Following on from Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz is the second movie in Edgar Wright’s Cornetto trilogy. Featuring Simon Pegg and Nick Frost – as well as an extensive cast of other familiar faces – it references just about every 90’s action movie in existence, and therefore takes the top spot as my favourite of the three films in Wright’s series.
Filming took place in a city called Wells, which portrays the fictional village of Sandford in Hot Fuzz. It’s actually the smallest city in the whole of England so it’s already village sized, and coincidentally – or not – it had ties to director Edgar Wright before filming even began. He grew up there as a child.
I visited Wells towards the end of last year and couldn’t have been more excited to see evidence of the scene’s I love from the film throughout the city. From the village square shootout, to the Swan chase, all the best bits of the movie were filmed on the streets of Wells, so I’ve made a list of spots to visit on your next trip. Make sure to check out the map at the end.
15 HOT FUZZ FILMING LOCATIONS IN WELLS
The Swan Hotel
‘Hag. Evil old woman considered frightful or ugly. It’s twelve down.’ – Nicholas Angel
The first time we see Wells in Hot Fuzz is when Sergeant Angel (Simon Pegg) gets dropped off outside of the Swan Hotel. The interiors, where Angel meets Joyce Cooper at the front desk, were all filmed at the Laura Ashley owned Manor Elstree – just outside of London – but Wright used the real Swan Hotel in Wells to film exteriors.
Found in the centre of the city, The Swan Hotel makes a great base camp for exploring. We actually booked a room there when we stayed ourselves, and whilst it wasn’t anything particularly special – pretty basic with non-existent views – it’s not every day you can say that you stayed in the hotel from Hot Fuzz.
‘No luck catching them swans, then?’ – Annette Roper
Just down the road from the hotel, you’ll find the next Hot Fuzz location on my list – City News. This little corner shop is where Sergeant Angel and Danny (Nick Frost) purchase their never-ending supply of Cornetto’s – because what would the Cornetto Trilogy be without ice cream.
The interiors look a tad different to those in the movie, but it’s still really recognisable – and most importantly, you can buy Cornetto’s in the shop, which I admittedly did a little too enthusiastically. Only one child at a time though.
‘You ever fired two guns whilst jumping through the air? You ever fired one gun whilst jumping through the air? You ever been in a high-speed pursuit? You ever fired a gun whilst in a high-speed pursuit?’ – Danny
Wells’ Market Place lies just over the road from City News and is probably the most recognisable spot from the film. This is where Sergeant Angel meets Danny for the first time – after he drunkenly reverses his car into a fountain. The fountain is real by the way, and fully intact. It’s also where the two regularly patrol – there is a legit bay for police cars, just outside of Edinburgh Woollen Mill, where they park their car in the film
More obviously, it’s the square where the shoot-out happens towards the end of the movie. Seargent Angel rides in on horseback by Parsons Bakery, then gets attacked by members of the NWA at Town Hall. Paupers Gate can be seen when the Reverend appears, and Bishop’s Gate is where Dr Hatcher goes crazy with a shotgun. This is where Angel questions P.I. Staker about his missing Swan as well.
‘I don’t remember a time when I didn’t want to be a police officer, apart from the summer of 1979 when I wanted to be Kermit the Frog.’ – Angel
The Crown Pub can also be found on Market Place. In the movie, this is where Angel and Danny often go for a drink – make mine a cranberry juice. The interiors were filmed at The Royal Standard, but the Wells’ pub was used for all exterior shots. You can see it best during the climactic fight scene.
Although The Crown didn’t have a lead role in the movie, it’s worth a visit alone due to its famous clientele. The cast of Hot Fuzz had their Premiere party there the night it was released, and evidence of that is still on display in the form of photos and a plaque.
‘It’s all about the greater good.’ – Joyce Cooper
Just around the corner from the Market Place is Bishop’s Palace. The building was used for the NWA meetings in Hot Fuzz, first when Angel meets its members and later when he stumbles across them sat around a table one evening – before finding out they’re behind all the deaths happening in the village.
The Palace is £15 to enter, and for that you get to explore the Great Hall, Chapel and 14 acres of gardens, but visiting the Stable Yard is free. If you don’t fancy venturing in, at least check out the exterior of the Palace. This appears earlier in the film when Angel goes for a jog around the moat, which in real life, is filled with swans – just in case you were hoping to see one at some point on your trip.
‘My, my. Here come the Fuzz.’ – Simon Skinner
The Somerfield supermarket run by Simon Skinner (say that five times in a row fast) was filmed at a real Somerfield down Wells’ High Street, which Wright apparently worked in during his youth. It only makes a very brief appearance though – when Angel runs after a shoplifter. The interior of the store was filmed elsewhere.
Somerfield in Wells is actually long gone now, but the building is still there. It’s been replaced with a Peacocks. If you go around the back of the store, you will still be able to see the car park where the Police prepare to storm the supermarket.
