Hut 11A, Bombe - Image by Andy Stagg, courtesy of Bletchley Park Trust

Hut 11A, Bombe, Bletchley Park

Credit Andy Stagg

TV & Film Locations in England's South East

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Lights, Camera, Action......The South East is crammed full of film locations and film sets that have appeared on big and small screen, delighting audiences around the world.  From historic houses and magnificent castles to glorious gardens and vintage steam railways, the South East's picturesque landscapes, cities and towns have provided the backdrop to many of the top films and tv series we enjoy everyday.

Not only have some of the most popular movies of all time been filmed in South East England but some of the country’s most recognised actors have called us home. Here's a selection of our tv and film locations, UK actors with South East connections and places to see movie memorabilia on your next visit or day out. 

Discover some of the blockbuster film locations in the South East

  • Bond lovers will be in heaven at the National Motor Museum Beaulieu in Hampshire, with the new 'Bond in Motion' No Time to Die exhibition, discover the Aston Martin DB5 stunt car, Madeleine Swann’s Toyota Land Cruiser Prado J90 and many of the props used within the film (2021).  Both Buttersteep Forest and Swinley Forest in Windsor part of The Crown Estate were used as filming locations for this production, alongside RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire which stood in for the NATO airbase in Norway and Portsmouth's HMS Dragon also appears on screen. 
  • The brand new Downton Abbey, A New Era was filmed at Highclere castle in Hampshire, open to the public between July and September you can visit the Jacobean manor house with its ornately-decorated rooms and see where all the historical drama took place. The hugely successful TV series had over 11 million viewers in the UK and was shown in over 100 countries around the world, the first film making some $88 million pounds. Other film locations include Bampton Village and Cogges Manor Farm in Oxfordshire, Horsted Keynes Station, West Sussex, Basildon Park, Reading
  • Oscar winning 'The Queen' (2006) was filmed at Waddesdon Manor in Buckinghamshire.  The French-renaissance style chateau was used to recreate the Royal Family’s London residence, whilst most recently it was turned in the Palace of King Rowan and Queen Beatrice in Amazon's Cinderella (2021)
  • Many Oxfordshire attractions have been used as a backdrop in the popular Harry Potter films - look out on your visit to Christ Church Cathedral were many of the Hogwarts scenes from the first movie were filmed.  Bodleian Library, also in Oxfordshire, provided the backdrop as Harry Potter walked through the Hogwarts library hidden underneath his invisibility cloak (Duke Humfrey's Library), and Blenheim Palace's Cedar of Lebanon was featured in the 2007 film Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.
  • Hever Castle in Kent was the home of the Boleyn family and was seen on the screen in The Other Boleyn Girl and in Elizabeth: The Golden Age.
  • Walk in the footsteps of Elizabeth Bennet and Mr Darcy at Groombridge Place, used in the filming of the 2005 film adaptation of Pride and Prejudice, starring Keira Knightley and Matthew Macfadyen.
  • The iconic 'The Imitation Game' starring Benedict Cumberbatch (2014) as  Alan Turing, was filmed at Bletchley Park, near Milton Keynes, which was actually the home of Britain’s codebreakers - today is a top visitor attraction in the South East.  Alan Turing devised the Bombe machine which eventually cracked the Enigma code.
  • Les Miserables climatic barricade scenes were filmed at the Old Royal Naval College, Greenwich, whilst the Parisian streets where filmed in Winchester College and Portsmouth Historic Dockyard can be seen in the opening scene with Hugh Jackman 
  • In Hampshire, Winchester Cathedral has appeared in films of recent years, doubling as Westminster Abbey in The Da Vinci Code and featuring in Elizabeth: The Golden Age and was one of three locations in Winchester used for the BBC adaption of the novel Wolf Hall.
  • The village of Turville in Buckinghamshire was used as Dibley in the much-loved sitcom the Vicar of Dibley starring Dawn French.
  • Ashdown Forest is famous as A. A. Milne's inspiration for 100 Acre Wood in the Winnie-the-Pooh stories and was used in the 2017 film Goodbye Christopher Robin.
  • Blenheim Palace isn’t only one of the UK’s most popular visitor attractions, it has also played a starring role in more than a dozen movie blockbusters. The Oxfordshire UNESCO World Heritage Site has been the location for a host of hugely popular films ranging from Harry Potter and The BFG to James Bond and Mission Impossible.
  • Ever wondered where Charlie and the Chocolate Factory started, the Roald Dahl Museum is dedicated to the life and works of one of Britain's most cherished authors - Roald Dahl.
  • The feature drama Victoria and Abdul (2017) was filmed at the beautiful Osborne House on the Isle of Wight, starring Dame Judi Dench, Michael Gambon and Simon Callow. The English Heritage historic house took centre stage in the movie looking at the real-life relationship between Queen Victoria and her Indian servant Abdul Karim.
  • The Electrical Life of Louis Wain was part filmed in Deal, White Cliffs Country, primarily on the beach at Walmer.  This film starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Clare Foy was released in 2021, a dramatization about the English artist Louis Wain, who was best known for his drawings which consistently featured large-eyed cats and kittens.
  • Discover the host of TV and film locations across Waverley in South West Surrey, from Skyfall (2012) to War Horse (2011), Thor:The Dark World (2013), The Mummy & Wonder Woman (2017).
  • Did you know that the Kings Cross Footbridge, featured in the Harry Potter film series can now be see at  Ropley station on the Watercress Line. It was removed from Kings Cross Station in 2009 as part of the station’s redevelopment and was kindly donated to the Watercress Line.
  • Marwell Zoo was changed into‘Marwood Zoo’ in  the 1997 film Fierce Creatures which is believed to have been the successor to the 1988 iconic 'A fish called Wanda'.
  • Download this film map before your next visit to Hampshire and discover some of the iconic filming locations found within the county, including where Christopher Nolan’s Inception (2010) starring Leonardo Di Caprio, Howard’s Way (1985–1990), War Horse (2011) and Golden Compass (2007) where shot.

