Famous TV & film locations you can visit in the UK

From stately homes, to soaring mountains, dark woods to Victoria follies, play your own staring role and visit one of our top 10 film and TV locations in the UK.

Do you want to follow in the footsteps of James Bond? See where Harry Potter soared on his broomstick or gaze across the Downton banqueting table?

Many of the most famous film and television locations across the UK are easy to visit, so these aren’t just a film-lover’s flight of fancy. Read our guide to 10 of the best film and TV locations to visit in the UK – just be careful to check the cameras aren’t rolling when you arrive, otherwise you may end up playing a starring role!

A camera crew filming in a National Trust buildingCredit: National Trust
Filming taking place for Wolf Hall at the National Trust’s Montacute House, in Somerset

1. Pride and Prejudice

Lacock Abbey & village, Wiltshire

Lacock Abbey was founded in the early 1200s and was once home to William Henry Fox Talbot, the pioneer of photography – who would probably have approved of how popular it has become for filming.

But it’s not just the abbey that is being featured in TV and film productions, but the village with its timber-framed cottages, is just as popular.

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You can spot Lacock in Pride and Prejudice (1995) starring Colin Firth as Mr Darcy, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (2018), with Johnny Depp and Eddie Redmayne, Downton Abbey (2019) and three of the Harry Potter films.

The Royal Artillery at Lacock Village

The real Royal Artillery galloped through a 1920s dressed Church Street in Lacock Village for a visit from the King in Downton Abbey the movie. Many residents became flag-waving supporting artists for the film scene.

2. Game of Thrones

Stranocum, Northern Ireland

The Dark Hedges tree tunnel, in County Antrim, was planted in the 18th century. It was designed to impress visitors as they approached the entrance to Gracehill House, a Georgian mansion. Two hundred years later, some 90 of the original 150 trees remain and the tunnel is one of the most photographed natural phenomena in Northern Ireland.

The tunnel was used in Game of Thrones to represent the Kingsroad and featured prominently in season two of the HBO drama series.

3. Wolf Hall & Poldark

Great Chalfield Manor and Garden, Wiltshire

This 15th century manor house sits amidst unspoilt Wiltshire countryside, within an Arts and Crafts garden. It is said to be one of the most romantic medieval houses in the UK.

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Great Chalfield Manor was featured in the TV series Poldark (2015-19) as Killewarren, the home of wealthy Ray Penvenen and his niece Caroline in the 1790s. The show’s location manager David Johnson said he was looking for a house that implied ‘old money’ and would have been owned by the family for more than 150 years.

It is most famous as being Austin Friars, Thomas Cromwell’s country home, in Wolf Hall, the 2015 BBC2 drama series, staring Mark Rylance. There were 12 days of filming at the manor, where the crew shot by candle light to achieve the authentic feel of the era – even using candles in fireproof boxes for camera lighting.

4. Skyfall

Glen Coe, Scottish Highlands

If you’re a fan of 007 James Bond, you’ll recognise Glen Coe and Glen Etive from the film Skyfall (2012). In the film Bond takes a trip to where it all began, reconnecting with his roots and visiting his old family home Skyfall Lodge.

The famous A82, from Loch Lommond to Fort William sweeps through the glen. It was featured, alongside the surrounding landscape, showing off some of the best of the Scottish Highlands. Buachille Etive Mor which looms above the road is one of the most photographed mountains in Scotland.

5. Downton Abbey

Highclere Castle, Hampshire

Highclere Castle had its roots in Anglo Saxon times, but the house you see now was built in 1679 and then renovated in the 1840s. Surrounding it is parkland designed by the famous garden designer Capability Brown, in the 18th century.

The castle is famous around the world for it’s staring role in ITV’s Downton Abbey. The first series was filmed there in 2010 and since then more than 400 million people have seen its exterior, great hall and several bedrooms in the drama’s six series and two films.

6. Notting Hill

Portobello Road, London

Notting Hill was forever changed by its namesake 1999 romantic comedy starring Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts.

Number 142 Portobello Road was used as the location for William Thacker’s travel bookshop, where he memorably first meets film star Anna Scott. Today it’s a gift shop, but on the side is a sign saying ‘The Travel Book Shop’ which was made up by the shop’s owners.

You can also enjoy Portobello Road Market, where Thacker wandered, trying to forget his heartbreak over Scott.

7. Star Wars & Harry Potter

Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire

Puzzlewood is an ancient woodland, in the Forest of Dean in Gloucestershire. The area contains caves, ancient trees, unusual rock formations, and a maze of paths.

It was used as a location for the forest of Takodana in Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens. But the wood has also appeared in dozens of other film and TV productions, including The Secret Garden, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1, The Huntsman and is a regular location for Doctor Who.

Puzzlewood was described by Kathleen Kennedy, Star Wars producer, as “the most magical forest on the face of the earth,” and by location manager Martin Joy as “like nowhere else, it’s an otherworldly space.”

8. The Crown & Bridgerton

Stowe Gardens, Buckinghamshire

The Georgian landscapes of Stowe Gardens are popular with visitors and filmmakers alike for its lakes, follies and sweeping views.

Its Temple of Ancient Virtue doubled up as a mausoleum in the third series of Netflix The Crown – 94 supporting artists were on site, as well as Olivia Colman as Queen Elizabeth II.

In The World is not Enough (1999), the Gothic Temple was the backdrop for a scene involving Pierce Brosnan as 007 and Judi Dench as M.

And fans of the Netflix series Bridgerton may recognise it as the Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens, where the Temple of Venus was backdrop for the dancefloor and a spectacular firework display, which took the 50-strong crew five days to set up.

9. Doc Martin

Port Isaac, Cornwall

The long-running ITV series Doc Martin may be set in the fictional seaside town of Portwenn but it’s filmed in the very pretty harbour village of Port Isaac. Fans will recognise many locations from the show as they wander through its pretty lanes.

Fern Cottage is easily recognisable as Doctor Ellingham’s surgery and is easily found by walking 100m past the harbour and up the hill towards the coast path.

You can even stand in the doc’s shoes and have a pint The Golden Lion Pub, which is the Crab & Lobster in the series.

10. Harry Potter

Alnwick Castle

Alnwick Castle has been home to the Percy family for more than 700 years and they’ve been happy to share it in more recent times with visitors and a host of film and TV crews.

The castle has been used as a location for dozens of films and TV programmes. These include standing in for Hogwarts in some of the Harry Potter films (you may recognise it from Harry’s first Quidditch lesson). It also featured in Robin Hood Prince of Thieves (1991), Black Adder and as Brancaster Castle in Downton Abbey, among many others.

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Phillipa Cherryson

Written by Phillipa Cherryson she/her

Updated:

Phillipa Cherryson is a senior digital editor for Saga Exceptional. Phillipa has been a journalist for 30 years, writing for local and national newspapers, UK magazines and reporting onscreen for ITV. In her spare time she loves the outdoors and is a trainee mountain leader and Ordnance Survey Champion.

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