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Fantastic Cotswolds film locations: The ultimate guide (with map)

With its grand manor houses, country estates, quaint villages and historic towns, the Cotswolds has unsurprisingly become a popular spot for location scouts, appearing in big-name films from Harry Potter to Bridget Jones’ Diary, James Bond to Pride and Prejudice. So if you’re looking to visit the locations that inspired your favourite movies and TV shows, our Cotswolds film locations guide reveals all – with a custom map to help you create your own film road trip

Cotswolds film locations map

Map of Cotswolds film locations

The Broadway Tower

Fairytale hilltop folly the Broadway Tower – nicknamed the highest little castle in the Cotswolds – dates back to the late 18th century and is the second-highest point in the Cotswolds, with stunning views across 16 counties. On screen, the tower featured as a location in Andie MacDowell rom-com Crush (2001) as well as being used in The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes (1970) and as a clock tower in obscure 1980s’ telepathic twins show The Gemini Factor.

The tower is around 3 miles south of Broadway (WR12 7LB). It’s open to the public, with entry to the tower and grounds costing £12 adults/£6 children aged 11–16/£2 children aged 6–10.

Stanway House

Jacobean Stanway House is famous for its 300-foot fountain, but its historic good looks have also made it a popular location for period dramas. It was used in The Libertine (2004), with Johnny Depp playing debauched poet the Earl of Rochester, and the adaptation of classic novel Vanity Fair starring Reese Witherspoon (2004). Stanway House also appeared in TV shows Wolf Hall, The Wyvern Mysteries, The Buccaneers, Father Brown and the 1996 adaptation of Emma.

Stanway House is 6 miles south of Broadway (GL54 5PQ). It’s normally open for house and garden tours, but closed to the public in 2021 – you can still see the ornate gatehouse though.

The entrance to Stanway House, a popular Cotswolds film location
The entrance to Stanway House

Snowshill

Pretty Snowshill had its taste of fame in the film Bridget Jones’ Diary (2001), featuring Renee Zellwegger as the unlucky-in-love singleton. The village was the home of Bridget’s parents – and the location of the annual turkey curry buffet. Though as filming took place in July, the village had to be covered in fake snow and Christmas lights to make it look suitably festive.

Snowshill is around 3 miles south of Broadway. You can also combine your visit with Stanton and Stanway on a lovely 6-mile Cotswold Way circular walk.

Blockley

The cosy whodunnit Father Brown is set in the fictional Cotswold village of Kembleford, but in real life it’s filmed in Blockley. This 2013 BBC TV series is based on the books by GK Chesterton about a crime-solving Roman Catholic priest in the 1950s. Various Blockley locations appear on screen, with the village’s Church of St Peter and St Paul featuring as Father Brown’s St Mary’s Roman Catholic Church, and the vicarage used as Father Brown’s residence

Blockley is in the north of the Cotswolds, around 3 miles south of Chipping Campden and 4 miles northwest of Moreton-in-Marsh.

Snowshill in the Cotswolds, film location for Bridget Jones Diary
Snowshill (without the snow)

Sudeley Castle

Sudeley Castle was built in 1442, and is the only private castle in England with a queen buried in its grounds – Henry VIII’s last wife Katherine Parr lived there and is buried in St Mary’s Chapel. The chapel appeared on screen in an episode of Father Brown, and the castle and grounds were also used in TV series including the 1996 adaptation of Emma starring Kate Beckinsale, Tess of the d’Urbervilles (2008) and the mini series of Charles Dickens’ novel Martin Chuzzlewit (1994).

Sudeley Castle is just outside Winchcombe (GL54 5LP). The castle and gardens are open to the public, with entry costing £17.75 adults/£8.75 children aged 3–15 (advance booking required).

Cheltenham

The Regency spa town of Cheltenham has appeared in many films and TV series over the years, passing itself off as anything from Nazi Germany to London during the Napoleonic Wars. The town was the setting for two classic 1970s sitcoms – Butterflies and The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin – and also provided locations for Ronnie Barker’s 1980s series Clarence.

