Where was Swallows and Amazons filmed?

by Katie Rowe

Category: The great outdoors
July 5 2016

Wondering where the latest adaptation of Swallows and Amazons was filmed? From the majestic lakes of Cumbria to the quaint towns and heritage railways of Yorkshire, here’s our guide on how to walk in the footsteps of the stars of this heartwarming new film, released in cinemas everywhere on 19th August.

1. Coniston, Cumbria

Swallows and Amazons

Go on your very own adventure on Coniston Water, the place where the four mini explorers set sail for Peel Island, or 'Wild Cat Island' as it's known in the film.  

Swap sails for Victorian steam power aboard the good ship Gondola. This original Victorian steamship, built in 1859, glides gracefully across the water every day, passing the Old Man,  a famous fell soaring 2,634ft into the sky.

Take a seat in the sumptuous saloon and soak up wondrous scenery before stopping off at Brantwood, a charming country house and gardens once home to the writer and artist John Ruskin.

2. Heptonstall near Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire

Swallows and Amazons

Discover one of Yorkshire’s best kept secrets. This tiny weavers’ village surveys the town of Hebden Bridge from its lofty hilltop location. Wander through cobbled lanes that have seen little change in 200 years and pop into one of two local pubs or opt for tea and cake at the Towngate Tearoom.

For such a small place, it’s quite surprising that its churchyard is home to two churches, the ruins of St Thomas a Becket (destroyed in a storm in 1847) and the present church, St Thomas the Apostle. Even more fascinating is the graveyard, which reportedly contains the remains of over 100,000 people.

More intriguing anecdotes can be found at Heptonstall Museum including the tale of the Cragg Vale Coiners, who produced counterfeit currency and even committed murders.

3. Derwentwater, Cumbria

Swallows and Amazons

Canoe along the Derwentwater for some of the best views of The Lake District. Surrounded on all sides by towering green peaks and home to four islands, this magical area is best enjoyed as close to the water as possible. 

Join Keswick Canoe and Bushcraft for a ‘Canoe the view’ session where you’ll learn basic canoeing and paddling techniques, before heading out on the glistening waters to explore the quiet bays around the lake shores while spotting local wildlife along the way.

Sessions last for half a day, meaning you’ll still have plenty of time to explore the nearby town of Keswick, (home to an array of top-notch restaurants, plus the Theatre by the Lake and the quirky Pencil Museum

4. Keighley & Worth Valley Railway, West Yorkshire

Swallows and Amazons

Hop aboard this heritage railway and lap up Brontë Country’s sweeping vistas from the comfort of a vintage steam train carriage.

Hear the toot of the whistle and see the puffs of smoke dissolve into the sky as you set off through the dramatic scenery immortalised by the famous 19th century writers Charlotte, Emily and Anne Brontë.

There are plenty of events to enjoy on the railway throughout the year, including afternoon tea experiences and fish and chip suppers followed by live music on the White Rose Pullman Dining Train.

5. Plumpton Rocks, North Yorkshire

Swallows and Amazons

Clamber over weird and wonderful rock formations with names such as Lion's Den, Lover's Leap, and Needle's Eye at this hidden landscaped garden just a few miles from Harrogate

J.M.W. Turner painted two oil paintings of Plumpton Rocks in 1797 and the landscape has seen little change since then.

While away the hours meandering through pleasure gardens blooming with rhododendrons, switch off on a tranquil lakeside walk and enjoy the same views Turner did of the towering Milltone Grit rock formations reflecting in the lake. 

© Secret Harbour Films Limited/ British Broadcasting Corporation/ The British Film Institute 2016

Katie Rowe

VisitEngland would like to invite you to take part in a short survey about our website, it should take no more than a couple of minutes.

Go to the survey

To add items to favourites …

… you need to be logged in.

If you already have an account, log in.

Or register a

Access your account

Enter your e-mail address or username.
Enter the password that accompanies your e-mail.
Forgot your password? Recover your account
Don't have an account? Register an account