The United Kingdom is home to some incredible filming locations, and you might be surprised by just how many of your favourite TV programmes are shot in the country. From Game of Thrones to Broadchurch, there are places all over the UK slowly becoming known for their appearance in some of the nation’s most-loved shows. So we’ve gathered up some of the best places from some of the most influential British television shows.
Where to watch: Broadchurch is available to watch on Amazon Video.
Set on the Jurassic Coast, the dramatic cliffs and stunning scenery of the village of West Bay are used as a backdrop for Broadchurch in the series. However, the actual street scenes were actually filmed in the pretty seaside town of Clevedon, over in North Somerset. If you have the time then try to visit both locations, to get the perfect balance of nature and culture.
2. Downton Abbey
Where to watch: Downton Abbey is available to watch on Amazon Video.
Despite being over, the show’s popularity simply doesn’t seem to be dwindling. If you’d love to visit some of the real-life locations from Downton Abbey, head to Highclere Castle in Hampshire and explore the historic home of the Crawleys. Pre-booking is advised as only a limited number of walk-in tickets are sold for the handful of days that the castle is open to the public.
Another Downton Abbey must-see is the village of Bampton in the Cotswolds. Used as the setting for the fictional Yorkshire village of Downton, fans will recognise many familiar buildings, including Isobel’s house, the Cottage Hospital and more.
3. Doctor Who
Where to watch: Doctor Who is available to watch on BBC One.
A frequent landing spot for the Tardis, the Roald Dahl Plass was often used as a film location in everyone’s favourite science fiction series – the BBC’s Doctor Who. Found in the lovely city of Cardiff, the destination also features in the popular Torchwood series.
You’ll also find plenty more Doctor Who filming locations across the city of Cardiff. These include the Senedd in Cardiff Bay and the National Museum of Wales. Why not combine them all together and do your own Doctor Who walking tour of the city?
Where to watch: You can watch Sherlock on BBC iPlayer.
Since Sir Arthur Conan Doyle released Sherlock Holmes, Brits have been huge fans. Whilst Sherlock’s home is famously located at number 221B Baker Street, his pad in the series was actually filmed about half a mile away from this spot – on North Gower Street, just above Speedy’s Sandwich Bar & Cafe.
Although sadly you won’t find Benedict Cumberbatch or Martin Freeman hanging around here anymore, you can always enjoy a full English breakfast and a cup of tea at Speedy’s before heading over to the fantastic Sherlock Holmes Museum at 221B Baker Street.
5. Call the Midwife
Where to watch: Call the Midwife is available to watch on BBC iPlayer.
A huge majority of the critically-acclaimed Call the Midwife series was shot inside a closed studio in Surrey, but there are a handful of scenes located elsewhere. Poorer areas of London from the 50s and 60s were re-created at Chatham Historic Dockyard in Kent. If you sign up for a tour you’ll receive free entry and also discover loads of juicy behind-the-scenes secrets too.
A staycation in Kent not sounding adventurous enough for you? Why not try the Outer Hebrides instead then? The midwives headed away to this remote and rugged chain of islands, located off the west coast of Scotland, for the 2019 Call the Midwife Christmas special. What’s more, the cast and crew were big fans of the location, with Miriam Margolyes, who plays Mother Mildred, describing it as “the most beautiful place I’ve ever been”.
Where to watch: You can catch Poldark on BBC One.
Many destinations throughout the stunning county of Cornwall were used to film the popular series Poldark. One of the loveliest areas in the UK, Poldark enthusiasts and nature lovers alike can enjoy a break in this beautifully wild and windswept coastal county, jumping between each filming site.
First up, head to the rugged Bodmin Moor for a challenging walk, before exploring the historic Botallack Mine. Wander through the stunning scenery of St Agnes Head and stroll along the 18th century harbour in the pretty seaside village of Charlestown.
Where to watch: Catch up with Emmerdale on the ITV Hub.
Running since 1972, even to this day the soap opera Emmerdale remains popular throughout the UK. The show is filmed both in settings across Yorkshire and within an ITV studio based in Leeds. You can book a tour here, known as the Emmerdale Studio Experience.
Before they built the Emmerdale Village on the Harewood Estate, the town of Esholt in West Yorkshire was used for the filming. Here fans will still be able to find (and have a pint at) the famous Woolpack pub from the show.
8. Game of Thrones
Where to watch: You can watch Game of Thrones on Amazon Video.
For the last few years, the wildly popular Game of Thrones series dominated TV screens all around the world. Loosely based on the War of the Roses, you’ll find plenty of places around the UK which were used as settings for the series.
