Film & TV Locations
Dorset has been the star of many a film and TV drama and it's no surprise, with the unspoilt countryside, dramatic coastline and many impressive manor houses and gardens all offering a beautiful setting to really bring the script to life.
West Dorset’s stunning coastline will play a starring role in a new ITV1 drama, Broadchurch, written and created by Chris Chibnall. Starring David Tennant and Olivia Coleman and a host of well known names from stage and screen, the eight part series centres on what happens to a small community following the discovery of a young local boy’s body on a beach. Sites which might feature in the series include a number of locations in and around the seaside resort of West Bay including East Cliff, West Bay Harbour and the Quay West development as well as other locations nearby at Eype and Burton Bradstock.
In Feburary 2012, the Jurassic Coast kicked off CBBC's Jedward's Big Adventure. The pair battled it out to be the best tour guide and unearthed fascinating facts about dinosaurs that lived along the coast circa 65 million years ago.
In 2011, Dorset's towns and villages starred alongside Bond girl Gemma Arterton in 'Tamara Drewe', an adaptation of the graphic novel by Posy Simmonds and Dame Maggie Smith's latest feature film, ' From Time to Time', written by Dorset's own Julian Fellowes, was filmed at Athelhampton House in West Dorset.
Dorset is Thomas Hardy's Wessex and with much of the landscape remaining unchanged it has been the location for many adaptations of his famous novels. West Dorset and Purbeck have provided locations for the 1967 classic 'Far From The Madding Crowd', 'Tess of the D'Urbervilles' for the BBC starring Gemma Arterton on and ITV's 'The Mayor of Casterbridge' starring Ciaran Hinds.
Some lavish productions of Jane Austen's novels have also found a home here. Johnny Lee Miller starred in 'Mansfield Park' set in Purbeck and the major film adaptation of 'Emma', starring Gwyneth Paltrow was filmed in Evershot and Dorchester. Her classic love story, 'Persuasion', was filmed in Lyme Regis with Rupert Penry-Jones playing Captain Frederick Wentworth.
Lyme Regis was the home of author John Fowles and the 1980 film adaptation of his classic novel 'The French Lieutenant's Woman' was filmed locally with a cloaked Meryl Streep famously standing on the Cobb Harbour.
Purbeck was used for ‘Nanny McPhee’ with Emma Thompson and Colin Firth and Weymouth has seen a variety of stars on its beach including the cast of EastEnders and the presenters from CBeebies! Portland Harbour is the location for the latest British film directed by Richard Curtis ‘The Boat that Rocked’ starring Rhys Ifans and Bill Nighy.
And not forgetting the local produce that Dorset is renowned for, many top chefs including Gordon Ramsay, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and Lesley Waters have been filmed cooking delicious local food all over the area.
- West Dorset District Council’s tourism team regularly assists TV and film companies by suggesting a range of locations for filming and local hotels and businesses to offer support for crew in a bid to encourage TV companies to use West Dorset as a location for their production. For more information, visit our Press & Media page.