Who needs Hollywood when you have Dorset? Our glorious county has had a starring role in many films over the years.

Here's a round-up of just 11 locations you can visit that have been captured on film. 

Sandbanks beach

Bournemouth Echo:

Sandbanks stood in for Venice beach in 2007 for low-budget British film Morris: A Life With Bells On in 2007. Persistent rain caused a major headache for crew who had to squeeze two days of filming into just a few hours but fortunately for them, the sun did eventually shine.

Athelhampton House

Bournemouth Echo:

In 2008, Dame Maggie Smith, Timothy Spall and Hugh Bonneville headed to the 15th century manor house to film spooky children’s fantasy From Time To Time, directed by Julian Fellowes.


An adaptation of the Thomas Hardy classic Far From The Madding Crowd starring Carey Mulligan was filmed at various locations across Dorset including Beaminster and Sherborne and is set for release in May.

Lyme Regis

The Cobb provided the dramatic backdrop for Hollywood actress Meryl Streep when she starred as the troubled Sarah Woodruff in The French Lieutenant's Woman. Lyme Regis also featured in the 1995 and 2007 adaptations of Jane Austin classic Persuasion. In the book, chapters 11 to 14 are set in the seaside town with the characters, who arrive in November, describing the out-of-season holiday resort.


Bournemouth Echo: Disaster banner BradPitt.jpg for the homepage

Brad Pitt created a stir when he spent the day racing up and down the cove in a boat for the post-apocalyptic horror World War Z in November 2012. The actor returned to Dorset to get behind the wheel of a tank at the Tank Museum Bovington in September 2013 in preparation for his WWII film, Fury. Lulworth also doubled up as Big Sur when Kevin Spacey portrayed singer Bobby Darin in Beyond the Sea.


Bournemouth Echo:

Portland Harbour, Castletown, Lyme Regis and Kimmeridge were among the locations chosen for swinging sixties comedy The Boat That Rocked. Filming for the Richard Curtis film took place on the former Dutch hospital ship Timor Challenger, previously De Hoop, moored in Portland Harbour.

Abbotsbury Swannery

Bournemouth Echo:

The swampy reed beds of Abbotsbury Swannery were used as the entrance to the Weasley family home in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.

Durdle Door

Bournemouth Echo:

Scenes from Wilde starring Stephen Fry were filmed at the iconic Dorset landmark in 1997. It was also used for the beach scene in Nanny Mcphee starring Emma Thompson in 2005.


Bournemouth Echo:

(Oliver Reed as Hannibal Brookes- Picture United Artists)

British sci-fi film The Damned, starring Oliver Reed, centres around a tourist in Weymouth as he gets mixed up in a military plot where radioactive children are kept hidden from the world in a secret cliff side military base.

Evershot and Dorchester

Bournemouth Echo: Gwyneth Paltrow, whose shoes and handbag will be up for auction at Dorchester Arts' Peal Gala (18588130)

Evershot and Dorchester were some of the backdrops used for the 1996 film version of Jane Austen’s Emma, which starred Gwyneth Paltrow as the leading lady.

West Dorset

Bournemouth Echo:

Stephen Frears’ 2010 comedy Tamara Drewe, which starred Gemma Arterton as a journalist who returns to the fictitious Dorset village of Ewedown with the intention of selling her childhood home, was set amid the rolling West Dorset countryside.