Filming locations: Starring role

Round & About

filming locations

Sometimes the locations are as big as the stars in many of our favourite TV shows and films, how many do you recognise? Karen Neville goes undercover

How many times have you seen something on television and thought “that looks like that road in…”? Well, the chances are that it is indeed.


Filming locations Surrey: Starring role

Round & About

filming locations

Sometimes the locations are as big as the stars in many of our favourite TV shows and films, how many do you recognise? Karen Neville goes undercover

How many times have you seen something on television and thought “that looks like that road in…”? Well, the chances are that it is indeed.

Surrey has starred countless times on the big and small screen and the county has played a wide variety of roles. With Shepperton Studios in the heart of Surrey, it’s hardly surprising that the county is a favourite for TV and film locations.

Landmarks, villages and woods are recognisable in many big and small screen productions from the use of Guildford Cathedral in the first Omen film in 1977 to various sites appearing in the Harry Potter blockbusters in recent years.

Among those locations is Bourne Woods near Farnham which can claim to be a star in its own right, having welcomed the cast and crew of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince as well as the Russell Crowe version of Robin Hood in 2010. The Australian actor is no stranger to Bourne Woods as the epic Gladiator was also filmed there, as was fantasy adventure The Golden Compass starring fellow Aussie Nicole Kidman.

Farnham itself seems a popular choice for movie makers, especially Frensham Ponds which boasts Surrey’s only beach, used in many Carry On films in the 1960s and ’70s when it doubled as both Spanish and American coastlines. When the series enjoyed a brief revival in 1992 with Carry On Columbus, the ponds again became the shoreline.

The Harry Potter show came to the county again when the team behind The Goblet of Fire chose to film scenes between the boy wizard and the Hippogriff at Virginia Water’s lake.

The county’s churches are regular features, aside from the cathedral. St Michael’s in Betchworth doubled as the church used for one of the weddings in the 1990s hit Four Weddings & A Funeral.

Another Hugh Grant-related film, Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason, was filmed in the small village of Shere at the Norman church of St James. The small village also had a starring role in the Cameron Diaz/Kate Winslet rom com The Holiday which was also filmed on location in Wonersh and Godalming.


On the small screen, one of the most familiar locations to TV viewers is sure to be Dunsfold Aerodrome which many will recognise as the spot where Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May tested cars around the track in Top Gear. Another fast-paced show filmed in the county was spy drama Spooks which set up home in a former MoD base at Longcross, near Chertsey.

But Surrey is probably better known for welcoming the cast and crew of period dramas with Winkworth Arboretum near Godalming starring as the gardens for award-winning BBC show Cranford which was also filmed at nearby Shepperton Studios. Jane Austen classic Sense & Sensibility (2008) used Loseley Park for many scenes the author set in Devon. The house near Guildford has also appeared in ITV’s Agatha Christie as has National Trust site Polesden Lacey which welcomed 18 actors and more than 70 crew when it became a 1950s London hotel for the murder mystery At Bertram’s Hotel.

National Trust properties are often given starring roles and none more so than Clandon Park which was used for period dramas The Duchess and The Scandalous Lady W both telling the stories of notorious women from history. Hatchlands Park attracted Richard Burton in the 1971 film The Villain and older readers may remember children’s show Catweazle which was shot in the parkland there.

Back to Loseley Park which has also served time for Midsomer Murders, while most of the popular TV show was filmed in Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire, it became Magna Manor. Albury Park near Guildford and Royal Holloway College in Egham have also starred in episodes.

Perhaps one of the most unlikely locations though is that used for 1970s comedy classic It Ain’t Half Hot Mum. You may wonder how leafy Surrey could double for the jungle of Burma but clever make up, rubber plants and fake sweat all combined to make the woods of Farnham seem miles away.

In more recent years, the hit Netflix show The Crown was also filmed at Loseley Park which provided the setting for a dinner party with the hill which overlooks the house in the background. Another Netflix favourite, the satirical Black Mirror chose the historic grounds of Painshill in which to shoot an episode in season 4, Hang the DJ.

And it seems Hugh Grant just can’t stay away from Surrey – he played the former leader of the Liberal party, Jeremy Thorpe who in 1979 was accused of murdering his ex-lover in A Very English Scandal. Much of the filming for the BBC drama took place at Surrey County Hall, which includes the courtroom and cells with other scenes being filmed in Esher and Englefield Green.

Another great recent BBC success also made its home in the county with Suranne Jones’s Dr Foster getting revenge on her cheating husband. Huf Haus in St George’s Hill plays a key role while many other scenes were also filmed in Weybridge. It’s rumoured the property’s owners were paid £5,000 a day while the house was used for filming and location companies are always on the look out for properties of all descriptions. If you think your house could be a star why not get in touch with

Have a look at our other areas for more filming locations.

Filming locations Thames Valley: Starring role

Round & About

filming locations

Sometimes the locations are as big as the stars in many of our favourite TV shows and films, how many do you recognise? Karen Neville goes undercover

How many times have you seen something on television and thought “that looks like that road in…”? Well, the chances are that it is indeed.

The Thames Valley has starred countless times on the big and small screen. And, if you didn’t know the area you’d think it was theworld’s crime capital!

When it comes to Oxfordshire, we couldn’t possibly start the locations guide any other way than with Inspector Morse and its spin-offs Lewis and Endeavour. Oxford’s very own Colin Dexter penned the books upon which the popular TV shows were based and visitors can follow in the footsteps of John Thaw and Kevin Whately et al on one of numerous walking tours; check out for details. No tour of Morse country would be complete without a stop off at one of the city’s many watering holes.

