Film & TV locations in Dorset

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.


Blockbuster Wonka hit the big screens with scenes from the magical movie filmed in Lyme Regis.

Starring Hollywood A-lister Timothée Chalamet in the title role, fantasy film Wonka introduces cinema audiences to a young Willy Wonka, as he becomes the world’s greatest inventor, magician and chocolatier.

Scenes from the world of pure imagination were filmed on The Cobb in Lyme Regis, plan your own visit and experience the magic of Wonka for yourself.


Lyme Regis, Charmouth and Eype Beach starred in the Mary Anning biopic, 'Ammonite', released in late 2020. Starring Kate Winslet and Saoirse Ronan in the leading roles, the Cannes selected film is inspired by the life and work of the famous fossil hunter. 

On Chesil Beach

Dorset's unique 17-mile shingle spit looked magnificent in the 2018 film adaptation of Ian McKewan's novel On Chesil Beach. Set in the 1960s, this powerful drama starring Saoirse Ronan and Billy Howle confronts the emotional fears and conflicts of newly weds that come from very different family upbringings.


West Dorset’s stunning coastline played a starring role in ITV1 drama, Broadchurch, starring David Tennant and Olivia Colman and written and created by Chris Chibnall.

Sites which featured 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 Freshwater.


Dorset locations are also featured in a number of scenes in Christopher Nolan's 2017 wartime epic action thriller, Dunkirk, with both Weymouth Harbour and Swanage Railway making an appearance.

Fionn Whitehead, Tom Hardy, Cillian Murphy, Harry Styles, Kenneth Branagh, Mark Rylance and James D'Arcy (also known for his Broadchurch appearance), tell the story of Operation Dynamo, on land, sea and by air.

Far From the Madding Crowd

In 2013, Hollywood film crews descended on Sherborne and Mapperton House near Beaminster to shoot Thomas Vinterberg’s adaptation of Hardy’s fourth novel and first major literary success Far From the Madding Crowd.

Starring A-listers Carey Mulligan, Tom Sturridge and Mathias Schoenaerts, film locations included Mapperton House, Sherborne Abbey, Castleton Church and Abbey Close, the streets of which were transformed into an 1870s market square in the town of Casterbridge.

This is Hardy country

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 2015 and 1967 versions of  '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.

Adaptations of classic novels

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.

In 2017, Hayley Atwell and Matthew MacFadyen filmed scenes in Swanage for BBC mini-series, 'Howards End', a four-part adaptation of EM Forster's classic novel.

Big screen blockbusters

Durdle Door beach in Purbeck was used for ‘Nanny McPhee’ with Emma Thompson and Colin Firth!

Portland Harbour was the location for the British film directed by Richard Curtis ‘The Boat that Rocked’ starring Rhys Ifans and Bill Nighy.

Just a few more…

Released in 2022, Disney's Andor (part of the Star Wars family) was partly filmed at Winspit Quarry in the village of Worth Matravers, near Swanage.

Bournemouth beach and pier featured in the first episode of the popular ITV series 'The Durrells'. The family then relocated from the famous Dorset seaside town to the Greek island of Corfu during the formative years of Gerald Durrell's life.

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.

Discover Dorset'sstarring role


Dorset's Jurassic Coast starred as the stunning backdrop for hit ITV series, Broadchurch.


Lyme Regis played a major part in the romantic feature film, Ammonite.


Weymouth and Swanage both featured in Christopher Nolan's epic film, Dunkirk

Far From The Madding Crowd

Dorset’s rustic setting forms the backdrop for director Thomas Vinterberg’s adaptation of Thomas Hardy’s 1874...

On Chesil Beach

On Chesil Beach is a film adaptation of novel by Ian McEwan and stars Dorset's beautiful coast.

Literary Dorset

Dorset's wonderful, contrasting landscape has inspired many famous writers to put pen to paper...

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Areas to Visit

Bustling towns, quaint villages and seaside resorts...all waiting to be explored!

Heritage & Culture

Discover Dorset's rich and intriguing heritage and soak up the atmosphere of bygone eras.

The Jurassic Coast

West Bay is located along the world-famous Jurassic Coast and was the stage for ITV's Broadchurch.

What does your Dorset look like? Adventures on our epic coastline? Visiting attractions with family? A walk through the beautiful countryside? Or perhaps a chilled out evening eating and drinking with friends? Discover a sample of your #VisitDorset images below and share your love for Dorset using the hashtag on Instagram.