period features such as the large inglenook in the sitting room. 

The garden provides misty views over Thomas Hardy’s Wessex. It is for sale with Hamptons for £600,000, hamptons.co.uk.

TV series can be just as effective at raising an area’s profile. 

Albury Park Mews is a quaint cottage forming part of the Duke of Northumberland’s Albury Park mansion in Surrey. 

In 2011 the house and grounds were the location for an episode of Midsomer Murders, and featured in Country House Rescue in 2008 and 2009. 

The two-bedroom refurbished mews, which has exposed brickwork and views over the Surrey Hills, is listed for £565,000, sothebysrealty.com.

Infamous surrounds: This four-bedroom conversion of the East End pub The Earl Grey — once owned by philanthropist Mary Hughes — would have been familiar to the Kray twins who lived on the same street, Vallance Road

Infamous surrounds: This four-bedroom conversion of the East End pub The Earl Grey — once owned by philanthropist Mary Hughes — would have been familiar to the Kray twins who lived on the same street, Vallance Road

Infamous surrounds: This four-bedroom conversion of the East End pub The Earl Grey — once owned by philanthropist Mary Hughes — would have been familiar to the Kray twins who lived on the same street, Vallance Road

Fans of ITV’s Doc Martin will know Rose Cottage on Dolphin Street in Port Isaac, Cornwall. 

Approached through Squeeze Belly Alley — one of the narrowest in Britain — it’s a haven of slate floors, beamed ceilings, sash windows and window seats.

‘Twenty years ago properties like this were going to ruin,’ says Jersey-based owner Sarah Fitz, 56, who bought the cottage five years ago.

‘Doc Martin saved them — it attracted enormous numbers of visitors, particularly Americans, which has kept the holiday cottage industry going, as well as the shops, pubs and Nathan Outlaw’s restaurant.’

Rose Cottage rents for about 26 weeks of the year, bringing in £20,000 gross. 

It is on the market for £515,000, yopa.co.uk.

On location: Film buffs will recognise the Denham Film Studios, where masterpieces such as Brief Encounter were shot. The studios are now 224 homes, (£330,000, one-bedroom apartment, to £699,995 for a four-bedroom house)

On location: Film buffs will recognise the Denham Film Studios, where masterpieces such as Brief Encounter were shot. The studios are now 224 homes, (£330,000, one-bedroom apartment, to £699,995 for a four-bedroom house)

On location: Film buffs will recognise the Denham Film Studios, where masterpieces such as Brief Encounter were shot. The studios are now 224 homes, (£330,000, one-bedroom apartment, to £699,995 for a four-bedroom house)

But it is not always so easy to pinpoint why a building is so familiar. 

That is the case with the Brunswick Centre, the Grade II-listed example of Sixties brutalist architecture in Bloomsbury, London W1.

It seems that whenever film, TV or rock video directors want a menacing Sixties backdrop, they opt for this block of 560 apartments above a shopping precinct. 

It has appeared in Alexei Sayle’s Stuff, The Comic Strip, Crime Traveller and 1975 Jack Nicholson film The Passenger, among others. 

‘People either love it or hate it,’ says Alex Taniewski-Elliott, of estate agent Fyfe Mcdade. 

‘Those who love it will often buy instantly and decorate their flat in the authentic Sixties style.’

A one-bed flat is available to let for £495 a week with fyfemcdade.com. 

Literary retreat: Some works of literature are so popular that they make landmarks of their settings. This four-bedroom converted Sunday School in Slad is mentioned in Laurie Lee’s autobiography, Cider With Rosie

Literary retreat: Some works of literature are so popular that they make landmarks of their settings. This four-bedroom converted Sunday School in Slad is mentioned in Laurie Lee’s autobiography, Cider With Rosie

Literary retreat: Some works of literature are so popular that they make landmarks of their settings. This four-bedroom converted Sunday School in Slad is mentioned in Laurie Lee’s autobiography, Cider With Rosie

Zoopla is advertising several more two-bedroom flats for sale at upwards of £850,000.

Alongside all the palaces and public buildings that make up the famous landmarks of London, a street of humble terrace cottages are similarly well-known.

That is because they are in Vallance Road, Bethnal Green: the ‘manor’ of the notorious Kray Twins. 

Ronnie and Reggie Kray lived in number 178 — known as Fort Vallance — from the age of five in 1938, almost until they were arrested.

Although the house — where their mother, Violet, made tea and cucumber sandwiches for meetings of ‘the firm’ — has long since been demolished, a house of the same period and design is currently for sale for £1million, marshandparsons.co.uk.

Inside, however, this is no thieves’ kitchen. 

Today a sleek, modern kitchen has concertina doors leading to an Astroturf garden, though there’s no sign of the outside privy of the Krays’ days.

 





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