Have you ever watched your favourite show and been blown away by the scenery? Or maybe you’ve vowed to book your next holiday to that beautiful beach you’ve seen on the big screen?

If you’re nodding your head in agreement, then you’re amongst thousands of tourists that have travelled specifically to a destination to seek out the places they’ve seen in movies and TV series.

Known as set-jetting, or a location vacation, this trend is sharply on the rise with cult TV shows such as Game of Thrones and Poldark attracting hordes of loyal fans to visit their filming locations.

Here in Dorset, the magnificent Jurassic Coast and unspoilt countryside attracts scores of film crews who come to take advantage of the county’s incredible backdrop. Read on for our top set-jetting picks – lights, camera, action!

Filming at West Bay, Dorset


West Bay, a small fishing village situated on Dorset’s coastline, played a starring role alongside David Tennant and Olivia Colman in ITV1’s hit drama, Broadchurch.

The setting of the series stole the show; with writer Chris Chibnall deliberately using the local landscape to inform the drama. “Broadchurch was a love letter to the scenery of the Jurassic Coast” says Chris, “... the cliffs, the sea, the beach were all key elements of the story”.

Fans of the drama, affectionately termed ‘Broadies’, can see the police station, the newsagents, the pier and of course, iconic golden cliffs that became synonymous with the series.

West Bay, Dorset

Far From the Madding Crowd

Dorset’s rustic setting formed the backdrop for the 2015 film adaptation of Thomas Hardy’s Far From the Madding Crowd.

Hardy famously took his inspiration from Dorset’s wide, sweeping scenery, much of which remains unchanged to this day. In fact, actress Carey Mulligan who played Bathsheba Everdene remarked at how they “were in this sort of perfect portrait landscape of Hardy”, when they were filming.

Hardy setjetters to Dorset can visit Sherborne, which was turned into the market town of Casterbridge, Mapperton House which became Everdene Farm, Durdle Door where Sargeant Troy swam out to sea and the cliffs at West Bay where Gabriel Oak lost his flock of sheep.

Filming Far From the Madding Crowd, Mapperton Estate


In 2017, Hollywood descended on Swanage and Weymouth to film ‘Dunkirk’, Christopher Nolan’s critically acclaimed film about WW2’s ‘Operation Dynamo’.

Film buffs embarking on a ‘Dunkirk’ themed trip to Dorset would undoubtedly have to ride on the Swanage Railway to follow in Harry Styles’ footsteps and wander round Weymouth’s picturesque old harbour, where the Moonstone set off on its plucky rescue mission.

The poignant shot of the chalk cliffs at Studland where the soldiers got their first view of home can be recreated by booking a Jurassic Coast Cruise from Swanage Pier.

Filming Dunkirk, Weymouth

On Chesil Beach

Where better to film an adaption of Ian McEwan’s ‘On Chesil Beach’ than on Chesil Beach itself?

This sad tale of two newlyweds on their ill-fated honeymoon to Dorset plays out on the wild and windswept shingle bank of Chesil Beach, the dramatic location setting the tone for the tense scenes between the couple.

Contrary to its moody depiction in the film, Chesil Beach is breathtakingly beautiful and is a popular spot for fishing and wildlife watching. Setjetters should visit the eastern end of the beach at the Chesil Beach Visitor Centre where most of the shooting took place.

After you’ve climbed the bank and taken in the atmosphere, there are some great places to stop for a bite to eat including the Taste Café, Billy Winters and the Crab House Café, all within easy walking distance.

Promotional shot from 'On Chesil Beach'


Lyme Regis is the latest place in Dorset to make it onto the big screen.

Set for release in 2020, ‘Ammonite’ is a feature film about world famous fossil hunter, Mary Anning, and a young woman sent to convalesce by the sea. The pair develop an intense relationship, altering both of their lives forever.

Fans of Kate Winslet and Saoirse Ronan, who play the main characters, can enjoy a fossil themed break to Lyme Regis and walk along the same very beach that Mary Anning made her first famous ichthyosaur discovery.

Make sure you join a fossil walk from the Lyme Regis Museum and who knows - you could discover a fossilised ammonite of your own!

Lyme Regis, Dorset


Lyme Regis Museum
The Mary Anning wing at Lyme Regis Museum, Dorset

Discover 185 million years of history at this charming and friendly museum with stunning views across Lyme Bay. There are fossils galore in the new interactive geology gallery, and you can find out about the fascinating history of renowned fossilist Mary Anning, the town itself and the writers associated with it.

Lyme Regis
WDDC credit

Lyme Regis is Dorset's most westerly town, a bustling and picturesque seaside resort famous for its fossils and literary connections.

Fine Foundation Chesil Beach Centre
Heritage/Visitor Centre
Fine Foundation Chesil Beach Centre

Managed by Dorset Wildlife Trust, the centre's exciting displays and programme of activities will help you make the most of your visit to Chesil Beach and Portland.

Chesil Beach
Natural Feature
© James Loveridge Photography

Chesil Beach is 18 miles (28 kilometres) long and, on average, 160 metres wide and rises to 12 metres in height. It is a pebble and shingle tombolo connecting Portland to Abbotsbury and then continuing north-westwards to West Bay near Bridport. It is the largest tombolo in the UK.

City Cruises Poole
Boat Trip
Solent Scene and Island Scene boat cruises

Cruises operate daily from Poole Quay and Swanage Pier. Check the website for winter sailings. We offer a wide selection of cruises along the Jurassic coast, trips to the Victorian resort at Swanage and the Steam Railway, Poole Harbour cruises, Afternoon Tea or Lunch cruises, evening cruises or private charters.

Swanage Railway
Swanage Railway - photo taken by Andrew P.M. Wright

Enjoy a nostalgic steam-train ride on the Purbeck line. Trains run for most of the year - daily from April to October and most weekends throughout the year. Park at Norden then catch a train to travel 6 miles south to Swanage, passing through Corfe Castle village.


With the fantastic backdrop of the World Heritage Jurassic Coast, an award winning safe sandy beach, full programme of colourful events and fun-filled attractions, Weymouth is the ideal all year round holiday destination.

Mapperton House & Gardens
External photo of Mapperton House

2020 winner of the Historic Houses ‘Garden of the Year’ award and voted ‘Nation’s Finest Manor House’ by Country Life. A hidden Dorset gem with outstanding countryside views and much to explore. Glorious Jacobean manor overlooking large Italianate garden, with orangery, fountains, statues, herbaceous borders, bold topiary and grottoes. Informal lower gardens with colourful shrubs and rare trees, a spring garden and woodlands. Licensed café onsite for refreshments. Closed Fri, Sat and some Thursdays. Free parking onsite.

Market Town
Sherborne Abbey

Located to the north of West Dorset, this historic Ham Stone town nestles in green valleys and wooded hills and is, without doubt, one of the most beautiful towns in England.

Bridport & West Bay
Market Town
Bridport & West Bay

Set amongst the spectacular rolling Dorset hills, Bridport is a lively town with a friendly and vibrant character. A mile south is West Bay, a bustling harbour which becomes a popular tourist resort in the summer months.



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