TV Series filming locations

  • The South East was the backdrop to many of the filming locations for the highly successful Netflix drama Bridgeton. Take an afternoon promenade like many of the well-to-do families did during this era at Painshill Park, Surrey, which features as Primrose Hill in the series or enjoy a show at the Theatre Royal in Brighton, which you may recognise as the concert hall from season one, episode seven. Basildon Park in Reading was the location for season two’s Featherington Ball, whilst Petworth House, West Sussex played it's part as an art gallery in season two.  Many of the horse riding scenes where filmed in the beautiful grounds of Windsor Great Park including the opening scene of series two.  The drama series full of elegancy, romance and glamorous balls, is set in the competitive world of Regency London - take a look at our guest blog about Eight ways to Create your own Social Season.
  • Explore some of the places in Windsor that you can actually visit that were featured in the Netflix's 'The Crown' from Windsor Great Park to Guards Polo Club.
  • Little Woodham, Gosport, a recreation of an English village from the 1600’s features in the BBC’s Witchfinder series earlier this year, and has also featured in Dr Who, Tony Robinson’s Gods and Monsters and Walking Tudor England.
  • Bluebell Railway, East Sussex, was used in the recent 'Call My Agent' Neflix's original series, set at a top Paris talent firm.
  • Love your weekend starting Alan Titchmarsh is regularly filmed at Manor Farm, Hampshire. 
  • The fantastically successful 'The Repair Shop' is filmed at Weald and Downland Museum in West Sussex.
  • Grace, the ITV detective show (2021), is written, filmed and set in and around Brighton, East Sussex.  The Brighton-based Detective Superintendent Roy Grace, a hard-working police officer who has given his life to the job.
  • The Anatomy of a Scandal (2022) used Cuckmere Haven on the Sussex coast, Winchester College and various locations in and around Oxford including New College Lane, Brasenose Lane, Wadham, and Radcliffe Square.  Some of the indoor locations were filmed at Shepperton Studios in Surrey. 
  • The fourth and final season of Killing Eve, the thriller action drama is set in the Kent seaside town of Margate and includes a visit to the iconic Dreamland attraction.  Cuba the destination of the final showdown is actually Cliftonville in Margate too!
  • Some of the latest HBO comedy horror 'The Baby' released in 2022 was filmed at Botany Bay on the Isle of Thanet.  This iconic location has featured in many film and tv programs 

Midsomer Murders

Since its first broadcast in 1997, Midsomer Murders has since become one of the country’s best-loved British television series.  Popular filming locations for the series include Thame in South Oxfordshire, areas within Buckinghamshire, where fans of the popular book and TV series can explore behind the scenes and visit filming locations (no doubt constantly looking over their shoulders).

Old Royal Naval College

Featuring in some of the top film and TV programs, the Old Royal Naval College, Greenwich makes a regular appearence in The Crown, Pirates of the Caribbean, Les Misérables, Poldark and many more. Check out the full list of movies that have filmed here.

Famous Actors from the South East

Harry Andrews was born in Tonbridge in Kent in 1911 and is best known for his parts in Moby Dick, Ice Cold in Alice and The Devil's Disciple.

Sir Laurence Olivier, known for roles in Wuthering Heights and Rebecca, as well as many Shakespearian plays, was born in Dorking in Surrey in 1907.

Kate Winslet, star of Titanic, was born in Reading in Berkshire in 1975.  She also had her wedding reception at the Crooked Billet pub in Oxfordshire.

Colin Firth was educated in Winchester in Hampshire, and is is known for Bridget Jones’s Diary but will always be remembered as Mr Darcy in Pride and Prejudice – and that wet shirt scene!

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