Thanks to a never-ending travelogue of binge-worthy shows on platforms such as Amazon, Hulu and Netflix, it’s never been easier to get your dose of fresh mountain air or colourful culture. While your passport is taking a rest, treat your cabin fever with our top pick of wanderlust-inspiring shows.
Grab a wee dram of whiskey and traverse the peaks of Scotland’s evergreen Highlands in this time-travel series. Set between 1945, post WWII, and 1743, at the height of the Jacobite risings, Outlander follows Claire Fraser (Catriona Balfe), an ex-army nurse who slips 200 years back in time through Stonehenge rocks, catapulting her into a love triangle between her 1940s husband, Frank (Tobias Menzies), and kilt-wearing highlander, Jamie (Sam Heughan). Shot in Scotland, this series will fuel your love for foggy peaks and sweeping landscapes – but it goes far beyond craggy hills…
If you’ve ever wanted to share a cuppa with the Queen, this is probably as close as you’re going to get. Following the trials and tribulations of the royal family, from Queen Elizabeth II’s ascension to the throne to the death of Winston Churchill and beyond, this historic, multi-award-winning drama will take you to the streets of London and inside some of Britain’s most beautiful period buildings.
While the real Buckingham Palace doesn’t feature, Lancaster House, Wilton House, and Waddesdon Manor make convincing stand-ins. Other iconic English sites include the intricate architecture of Ely Cathedral (which stood in for Westminster Abbey during the reenactment of the Queen’s wedding to Prince Phillip), the West End’s Lyceum Theatre and Leicestershire’s beautiful Belvoir Castle, masquerading as Windsor Castle.
Chronicling the lives of eight characters from across the world, Sense8 was made to fuel your wanderlust. Taking place across 15 cities and 13 countries, this evocative and emotional Sci-Fi series explores the mysterious link eight different people — from vastly different cultures and countries — share as they’re hunted by the villainous antagonist, Whispers. Jumping from Berlin to Seoul and Mexico City within back-to-back frames, you’ll feel as if you’ve returned from an epic trip around the globe after each episode.
Delve into the epic world of Game of Thrones, where dragons, deranged kings and queens, bloody battles and steamy love affairs play out in Croatia, Iceland, Morocco, Spain and beyond. Fantasy fiction as its finest, this TV show tells the story of a country’s civil war and the battle to claim the ‘Iron Throne’. And while Westeros’ Seven Kingdoms and Essos might not be real, the filming locations certainly are. For GoT fans, King’s Landing in Dubrovnik, Croatia has become something of a pilgrimage, while other visually stunning scenes include Iceland’s famous Kirkjufella mountain and waterfall, the lush Tollymore Forest Park in Northern Ireland, the beaches of northern Spain and UNESCO World Heritage-listed ksar Ait-Ben-Haddou in Morocco.
Fall for the glitz and glamour of New York and the cocktail-fuelled antics of Don Draper (Jon Hamm) and his most debonair advertising gurus. Set on the acclaimed Madison Avenue, Mad Men — told from the perspective of Sterling Cooper’s creative director — will transport you to the Big Apple and invite you to peek behind the curtain of 1960s ad men (and women). Yes, it’s set in a vastly different time – the days of the three-martini lunch are long gone – but the beauty of New York is constant and awe-inspiring. Join Don and co. for booze-fuelled lunches at the Grand Central Oyster Bar, extravagant dinners at Benihana and cocktails at The Roosevelt Hotel. Later series will also take you to LA, ticking off the iconic Los Angeles Theatre and Musso & Frank Grill, the oldest restaurant in Hollywood.
Gritty, dark and suspenseful, Top of the Lake drags you down into the waters of Lake Wakatipu with detective Robin Griffin (Elisabeth Moss) and the stunning scenery of Queenstown, New Zealand, as she tries to find missing 12-year-old girl, Tui (Jacqueline Joe). Set against the imposing grandeur of The Remarkables and Coronet Peak mountains, and created by NZ native Jane Campion, Top of the Lake is a powerful story told with a stunning natural backdrop.
When Eve (Sandra Oh), a London MI5 intelligence investigator, becomes obsessed with Russian assassin-for-hire Villanelle (Jodie Comer), their cat-and-mouse game leads them on a convoluted and breathtaking chase through Europe. Ripe for wanderlust viewing, Killing Eve’s Sherlock and Moriarty-type plot hopscotches from London to Tuscany, Berlin, Paris, Amsterdam, Rome and beyond in Eve’s pursuit of Villanelle. Memorable locations include Paris’ chic 6th arrondissement, the Giurgiu prison in Romania and the Counting House in Southwark, London.
Recounting the exploits of Ragnar Lothbrok (Travis Fimmel), a legendary Viking chieftain and hero of Old Norse sagas, Vikings is a gritty, violent and captivating watch. Between all the swordplay, sea odysseys and undiluted sexuality, what remains constant is the incredible beauty of the rugged mountains, smothered in thick heather and eerily still lakes. While the show is set in 9th-century Kattegat, Denmark, and England, the majority of scenes were filmed just outside Dublin, Ireland. Key locations include River Boyne in County Meath, Blessington Lakes and Powerscourt Waterfall & Estate in County Wicklow and Nuns Beach in County Durry.
Set between Manchester, UK, and Ibiza, this 10-part series will fulfil your sun-soaked dreams of the 90s with an incredibly nostalgic soundtrack and seriously stunning Mediterranean beaches. A murder–mystery–meets–gritty–thriller, White Lines unfolds in a drug-fuelled haze as four friends attend infamous 90s raves on the island. Meanwhile, in the present, Zoe Walker (Laura Haddock) heads to Ibiza to find out who killed her brother, Axel (Tom Rhys Harries). Get ready to be pulled into a world of glamour, incredible views and edge-of-your-seat tension as Zoe tries to piece together what happened 20 years ago.
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