Cheltenham Town Hall appeared in the 1995 TV adaptation of Pride and Prejudice (the famous ‘Colin Firth in a wet white shirt’ one) and Vanity Fair (2004), which also included a ball scene filmed at Cheltenham’s Pittville Pump Room. Another TV series to use the Pump Room was House of Eliott (1991), a BBC show about two dressmaker sisters during the 1920s.

Cheltenham College was the filming location for Malcolm McDowell film If… (1968), though its not-too-flattering depiction of boarding school life meant the school asked not to be credited. The Queen’s Hotel became the Hotel Das Konigen in 1940s Leipzig for TV series Jenny’s War (1985) and various locations around town appear in spy thriller The Whistle Blower (1993).

Cheltenham's Pittville Pump Room
Cheltenham’s Pittville Pump Room

Gloucester

Gloucester’s biggest claim to fame as a film location is the cathedral’s starring role in Harry Potter films The Philosopher’s Stone (2001), The Chamber of Secrets (2002) and The Half-Blood Prince (2009), where the cloisters and corridors were used for various Hogwarts scenes. The cathedral also featured in films and TV series like Spanish Princess (2020), Mary Queen of Scots (2018), The White Princess (2017), Wolf Hall (2015) and episodes of both Sherlock and Doctor Who.

Other locations around the city used for filming include the Docks, becoming the Port of Madras in Vanity Fair (1998) and London’s dockyards in the 18th and 19th centuries in Alice Through the Looking Glass (2016) and Amazing Grace (2006). And Gloucester’s now-closed prison also appeared in The Informer (2019) and recent TV series The Pembrokeshire Murders (2021).

Lower Slaughter

Lower Slaughter’s unspoilt views – with no building taking place in the village since 1906 – makes it the perfect location for period films. In 2020 it was used for the film Emma, a comedy drama movie based on Jane Austen’s classic book. Lower Slaughter appears as Highbury, Emma’s home town, with a market set up on the village green, the village hall being transformed into a haberdashery and a house near the Old Mill becoming The Crown Inn.

Lower Slaughter is around 1.5 miles north of Bourton-on-the-Water – and if you don’t want to drive then there’s a 35-minute scenic walk connecting them.

Lower Slaughter, filming location for 2020's Emma
Lower Slaughter

Bourton-on-the-Water

Bourton-on-the-Water might be famous for its beautiful riverside scenery, but it’s a less glamorous location which gives it its spot on our Cotswolds film locations list. In James Bond film Die Another Day (2002), Pierce Brosnan took part in a icy high-speed car chase in his Aston Martin in a Bourton car park, as well as on the ex-RAF aircraft runway at Upper Rissington.

Bourton-on-the-Water is around 4 miles south of Stow-on-the-Wold.

Bampton

The Oxfordshire village of Bampton is better known to viewers of Julian Fellowes’ hit ITV drama Downton Abbey as the Yorkshire village of Downton. Bampton features heavily in both the TV series and film, with locations including St Mary’s Church where Lady Mary married Matthew Crawley, Churchgate House as Isabel Crawley’s house and the old grammar school as Downton Hospital – and there may be more with a new Downton movie coming in 2022.

Bampton is just south of the Cotswolds AONB boundary and 4.5 miles from Whitney.

Cotswolds film locations in Bourton-on-the-Water
Bourton-on-the-Water

Miserden

The book Cider With Rosie tells the story of author Laurie Lee’s childhood growing up in the village of Slad in the Cotswolds. The 2014 TV adaptation of the book with Timothy Spall was filmed a few miles away in Miserden, and used locations around the village including the 16th-century Carpenters Arms – who appropriately enough have won awards for their cider selection.

Miserden is 7 miles northeast of Stroud and 10 miles south of Cheltenham.