Firstly, fans will want to pay Castle Ward in County Down a visit. This was the location for Winterfell throughout the series. Tollymore Forest Park is also a great spot to head to, for GOT fans and nature lovers alike. The setting of the Haunted Forest in the series, this is the spot where the terrifying White Walkers began descending on men. Finally, head to Ballintoy Harbour in Ballycastle. This small fishing harbour was used as the landscape for the Iron Islands in the series.
9. Wolf Hall
Where to watch: You can watch Wolf Hall on Amazon Video.
There are so many historical locations open to the public that star in Wolf Hall. Barrington Court in Somerset, Lacock Abbey and Great Chalfield Manor & Garden in Wiltshire and Chastleton House in Oxfordshire can all be visited. Lacock Abbey is also known for featuring in the Harry Potter movies too. Avid fans will recognise the cloisters from Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.
10. Peaky Blinders
Where to watch: You can catch the latest Peaky Blinders on BBC One.
If you love Peaky Blinders, a trip to Liverpool should definitely be on the cards. The UNESCO World Heritage Site of Stanley Dock was the location for one of the most dramatic scenes throughout the fourth season, placed right before the beautiful River Mersey. Rodney Street, Seacombe Ferry Terminal and even Formby Beach have all made appearances too.
Where to watch: You can watch Outlander on Channel 4.
Head to Doune Castle in Perthshire if you’re a fan of the Scottish rebels, the location stands in for fictional Castle Leoch. Or visit the iconic Blackness Castle (close to Edinburgh) to explore the headquarters of the villain Black Jack.
12. The Loch
Where to watch: You can watch The Loch on Amazon Video.
Unsurprisingly, ITV’s The Loch features a lot of destinations in Scotland too. As well as the famous Loch Ness, the six-part crime drama also used Fort Augustus, Càrn Mòr Mountain and Fort William as settings within the series. All of these wild and windswept spots make for exciting weekend trips, venturing into some of Scotland’s most breathtaking scenery.
13. Killing Eve
Where to watch: You can catch Killing Eve over on BBC One.
Although primarily set in London, the smash hit drama series Killing Eve sees detective Eve Polastri chase the deadly assassin Villanelle all over Europe. If you’re planning a trip to the big city, then keep an eye out for numerous London locations which feature in the series. These include the Barbican Centre, the South Bank, St George in the East church in Shadwell and Russell Square.
14. Black Mirror
Where to watch: You can check out Black Mirror on Netflix.
Although we’re not really sure why you’d want to visit any of the settings out of the dystopian world of Black Mirror, you’ll find plenty of the filming locations across the UK.
For example, the 2018 episode Smithereens starts in and around the city of London, with plenty of shots of the capital playing across the big screen. Then the action moves to Kent, with locals reporting camera crews around Fairbourne Reservoir East and Church Road, near Maidstone, as well as in a field in Jeskyns, near Gravesend.
Where to watch: You can watch over Victoria on ITV3.
This dramatic series focuses upon the life and times of Queen Victoria, one of Britain’s longest reigning monarchs. The historical drama is filmed in multiple locations across the county of Yorkshire, with the glorious Harewood House doubling up as Kensington Palace and the intricately-turreted Carlton Towers featuring as Windsor Palace.
16. The Great British Bake Off
Where to watch: You can watch The Great British Bake Off on Channel 4.
This phenomenally successful British reality show is filmed in Welford Park, a stunning country estate in Berkshire. The iconic bright white marquee is set up in the estate gardens and you can enjoy the lovely views, while watching the contestants work their magic.
This quintissentially-British show wasn’t always filmed at Welford Park though. The second series was held in Valentines Mansion, Redbridge and the third and fourth series were both filmed in Harptree Court, Somerset. Visit them all and you’ve got yourself a Great British Tour.
17. The Crown
Where to watch: You can catch The Crown over on Netflix.
The absolute queen of period dramas, The Crown has been a wildly popular series since the get go. Based upon the life of Queen Elizabeth II, the current Queen of England, it makes sense that The Crown was filmed in a variety of locations all across the UK.
Those wanting to walk in Claire Foy’s and Olivia Colman’s footsteps can pay a visit to Hatfield House, Ely Cathedral, Knebworth House and Wrotham Park to name but a few locations from the series.
18. Vanity Fair
Where to watch: You can catch Vanity Fair over on ITV.
The nation’s latest favourite period drama, the Vanity Fair series was filmed in a variety of locations in London and Kent, as well as Budapest. One of the filming locations included the majestic Osterley House & Stables, out in West London. The interior of Osterley Park mansion was also used as a double for the Wayne Manor in The Dark Knight Rises.
Where to watch: You can catch Skins over on Netflix.
Exploring a range of raw and controversial storylines, this long-running teen drama series is set in the hip and happening city of Bristol. The show is filmed almost entirely in and around the city and you’ll recognise plenty of landmarks such as Vauxhall Bridge and Cumberland Road.