5 Cinematic Settings To Visit In The Cotswolds
Hollywood and the Cotswolds aren’t often talked about in the same breath, given that Tinsel Town is more than 5,000 miles from our Great British beauty spot. But believe it or not, the two places have a lot in common.
Many a silver screen supremo has selected the Cotswold’s stunning scenery as their blockbuster backdrop. So if you’re a movie fan seeking a sojourn sprinkled with stardust, this countrified corner of England is the ideal getaway.
Book a stay at The Frogmill, our welcoming Cotswolds hotel, and visit these five cinematic settings…
1. Gloucester Cathedral (Harry Potter)
This grand old church has seen plenty of action over the last 1,300 years, from kings’ crowning to bishops’ burning. In terms of architecture, the cathedral is probably best known for its cloisters – ornate covered walkways – which may look familiar to fans of the Harry Potter movies as they provided the spellbinding setting for many a scene in The Philosopher’s Stone, The Chamber of Secrets and The Half-Blood Prince. Potterheads can enjoy a plethora of photo opportunities, including the very spot where Harry hid from a troll and the actual door to the Gryffindor common room.
2. Snowshill (Bridget Jones’s Diary)
Noughties rom-com Bridget Jones’s Diary was probably most famous for its references to the main protagonist’s enormous underwear. But we remember it for Snowshill, the cute Cotswold village that appears in the scenes where Bridget pays a Christmas visit to her parents. Appropriately, given its name, the place was covered in snow in the film. But as shooting took place in July, that was all artificial. The crew even had the painstaking job of cutting off the flowers from every plant in the village to ensure the winter wonderland appeared authentic.
3. Bampton (Downton Abbey)
Period drama fans, buckle up your bonnets. The absurdly popular Sunday night TV staple Downton Abbey may have been set in Yorkshire, but several key scenes were actually shot in the Oxfordshire village of Bampton. The show followed the sometimes scandalous affairs of the Crawley dynasty and was most memorable for the sharp-tongued wit of Violet Crawley, the Dowager Countess of Grantham, played by Dame Maggie Smith. Reel off some of her best quotes as you wander around filming locations such as Bampton’s old Grammar School (Downton Hospital) and Church View (The Grantham Arms).
4. Dyrham Park (The Remains Of The Day)
From one great period drama to another, The Remains Of The Day tells the story of an uptight butler (played by Anthony Hopkins) who puts service over sentiment and keeps his feelings firmly buttoned up. Set in the fictitious Darlington Hall, the exterior scenes were actually shot at Dyrham Park near Bath. Pay the 17th Century stately home a visit and take a stroll around the spectacular grounds, no waistcoat and tails required.
5. Puzzlewood (Star Wars: The Force Awakens)
You don’t have to travel to a galaxy far, far away to feel the force of a Star Wars movie scene. Puzzlewood, in the Forest of Dean, features throughout The Force Awakens, most notably when light-sabre wielding baddie Kylo Ren chases down Rey and her spherical droid BB-8. The other-worldly woodland has also appeared in Doctor Who, Jack The Giant Slayer and Da Vinci’s Demons, proving that the Cotswolds really is at the centre of the cinematic universe.