England on screen: autumn film locations

by Katie Rowe

Category: Culture vulture
October 19 2015

Walk in the footsteps of Meryl Streep, Daniel Craig, James McAvoy and many others with a set-jetting break that takes in a world-famous castle, historical gardens and England’s answer to the Sistine Chapel.

Windsor Great Park shrouded in mist as morning joggers head in the direction of Windsor Castle in the distance

Suffragette (in cinemas now)

This riveting period drama sees Carey Mulligan, Meryl Streep and Helena Bonham Carter finally give the women’s suffragette movement the attention it deserves. Filming took place in a variety of locations such as Harpenden in Hertfordshire, Myddelton Square in North London and the Royal Borough of Windsor – an area that’s constantly in the limelight. And it’s no surprise when you consider the fact that it’s home to the oldest inhabited castle in the world, resplendent streets lined with 15th-century buildings and acre after acre of pristine greenery including Windsor Great Park and The Savill Garden. These are some of the jewels of South East England.

The Peter Pan statue in the snow-dusted Kensington Gardens

Pan (in cinemas now)

Starring Hugh Jackman, this new interpretation of Peter Pan depicts the life of an orphan who is spirited away to Neverland. Scenes were filmed across England, including Kensington Gore and Blythe House in Kensington – the place where it all began. Author of the Peter Pan stories, J.M. Barrie, took inspiration from Kensington Gardens in the early 1900s and even commissioned an enchanting bronze statue of Peter Pan which stands to the west of the garden’s Long Water. Filming also took place in the sumptuous gardens of Stowe in Buckinghamshire. Designed by Capability Brown, they rival many of the royal gardens, with sweeping lawns, glistening lakes and decorative temples all joined up by winding paths. 

The grand, honey-coloured columned entrance of Blenheim Palace

Spectre (released 26th October)

The plot for the latest James Bond blockbuster starring Daniel Craig has been shrouded in secrecy but filming locations that have been leaked include Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire, which stood in for a location in Rome. This lavish stately home gives you the chance to go behind the scenes on a ‘Lights, Camera, Action’ tour.  Held on Saturdays and Mondays, the tour lets you in on the secrets of filming and how the crews operate on set. 

The majestic domes of the Old Royal Naval College frame the skyscrapers of Canary Wharf

Victor Frankenstein (released 4th December)

The latest adaptation of Mary Shelley’s gothic masterpiece features a star-studded cast including Daniel Radcliffe and James McAvoy. Filming locations included Manchester Town Hall, Chatham Historic Dockyard in Kent and the Old Royal Naval College in Greenwich. This historic royal borough in South East London is certainly no shrinking violet. The Old Royal Naval College has made numerous cameos in blockbusters including Les Miserables, where Christopher Wren’s grand domes stepped in for Paris, and Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, where Jack Sparrow bumbled beneath the heavenly frescos of the Painted Hall – England’s answer to Sistine Chapel.

Walk in the footsteps of many more film, TV and literary stars, from Poldark to Harry Potter...

Katie Rowe

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