Where do film producers manage to find incredible locations to shoot the most famous movie scenes? The Cotswolds, popularly known as the “Heart of England” would attract movie fans like me to trek around this charming place in west-central England. Blockbuster movies like Bridget Jones’s Diary, Pride and Prejudice, James Bond’s Die Another day, Vanity Fair and the well-loved Harry Potter franchise was the inspiration behind a lot of real and fantasy movies. This charming countryside deserves a quick introduction.
The Cotswolds is totally enclosed in natural beauty; this ancient district of England is generally recognized for its history and legacy. Experienced travelers will be happy to see the wonderful sights like sleepy villages, bustling market places and old-world surroundings.
Officially declared as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) in 1966, it is one of the largest of 40 AONBs in England and Wales since the environment remains unspoiled. Here are noteworthy locations which inspired some Hollywood producers, from James Bond to Bridget Jones’ Diary films.
One of my favorite movies, Bridget Jones’ Diary (2000) starring brilliant actress Rennee Zellweger and Hugh Grant, was shot in the delightful village of Snowshill in Gloucestershire. Gloucester Cathedral was the spot of the Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry for the Harry Potter movies. The prominent Oxford University was utilized for most of the scenes in school. Oxford City was featured on Bourne Ultimatum (2007) and The Madness of King George (1994).
Die Another Day (2002) with its ice chase scenes were filmed in the car park at Bourton-on-the-Water, famous for being “the little Venice” of the Cotswolds. The runway of the Royal Air Force aircraft at Upper Rissington was the location of the car chase scenes in this action movie. Badminton House and Dyrham Park near Chippenham was the set location for Remains of the Day (1993) which stars Anthony Hopkins and Emma Thompson. Some scenes were also shot in Corsham Court in Wiltshire.
Notable movies that were filmed in the Cotswolds include the box office hit Stardust (2007) shot in Bibury which featured Michelle Pfeiffer and Robert de Niro. The Other Boleyn Girl, starring Natalie Portman and Scarlett Johansson featured the grandeur of Berkeley Castle. Bath City was the cinematic inspiration behind The Duchess starring Keira Knightley.
The wondrous tale Vanity Fair (2004) promoted the Stanway House near Winchcombe in Bath. Character actor Johnny Depp played the role of the passionate Earl of Rochester, also filmed in the same place. Pride and Prejudice (2005) featured Luckington Court near Chippenham in Wiltshire.
This medieval community was celebrated in a number of classic movies. The Cotswolds offers a unique blend of incredible movie locations and some quiet scenery which would delight any seasoned traveller looking for a one-of-a-kind adventure.