Bibury

Along with Castle Combe, Bibury featured as the village of Wall in magical fantasy film Stardust (2007), based on the novel by Neil Gaiman and starring big names like Michelle Pfeiffer, Robert de Niro and Claire Danes. Bibury’s fairytale architecture fit perfectly with the story, with Sienna Miller’s character living in one of the former weavers’ cottages on Arlington Row.

Bibury is located around 8 miles east of Cirencester. Arlington Row is owned by the National Trust but there’s no entry fee – and you can even rent one of the cottages for a holiday.

Arlington Row in Bibury, a Cotswolds film location
Arlington Row in Bibury

Berkeley Castle

Grand Berkeley Castle is a 12th-century fortress which has been home to the Berkeley family for 27 generations. It’s packed with history (including the cell where King Edward II was murdered), making it a favourite for period TV dramas like Poldark (2017), The White Princess (2017), Wolf Hall (2015), Galavant (2015) and The Other Boleyn Girl (2003). It also featured in Johnny English Strikes Again (2018), the third of the James Bond spoofs starring Rowan Atkinson.

Berkeley Castle is just outside the Cotswolds AONB, around 6 miles west of Dursley (GL13 9PJ). It’s open to the public, with entry costing £14 adults/£12.50 concessions/£7 children aged 3–16.

Woodchester Mansion

Victorian Gothic Woodchester Mansion was mysteriously abandoned midway through construction, leaving a spooky shell that makes it an ideal Cotswolds film location. It recently featured in the second series of The Crown as Prince Phillip’s boarding school Gordonstoun. It’s also been Dracula’s castle in the BBC TV series starring David Suchet (2006). And its ghostly atmosphere attracted TV spook-hunters Ghost Hunters International and Hauntings.

Woodchester Mansion is 6 miles southwest of Stroud (GL10 3TS). It’s open to the public from Friday to Sunday, with entry costing £8.50 adults/£7.50 seniors and students/free for under 16s.

Woodchester Mansion near Stroud in the Cotswolds
Woodchester Mansion

Owlpen Manor

Owlpen Manor is a Tudor manor house with formal gardens set in a picturesque valley surrounded by woodland. On the small screen it appeared as a location for Tess of the d’Urbervilles (2008) and The Other Boleyn Girl (2003). And it was also used for Oscar-winning period drama Phantom Thread (2017), Daniel Day-Lewis’ last film before retiring.

Owlpen Manor is 3 miles east of Dursley, close to Uley (GL11 5BZ). The gardens are normally open to the public from May to September with occasional house tours, but are closed for 2021.

Chavenage House

Chavenage House, a grand Cotswold stone Elizabethan manor house near Tetbury that’s almost unchanged for over 400 years, is one of the most popular Cotswolds film locations, appearing in a string of TV series. It most famously featured as Trenwith, ancestral home of the Poldark family in 18th century Cornwall, in the BBC’s 2017 remake of Poldark starring Aidan Turner.

Chavenage has also appeared as a filming location for historical TV series including Tess of the D’Urbervilles, Berkeley Square, Lark Rise to Candleford, Agatha Christie mystery The Pale Horse and 1990s Are You Being Served? spin-off Grace & Favour. But most recently it was another location for 2020’s Emma, appearing as Randalls, home of Mr and Mrs Weston.

Chavenage House is located 2 miles north of Tetbury in Beverston (GL8 8XP). The house is normally open to the public for tours on Thursday and Sunday afternoons, but is closed for 2021.

Filming taking place at Chavenage House in the Cotswolds
Filming in progress at Chavenage House

Badminton House

Badminton House, home of the Duke and Duchess of Beaufort, was most recently seen on screen in Netflix’s blockbuster period drama Bridgerton, providing interiors for Simon and Daphne’s house. It was also used in post-apocalyptic thriller 28 Days Later (2002), as an RAF base in WWII weepie Pearl Harbor (2001) and in Merchant Ivory film The Remains of the Day (1993).