Wells Recreation Ground
‘It’s about two-foot tall, um.. Long, slender neck. Kind of orange and black bill. Well, it’s a swan.’ – Mr P.I. Staker
Just across the road from the Peacocks Car Park is an open field that has a small cameo in Hot Fuzz – the scene when Angel and Danny are searching for the Swan.
It’s quite hard to find the exact location used throughout filming, because a new play park now stands in the middle of the Recreation Ground, and takes up a quarter of the field, but the trees that line the park in the film can still be seen in the grounds today.
‘Trouble in the High Street. Sargent Angels having a spot of bother.’ – Mr Reaper
Back to the main High Street, you might recognise a few spots here too. After Angel chases a shoplifter from the aforementioned Somerfield, he heads down the High Street, away from Market Place. You see him slide across the bonnet of a car – this happens just at the end of Guard House Lane.
The street makes another appearance later in the movie, when Angel heads down in the opposite direction – towards Market Place this time – riding a horse. He stops just outside of Parsons Bakery before heading into the square.
St Cuthbert’s Church
‘Maybe we should go on the bouncy castle, take our minds off it.’ – Danny
At the end of the High Street, you will find the church where Sandford’s fete is held. St Cuthbert’s is where Angel and Danny win a cuddly monkey at a funfair stall, before being witness to the grisly death of Tim Messenger who finds his demise at the end of a spike from the church roof.
We briefly get to see inside St Cuthbert’s while the Fuzz discuss what to do next, before the church yard gets turned into a crime scene. At the very end of the movie, Angel accompanies Danny to visit his mother’s grave, which can also be found in the church yard.
‘Drive safe? You know that’s the guy we done for speeding earlier?’ – Danny
Around the corner from St Cuthbert’s is the theatre where Angel and Danny watch Mr Blower’s rather abysmal production of Romeo and Juliet. The Little Theatre was used for exterior shots, whilst interiors were filmed at another theatre outside of Wells – Barn Theatre.
Little Theatre can be found down Chamberlain Street and is used for local productions of shows such as Wind in the Willows and Anne of Green Gables. It also hosts an array of pantomimes and musicals.
‘Annette, that Sergeant Angel’s back. Check out his horse.’ – Joyce Cooper
Chamberlain Street itself makes an appearance in Hot Fuzz on various occasions as well. You can see it when Angel heads down the street on horseback, before throwing spray paint cans to a bunch of kids just outside of St Joseph & St Teresa’s Church.
You also see the street earlier in the film, when Angel first chases a shoplifter down an alleyway. The Alley can be found just off of Chamberlain Street, running adjacent with Whiting Way.
‘You mothers.’ – Angel
The second alleyway seen during the chase scene is down Lovers Walk. This is where Angel and Danny run into a group of mothers and their prams.
Lover’s Walk is off New Street, next to Bupa Dental Care. If you wander halfway down, you will be able to see the entrance Angel and Danny run through to hurdle fences / smash through fences in Danny’s case. In reality, this is just a little courtyard.
‘He’s aunty Jackie’s sisters brother’s boy.’ – Danny
The final part of the chase leads Angel and Danny a little further out of Wells city centre, to Barkham Close, where they chase the shoplifter onto an open field before knocking him unconscious.
The alley can be found between houses 7 and 8 and leads out to a field on Torhill Lane. The field has amazing views of Wells Cathedral from here, though this was edited out in the movie because the looming building doesn’t really give off village vibes.
‘How bout another beer?’ – Danny
Back towards the city centre, down Balch Road, is where you’ll find Danny’s house. It lies at number 30 and is where Danny invites Angel in for a beer after dropping George Merchant off at his mansion.
The house is a little out of the way, so I didn’t end up visiting it myself, but thought it worth a mention just incase you want to find the location of Angel’s first viewing of Bad Boys 2.
‘There never was a story of more woe, than this of Julie and her Romeo.’ – Simon Skinner
The final filming location on the list lies just outside of Wells, on Constitution Hill. This is a road that leads into the city, and it’s where you’ll find the spot that Angel and Danny pull over Mr Blower and Eve for speeding on their way to researsal.
The road appears later in the film when Eve and Blower are found dead after a car accident – decapitated – and Simon Skinner drives by, igniting Angel’s suspicions about whether he might be the killer. The exact location is halfway down the road, in a layby opposite some houses.
Are you ever seen Hot Fuzz? Which movie from the Cornetto Trilogy is your favourite? Would you visit Wells to check out the locations from the film? Have you already been? Let me know below..
What to read next:
- A Guide to Avengers Filming Locations in Edinburgh
- Harry Potter Filming Locations in London
- The Ultimate Guide to Iron Man Filming Locations
- The Ultimate Guide to Iron Man 2 Filming Locations
- 15 Movies Locations to Visit with National Trust