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SURREY STARS ON THE SILVER SCREEN

By Sara Hardy– 4th December 2020
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Surrey has welcomed some of the biggest names from Tinsel Town over the years from the likes of Gerard Butler to Daniel Craig. With historic houses, picturesque towns and villages, densely wooded commons and rolling heathlands, the county has provided the setting for many big and small screen productions.

Home to world renowned Shepperton and Longcross Studios, together with easy airport access, Surrey is a great location choice for many film producers.

Historic buildings

16th Century Losely Park in Guildford has been the home of the More- Molyneux family continuously for the last 500 years and the house has remained largely unchanged.  This beautifully restored building made it the perfect location for the Netflix blockbuster The Crown (2016 onwards).

Unsurprisingly, many of Surrey’s historic houses feature in other well-known period dramas too. Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility (2008) also featured many scenes from Losely Park. Both Losely Park and Polesden Lacey (National Trust) played a role in the filming of  ITVs Miss Marple, in which Polesden Lacey became a 1950s London hotel for the murder mystery scenes. Agatha Christie of course staged her own real-life disappearance at Newlands Corner not far away.

Kiera Knightly starred as The Duchess (2008) and Natalie Dormer in The Scandalous Lady W (2015) both featured scene’s from Clandon Park (National Trust). The BBC period drama Cranford featured scenes from Winkworth Arboretum (National Trust) near Goldalming.

Not exactly a period drama but set in the stunning Charterhouse School, Rupert Everett, Colin Firth and David Tennant all starred in St Trinian’s 2 (2009).

 

Waverley Abbey

Waverly Abbey (English Heritage) was the first monastery founded in Britain by Cistercian monks. The rather spectacular remains include the 13th century vaulted dining hall. The abbey has provided the backdrop to a number of films including 28 Days Later (2002), Hot Fuzz (2007) and The Mummy (2017). It also features in a number of scenes in the BBC’s four-part adaptation of Howards End.

 

Painshill Park

In the fourth season episode of the satirical Netflix blockbuster Black Mirror, the episode “Hang the DJ” was shot in the grounds of the abbey at Painshill Park.

 

Surrey County Hall

Grade II listed Surrey County Hall in Kingston has featured scenes from many modern TV adaptations. Midsomer Murders, Poirot, Call the Midwife and Downton Abbey have all featured scenes from inside this impressive Surrey landmark. Scenes for Midsomer murders were also filmed at Albury Park near Guildford and Royal Holloway College in Egham.

The scenes from the courtroom and cells in the BBC’s production of A Very English Scandal (2018) with Hugh Grant were also filmed here, together with other scenes filmed in Esher and Englfield Green.

 

Surrey’s villages

Chocolate box Shere has been a very popular choice for movie makers over the years. The village in The Holiday (2006) is Shere and the cottage that Cameron Diaz moves into can be found here too. Other scenes from the movie were filmed in Wonersh and Godalming. Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason was also largely filmed on location in Shere.

 

Out and about

James Bond fans will be thrilled to learn that many scenes from with their favourite spy were filmed here in Surrey. Hankley Common in Tilford provided the scene of the Scottish moors in Skyfall (2012). You will also spot Hankley Common in Die Another Day and The World Is Not Enough. Daniel Craig made his first appearance as James Bond in Casino Royale which includes a scene filmed at Dunsfold Aerodrome. One of Pierce Brosnan’s appearances in Goldeneye (1995) was filmed at Epsom Downs Racecourse

Love Actually’s airport scene was created and filmed at Epson Downs Racecourse. Hugh Grant is no stranger to Surrey having featured on screen several times in scenes across the county. St Michael’s church in Betchworth was one of the churches in Four Weddings and a Funeral.

Bourne Wood in Farnham is a well-known movie location having hosted the likes of Russell Crowe on more than one occasion in Gladiator (2000), and again Robin Hood (2010). The Golden Compass starring Nicole Kidman (2007), Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince and War Horse (2011) all feature various scenes from Bourne Wood.

Lawrence of Arabia (1962) was largely filmed on Chobham Common

The film adaptation of Woking’s HG Wells War of the Worlds 1897 filmed on Horsell Common.

Virginia Water Lake at Windsor Great Park

Virginia Water has seen its fair share of action too. Happy Potter; The Goblet of Fire features scenes at Virginia Waters’ Lake. The scene of the fishing trip between the President (Morgan Freeman) and Mike Banning (Gerard Butler) in Angel has Fallen (2019) were also filmed on Virginia Water Lake at Windsor Great Park.

Frensham Ponds

Many of the Carry On films in the 60s and 70s were filmed at Frensham Ponds (Surrey’s only beach) to double up as the Spanish and American coastlines.

 

TV Trivia

Here are just a handful of TV shows that have been made here in Surrey:

A Berry Royal Christmas (2019) featuring the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Mary Berry was filmed at RHS Wisley

Doctor Foster

The Huf Hause in St Georges Hill Weybridge played a huge role in the BBC’S successful drama, Doctor Foster. This luxurious residence is the house that Simon and his young girlfriend (Jodie Comer) moved into. Layer Cake (2004) was also filmed at St George’s Hill, Weybridge.

The Good Liar

Featuring Sir Ian McKellen and Dame Helen Mirren featured a number of external scenes from a residential street in Fetcham, Surrey.

Top Gear

The infamous Top Gear Track is at Dunsfold Aerodrome.

 

Many of these incredible locations are very accessible to the public so why not go and check them out?

Enjoy!

Sara x

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