Film, TV & Commercial Locations in Wales
Wales has proven itself time and time again to be a breathtaking backdrop to many award-winning TV series and Hollywood blockbusters. We are also excited at the news that we are to have our own world class film studio. Check out some of the latest releases and revisit some old classics:
Take Down (2014 - original title) / Billionaire Ransom (2016)
A group of spoiled teens sent to a school for troubled teenagers from rich families who are taken hostage and their struggle to escape.
Starring: Ed Westwick and Phoebe Tonkim
Location: South & North Wales
Mr Turner (2014)
An exploration of the last quarter century of the great, if eccentric, British painter J.M.W. Turner's life.
Starring: Timothy Spall
Location: North & South Wales
Inspired by an extraordinary true story, in the summer of 1984, Margaret Thatcher is in power and the National Union of Mineworkers is on strike, prompting a London-based group of gay and lesbian activists to raise money to support the strikers' families.
Starring: Bill Nighy, Andrew Scott and Imelda Staunton
Location: Banwen, South Wales
Set Fire to the Stars (2014)
Set Fire To The Stars focuses on the fractious relationship between Dylan Thomas and John Malcolm Brinnin. Brinnin was the man who took the Welsh poet to the USA and acted as his tour agent.
Starring: Elijah Wood and Celyn Jones
Snow White and the Huntsman (2012)
In a twist to the fairy tale, the Huntsman ordered to take Snow White into the woods to be killed winds up becoming her protector and mentor in a quest to vanquish the Evil Queen.
Starring:Kristen Stewart, Charlize Theron and Chris Hemsworth
Location: Marloes Sands, Pembrokeshire
- Wrath of the Titans (2012)
Perseus braves the treacherous underworld to rescue his father, Zeus, captured by his son, Ares, and brother Hades who unleash the ancient Titans upon the world.
Starring: Sam Worthington, Liam Neeson and Rosamund Pike
Location: Blaenau Gwent
- Resistance (2011) Starring: Michael Sheen, Iwan Rheon and Kimberley Nixon. In 1944 a group of women in an isolated Welsh village wake up to discover all their husbands have mysteriously vanished! Location: Abergavenny, Monmouthshire
Hunky Dory (2011)
Starring: Minnie Driver, Aneurin Barnard, Robert Pugh and Danielle Branch.
The Wales-based movie is set in the Summer of 1976 and tells the story of a high school teacher, played by Minnie Driver, who inspires her class to put on a rock and roll version of ‘The Tempest’ for their year-end show. Location: Swansea
- Captain America: The First Avenger (2011)
Starring: Chris Evans, Hugo Weaving & Samuel L Jackson
A superhero film based on the comic books. A young soldier, Steve Rogers, is found unfit for military service and volunteers for a top secret research project that turns him into Captain America
Location: Caerwent, Monmouthshire
Locations: Llyn Gwynant Campsite; Pant y bedw Farm, Penmachno; Capel Moriah, Dolrhedydd; Blaenau Ffestiniog; Aberystwyth; St Fagans National History Museum; Cardiff; Barry; Station Cafe, Treorchy; Gilfachmaen Uchaf Farm, Trelewis; Gellogaer Common; Royal Glamorgan Hospital.
Starring: Matthew Rhys, Duffy, Nia Roberts, Nahaul Perez Biscayart and Marta Lubos.
Inspirational film about the parallel journey of two women, one looking for her past and the other for her future. Incorporating the culture and countryside of both Wales and Patagonia. A road movie for romantics with dialogue spoken in both Spanish and Welsh.
Clash of the Titans (2010)
Starring: Sam Worthington, Liam Neeson, Gemma Arterton, Ralph Fiennes.
A remake of the 1981 film follows the hero Perseus on his quest to battle Medusa and the Kraken monster to save Princess Andromeda.
Locations: Dinorwig Quarry, Gwynedd; Newborough, Anglesey
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (2010)
Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint, Alan Rickman, Helena Bonham Carter, Bill Nighy.
Part 2 (2011)
The final film in the Harry Potter series. Seaside scenes in the book relate to a fictional village where Harry, Ron and Hermione take shelter in Shell Cottage – a big cottage made out of shells.
Location: Freshwater West beach, Pembrokeshire Coast National Park
Robin Hood (2010)
Starring: Russell Crowe, Cate Blanchett
The latest Robin Hood film, directed by Sir Ridley Scott was filmed in Wales in May/June 2009. The filming in Wales was part of the finale and includes a major battle scene with boats and horses.
Location: Freshwater West beach, Pembrokeshire Coast National Park
Edge of Love (2008)
Starring: Mathew Rhys, Cillian Murphy, Kiera Knightley, Sienna Miller.
The story concerns the famous Welsh poet Dylan Thomas, (Rhys) his wife Caitlin McNamara (Miller) and their married friends, the Killicks (Knightley and Murphy).
