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TV and Film Locations in Dorset

category West Dorset

With dramatic coastal views, beautiful countryside and rich heritage, the towns and villages in Dorset make beautiful settings for television and film. Unsurprisingly, scenic locations in Dorset have featured as the backdrop in numerous blockbuster hits. In this guide we cover some of the most memorable examples from the big screen – all are perfect for exploring during a day out from your Dorset holiday home. Take a look at some of the most memorable film locations in Dorset.

Broadchurch

Bridport, West Bay & Littlebredy

The thrilling Broadchurch drama set across multiple West Dorset locations had the nation gripped from start to finish. Starring David Tennant and Oliva Coleman, the primetime ITV detective programme attracted much notoriety to the area, with the Jurassic Coast a prominent feature throughout the storyline.

Dunkirk

Weymouth Harbour

This wartime epic directed by Christopher Nolan was released in 2017 and featured a star-studded cast. Putting Weymouth in the limelight, Dunkirk recreated events of 1940 as depicted in the return of Troops to the Dorset-based harbour during the Second World War. The heritage railway station at Swanage also made an appearance in the famous film, providing a beautifully authentic Dorset film location.

Hovis Advert

Gold Hill, Shaftesbury 

Never has a television advert quite had the lasting effect like that of the 1973 commercial for Hovis bread directed by Ridley Scott. The award-winning advert undoubtably put Shaftesbury in North Dorset firmly on the map and on countless postcards and calendars around the world. The now iconic cobbled street is synonymous with the aged film clip of the young boy pushing his bike up Gold Hill.
Gold Hill, Shaftesbury. Hovis advert. Film locations in Dorset

Far From the Madding Crowd

Durdle Door, Gold Hill & Maiden Castle

The 1967 adaptation of Thomas Hardy’s classic novel Far From The Madding Crowd was filmed in various locations in Dorset. Directed by John Schlesinger, the film was able to benefit from the largely unspoilt rustic setting that helped to inspire the original work. Hardy’s Wessex, or Hardy Country as it has become known, is also a location that was used for filming in the 2015 adaptation of the same story, as well as versions of The Mayor of Casterbridge (1921) and Tess of the D’Urbervilles (1998).

The French Lieutenant’s Woman

Lyme Regis

Not only was Lyme Regis the home of John Fowles, the author of The French Lieutenant’s Woman. It was also where the 1981 adaptation of the romantic novel was filmed. The film features a wonderfully evocative scene at Lyme Regis Cobb, with a cloak wearing Meryl Streep looking out to the stormy sea. Lyme Regis is also the filming location for Ammonite, the fascinating story of fossil hunter Mary Anning.
Lyme Regis. Film locations in Dorset.

The Boat That Rocked

Portland Harbour
The 2009 film directed by Richard Curtis is based on the true story of pirate DJs of 1960s radio stations. Although the hit comedy is set in the North Sea, much of the filming took place around Weymouth and Portland. The extensive time taken to shoot the film meant that movie stars Rhys Ifans and Bill Nighy were often spotted in the local area. They were enjoying life in Dorset so much so that it was reported that they didn’t want to leave after the film was completed!
With so many world-famous TV and film locations to visit in Dorset, you’ll have a great time exploring them all. Your luxury holiday home or lodge is the perfect base from which to pay them a visit and experience the dramatic settings for yourself.