The National Trust is an environmental / heritage conservation charity that gives you free access to hundreds of places in the UK. From fancy gardens to stately homes, wild landscapes and nature reserves, the trust protects and preserves a lot of different places throughout England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Jess and I decided to join up and get a membership at the beginning of the year in an attempt to get out and explore the country a little more – we go abroad quite a lot, but very rarely take the time to go on road trips around England.
We didn’t really take full advantage of our membership at first, but once I found out that some of the properties had been used in movies and television series, I got a little excited – you guys know how much I love visiting filming locations.
Since then, I’ve been compiling a list of what was filmed where, and I thought it would be fun to share my favourites with you. We’re slowly working our way through them.
FILMING LOCATIONS WITH THE NATIONAL TRUST
Lacock Village, Wiltshire
Lacock was the first place we visited with our membership cards. It’s a picturesque village in the Cotwolds area that hasn’t really changed at all in the past 200 years – which is probably why it’s used to film a lot of period dramas.
The village stood in for Meryton in the BBC adaption of Pride and Prejudice, and was the location of the Livestock Show in season 6 of Downton Abbey, whilst Lacock’s own Abbey has made an appearance in the Harry Potter franchise; some of its rooms stood in for various classes in The Philosophers Stone and The Chamber of Secrets, but they can most recently be seen in Fantastic Beasts: Crimes of Grindlewald.
Other movies filmed in Lacock include The Wolfman, starring Anthony Hopkins, and The Other Boleyn Girl, starring Natalie Portman and Scarlett Johansson. The television series’ Tess of the D’Urbervilles, Wolf Hall and Cranford also shot scenes here.
Ashridge Estate, Hertfordshire
Ashridge Country Estate in the Chiltern Hills of Hertforshire is an incredibly popular filming location. It’s 5000 acre woodland can be seen in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, where Harry and the Weasleys meet Cedric Diggory and his father before heading off via portkey to the Quidditch World Cup, and as the enchanted forest in Maleficent, starring Angelina Jolie.
The estate was also used in Stardust as the portal between England and Stormhold – the production team built a temporary Wall in the middle of the common – and in the 2010 remake of Robin Hood, starring Russell Crowe, where they built a medieval village in the grounds.
You can see the estates Frithsden Beeches in the 2012 adaption of Les Miserables when Jean Valjean makes his dramatic entrance, and in Into the Woods as the fairytale home of the characters played by Emily blunt and James Corden. Other movies shot here include Children of Men and Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason.
West Wycombe Park, Buckinghamshire
West Wycombe park is a country house in Buckinghamshire, originally built as a pleasure palace for an 18th century libertine who was the founder of the Hellfire Club. Both the gardens and the house have appeared on screen multiple times.
The Gardens can be spotted in the opening scene of Jim Henson’s Labyrinth, in The Duchess, starring Keira Knightley, and in the BBC series Taboo, starring Tom Hardy. Whilst West Wycombe house has portrayed a Russian military retreat in X-Men: First Class and the Russian mansion belonging to Madam M in Fast and Furious: Hobbs & Shaw.
You might also recognise its interiors as they were used as Lady Rosamund’s house in Downton Abbey – specifically the scene where Edith tells her aunt that she’s pregnant.
Ham House, Richmond
Ham House is a Grade 1 listed 17th Century building sat on the River Thames in South Richmond. It can be seen in The Young Victoria, starring Emily Blunt, where it doubles up as her Kensington Palace home, and in Never Let Me Go, starring Carey Mulligan and Andrew Garfield, as the boarding school; Hailsham House. It also appeared as a New York mansion in the 2012 Sci-Fi film John Carter.
It’s interiors have appeared on screen too. The Long Gallery, with its Baroque decor and gold gilding, was used as Count Vronsky’s St Petersburg apartments in Anna Karenina, and the house’s servant quarters, as well as its attics, cellar and third floor can be seen as Osborne House in Victoria and Abdul, starring Judi Dench.
Most recently, Ham House made an appearance in the BBC drama Bodyguard, starring Richard Madden. It portrayed the Prime Minister’s country residence; Chequers.
Knole is one of the largest country houses in England. Situated within a 1000 acre deer park, it has appeared in the fourth Pirates of the Caribbean film: On Stranger Tides to portray a prison yard full of gallows where Barbossa threatens to hang Captain Jack Sparrow’s first mate, Gibbs. It can also be seen in The Other Boleyn Girl as the Palace of Whitehall.
The house has appeared as a German castle in Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, starring Robert Downy Jr, and as an Edinburgh market in Burke and Hare, but it’s not just movies that were filmed there. If you’re a Beatles fan, you might recognise it from the videos for both Penny Lane and Strawberry Fields Forever.
Osterley Park House, London
Osterley Park is one of the largest open spaces in London, housing a large mansion which was once a country retreat for wealthy families and home to the Home Guard Training School.
In film it has appeared as Wayne Manor in The Dark Knight Rises where the secret passageway behind a bookcase really does exist – though it doesn’t head to the batcave. It also appears as Buckingham Palace in both The Young Victoria and Mrs Brown, starring Judi Dench, as well as The Duchess, where it fills in for Lady Melbourne’s ball room.
Waddesdon Manor, Buckinghamshire
Waddesdon Manor is a Grade 1 listed chateau that once belonged to the Rothschild Family. Since the National Trust took over the management of the house, it has appeared in many movies, including Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows, the Bond movie Never Say Never Again and The Queen, starring Helen Mirren, where it stood in for Buckingham Palace. It has also made an appearance as the O’Connell family home in The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor.
