There are certain places in the world that are frequently used as filming locations for big Hollywood movies. New York and London are typical for their big, dramatic city skylines, whereas countries such as Ireland and Iceland offer wide, sweeping landscapes and breathtaking scenery. However, every now and again, less well known locations are chosen to be the unsung star of the latest flick, and that is the case with my home county of Somerset.
Wookey Hole Caves – Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002)
Some of the tunnel scenes in the Chamber of Secrets were filmed on location at the village of Wookey Hole, in the naturally formed limestone caves. This example is a little more obscure than the other because to the unknowing, one cave looks exactly like another.
Brean Down – Elizabeth: The Golden Age (2007)
Brean Down provides the location for Cate Blanchett’s Queen Elizabeth I’s rousing battle speech in anticipation of the approaching Spanish Armada. Another obscure one but if you know, you know.
Cheddar Gorge – Jack the Giant Slayer (2013)
Admittedly, there is a certain degree of CGI involved with this one but Cheddar Gorge provided the basis for the landscape of the Giant’s country in Bryan Singer’s Jack the Giant Slayer.
Wells Cathedral – The Huntsman: Winters War (2016)
The cathedral set in the country’s smallest city has been used many times as a filming location, including The Huntsman: Winters War and coincidentally, Elizabeth: The Golden Age and Jack the Giant Slayer. The gothic exterior and striking interior architecture are perfect for both fantasy and period pieces.
Wells – Hot Fuzz (2007)
Director Edgar Wright grew up in Wells and it was his knowledge of the area which lead him to use the city as his backdrop for his comedy film, Hot Fuzz. Ironically, the iconic cathedral was digitally removed from the film to help maintain a ‘village’ feel.
Pulteney Bridge, Bath – Les Misérables (2012)
Pulteney Bridge and the raging river below provided the perfect metaphor for Javert’s conflicted conscience in Les Misérables, as well as his final resting place (spoiler, sorry).
Do you have any local filming locations in your area? I would love for you to share them with me.