Badminton House is around 10 miles south of Tetbury (GL9 1DB). It’s only open to the public for private group tours, with the gardens also open for occasional open days.

Dyrham Park

The spectacular 17th-century stately home Dyrham Park is surrounded by beautiful gardens and 270 acres of ancient parkland. The house was another location for The Remains of the Day (1993) as well as TV series Sanditon (2019), Tess of the d’Urbervilles (2008) and mini-series Wives and Daughters (1999). The gardens also appeared in the recent adaptation of Nancy Mitford’s novel The Pursuit of Love, starring Lily James and Dominic West.

Dyrham Park is located 8 miles north of Bath (SN14 8HY). It’s owned by the National Trust and is open to the public, with entry costing £15 adults/£6.50 children (free for National Trust members).

Dyrham Park in the Cotswolds
Dyrham Park

Castle Combe

With no street lights, telegraph poles or TV aerials, it’s easy to pretend the charming village of Castle Combe in Wiltshire is from a past era. It first featured as the village of Puddleby-on-the-Marsh in the Rex Harrison musical Dr Dolittle (1967) – where Sir Ranulph Fiennes tried to sabotage filming as locals were worried it would ruin the village. It was also used in Steven Spielberg’s War Horse (2011), Stardust (2007) and horror film The Wolfman (2010).

Castle Combe is around 6 miles northwest of Chippenham.

Lacock

The Wiltshire village of Lacock is owned by the National Trust who’ve helped preseve its quaint cottages, historic streets and 13th-century abbey. Lacock Abbey appeared in two Harry Potter films – as well as spin-off Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (2017) – plus TV series The Pursuit of Love (2021), Wolf Hall (2015), The Hollow Crown (2015) and Cranford (2007).

Lacock also had a starring role in the Downton Abbey movie (2018) when it stood in for the village of Downton as the King and Queen came to visit, featuring a royal parade of over 350 extras in period dress. Lacock also became the fictional town of Meryton in the 2005 film of Pride and Prejudice starring Keira Knightley, and was used in The Other Boleyn Girl (2008).

Lacock is just to the east of the Cotswolds AONB boundary, 4 miles south of Chippenham (SN15 2LG). The abbey, village and Fox Talbot museum of photography are open to the public, with entry costing £15 adults/£7.50 children (free for National Trust members).

Castle Combe, Cotswolds film location for War Horse, Stardust and more
The Street in Castle Combe

Bath

Beautiful Regency Bath is a popular location for films and TV series. They include the film adaptations of former resident Jane Austen’s book Persuasion (1995/2007) and other period pieces like The Duchess (2008) and Vanity Fair (2004). The city also became 19th-century Paris for Les Misérables (2012), when Russell Crowe’s Javert jumped from Pulteney Bridge.

Bath passed itself off as Regency London for TV series Bridgerton (2020), with balls at The Assembly Rooms and the Holburne Museum and No 1 Royal Crescent becoming the homes of the Lady Danbury and the Featheringtons. And other TV series like The Pursuit of Love (2021), McDonald and Dodds (2020) and The Trial of Christine Keeler (2019) were also filmed in the city.

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The ultimate guide to Cotswolds film locations, with locations from movies and TV series – from Harry Potter to Bridget Jones' Diary, James Bond to Pride and Prejudice – including a custom map | Cotswold film locations | Filming locations in the Cotswolds | Cotswold movie locations
About Author

Lucy Dodsworth is an award-winning travel blogger at On the Luce who's lived in the Cotswolds for 10 years. She runs a group for local bloggers, has an MSc in sustainable tourism and is a member of the British Guild of Travel Writers.

1 Comment

  • Kim
    September 23, 2021 at 1:48 pm

    Some fantastic places on here! I had a proper “ooh ooh ooh” moment when I saw Woodchester Mansion in The Crown.

    Reply

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