Lights, camera, action! Ever wondered where your favourite film is shot? We’ve uncovered some inspirational gardens used in films and TV. From the Versailles gardens featured in the 2015 film, A Little Chaos which was completely filmed in England, to the famous lake scene in Pride and Prejudice where Mr Darcy takes a dip. 2016 is the year of the English garden, so join us for a garden tour like no other and imagine you’re the film star.
The impressive gardens at Cliveden, perched high on the cliffs overlooking the River Thames have been used in many films and on TV including Disney’s Cinderella and the 2015 film, A Little Chaos, about the building of the gardens at Versailles. Follow in the footsteps of film stars, dukes, earls and royalty as you discover a series of impressive gardens from the formal Parterre with colourful floral displays, English rose garden (with over 900 roses) to the stunning oriental water garden. And enjoy the many breathtaking vistas on the ‘Cliveden’s views’ trail.
Mapperton has been acclaimed to be the real star of the 2015 film, Far from the Madding Crowd and was also the location for the 1996 film, Emma. Set in a deep and lost Dorset combe valley and dominated by the imposing Jacobean sandstone manor house, the gardens run down on four levels; on the top is the croquet lawn, leading to the Italianate 1920s topiary garden with grottoes, fountains and orangery; below the wall and summer house are fish ponds leading to the wild garden with vistas of the rolling hills beyond and arboretum. Imagine you’re in a period drama as you stroll around this stunning garden.
Alnwick Castle is probably England’s most iconic castle. You may recognise it as it was the location for Downton Abbey’s ‘Brancaster Castle’, Harry Potter’s ‘Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry’ and the films, Elizabeth and Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. Full of history on a grand scale, there has been a castle recorded on this site for over 1,000 years. Explore the castle grounds, taking in the stunning views of its architecture and surrounding ‘Capability’ Brown landscape. Harry Potter fans will love the broomstick training by the resident wizard. But make sure you book your tickets on arrival.
As you stroll around this 18th century ‘Capability’ Brown garden set in the grounds of Chatsworth, you’ll see why it was used as the location for the 2008 film, The Duchess. Explore the 105 acres of garden, where you’ll find the famous 200ft (61m) fountain, rock garden and surviving Joseph Paxton glasshouses and contemporary sculptures. There’s over five miles of walks with rare trees, shrubs and ponds to discover. And then unwind over lunch in the Farm shop café, with stunning views of the estate.
This medieval 13th century abbey, located in the heart of the National Trust village of Lacock with its own sweeping ‘Capability’ Brown parkland, has been the location for numerous TV and film productions including Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, The Other Boleyn Girl, Wolf Hall and many, many more. Follow the paths around the grounds and enjoy the delicate spring bulbs, scented rose garden, botanic garden with spectacular summer blooms and then on to the woodland garden. And don’t forget a blanket and a picnic, there’s a perfect quiet spot just around the corner…
Lyme Park is a magnificent mansion house, surrounded by gardens, moorland and deer park, located on the edge of the Peak District. It has starred in many film and TV productions, most notably as Pemberley in the BBC adaptation of Pride and Prejudice, including the famous scene where Mr Darcy takes a dip in the lake and as the ‘big house’ in the award-winning BBC TV series, The Village. Imagine you’re in an Edwardian drama as you step back in time and explore the lavish house, garden and parkland. A walker’s paradise, the 1,300-acre estate provides a wild rugged landscape with woodland, pasture and a medieval herd of deer.
Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal Water Garden is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the landscape featured in the 2013 BBC drama of the PD James adaptation, Death Comes to Pemberley, the 1993 film, The Secret Garden and the comedy drama film, The History Boys. Explore this dramatic 18th century water garden with ornamental lakes, mirror-like ponds, statues and follies, built around the romantic ruins of the 12th century Fountains Abbey. The green lawns stretch down to the riverside providing picture-perfect picnic spots and the riverside paths lead to the deer park, all surrounded by dramatic ancient trees.
The Follies provide a dramatic woodland fantasy, with cliffs, caves and deep, dark woods perfect for the setting of the BBC adaptation of the CS Lewis classic, Chronicles of Narnia. Built in the 18th century and now grade I listed, this magical landscape carved out of dramatic cliffs will simply take your breath away. Not for the fainthearted, there are caves, steps and arches carved out of stone and grottos to explore on foot. All providing stunning views, you can see as far as Wales. Pack a picnic and find a bench amongst the rhododendrons, a perfect spot to relax.
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