The power of Screen Tourism is real and there’s substantial evidence that people book their next trip having been influenced by something they’ve seen on Screen.
Suffolk is stunning at all times of the year but when the movies sprinkle their brand of magic on a location it can become irresistible.
Since Screen Suffolk launched in 2016 we’ve supported hundreds of productions and accrued over 1200 filming days, that’s a lot of Suffolk on our screens.
Huge productions like The Dig, starring Ralph Fiennes, about the discovery of Sutton Hoo and Yesterday, directed by Danny Boyle, have both boosted tourism in the area.
The film Yesterday had a profound effect on one person from the United States who decided to travel 5000 miles to see the spots where the film was shot, she even ended up having tea with Richard Curtis and his wife Emma Freud!
In 2021 we met with the then Tourism Minister visited the Sutton Hoo site and spoke about the film’s effect on traffic to tourism websites such as The Suffolk Coast and Visit Suffolk which grew threefold in the week following the film’s release on Netflix. Visitor numbers to the site itself grew by a third after the site reopened after the covid restrictions.
Bury St Edmunds doubled as Victorian London in The Personal History of David Copperfield and the tie-in with Charles Dickens connection to the town was a great story to tell.
The examples of how powerful the screen is are endless, there are countless social media sites that have groups dedicated to The Detectorists. This gentle comedy captured the hearts of the nation over four series and a Christmas special. The interest in the fictional town of Danebury hasn’t wavered. Even though Danebury is meant to be North Essex the small town of Framlingham played host to the production and keen fans head to the town to spot the filming locations.
Framlingham is also featured in Ed Sheeran’s music video for Castle on The Hill. The singer waxes lyrical about his life in Suffolk. All the promos for his album Subtract were shot in Suffolk and keen eyed viewers see Pin Mill in Mid Suffolk, Southwold Beach, Southwold Pier and Lowestoft among others.
Ed Sheeran’s Suffolk filming doesn’t end there with many places being featured in his Disney + documentary The Sum of It All. Ed took to the streets of Ipswich to play a surprise gig outside the iconic Town Hall on The Cornhill.
Visit East of England can see the importance of the powerful effect of filming locations and they’ve released some brand new maps and itineraries to help visitors navigate around their favourite spots. Each map shows where the locations are and you can search by productions. They link to accommodation in the area and have great insights and images from all your favourite shows.
We are all eagerly awaiting the release of Masters of The Air. Apple TV+ have dropped the trailer for their much-anticipated $275m mini-series from Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg, based on the experiences, bravery and sacrifices of the US Eighth Air Force in the East of England during World War II.
Friday, January 26 is set for the premiere of the nine-episode series, the last in the trilogy from Hanks’ Playtone and Spielberg’s Amblin Entertainment after Band of Brothers and The Pacific.