18 filming locations to spot in Gloucestershire

From Star Wars and Sex Education to Sherlock and Harry Potter, discover 18 iconic movie and television filming locations in Gloucestershire.

By Zoe Gater  |  Published
The BBCs His Dark Materials starring Lin-Manuel Miranda and Andrew Scott, was filmed across various locations in Gloucestershire, including the magical Puzzlewood.
The BBC’s His Dark Materials starring Lin-Manuel Miranda and Andrew Scott, was filmed across various locations in Gloucestershire, including the magical Puzzlewood.

Gloucestershire locations have been used for shooting everything from Oscar-winning movies and ghost-hunting documentaries to children’s television favourites and lavish period dramas.

SoGlos has picked out 18 famous filming locations you might recognise across the Cotswolds, Cheltenham, Forest of Dean, Gloucester, Stroud and Tewkesbury.

1. Filming at Gloucester Cathedral

Undoubtedly Gloucestershire’s most famous film location, the cloisters at Gloucester Cathedral were transformed into the hallowed corridors of Hogwarts for the filming of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, The Chamber of Secrets and The Half Blood Prince.

It also provided an atmospheric setting for the 2008 Doctor Who Christmas special, The Next Doctor, parts of BBC Shakespeare series The Hollow Crown, and more recently Damian Lewis’s Wolf Hall and Sherlock starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman.

2. Filming at Gloucester Docks

Gloucester Docks is a go-to location for period dramas and feature films, with 2020’s Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway starring Margot Robbie and James Corden, Terry Pratchett’s The Colour of Magic starring David Jason, Amazing Grace starring Ioan Gruffudd, Vanity Fair and Martin Chuzzlewit all being filmed here. Big kids might also remember seeing colourful ragdolls Rosie and Jim floating along in their canal boat.

Sean Bean and Danny Dyer’s Outlaw was also shot here and at locations across Gloucester city centre too. But one of the biggest coups of all was when Gloucester’s landmark was used for Tim Burton’s blockbuster Alice in Wonderland: Through the Looking Glass back in 2014.

3. Filming at Puzzlewood in the Forest of Dean

The unique and rather magical setting of Puzzlewood in Coleford, continues to be a popular film location for everything from television dramas and documentaries to children’s programmes and huge Hollywood blockbusters, including Atlantis, Merlin, Hidden Kingdoms, Jack the Giant Slayer, Wizards vs Aliens and real life opening and closing scenes from CBeebies favourite Tree Fu Tom. Puzzlewood was also used as the filming location for some of the epic scenes in Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens.

4. Filming in Bourton-on-the-Water

Parts of the iconic ice chase scene in the Bond blockbuster Die Another Day were in fact shot in a rather unlikely car park in the village of Bourton-on-the-Water, as well as at the ex-RAF aircraft runway at nearby Upper Rissington.

5. Filming at Woodchester Mansion

Over the years, the 19th century Victorian Gothic Woodchester Mansion has provided the spooky setting for a variety of TV shows, including Most Haunted, Ghost Hunters International, Magick Eve, The Famous Five, BBC’s Dracula, and most recently, His Dark Materials.

6. Filming across The Forest of Dean and Wye Valley

Netflix’s hugely popular Sex Education featured key filming locations across the Forest of Dean and the Wye Valley. Starring Asa Butterfield and Gillian Anderson, the most striking was the distinctive red and white house known as The Chalet, which overlooks Symonds Yat, as well as Bathhurst Pool in Lydney, Dean Forest Railway and its Parkend station, the bridge at Redbrook and St Briavels Castle.

7. Filming at Swinhay House

The magnificent modern mansion, Swinhay House near Wotton-under-Edge, featured in the third series of Sherlock, playing the part of master blackmailer Charles Augustus Magnussen’s state-of-the-art lair, Appledore. In real-life, it’s the private home of Renishaw boss Sir David McMurtry, with this 10-storey showstopper costing a reputed £30 million to complete.

8. Filming at Whittington Lodge Farm

The photogenic poppy field at Whittington Lodge Farm, near Cheltenham, appeared in powerful war film Atonement, which starred Keira Knightley and James McAvoy.

9. Filming at Badminton House

The 17th century setting of Badminton House was the countryside setting for scenes in post-apocalyptic horror film 28 Days Later and the Oscar-winning Pearl Harbour, among many others – most recently featuring in the Regency-themed Netflix series Bridgerton.

10. Filming at Berkeley Castle

The ancient fortress Berkeley Castle, near Stroud, has been used for scenes in many a film including Wolf Hall, hit BBC children’s television series The Ghost Hunter, as well as the first televised version of The Other Boleyn Girl. Plus, you might spot Berkeley Castle in Johnny English Strikes Again as the location for the G8 summit – thanks to some serious CGI it appears as if on a remote island in the middle of the ocean!

11. Filming at Stanway House

Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall, starring Damian Lewis, was shot at Stanway House and elsewhere in Gloucestershire. The Jacobean manor also played host to film crews for the Johnny Depp drama The Libertine and costume drama Vanity Fair too, in addition to television series including Jeeves and Wooster, The Wyvern Mystery and The Buncaneers.

12. Filming at Clearwell Caves

The impressive underground caverns of Clearwell Caves, which date back almost 330 million years, provided the backdrop to the award-winning, time travelling adventurer Dr Who not once or twice, but four times, with parts of The Christmas Invasion, The Satan Pit, The Time of Angels and Flesh and Stone all being filmed there. Merlin and His Dark Materials has also been shot at the Coleford attraction.

13. Filming in Snowshill

The winter scenes in Bridget Jones’s Diary were filmed in the Cotswold village of Snowshill – in the middle of July – meaning the whole village was transformed into a winter wonderland with artificial snow and Christmas lights!

14. Filming at Chavenage House

Chavenage House, near Tetbury, is another popular Cotswold film location, with the likes of Lark Rise to Candleford, Cider with Rosie, Tess of the d’Urbervilles and more recently Wolf Hall, all being shot at the Elizabethan manor house.

15. Filming in Chipping Campden

The market town of Chipping Campden, its town hall and local school were featured in scenes of 2001 rom-com Crush, starring Andie MacDowell, Imelda Staunton and Anna Chancellor.

16. Filming in Bibury

Arlington Row in Bibury, near Cirencester, provided a street scene backdrop in fantasy adventure flick Stardust, which starred Sienna Miller and Claire Danes.

17. Filming in Cirencester

The hilarious BBC Three mockumentary This Country is filmed in and around Cirencester, written and starring local brother and sister duo Daisy May Cooper and Charlie Cooper. As well as plenty of scenes from the Cotswold town, This Country also features comical references that only locals will get!

18. Filming at Owlpen Manor

The Tudor manor house and gardens of Owlpen Manor, near Dursley, has hosted a number of television series, game shows and documentaries, including Most Haunted and The Other Boleyn Girl.

More recently, Owlpen Manor was used as the principal filming location outside of London for Oscar-nominated movie, Phantom Thread starring Daniel Day-Lewis.

By Zoe Gater

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