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Five unlikely locations made famous by films as Slumdog Millionaire slum tops Taj Mahal on tourist list

Thanks to the popularity of films, visitors have flocked to the Dharavi Slum, Picket Post Close, The Travel Bookshop, Sleddale Hall, Maya Beach, and Glen Etive. Credit: AP

Thanks to Slumdog Millionaire, poverty-stricken neighbourhoods in India are now more popular with tourists than the Taj Mahal.

That’s according to Trip Advisor, which ranks the Dharavi Slum Small-Group Tour in Mumbai as the top experience in India – with a visit to the Taj Mahal in fourth place.

According to the website, the tour costs just £8.98 and offers a “different take” in Mumbai and a chance to “look beyond” tourist sights.

The widely-acclaimed film follows 18-year-old Jamal Malik from the Dharavi slum.

While the slum is undoubtedly a surprise entry at the top of a list in a country as rich in history and culture as India, this is far from the first time a popular film has transformed an otherwise overlooked part of the world into a tourist attraction.

Here are five other places you probably wouldn’t have known about until they turned up on cinema screens.

Sleddale Hall

Sleddale Hall, as made famous in Withnail and I. Credit: PA

The isolated cottage in Cumbria was made famous in Richard E. Grant’s cult classic Withnail and I, in which main characters Withnail and Marwood end up on holiday there “by mistake”.

What follows is a series of dramatic encounters involving the two unemployed actors – and a fair bit of drinking.

While the cottage where it all unfolded is now privately owned, tours to the cottage are run yearly offering fans the chance to watch the film while sitting on the set.

Privet Drive

The home where Harry Potter grew up in Privet Drive. Credit: Chancellors

Another privately-owned home in the UK can’t stop itself from attracting tourists thanks to films based on one of the most famous books around – Harry Potter.

Picket Post Close, near Reading, is otherwise known as 4 Privet Drive to Potter fans and the house their hero grew up in attracts tourists keen for selfies.

The house was sold three years ago and is believed to be worth at least £500,000.

Maya Bay

Tourists pictured enjoying the beach on Maya Bay. Credit: AP

Not every film has a positive impact on its setting, however, as locals in Maya Bay might tell you.

Made famous in Leonardo Di Caprio film The Beach, the bay part of the island of Phi Phi Leh in Thailand was closed just last month until 2021 to give the environment time to heal from the damage caused by too many visitors.

It had been temporarily closed last year after most of its coral had died as a result of up to 5,000 people a day visiting.

But the ban has now been extended by another two years.

Glen Etive

Scenes from the film Skyfall, with Daniel Craig, was shot on this road in Glen Etive. Credit: AP

From Thailand to Scotland, another example of how films can actually have the wrong affect on locals.

A scenic part of the Scottish Highlands, Glen Etive features in James Bond’s Skyfall and nearby residents have complained about the mess left behind by visiting fans.

A Facebook page was set up to document litter and environmental damage in the area.

Travel Bookshop

The Travel Bookshop in Portobello Road. Credit: PA

And finally, a Portobello Road book shop already benefiting from a location popular with tourists has been boosted further thanks to hit film Notting Hill.

Hugh Grant’s character owns the book shop, found just around the corner to the famous blue door of his house in the film.

So if you ever see passers-by stopping for photos at a random-looking door and a book shop, now you know why.