Locations: Tenby, Lampeter, Laugharne, New Quay, Betws-y-Coed and the Gwili Railway. Visit Dylan Thomas’s boathouse in Laugharne, Dylan Thomas Centre in Swansea, the Gwili Railway or take a walking tour of Swansea. You can now even stay in 5 Cwmdonkin Drive, Swansea - Dylan’s birthplace. Also, Sea View in Laugharne, Dylan’s former home is now a luxury 4-bed hotel., to face the tragedy that tore them apart all those years ago.
Abraham's Point (2008)
Starring: Mackenzie Crook
A poignant film of one man's search for redemption. Comet Snape (Crook) has not been home or seen his parents for fifteen years. Living in a west London tower block he spends his days restoring antiques and his nights in haunted insomnia. When his strange hallucinations and tormented mind urge him to steal a grandfather clock, he sets off on a physical and spiritual journey back to the heart of his family, to face the tragedy that tore them apart all those years ago.
Locations: Rhossili Beach on the Gower and Cardiff
Half Light (2006)
Starring: Demi Moore
Moore stars in a mysterious film in which her character gets involved in a ghost story.
Locations: Llanddwyn Island and Llanbadrig Church, Anglesey, Porth Dinllaen, Llŷn Peninsula.
The Libertine (2005)
Starring: Johnny Depp, John Malkovich, Samantha Morton
The story of John Wilmot (Depp), a.k.a. the Earl of Rochester, a 17th century poet who famously drank and debauched his way to an early grave, only to earn posthumous critical acclaim for his life's work.
Locations: Crickhowell, Tretower Court and Castle, Brecon Beacons
Tomb Raider 2 – Lara Croft and the Cradle of Life (2003)
Starring: Angelina Jolie, Chris Barrie, Gerard Butler, Ciaran Hinds.
Lara Croft (Jolie) fights to save the orb from falling into the hands of an evil scientists
Locations: Llyn Gwynant and the slate quarries of Snowdonia.
The Englishman Who Went Up a Hill But Came Down a Mountain (1995)
Starring: Hugh Grant, Tara Fitzgerald
A romantic comedy set during the First World War. A mapmaker upsets a village when he announces that their landmark is too short to be called a ‘mountain’ and is in fact a hill.
Locations: Llanrhaeadr-ym-Mochnant and Llansilin, Mid Wales
An American Werewolf in London (1981)
Two American tourists in London are attacked by a werewolf that none of the locals will admit exists.
Starring: David Naughton, Jenny Agutter, Joe Belcher
Locations: The Black Mountains and the village of Crickadarn.
James Bond 007
You may be surprised to learn that Wales also has connections to the classic James Bond films:
- Shirley Bassey from Cardiff peformed the theme songs to three James Bond films – Goldfinger, Diamonds are Forever and Moonraker.
- Timothy Dalton from Colwyn Bay played the character James Bond in The Living Daylights and Licence to Kill.
- Desmond Llewelyn from Newport played the character ‘Q’ in 17 James Bond Films.
- Jonathan Pryce from Holywell starred in Tomorrow Never Dies as the character ‘Elliot Carver’.
Locations around Wales were used for scenes in the following Bond films:
- Quantum of Solace (2008) – Llyn Peris, Snowdonia
- Die Another Day (2002) – Penbryn Beach (closing scene)
- The World is Not Enough (1999) – Snowdonia National Park
- From Russia With Love (1963) – Snowdonia National Park
Hinterland (2014 - 2016)
Starring: Richard Harrington
Billed as Wales’ first detective series is already such a hit that the rights have been sold to the Danish team behind The Killing. It is filmed in Mid Wales, including Aberystwyth, Devil’s Bridge and the coastal village of Borth. The thrilling crime drama is set against the backdrop of mountainous landscapes, isolated farms and close knit Welsh villages. The series was filmed in both Welsh and English, with the original Welsh version, Y Gwyll, showing to rave reviews. The English version started aired on BBC One Wales and was screened nationwide on BBC4. It has also been screened in many countries including USA, Canada, Nordics, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Japan.
Locations: Aberystwyth, Devil's Bridge and Borth
A Great Welsh Adventure (2014)
Starring: Griff Rhys Jones
Actor and comedian Griff Rhys Jones explored the land of his fathers. He visited Snowdonia, the Gower Peninsula, the Welsh Borders, Pembrokeshire, Anglesey, Mid Wales & the Brecon Beacons and Conwy. He searches for the Hoy Grail, takes a dip in a mountain lake, canoes, climbs, abseils and rides his way across the Welsh countryside in a bid to uncover the true spirit of Wales.
Locations: Around Wales
Starring: Jack Donnelly, Mark Addy, Sarah Parish
The fantasy-adventure television programme, inspired by Greek mythology first aired in the UK on 28 September 2013.
A 2nd series returned in 2014.
Da Vinci's Demons (2013-2015)
Starring: Tom Riley, Laura Haddock, Blake Ritson
Described as an historical fantasy, the series explored the untold story of da Vinci "inventing" the future at the age of 25.
