Visit Dorset Business Support Hub Filming in Dorset

Dorset has been the star of many a film and TV drama. That is no surprise, with the area’s unspoilt countryside, dramatic coastline and many impressive manor houses and gardens all offering a beautiful setting to really bring the script to life.

If you are organising a film shoot in Dorset and need to get permission to film, photograph or take drone footage, we have produced an A-Z list of locations in Dorset with information about filming permissions, fees and permits to help you.

Dorset - star of page and screen

This is the landcape that gave muse to great writers such as Enid Blyton, Thomas Hardy and Jane Austen and with much of the landscape remaining unchanged, Dorset has been the location for many adaptations of their famous novels.

In 2013, film crews selected the picturesque town of Sherborne and Mapperton House near Beaminster to shoot Thomas Vinterberg’s adaptation of Hardy’s first major literary success ‘Far From the Madding Crowd’, and West Dorset’s stunning Jurassic coastline plays a starring role in ITV1's drama, ‘Broadchurch’.

And it seems that film crews just can't get enough of Dorset! Warner Bros chose Weymouth and Swanage to film major scenes for Christopher Nolan's 'Dunkirk' and where better to film the latest adaptation of  Ian McEwan's 'On Chesil Beach' than on Chesil Beach itself?

An incredible place to film 

Filming in such a beautiful location as Dorset is a real pleasure for both cast and crew. ‘Broadchurch’ cast member, Pauline Quirke, said, “I have absolutely fallen in love with the place. I loved being at West Bay and when I got the chance I’d go off exploring. I have been to Lyme Regis and lots of other places just having a wander around…Even when the weather turned cold it was still beautiful.”

Star of 'Far From the Madding Crowd', Carey Mulligan, commented, "To film it [in Dorset] was almost distracting beacuse it was so beautiful. We all just felt like we were in this sort of perfect portrait landscape of Hardy".

Matthias Schoenarts, who played Gabriel Oak, added, "One day we were shooting on a cliff so we had these insanely beautiful views. That was my favourite place".

The ideal location choice

Dorset’s location makes it an ideal place to be based. The county is easily accessible by both road and rail from many of the UK’s principal towns, with London just over 2 hours away. Additionally, Dorset’s position on the south coast means it is well served by ferry services from European ports and Bournemouth International Airport is located within the county.

In this short video, made by Creative England and VisitEngland as part of their “I love filming in…” series, Anita Overland, co – producer of 'Far From the Madding Crowd' explains why Dorset was the perfect location choice:

Film Friendly Partnerships

We are part of Creative England's Film Friendly Partnerships scheme and are committed to proactively supporting the facilitation of filming in our region.

This key role includes handling requests for filming permissions and access to local authority or publicly owned sites, assisting with location scouting, accommodating cast and crew in the area, facilitating road closures and helping to provide an all-round welcoming, film-friendly atmosphere.

This vital work with Creative England helps support the film industry in regions outside of London and maximises the opportunities for the local area, ensuring England can deliver a joined-up, first class service and remain competitive within the global film & TV industry.

Don't miss out!

If you're interested in bringing your film crew to Dorset, please do get in touch to let us know the details ahead of time. Once you've found your perfect filming location, find somewhere for the cast and crew to stay using our online booking service.

Filming permits and permissions

If you are carrying out commercial filming or photography activity (for broadcast/public viewing) you may need to apply for a permit. Filming permissions are managed by the Dorset Council communications team.