On the Television front, Waddesdon Manor has been used for scenes in both Downton Abbey and The Crown. It even popped up in the 2000 series 10th Kingdom, starring Kimberly Williams, where it portrayed Prince Wendell’s Castle.
Frensham Little Pond, Surrey
Frensham Little Pond is a large site of scientific interest which encompasses almost 1000 acres of heathland. The lake was used in the 1999 movie The Mummy, starring Brendan Fraser, to depict the Nile in the scene where Rick O’Connell and Evie have to swim to shore from their burning boat.
Scenes from Snow White and the Huntsman were also shot here, when the lake was transformed into a medieval fishing village – the childhood home of Snow White, played by Kristen Stewart. Other movies filmed at Frensham Pond include Carry On Jack, and The Hound of Baskervilles. Recently, the area has played host to a new Netflix series called Cursed, starring Katherine Langford, which is due to be released next year.
Freshwater West Beach, Pembrokeshire
Freshwater beach is part of the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park. Famous for its surfing competitions, the area has appeared in quite a few films over the years. In 2010 it stood in for the beach where Dobby is buried after being killed by Bellatrix Lestrange in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Shell Cottage, the home of Ron’s bother Bill Weasley, was constructed at the foot of the sand dunes – though it has since been removed.
The beach was also used in Robin Hood to shoot the French invasion of Southern England, where over 600 extras and horses were gathered, and in war-comedy Their Finest, starring Gemma Arterton, where it stood in for Dunkirk.
Stowe House and Gardens, Buckinghamshire
Stowe House, a grade 1 building in Buckinghamshire, is home to the independent Stowe School which opened in 1923. It has appeared on screen in Indiana Jones: The Last Crusade as the Berlin rally where Indy gets the Fuhrer’s autograph, and in the 2018 movie Slaughterhouse Rulez, starring Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, where it portrays Slaughterhouse itself.
The building also appears as the Royal Academy Observatory in Stardust, and in the James Bond film The World is Not Enough which uses the grounds’ Chapel for the funeral at the King family estate. The Wolfman has also shot scenes in the grounds, where it doubled as the funeral of Talbot’s brother.
Birling Gap and the Seven Sisters, Eastbourne
Birling Gap is a coastal hamlet on top of the Seven Sisters cliff in Eastbourne. In time, the hamlet is likely to be demolished due to coastal erosion, but for the time being, it continues to appear on screen – most recently in Fantastic Beasts: Crimes of Grindlewald where it stood in for the cliff where Newt and Jacob take a portkey to Paris.
It also appears in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. You can see the Seven Sisters just after the Weasley’s and Diggory’s are whisked away to the Quidditch World Cup, also via portkey. In Robin Hood: The Prince of Theives, you can see the Seven Sisters from a slightly different angle, when Robin and Azeem arrive on the beach from the crusades. This is the same spot in Atonement, starring James McAvoy and Keira Knightley.
Basildon Park, Berkshire
Basildon Park was built in the 1700’s and spent most of it’s life empty or as a prisoner of war camp, before being given to the National Trust who restored it to its former glory. Now it appears in both movies and television series. In the 2005 adaption of Pride and Prejudice, starring Keira Knightley, it stood in for Mr Bingley’s Netherfield Park. It also appeared in Pride, Prejudice and Zombies, starring Lily James, and another Knightley movie, The Duchess.
You can see the building once again in Dorian Gray, starring Ben Barnes, where it portrays Lord and Lady Radley’s House. The interiors also appear in Downton Abbey as the Crawley family’s London mansion, Grantham House.
Castle Ward, Northern Ireland
Castle Ward is a National Trust property located near Strangford in County Down, consisting of 820 acres of landscaped gardens, a manor house, a working corn mill, and old Castle Ward – the latter of which is most famously known as Winterfell in the HBO series Game of Thrones.
From Season 2 onwards, Winterfell was actually built on a back lot by the production team, but Season 1 was shot on site, at Castle Ward, and you can see everything from the location where Bran, Jon Snow and Robb practise archery, to the spot where Bran first see’s the three eyed raven. Castle Ward can also be seen in the 2011 movie Your Highness, starring Danny McBride and James Franco, where it was transformed into the Dwarves Kingdom.
Tredegar House, Newport
Tredegar House is a 17th Century mansion in Wales that can be seen in many television series, such as Being Human and Torchwood, but most noticeably Doctor Who.
In season two it stands in for the hospital basement where Rose meets Cassandra, and Madame Pompadour’s bedroom. In season three it’s used at The Farringdon School for Boys, and in Season four it portrays Eddison Manor where donna and the Doctor attend a murder mystery, as well as the Naismith Residence. It’s also made an appearance in Sherlock episode The Reichenbach Fall.
Cragside is a Victorian country house that was the first house in the world to use hydroelectric power, but it has since become a blockbuster sensation when it appeared in Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. The building doubles up as the Lockwood Manor, home to Benjamin Lockwood, where a illegal dinosaur auction is held.
The mansion isn’t the only thing that appears in the movie. You can also see the iron bridge, rooftop, and surrounding coniferous landscape, which the dinosaurs escape into at the end of the film.
Do you have a National Trust membership? Have you ever been to any of these properties before? Which one was your favourite or which would you like to visit? Let me know below..
What to read next:
- A Lord of the Rings Guide to the Cotswolds
- Set Jetting | Aysgarth Falls
- Harry Potter Filming Locations in London
- A Harry Potter Tour of Edinburgh
Are you following Geeky Tourist?
*All images are from the National Trust Website*