Getaways: Focus on the movie world’s shooting stars

Getaways: Focus on the movie world’s shooting stars

The venue for Pride And Prejudice starring Jennifer Ehle and Colin Firth, and Downton Abbey

The venue for Pride And Prejudice starring Jennifer Ehle and Colin Firth, and Downton Abbey (Image: Supplied)

Richmond, London

Sitting on the banks of the Thames, Ham House’s proximity to the major film studios at Pinewood, Ealing and Shepperton together with its history and grandeur it’s no surprise this 17th-century treasure house is both a small and big screen favourite for film shoots.

The imposing Stuart house of fashion and power has taken on various roles; standing in for Kensington Palace in The Young Victoria starring Emily Blunt, and for Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes’s recent ITV series Belgravia it was the Brussels office of James Trenchard played by Philip Glenister.

For the part of sinister boarding school Hailsham in Never Let Me Go starring Carey Mulligan and Andrew Garfield, the National Trust gardeners were tasked not to mow lawns or cut hedges for three weeks during the summer of 2009 to wild-up the gardens for the shoot.

STAY: At the Petersham Hotel nearby, doubles start at £149 per night.

Near Berkhamsted, Herts

Being near to the major London studios has helped to make this Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty the National Trust’s most filmed location. With nearly 5,000 acres of beech and oak woodland, rolling chalk downland and lush meadows – it’s no wonder Ashridge Estate has been a big hit with film-makers since The Dirty Dozen in the 1960s.

Never portraying itself, Ashridge plays the part of the magical forest kingdom in Maleficent, starring Angelina Jolie. In Robin Hood, with Russell Crowe in the title role, Thunderdell Wood was picked by Ridley Scott to be the village in which Robin stops on his way to London, and Ivinghoe Beacon is the spot where Harry Potter and friends climb to find a “Portkey” as well as featuring in episode 4, season 1 of Killing Eve.

STAY: Chilterns Bunkhouse on Ashridge Estate sleeps 16 plus two dogs. From £440 for two nights (£13.75pppn).

Near Chippenham, Wiltshire

Founded in the early 1200s, the Abbey was once the home of William Henry Fox Talbot – no doubt the pioneer of photography would have approved of the large amount of filming that this location now plays host to.

Robin Hood starring Russell Crowe was shot in Ashridge’s Thunderdell Wood

Robin Hood starring Russell Crowe was shot in Ashridge’s Thunderdell Wood (Image: Supplied)

With timber-framed cottages lining the main streets, the quintessential English village looks much like it did 300 years ago, providing the setting for Lizzie Bennet’s first encounter with Colin Firth’s Mr Darcy in BBC’s iconic adaptation of Pride And Prejudice.

Church Street has done double duty, transformed into a bustling livestock market for series six of Downton Abbey on TV as well as being the street through which the real Royal Artillery galloped for a visit from the King in Downton Abbey the movie when residents were recruited as flag-waving supporters.

STAY: 2 High Street, Lacock Village sleeps six. From £428 for two nights (£35.50pppn).

Near Melksham, Wiltshire

With its Arts and Crafts garden, ponds and adjacent All Saints parish church, this romantic 15th-century manor house has proved a big hit WITHTUDOR era productions doubling as Austin Friars in the BBC’s drama Wolf Hall and played the Boleyn’s lavish country home in The Other Boleyn Girl.

A wicker arbour brought in for Mary Boleyn’s wedding celebration remained in situ after filming completed, to make an appearance – covered in white roses – when the manor house stood in as Killewarren, home of Ray Penvenen and his niece Caroline in BBC’s hugely popular Poldark series.

STAY: Four-star Beechfield House is a short drive away. B&B in a double from £129 per night.

Osterley Park's Long Gallery

Osterley Park’s Long Gallery (Image: Suppllied)

Isleworth, London

Set on the fringes of west London, this Georgian mansion and its lakes, meadows and vast parkland have been the backdrop to a number of film shoots from Cary Grant’s 1950s’ The Grass Is Greener, to more contemporary movies including Miss Potter,Vanity Fair and The Secret Garden.

