Six must-see places for TV and film buffs
- Credit: Film 4 Productions
Miles of sandy beaches, rolling hills and lush green countryside make North Somerset one of the most picturesque areas in the UK, providing the perfect backdrop for some breath-taking walks.
It’s no wonder producers regularly choose to come here for TV and film location shoots. So, when you’re visiting parts of the region and think it looks familiar, chances are you have been walking through a big screen location without realising.
We have compiled a list of the top six for you to seek out during your visit.
1. Broadchurch (2013-2017), Clevedon
British acting royalty David Tennant and Olivia Colman starred in the Bafta-award winning three-series ITV crime drama Broadchurch, which follows a seaside community as they come to terms with the murder of an 11-year-old boy.
Most of the outside scenes were filmed in Clevedon, with St Andrew’s Church used as the Broadchurch parish church and graveyard and Hill Road was used for the High Street. The Latimer's home is Lavington Close in the Victorian resort and nearby green areas were filmed in Marshall's Field.
Fans of the show can follow a trail to find all the locations used in the filming by downloading it from broadchurchns.wordpress.com
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2. Never Let Me Go (2010), Clevedon Pier and Weston
Again, the popular Hill Road area of Clevedon was used to film some of the scenes in this British dystopian film, where a shop there was converted into a travel agency. Crews also filmed on the beach and pier. The Grade 1 listed structure also featured on the film poster and the cover of the re-released book.
Hollywood stars Keira Knightley, Carey Mulligan and Andrew Garfield are seen tucking into sausage, egg and chips at the Regent Restaurant, just off Weston seafront, in one scene, which then featured in the trailer and in promotional screenshots of the film. The crew also used Salisbury Terrace, near the entrance to the Grand Pier.
3. You & I, One Direction Music Video (2013), Clevedon Pier
At the time, One Direction were the most famous band in the world and the filming of their video for You & I garnered much attention, despite the crew trying to shoot it in secret.
Band members morph into each other while walking up and down the boards as they trade lead vocals, showing the Victorian pavilion in all its glory and a shot was used in the track’s publicity material.
4. Sherlock - The Abominable Bride (2015), Wraxall
The successful BBC1 drama Sherlock included an episode which was screened at Christmas 2015 and watched by 11.6 million viewers, making it by far the most popular show that festive period.
The action unfolded in the beautiful setting of the National Trust estate of Tyntesfield, in North Somerset. BBC bosses felt the Victorian Grade-I listed house’s backdrop was perfect for filming, with Hollywood darling Benedict Cumberbatch dubbing the location ‘a delight’.
Tyntesfield previously featured as a location for an episode of Doctor Who, filmed in 2013 and Dr Thorne, Julian Fellowes’ adaptation of the Anthony Trollope novel, broadcast on ITV in 2016.
5. Sanditon (2019 and 2021?), Clevedon, Weston’s Marine Lake, Sand Point and Uphill and Brean
One of the country’s greatest ever authors, Jane Austen, could have been describing Weston while setting the scene for her final, unfinished novel. One of the main characters is transforming a small, unpretentious fishing village into a fashionable seaside resort, complete with the installation of bathing machines.
So, it comes as no surprise to locals that Weston, Clevedon and Brean were chosen by ITV to recreate coastal scenes for the eight-part adaption.
Production company Red Planet said: “We are happy to be using many locations in North Somerset during filming of Sanditon. Many of these are seaside locations with stunning views, and some of the coastal cliffside locations have not been featured on screen before so add a visual freshness to the production.”
The eight-part programme was aired in August 2019 but by December ITV announced it would not be commissioning a second series due to disappointing viewing figures. Since then, there have been various social media campaigns calling for a second series and finally the production company announced in the spring that there will be a second and third series, with the film crew already spotted around Weston's coastline.
6. Salisbury (2019), Clevedon and Weston
A BBC film crew working on a three-part factual drama examining the impact of the novichok poisonings in Salisbury was spotted shooting in Brookfield Walk, in Clevedon and around Weston seafront.
Former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter were targeted with the nerve agent in March 2018. And later, Amesbury resident Dawn Sturgess died after being exposed to high levels of it.
The drama, starring Anne-Marie Duff, Rafe Spall and MyAnna Buring, focussed on the public sector workers who displayed great heroism during the unprecedented national emergency in March 2018.