The Top Five Films set and shot in Wiltshire

By Jamie Hill - 28 January 2019

Arts and CultureAttractions

Home to Swindon, Stonehenge, and Salisbury Cathedral, Wiltshire is unsurprisingly a magnet for the global film industry.

Countless award-winning blockbuster films have been either set in Wiltshire or shot here, with directors taking advantage of the stunning natural scenery and rich architectural heritage that the county offers. If you're a long-time resident or just a big fan of one of the UK's greatest counties, read on to find out the very best films that have been shot or set right here in Wiltshire. 

The Princess Diaries (2001) 

Anne Hathaway's The Princess Diaries ignited the dreams of young girls all over the world who hoped that they too would one day be told that they are a princess. While much of the film's action is set and shot in San Francisco, Wiltshire is used as a stand-in for the fictional European state of Genovia, the small realm which is the Princess's birthright.

The parting shot of the film, which shows her royal ancestral home, is actually a shot of Wiltshire's very own Longford Castle. Fans of the film who wish to revisit their childhood should know that The Princess Diaries is only available on US Netflix at the moment. This means that if you really want to watch it, you will need a VPN, which stands for Virtual Private Network. VPN Base recommends these for Netflix viewing, so you can revisit Genovia without any trouble using platforms such as ExpressVPN or NordVPN.

Brideshead Revisited (2008) 

Evelyn Waugh's iconic 1945 novel was finally adapted for the big screen after a long and lengthy production process. Starring Emma Thompson and Matthew Goode in this classic story of love triangles, scandal, and debauchery among England's upper classes, the film opened to rave reviews in 2008, despite failing to break even at the box office. Almost the entirety of the film was shot within Wiltshire, with despite Castle Howard in North Yorkshire being used in exterior shots for Brideshead Manor. 

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2009) 

The unspoiled Wiltshire village of Lacock and nearby Lacock Abbey served as the location of a number of spooky scenes in the sixth film instalment of the Harry Potter franchise. You can catch these locations about midway through the film when the film's protagonist trio are on the hunt for the horcruxes that will destroy Voldemort's power once and for all. The village was already immensely popular with tourists due to its authentic 17th-century feel, but since the premiere of this film, Lacock is now swamped with Potter fans seven days a week. 

The Other Boleyn Girl (2008) 

This high-budget, award-winning historical drama gives a different perspective of one of the most famous marriages in world history - that of Henry VIII and his ill-fated partner Anne Boleyn. Although the Boleyn's ancestral home is actually located in Kent, the original building was reduced to rubble shortly after her execution. Therefore Wiltshire's Great Chalfield Manor was used as a stand-in, with much of the film's main scenes being shot in and around this beautiful Tudor-era mansion. Visitors today can even enjoy a tour of the building based on scenes from the film. 

The staggering variety of beautiful and historic sites in Wiltshire means that the county will surely serve as a stage for more great films in the future. Watch this space to find out. 

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