UK TV & movie filming locations including Star Wars, Harry Potter & Batman - from London to Northumberland

Ribblehead Viaduct, North Yorkshire (credit: Peter Naldrett)Ribblehead Viaduct, North Yorkshire (credit: Peter Naldrett)
Ribblehead Viaduct, North Yorkshire (credit: Peter Naldrett) | Peter Naldrett

This article contains affiliate links. We may earn a small commission on items purchased through this article, but that does not affect our editorial judgement.

Famous films and TV shows such as Batman, Harry Potter and Doctor Who have all been filmed at unique locations across the UK

The feeling of awe that overcomes you when watching a film or TV show transporting you to another world is pretty unbeatable. But so is being stood somewhere your favourite actor has given an unforgettable performance in front of the camera.

And these locations dotted across the UK is exactly what film buff Peter Naldrett has compiled in a new guidebook to TV and film locations across the UK and Ireland.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

From major films such as Harry Potter, Star Wars, and Batman Begins, to TV shows like Doctor Who or Downton Abbey, you may be surprised to know where some of these were shot.

The book took Peter a year to write and another year to edit and finalise before it was finally published in June 2023.

Peter, who is 59 and lives in Sheffield, said: "I’ve also always been fascinated to see where things were filmed. Until the 1980s, a lot of filming was done in studios so it’s more of a recent thing. A lot of places complained too about having film crews set up.

“For example, the Chariots of Fire beach scene which is well-known. That was filmed in St. Andrews and the council went nuts about it all.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“50 years on and tourists are still going there. I don’t think they understood the benefits at first."

The book highlights some of the secrets behind famous shots in films and TV.

For example, Liverpool has been used in various films including The Batman (2022) as some of its buildings - particularly along the Pier Head - greatly resemble cities in the US. The same is the case with Glasgow.

Some cities have now become synonymous with certain TV shows including Cardiff's connection with Doctor Who and Game of Thrones with Belfast.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The Ribblehead Viaduct in North Yorkshire was where TV show Jericho (2016) was filmed and also sets the scene for the finale of the 2012 comedy-horror Sightseers.

The Pier Head buildings in Liverpool (Peter Naldrett)The Pier Head buildings in Liverpool (Peter Naldrett)
The Pier Head buildings in Liverpool (Peter Naldrett) | Peter Naldrett

Peter - who previously worked as a geography teacher - came up with the idea for the book while he was on a trip to Washington D.C. in the US.

He added: "It contains some newer films too - like the new Mission Impossible film and Indiana Jones which was filmed at Bamburgh Castle. I think people do not realise the effort that’s needed to do things like this just for a minute or two of film."

The book also explores some lesser-known secrets of the filming industry. For example, Lincoln Cathedral is often used to stand in for Westminster Abbey. This is because they are strikingly similar in appearance inside and permission to film at Westminster is hard to get approved, Peter explained. This was the case with The Da Vinci Code (2006).

Hide Ad
Hide Ad
A view of the Castle, over the pastures, from the Northern side of Lion BridgeA view of the Castle, over the pastures, from the Northern side of Lion Bridge
A view of the Castle, over the pastures, from the Northern side of Lion Bridge | Bill Henderson

Alnwick Castle has also been used in the past to set the scene for Hogwarts in Harry Potter and also features in Downton Abbey.

The castle is located in Northumberland.

Waterfall 90ft high Henrhyd-FallsWaterfall 90ft high Henrhyd-Falls
Waterfall 90ft high Henrhyd-Falls | Nick Earl

Even lesser-known is a famous scene from The Dark Knight Rises (2012) that was filmed at Henrhyd Waterfall - a single-drop 27-metre high waterfall.

The book also explores locations for Star Wars - including lakes in Cumbria.

You can purchase 'On Location: A Guide to Visiting the UK and Ireland's Best Film and TV Sights' at Amazon and other major book retailers

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.