Movie Sets and Mining at Britannia Beach
You may know that one of Vancouver‘s nicknames is ‘Hollywood North’ because so many Hollywood movies have been made in and around the city in the last couple of decades. It’s not just Vancouver that’s frequently been used as a movie set though; in fact there are countless communities, parks and areas of coastline that have doubled for many other locations around the world, and the small community of Britannia Beach, on the Sea to Sky Highway from Vancouver to Whistler, has seen more than its fair share of movie and TV stars. In fact over 50 movies, and numerous TV shows have used Britannia Beach and some of its landmarks as a set, making this quite a popular stop on a drive north from Vancouver.
Visiting Britannia Beach
Britannia Beach is about 50 kilometres north of Vancouver on Highway 99, the Sea to Sky Highway, so it’s a fairly quick drive of around 45 minutes during which time you’ll get to experience some of the area’s outstanding scenery. It’s not much further from Whistler to Britannia Beach if you’re staying at the world famous ski resort; the drive should take about an hour from there.
Britannia Mine Museum
Formerly named the BC Museum of Mining, this is the top attraction for many visitors to Britannia Beach. The museum is centred around an actual mine and it’s been welcoming tourists since opening as a museum in 1975. The mine itself extracted copper ore and it was in operation from 1904 until 1974, when increasing costs forced it to close.
Visiting the mine is a lot of fun for all ages, and if you’re a movie or TV buff you will probably recognise parts of it. The underground tunnel has been used in many movies and TV shows, particularly horrors and sci-fis, and the large building that you can see from the highway, named Mill 3, is also often used. There’s an episode of The X-Files in which this features heavily for example!
Underground tours are always a highlight and there’s even an underground train to ride on! The historic mill dates from 1923 and you can go inside this landmark, plus you can pan for real gold!
Photos and article copyright Claire Bolgil. Claire is a freelance travel writer based in Beautiful BC. Find out more about her at www.clairebolgil.com