Discover more about the world of setjetting with Jeroen Huijsdens, a Dutch movie buff who runs the Fantastische Filmlocaties podcast about famous movies and the locations where they were filmed. Recently, Jeroen visit Surrey to explore our famous film locations and here he shares his story.

Are you familiar with the term setjetter? Let me explain briefly. A setjetter is someone who enjoys visiting film locations. I mean locations that were used for the shooting of movies or series. A setjetter can have a lot of fun following in the footsteps of famous actors and actresses by visiting those locations.

Movie locations as holiday itineraries 

I'm one of them. A setjetter. For more than twenty-five years I have been trying to discover where my favourite movies were shot. I have tried to visit those places during my holidays. I can tell you: it has taken me to some truly amazing places.

A few years ago, my hobby started to go a bit wrong. I could no longer plan a holiday without this 'nerdy' movie theme. In addition, I was not only doing research during holidays or in preparation for them, but also increasingly at other times. And I was trying to find ways to do something more with it, like writing a book or starting a blog.

A question that I have been asked several times in recent years is whether my wife and son enjoyed taking them to all those filming locations during our holidays. My wife gave the best answer imaginable: "Jeroen takes me to places I would otherwise never go to. It is always a voyage of discovery. We not only see beautiful things, but also meet a lot of nice people!"

When James Bond came to Surrey

It must have been about some ten years ago that I discovered that movie director Sam Mendes had used a nature reserve I was not familiar with to shoot an important part of the James Bond film, Skyfall. It turned out - contrary to what the movie suggests - that the wonderful location was not in Scotland, but in beautiful Surrey, about an hour and a half drive from London. It turned out to be Hankley Common, a nature reserve with a military function (and an interesting military history). But also, an area that, based on the images I saw, reminded me very much of the nature reserve where I grew up and have particularly warm memories of: The beautiful Veluwe in the Netherlands.

Hankley Common was high on my wish list because of the Skyfall locations. But every time a trip to Surrey was postponed. Until I came across online reports that movie director Ridley Scott used the same piece of land for the shooting of Napoleon, his movie about the famous French general and Emperor.

Gladiator, Napoleon and Bourne Wood

Ridley Scott. Wasn't that the same director who had used the forest of Bourne Wood, about a fifteen-minute drive from that exciting Hankley Common, in 1999 for his epic movie Gladiator, about the Roman general Maximus? And hadn't Scott also used the same Bourne Wood location for Napoleon?

Well, the story could have ended here. If it weren't for the fact that I gave that 'out of control hobby' an outlet about two years ago by starting the Dutch podcast Fantastic Film Locations. In October 2023, I decided to make a special episode of the podcast about the movie Napoleon. So, I definitely wanted to visit a number of these great movie locations in England, including those in Surrey.

Again, the story could have ended here. I could have tried to visit Hankley Common and Bourne Wood on my own by putting on my walking boots and looking for the filming locations with a GPS tracker and online information.

But I decided to take a different approach. I wrote an email to the main point of contact for tourists in the area: Visit Surrey. I tell you in all honesty, I always keep in mind that the emails I send may remain unanswered. Not because the recipients are rude, but because sometimes they just don't know what to do with my questions and requests. And people certainly don't have time to meet me. Let alone go for a walk. But that's what makes my podcast different: I want to talk about the encounters I have and the people I meet while visiting these fantastic locations.

Meeting Visit Surrey for a film locations tour

That's why I really jumped for joy when I not only got an answer, but Chris Howard - the chairman of Visit Surrey - indicated that she would love to accompany me on a walk at Hankley Common and Bourne Wood for my podcast. It was such an informative and enjoyable walk.

In the car on the way to London for the next episode of the Napoleon movie adventure, there was this movie quote that said it all: "I'll be back!"

  • Fantastische Filmlocaties is a Dutch podcast about famous movies and the locations where they were filmed. You can follow Jeroen Huijsdens' film location adventures on Instagram. His podcast can be found on all podcast platforms and at