TV and film sites in the North East and where to find them

TV and film sites in the North East and where to find them – words Alexa Wang

Many parts of the North East of England have appeared on the big and small screens over the years.

Visit the recognisable film sites from your favourite TV shows and movies by checking out this handy guide of the region by premium hotel group The Cairn Group:

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Alnwick Castle

As seen in:

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, The Hollow Crown: The Wars Of The Roses, Downton Abbey, Black Adder

Why visit?

Alnwick Castle is one of Britain’s most iconic castles and is host to plenty of sights. Head into the historical site’s State Rooms to admire a huge range of art and furniture that has been collected by the Percy family over the generations, or take a trip into the castle’s dark Lost Cellars if you’re feeling brave.

If you’re a fan of Downton Abbey, you won’t want to miss the exhibition at the castle, where you can see costumes and props from the beloved TV series, while their broomstick training lessons will make you think you’ve just enrolled into Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

More information visit the website

Durham Cathedral

As seen in:

1998 film Elizabeth, the Harry Potter film series, Inspector George Gently

Why visit?

Durham Cathedral is a World Heritage Site set in a wonderful location; atop a rocky promontory within eyeshot of Durham Castle and the medieval city of Durham. During your visit, be sure to take in the Durham Cathedral Library — it descends from the library of the monastery that was founded at Lindisfarne by St Aidan way back in 635AD — as well as venture to the top of the site’s 66-metre-high Central Tower for truly amazing views of the North East.

More information visit the website

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Hadrian’s Wall

As seen in:

Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, Beowulf TV series

Why visit?

A structure that has stood on the north of England’s landscape since Emperor Hadrian ordered it built in AD 122, Hadrian’s Wall is a World Heritage Site that was acknowledged as the north-west frontier of the Roman Empire for close to 300 years. Stretching for 73 miles from Wallsend in the north-east to Bowness-on-Solway in the north-west, the structure is home to:

  • The Birdoswald Trail that is set out beside the River Irthing and host to the Birdoswald Farmhouse.
  • The Chesters Trail that is located near to the North Tyne River, which is nestled within the valley of Chollerford and is the place to find the Chesters Tearoom.
  • The Corbridge Trail that includes a mixture of remains in rural and urban settings and welcomes you into Corbridge Roman Town and Heddon-on-the-Wall.
  • The Housesteads Trail that includes visits to breathtaking nature spots like Cawfields and Walltown Crags.

More information visit the website

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Bamburgh Beach & Castle

As seen in:

1998 film Elizabeth, Becket, 2016 film version of The BFG, Transformers: The Last Knight, both the 1971 film version and the 2015 film version of Macbeth, 2015 TV miniseries Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell, Beowulf TV series

Why visit?

Bamburgh is a tourist’s dream, especially when you consider its magnificent castle and dune-fringed beach.

Bamburgh Castle is set on a rocky plateau and covers nine acres of land — making it one of the UK’s largest inhabited castles. Parts of the castle that you need to visit include the site’s medieval kitchen, the awe-aspiring King’s Hall and the affluent stables.

Once you’ve finished exploring Bamburgh Castle, take a short walk down to Bamburgh beach and take a stroll along the open expanse of sands. Voted a top surf spot in the North East, the beach also often welcomes dog walkers and horse riders looking for a relaxing time out.

More information visit the website

Easington Colliery

As seen in:

Billy Elliot

Why visit?

While not as historical as the other sites featured in this guide, no guide about TV and film locations in the North East of England would be complete without mentioning the main setting of the 2000 hit film Billy Elliot, Easington Colliery.

Take a trip to this small coastal town set between Seaham Harbour and Hartlepool and you’ll be able to explore the place where one of the most modern and productive mines was once in operation. This setting resulted in a thriving community growing up around the pit, which was highlighted throughout Billy Elliot.

More information visit the website

Excited to visit these iconic TV and film sites? The Cairn Group has rooms available at hotels in Jesmond whereby you will be within easy reach of all these locations.

TV and film sites in the North East and where to find them – words Alexa Wang