While the dreaming spires of Oxford University have often been the focal point for Morse and his colleagues over the years, countryside villages seem to be murder hotspots for Inspectors Tom and John Barnaby and their sidekicks. Midsomer Murders, which first aired in 1997, has killed off about 250 characters, some meeting their maker in very bizarre ways, including via a drinks cabinet and vintage claret. You can’t throw a stone in Oxfordshire and our neighbouring county Buckinghamshire without coming across a village where the doctor, pub landlord or vicar has been murdered and many will have recognised Wallingford as the fictional town of Causton.

Henley (did you spot Greys Court which has featured more than once?), Dorchester, Watlington and Thame have also made regular appearances – in Thame alone there are more than 20 locations in the town centre that have been used. Have a look at for your complete guide to the area and details of some of the tours you can enjoy there.

Away from crime and many of the area’s landmarks and historical sites have also featured on screen with several colleges, hosting the magical scenes from the Harry Potter movies and one of Oxford’s most famous author’s Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland was filmed in its native setting. Fans can enjoy a tour of both of these taking in many of the iconic buildings; visit

One of the most popular TV shows of all time may have its home over the border in Berkshire, but Downton Abbey was also filmed in the Cotswold village of Bampton, doubling as the setting for the cottage hospital as well as being home to St Mary the Virgin church where Lady Mary and Matthew Crawley were married. Cogges Manor Farm in Witney also has a claim to fame as Yew Tree Farm.
On the big screen both Blenheim Palace – Spectre, Cinderella and Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation – and Broughton Castle in Banbury – Shakespeare in Love – have taken leading roles.

Just as Oxfordshire is synonymous with Morse, Berkshire has become known as the home to period drama Downton Abbey, and not just through the use of Highclere Castle, near Newbury as the family seat. Basildon Park was transformed into the Crawley’s London home, Grantham House. Basildon Park also starred in the Keira Knightley version of 2003’s Pride and Prejudice, one of the biggest shoots the National Trust has ever taken part in.

1 Harry Potter Stairway Christ Church_WEB

Not all filming locations are as glamorous as a stately home, case in point being The Office of Ricky Gervais’s company Wernham Hogg in Slough – the real-life office at Crossbow House has since been demolished. Gervais was born in nearby Reading and as well as being his home town two of its well-known features have appeared on screen – the popular Munchees café in Butter Market was used in the second series of the huge hit drama Broadchurch, the same episode also featured Jennett’s Park in Bracknell.

Fans of the classic Carry On films from the 1960s and 1970s should definitely spend some time in Berkshire – you can’t utter a double entendre without coming across a location used. Maidenhead’s Town Hall entrance doubles as the entrance of the hospital in Carry On Doctor and Carrry On Doctor Again. The town also features in Carry On Camping at what was Courts in the High Street. Carry On Matron takes fans to Ascot’s Heatherwood Hospital which becomes Finisham Maternity Hospital and when matron Hattie Jacques finally manages to get Kenneth Williams down the aisle she does so at St Mary’s Church in Denham.

A jewel in Buckinghamshire’s crown, Cliveden in Taplow near Maidenhead has been used as a location for several films including Sherlock Holmes (2009), A Little Chaos (2014), Cinderella (2015), Thunderbirds (2004), The Beatles film Help!, Mrs Henderson Presents (2005), The Ruling Class (1972) and Carrington (1995). If you’d like to stay in this star-studded, historic setting, visit

Further around Berkshire and Picket Post Close in Bracknell took on the guise of the Dursley’s Privet Drive home where boy wizard Harry Potter lived with his uncle and aunt in the cupboard under the stairs. More Midsomer Murders, New Tricks and Rosemary & Thyme have also used Berkshire for scenes on screen.

Who’d have thought the rural splendour of Gloucestershire could become the setting for the very Cornish scenery of Poldark? But that’s exactly what happened with Elizabethan manor house Chavenage House in Tetbury which became the Poldark family home of Trenwith House. The chapel here also doubled as the church in Sawle.
Chavenage House is no stranger to fame – it has also appeared alongside David Suchet in Poirot when the Belgian sleuth solved The Mysterious Affair at Styles. Poirot also visited the village of Castle Combe for The Murder of Roger Ackroyd. And adaptations of several literary classics have also chosen to set their filming here with Lark Rise to Candleford, Tess of the d’Ubervilles and Cider with Rosie choosing to use the manor house.

Gloucester Cathedral has a string of credits – Harry Potter, Wolf Hall, Sherlock and The Spanish Princess. Snowshill was appropriately enough covered in snow for Bridget Jones’s Diary when the hapless spinster visits her parents in the Cotswold village.

A popular choice for makers of period drama and the makers of Poldark, who chose to bring the brooding good looks of heartthrob Aidan Turner to the county, this time using Corsham High Street as Truro. The National Trust village of Lacock has made numerous appearances with its cottages and inns dating from the 15th century and stunning Lacock Abbey from which many may well recognise the vaulted cloisters in the Harry Potter movies. Lacock has also hosted the stars of Pride and Prejudice, The Other Boleyn Girl, Wolf Hall, Dr Thorne and The White Princess.

Wiltshire’s most famous landmark – Stonehenge – has seen its famous stones appear in Tess of the d’Ubervilles, Dr Who and on the big screen in Thor and Transformers.

Think your home has what it takes to be a star of the big or small screen? Location agency JJ Media Group has all manner of properties on its books, from cottages and barns to a brewery and a theatre. If you think your home could be a star visit

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Wallingford Town Hall_WEB

Have a look at our other areas for more filming locations.