film locations north east
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9 Film Locations you can Visit in the North East

Buckle up, as Liam Charlton guides you through 9 film locations in the North East that are a must-visit…

Movies have long held an enchanting and illustrious position in modern culture. Self-aggrandising language like ‘Movie Magic’ and ‘Tinsel Town’, coupled with iconic imagery such as the ‘HOLLYWOOD’ sign and that majestic lion’s roar, help portray a wonderful far-off world out of reach of most. But the glitz and glamour of the silver screen may not be as far from your front door as you first thought.

Here are 9 film locations in the North East that you can visit right now. They have provided the backdrop for everything from regional TV to Hollywood blockbusters.

Alnwick Castle

film locations north east

Alnwick Castle has stood as an indomitable and ever-present feature of the Northumberland landscape for almost 1000 years. In recent times this remarkable building has lent its historical and grandiose features to some of the most recognisable TV and film franchises in the world.

From its big screen debut, hosting Richard Burton and Peter O’Toole in Becket in 1964, Alnwick castle has featured in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, Downton Abbey, Harry Potter and more recently Dungeons and Dragons: Honor Among Thieves to name just a few.

Alnwick Castle is a must-visit for Film buffs looking to recreate or pay homage to some of cinema’s iconic moments.

Durham Cathedral

Film locations north east

There is little wonder that when location scouts are tasked with finding a stone building with elegant architecture and a regal aura, Durham Cathedral is so often a perfect choice. Scenes from the 1998 film Elizabeth and George Gently were all shot here.

The inspiring building was also one of the locations used as Hogwarts in Harry Potter. As well as the setting for Thor’s emotional reunion with his mother in Avengers Endgame.

You can visit Durham Cathedral, walk through the halls, and around the idyllic grounds and explore a building that marries historic significance with dramatic cinematic poise.

Hadrian’s Wall

film locations north east

Hadrian’s Wall is a shadow of its former glory, but hey, how would you look at 1900 years old? Originally standing about 13 feet tall the original structure was a symbol of power and fortitude, covering the entire width of northern England.

Now a UNESCO World Heritage site, Hadrian’s Wall has provided the setting for scenes in the 2016 TV adaptation of Beowulf. And perhaps more notably Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves.

While the famous tree no longer adorns the sycamore gap, the site is still a magnet for hikers. As well as those who appreciate this iconic site’s place in cinema history.

Bamburgh Castle

film locations north east

Bamburgh Castle has been an imposing presence on the Northumberland coast for close to 1000 years. The seat of power for the Anglo-Saxon Kings of Northumbria and host to many of the medieval Kings of England, it’s timeless and awe-inspiring stature of this castle has brought Hollywood royalty to shoot here.

The opening action sequence for the latest Indiana Jones was shot here. As well as the BFG, Transformers and both the 1971 and 2015 adaptations of Macbeth.

Guests are welcome to explore the castle’s storied history. Any visit is worth it for the first spectacular view of the castle as you approach the town of Bamburgh.

Low Force, Durham

film locations north east

The atmospheric and idyllic beauty of Low Force waterfall draws visitors all year round. The river Tees rushes off the ancient whinstone formation to create a series of breathtaking waterfalls that have found themselves immortalised on the big screen. 

Three-time Oscar-winning war epic 1917 used Low Force as a backdrop to several scenes. And the much loved Netflix series The Witcher took advantage of Low Fell’s dramatic beauty.

The scenic walk along the river Tees is a popular route for dog walkers, hikers and those looking for a pleasant afternoon stroll. At the end of it, you’ll have some incredible Instagram-worthy pictures with a hint of cinematic significance.

Newcastle City Centre

film locations north east

Newcastle is a proud modern city built on exquisite period architecture, sometimes referred to as ‘Tyneside Classical’, of Grainger Town. The Theatre Royal and Grainger Market are some of the gorgeous buildings on show. But it was the iconic Grainger Street that saw luxury cars dodging falling rubble for the blockbuster Transformers: The Last King.

Newcastle has also featured in the long-running Northumberland-based detective drama Vera. Newcastle’s sprawling city centre is a hive of activity and events, not least spotting film locations in the North East.

Whitby

film locations north east

Whitby is a quaint and picturesque cliffside fishing town, crowned with Whitby Abbey, overlooking the harbour. It is a small pocket of rural England that packs an impressive amount of history within its cobblestone streets.

The town, being part of the inspiration, featured in the classic Bram Stoker novel Dracula. It seems only right the town would feature in the 2020 Film adaptation. Whitby has also inspired TV crews from ITV’s Victoria, Amazon’s The Grand Tour and the Oscar-winning film Phantom Thread.

This popular seaside town offers beautiful beaches, fabulous shops and traditional fish and chips, making it a wonderful day out.

North Yorkshire Moors Railway

film locations north east

North Yorkshire Moors Railway couples the most spectacular British scenery with the unapologetic elegance of Victorian comfort. Visitors can enjoy everything from afternoon tea to a three-course lunch aboard the luxury train. They even offer a gin and beer-tasting event. All against the natural majesty of the North Yorkshire Moors.

The list of big-screen accreditations for this unique train line is almost as long as its route. Iconic British productions such as the 2016 film adaptation of Dad’s Army, Harry Potter, Downton Abbey and Agatha Christies The ABC Murders have all used this train to fantastic effect.

Malham

film locations north east

Malham is everything you’re looking for. The delightfully charming village is in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales, surrounded by the most stunning landscapes the British Isles have to offer. Just a 30-minute walk from the village the rugged landscape opens up into the most awe-inspiring and breathtaking scenery you will find anywhere in the UK.

Malham Cove has been used by filmmakers since 1949’s A Boy, a Girl and a Bike. Since then productions including Harry Potter, Wuthering Heights, Monty Python, All Creatures Great and Small (2020), The Witcher and 2017’s Victoria have all used this dramatic landscape.