Guest post by Dakota Murphey

Thanks to more than 150 years of the silver screen, we’ve spent a lifetime watching a variety of films, TV shows and adverts. As well as their entertainment factor, a great movie in an amazing setting can inspire us to visit famous filming locations around the world and closer to home. 

Over the decades, there have been multiple locations across the UK that have graced our screens and provided the backdrop to countless popular shows. As a result, many landmarks and buildings are famous attractions in their own right with visitors flocking to see their favourite film locations in reality. For anyone planning some escapism in the New Year, this article offers travel, tour and accommodation inspiration if you’re a fan hoping to combine your travels with the UK’s most iconic filming destinations.

London and Essex

Borough Market - filming locations in the UK

In London, whether you’re exploring the capital’s famous attractions in a few days or staying a bit longer, you drop by Borough Market, the famed site of Bridget Jones’s flat in the popular 2001 rom-com, Bridget Jones’s Diary. While you’re there, why not have a pint at The Globe pub by the Thames just as Bridget and Mark Darcy did on their first date. 

Stay here: Bermondsey Loft is a brilliant spot to call your home from home in London. Central, chic and replete with art… Colin Firth could be ringing your doorbell at any moment.

Richmond in south-west London, meanwhile, rose to fame for being the location for the hit show Ted Lasso starring Jason Sudeikis. The award-winning programme is all about an American with no football knowledge who takes over an English football club. Thanks to the show’s success, there’s even a Ted Lasso tour to spot all the filming locations. 

Portobello Road in London - filming locations in the UK

One of the most visited places frequented by fans and scouts looking for the perfect screening venue for films is arguably in West London’s Notting Hill area. This gorgeous location has charming streets filled with pretty period properties that feature in three popular films, including the 1999 Notting Hill movie of the same name, featuring Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant and two Paddington films in Portobello Road. Sticking with Paddington and its lovely bear, the interior of Paddington Station makes an appearance as does: the striking exterior of Marylebone Station, St Paul’s Cathedral and the South Bank’s iconic London Eye. Buckingham Palace for any foodies who loved the tea scene is a bonus for people who love all things Royal.

Stay here: Apartment Orsett is found on the fringes of Notting Hill and lets you play out your Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts fantasy in real life. Book shops, cafés and the fabulous Portobello Road Market are all just steps away.

Audley End House - filming locations in the UK

Beyond London, in nearby Essex is Audley End House, situated outside Saffron Walden. This impressive early 17th-century country house is one of the finest Jacobean houses in England. It is here where The Crown has been filmed, telling the inside story of two of the most famous addresses in the world, Buckingham Palace and 10 Downing Street. The surrounding countryside is amazing, making this a memorable filming location and a magical area to visit and enjoy an incredible staycation in the UK.

Stay here: Great Easton Manor. Ok, so it’s no Buckingham Palace stand-in, but you can still pretend to live like wealthy nobles at this 16th-century, timber-clad stunner.

West Coast and Cornwall 

Polperro - filming locations in the UK

Cornwall is well-known for its beaches with one of the UK’s most beautiful coastlines, and understandably was the setting for Tim Burton’s 2010 screen version of Alice in Wonderland, a brilliant adaptation of a beloved English classic. This attractive part of England offers holidaymakers some of the most enchanting holiday homes around to stay in as a non-actor! 

Jamaica Inn, Cornwall - filming locations in the UK

For film buffs, Antony House in Cornwall was also selected as a film set thanks to its stunning views that worked well for portraying the part when Alice discovers Wonderland for the first time. In addition, the stunning adaptation of Daphne du Maurier’s Jamaica Inn was filmed in an old smuggling inn amid the bleak beauty of Bodmin Moor in Cornwall. Moreover, Rebecca’s wonderful film adaptation was shot on the imposing high cliffs of North Devon.

Stay here: Pleasant Cottage is set among a pocket of fields within Bodmin Moor, a stone’s throw away from the real Jamaica Inn. It’s made for two book and film buffs to explore the surrounding nature, then retire back to and get that wood-burner roaring on a famously gusty Cornwall evening.

North England – Durham and Northumberland

Durham Cathedral - filming locations in the UK

In its own right, Durham is an impressive city with plenty of cobbled stones and charming architecture. However, it’s Durham Cathedral that marked 20 years in 2023 for being the film set for the very first Harry Potter film, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. While this might be one claim to fame, the city has been a filmmaker’s dream, having been the place for a number of celebrated films throughout the years. These include Billy Elliot (2000), Alien 3 (1992), Lady Macbeth (2017) and Downton Abbey (2015) where the city’s popular Beamish Museum took centre stage. If you’re a fan of gothic, horror films and haunted places, you might also enjoy popping into one of many pubs, places and hotels on your fan-filled journey.

Stay here: just a hop over the border into Yorkshire is Barnard Farmhouse – the definition of English country living. So much so that its glorious interiors were even featured in Elle Decor. Your party of 14 will love the mix of rural hideaway and easy access to beautiful Durham.

Scotland – Castles and Stately Homes 

Doune Castle - filming locations in the UK

Castles and imposing stately homes across the UK make an obvious casting choice for directors. With 400 historic sites to choose from, English Heritage has been busy organising and approving film shoots for a number of popular TV and movie projects over the years. The majestic and historic manor homes and mansions have welcomed everything from superheroes in Batman to the beautiful debutantes who light up many period dramas, such as Charlotte Bronte’s, Jane Eyre and Jane Austen’s, Mansfield Park. 

Doune Castle was the setting for the hugely popular, Game of Thrones, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Outlander. The Romanesque castle in Scotland is one of the most legendary filming locations in the UK. Castle Howard is an 18th-century castle in North Yorkshire that was the perfect filming location for Garfield: A Tail of Two Kitties, Victoria and the popular and current Netflix show, Bridgerton, have all been shot.

Stay here: You’ll indulge in a touch of splendour at Yew House. Enjoy playing Lord and Lady of the Manor on a memorable holiday in the heart of Scotland. Just check out that wonderful period decor! Very Bridgerton coded.

Wales – Parks and Peaks

Snowdonia - filming locations in the UK

With hilly peaks, castles, national parks and undulating fields, there are plenty of reasons for casting agents and film scouts to scour Wales for the ideal filming locations in the UK. Returning to a Royal theme and the series, The Crown used the stunning Caernarfon Castle in Gwynedd as a filming location for the investiture of the Prince of Wales and definitely deserves a mention. Likewise, Snowdonia National Park’s history of filming spans decades and was an irresistible choice to depict the legendary Khyber Pass in Afghanistan for the hit British comedy, Carry on Up the Khyber.

Finally, Merthyr Mawr Sand Dunes, the centre of Merthyr Mawr Nature Reserve in the south of Wales was famously brought to life in Lawrence of Arabia. The Brecon Beacons is one of the three national parks in Wales and one of 15 national parks in the UK and was used as a setting in The Dark Knight Rises.

Stay here: pretend to be the Prince of Wales on a holiday to Caernarfon Retreat, a beautiful barn conversion in easy reach of Caernarfon Castle, the lovely town of Porthmadog and the wondrous Mount Snowden.


How’s that for a roundup of the best filming locations in the UK? British TV and cinema is absolutely iconic, and so is visiting the exceptional places chosen as their backdrops. Check out all our homes in the UK and have a browse on Oliver’s Travels while you’re at it to inspire your next villa holiday. Then, when you’ve chosen your dream holiday hideaway, contact our friendly concierge team who will be happy to advise and help book some fabulous extra to make your holiday unforgettable!

Liked that? Follow, like or share:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.