Where was Wild Isles filmed? Filming locations and animals featured in David Attenborough BBC series

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
David Attenborough’s Wild Isles is filmed at locations across the UK

Sir David Attenborough has returned BBC screens with a brand new documentary series.

Wild Isles, a new five part show, debuted on the broadcaster on Sunday 12 March evening. It is set across the British Isles and celebrates the wildlife of our homeland.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The BBC has denied that they have censored the show after reports that a sixth episode was only going to be available on iPlayer amid fears of backlash from “Tory politicians and the rightwing press”. The broadcaster insisted that only five parts were ordered and the extra episode was a film funded by WWF and RSPCB.

The documentary series will air at 7pm on BBC One each week and will also be available to stream on BBC iPlayer. The second episode “Woodland” will follow “our woodlands through the seasons”, revealing a host of spectacular animals and “the hidden dramas that rule their lives”.

But where was the show filmed? Here is all you need to know:

What are the filming locations for Wild Isles?

Sir David’s documentaries have ambitious scope - often spanning across the globe and include exotic locales. But for his latest series he has turned his focus to the British Isles.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Wild Isles was filmed across Britain over a span of three years, featuring many natural landmarks. If you are wondering where exactly the locations featured are, in case you are planning to visit.

Sir David Attenborough presents Wild IslesSir David Attenborough presents Wild Isles
Sir David Attenborough presents Wild Isles | BBC/Silverback Films/Chris Howard

Sir David will appear at Old Harry’s Rocks in Dorset to introduce the first episode, he will appear in Richmond Park to introduce the Woodland episode; a hay meadow in Dorset for Grassland; a chalk stream in Wiltshire for Freshwater and a green bridge on the Pembrokeshire Coast to introduce Ocean.

Episode Five - Ocean

The fifth episode of Wild Isles is entitled “Ocean” - it was filmed in the following locations and features these species:

  • Gulf Stream & Winter Storms: Cornish Coast, West Coast of Ireland
  • Seal fight: Blakeney Point, Norfolk
  • Seal pup exploring: Scilly Isles
  • Seagrass & seahorses: Scilly Isles; Dorset
  • Cuttlefish: Devon
  • Spider crabs: Pembrokeshire coast; Devon
  • Mud Slugs: Shetland
  • Tidal Communities: Bristol Channel, Wales; Corryvreckan, Hebrides; Shetland
  • Otters: Shetland
  • Clingfish: Shetland
  • Plankton bloom & basking sharks: Cornwall; Hebrides; West coast of Ireland
  • Blue fin tuna: Cornwall
  • Seabird spectacle: Wales; Shetland
  • Manx shearwaters: Skomer, Pembrokeshire

Episode Four - Freshwater

The fourth episode of Wild Isles is entitled “Freshwater” - it was filmed in the following locations and features these species:

Hide Ad
Hide Ad
  • Hobbies & dragonflies: Somerset; Wiltshire
  • Salmon: Scottish Highlands
  • Beavers: Scotland
  • Raft spiders: Dorset
  • Caves & Bats: North Yorkshire Moors; Northern Ireland
  • Mayfly: The River Avon
  • Toads & leeches: Somerset; Dartmoor
  • Great crested grebe: Cardiff; Suffolk
  • Knots and peregrine falcons: Norfolk; Dee Estuary

Episode Three - Grasslands

The third episode of Wild Isles is entitled “Grasslands” - it was filmed in the following locations and features these species:

  • Boxing hares: Suffolk
  • Hares hunted by golden eagle: Islay
  • Machair: Hebrides; North Uist
  • Vole Nest & Owl: Hebrides
  • Bee snail: Dorset
  • Rabbits, foxes & buzzard: Suffolk; Dorset
  • Wild horses: Cambridgeshire; Salisbury Plain
  • Large blue butterfly: Gloucestershire
  • Black grouse: Cairngorms
  • Adders: Northumberland
  • Hen harrier: Cairngorms
  • Red deer: Killarney National Park

Episode Two - Woodland

The second episode of Wild Isles “Woodland” was filmed in the following locations:

  • Golden eagle: Cairngorms
  • Robins & wild boar: Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire / Wales
  • The flowering forest: Chichester
  • Capercaillie: Cairngorms, Scotland
  • Wood ants: Buckinghamshire
  • Roe deer: Woking
  • Purple emperors: Sussex
  • Slug mating: Dartmoor
  • Red squirrels: Scotland
  • Honey buzzard: New Forest, Hampshire
  • Fallow deer: Sussex;Cheshire
  • Autumn forest & fungi: Somerset; Scotland; Suffolk
  • Starling murmuration: Bodmin Moor

Episode One - Our Precious Isles

Here is where Wild Isles “Our Precious Isles” was filmed:

  • Wastwater and Wasdale, Cumbria
  • Old Harry’s Rocks, Dorset
  • Glen Affric, Scottish Highlands
  • Ingleborough, Yorkshire Dales
  • High Force Waterfall, North Pennines
  • Giant’s Causeway, Northern Ireland

The best action scenes were filmed in the following areas:

  • Bass Rock - Firth of Forth - section on seabirds
  • River Isle - Somerset - focus on Britain’s river life
  • Isley - Inner Hebrides - a wild goose chase
  • Cairngorms National Park - Scotland - golden eagles
  • Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park - Scotland - golden eagles
  • Shetland Isles - Orca whales

Across the five episodes, the Wild Isles crew filmed in 145 locations and 96 species which took 1,631 days to film.

What has been said about Wild Isles?

Series producer Alastair Fothergill said: “Ever since I worked on the original Blue Planet, Planet Earth and Frozen Planet series, I have always wanted to cover the British Isles and our natural history with a similarly ambitious and epic approach.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“I knew that nobody had ever had the opportunity before to really do justice to the spectacular scenery and rich and varied wildlife found at home. I also have a personal passion for our natural history. I hope the audience will be genuinely surprised by the richness of our natural history. At the same time, I hope they will recognise how fragile and precious it is.”

Series producer and bafta award-winning filmmaker Hilary Jeffkins said: “I hope that after watching this series our audience will be wowed by the wildlife and spectacular places in Britain and Ireland but also that they get a strong sense of how fragmented and fragile they are. I want the audience to come away with a sense of pride and hope for the future too. I think that people will be surprised by the wildlife on their own doorsteps and amazed by the behaviour.

“It is quite shocking to think that we have pods of killer whales, top predators, hunting seals in our seas and a large blue butterfly that tricks ants into caring for its caterpillars, by using deceptive sounds and smells. The wildlife that we think we know well still has some extraordinary hidden stories.”

Related topics:

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.