When we picked this month’s travel linkup topic, about movies, books & TV series that have inspired travel or visiting set locations in a certain destination, I knew exactly where I wanted to write about.
Over the years we’ve been inspired and surprised by so many places – Downton Abbey (Highclere Castle), The Big Bang Theory set at Warner Brothers studios in Los Angeles, we found an unlikely Batman location near Heathrow Airport, obviously everything Harry Potter in London, oh, and I was an extra in a Lord of the Rings Movie. That’s my only claim to fame.
But this one is more than a bit of a classic location. Name that movie!
“They usually play with their coconuts,” says Mr Caldwell, a castle steward. “Sometimes they bring their own coconut shells. Mostly, they borrow ours.”
Visitors to Doune Castle often act a little oddly as they get behind the battlements of the 14th century Scottish keep. The coconut shells have been a fixture behind the castle reception desk for a number of years, props for the legions of Monty Python fans who visit Doune, a key location for the film Monty Python And The Holy Grail.
Doune Castle was used in the movie, from different angles, as a host of different castles. (Unfortunately, we visited years ago, pre-blog, so my photos are utterly terrible.)
They use the shells to mimic horses, as King Arthur and his faithful servant, Patsy, did in the film’s opening scene. Visitors also climb to the ramparts to recreate famous scenes – a particular favourite being John Cleese’s quite extraordinarily rude Frenchman declaiming: “I fart in your general direction. Your mother was a hamster and your father smelled of elderberries.”
And it never fails to make me laugh – there are so many excellent lines and surreal scenes in Search for a Holy Grail. Doune Castle was one of the first places, bar London, where the silver screen came to life beneath my feet.
How about you?