The decorative interiors of Osterley House became the new Wayne Manor in the final film of Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy, The Dark Knight Rises, starring Christian Bale, Michael Caine and Anne Hathaway.The entrance hall is where Catwoman arrives disguised as a maid, while a classic secret door in Osterley’s Library became the entrance to the “bat cave”.

STAY: Three-star OYO Osterley Park Hotel is an eight-minute drive away. Doubles from £51 per night.


In one of the National Trust’s biggest filming projects, this 18th-century manor house, rescued from demolition in the 1950s, provided the perfect location for guests arriving at the grand Netherfield Ball in Pride & Prejudice starring Keira Knightley.

Pride And Prejudice and Downton Abbey were filmed in Basildon

Pride And Prejudice and Downton Abbey were filmed in Basildon (Image: Supplied)

There was more formal dancing when Basildon Park was transformed into the Crawley’s family London home, Grantham House, in the 2013 Christmas special of Downton Abbey.

STAY: On the Cliveden Estate, a 50-minute drive away, New Cottage sleeps four. From £427 for three nights (£35.50pppn).


Built in the late 16th century for Sir Edward Phelips, Speaker of the House of Commons, Montacute House’s opulent interiors include the Long Gallery – the longest surviving Elizabethan gallery in England at 170ft.Though they can’t be blamed for the demise of Johnny Depp when he played JohnWilmot in The Libertine, or for the nightmares of Damian Lewis as Henry VIII in Wolf Hall.

Fans of Sense And Sensibility can relive the moment when Alan Rickman, as Colonel Brandon, charged down the tree-lined west drive on a great black horse on a quest to help the gravely ill Marianne Dashwood (KateWinslet).

And Aardman re-imagined it as Tottington Hall in theWallace & Gromit film,The Curse OfThe Were-Rabbit.

STAY: Montacute House’s South Lodge sleeps six plus two dogs. From £413 for two nights (£34.50 pppn).


Created in the 13th century as a fishing pond for the Bishop ofWinchester during the reign of Henry III, it’s home to a variety of wetland plants and rare birds. Fees from film shoots including Snow White And The Huntsman, and The Huntsman: Winter’s War, starring Kristen Stewart, Chris Hemsworth and Charlize Theron, have helped the National Trust to carry out the essential work of protecting and preserving the pond and wildlife.

For one of the movie’s biggest battle scenes, the film crew took two-and-a-half months to build a complete village over a small lake and then over two nights proceeded to burn it down.

STAY: Emley Farmhouse on the South Downs, a 20-minute drive away, sleeps 10 and two dogs. From £656 for three nights (£22 pppn).

Sevenoaks, Kent

Henry VIII took such a shine to Thomas Cramer’s stately house that the Archbishop of Canterbury was obliged to hand it over to the monarch. So it’s no surprise the makers of The Other Boleyn Girl, with Scarlett Johansson and Eric Bana as the Tudor king, were also inspired to use it as a stand-in for Whitehall Palace.

And the maze of roofs and chimneys created the illusion of a small town for Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.

The Young Victoria was filmed at Ham House

The Young Victoria was filmed at Ham House (Image: Supplied)

Wild deer roam in the 1,000 acres of parkland surrounding Knole which has provided the setting for Rush, and Sherlock Holmes: Game Of Shadows.

STAY: Octavia Hill bunkhouse in Westerham, a 20-minute drive away, sleeps 10. From £750 for three nights (£23pppn).

Near Newport

There has been a house on this site since medieval times and for 500 years it was the ancestral home of the Morgans, one of the greatest Welsh families, later Lords Tredegar.

A window through time, the far from Tardis-like Tredegar House was the ideal time-travelling location for a total of 11 episodes of Doctor Who when filming the epic series was based in Cardiff, 12 miles away.

And in Journey’s End, starring Paul Bettany, Stephen Graham and Tom Sturridge, the sweeping parkland played the part of a First WorldWar British army base.

STAY: Premier Inn Cardiff East Hotel is 10-minute drive away. Doubles from £36 per night.

National Trust On Screen by Harvey Edgington and Lauren Taylor, £9.99 at shop.

Published at Sun, 10 May 2020 13:08:00 +0000