Locations: Swansea, Neath, Port Talbot & Margam Park, Abbey Cwm Hir Hall
Switch (ITV 2) (2012)
Switch is an upbeat comedy-drama about four young witches trying to make their way in the big city where they live in Camden, North London. They want to live a modern life, not one based on their mothers' old-fashioned rituals. But modern life presents serious problems, and the girls can't help casting the occasional spell to try to sort things out.
Starring: Lacey Turner
- The Indian Doctor (2010 to present)
Starring: Sanjeev Bhaskar, Ayesha Dharker
When a sleepy 1950s Welsh mining town's only doctor dies, the only replacement the union representative could find arrives, straight from India.
Locations: Blaenavon, Llantrisant and The Rhondda Heritage Park.
Being Human (Series 3)
Starring: Lenora Crichlow, Michael Socho & Damien Moloney. Comedy-drama series about three twenty-something housemates trying to live normal lives, despite struggling with unusual afflictions - one is a werewolf, one is a vampire and the other is a ghost.
Sherlock Holmes (2010 to present)
Starring: Benedict Cumberbatch as Holmes, Martin Freeman as Watson, Rupert Graves as Inspector Lestrade.
A BBC Sherlock Holmes television drama which has been co-created by Doctor Who’s Steven Moffet and The League of Gentleman’s Mark Gatiss. It's a modern take on the life of Sherlock Holmes, portraying Holmes as a ‘dynamic superhero’.
Location: Series 3 – St Woolos Cemetery in Newport; various locations in Cardiff and St Athans Airbase.
Merlin (2008 to 2012)
Starring: Colin Morgan as Merlin, Richard Wilson, Anthony Head, John Hurt
Merlin is a 13-part television drama series that began in 2008. It is based on the Arthurian legends of the mythical wizard Merlin and his relationship with Prince Arthur, but differs significantly from traditional versions of the myth.
Locations: Various locations in Wales.
Gavin & Stacey (2007 to 2009)
Starring: Rob Brydon, Ruth Jones
A BAFTA Award Winning British sitcom based on Gavin, a 26 year old from Tottenham, and Stacey, a Welsh girl from Barry Island.
Locations: Barry Island and Penarth
Brit Movie Tours offer Gavin & Stacey Tours from April to October at weekends. Starting from Barry Island train station tour the locations in the same vehicle used by Dave's Coaches. www.britmovietours.com
Dr Who and Torchwood (2005 to present)
Starring: Matt Smith / Karen Gillan / Jenna Louise Coleman / Peter Capaldi
The TV series was successfully relaunched in 2005, produced in-house by BBC Wales. Doctor Who has also spawned the cult television programme Torchwood (an anagram of Doctor Who) filmed entirely in Cardiff. You can spot the stars of Doctor Who filming in and around Cardiff on a regular basis. Visit the Doctor Who Up Close Exhibition in Cardiff Bay to see Daleks and Cyberman and pick up a Dr Who location map.
Locations: Various locations in South Wales including Cardiff, Newport, Swansea, Dyffryn Gardens and The Brecon Beacons.
Brit Movie Tours offer a selection of Doctor Who tours including a 4 hour luxury mini coach tour of Cardiff locations and a 3 day mini coach tour of England and Wales locations. Private/group tours also available. www.britmovietours.com
The Doctor Who Experience in Cardiff Bay is the first ever interactive Doctor Who exhibition that invites visitors to star in their very own Doctor Who adventure. Arriving at the venue visitors will step through a crack in time to become the Doctor’s companion, taking on the challenge of reuniting the Doctor with the TARDIS whilst fending off threats from some of his most fearsome foes - entering a Dalek spaceship and finding a way through a maze of Weeping Angels. Featuring a replica of the Eleventh Doctor’s TARDIS which visitors get to fly themselves the interactive walk-through culminates in a stunning 3D finale that sets the scene for fans entering the exhibition. www.doctorwhoexperience.com
The Prisoner (1966-68)
Starring: Patrick McGoohan
A true TV classic of its age. 6 (McGoohan) is a prisoner in a strange world where people are numbers not names.
- Clothing brand Fat Face used Ceredigion, Aberaeron and the Harbourmaster as the backdrop to their Spring 2014 - Feel refreshed. Feel energised. Feel alive.
- Marks & Spencer filmed one of their adverts at Llangenith along the Gower Peninsula in 2013.
- Llandeilo and Pendine were the stars of the Mercedes-Benz GL Commercial.
- Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT promotion was filmed on Anglesey Race Track and roads around north Wales in Sept 2013.
- Volkswagen have filmed on Morfa Bychan beach and at Llandudno.
- Landrover filmed their latest commercial around Snowdonia, Porth Neigwl, Caernarfon rugby club, Snowdon - Miners track from Pen y Pass, Nant Gwrtheyrn, Llyn Gwynant and Dolgellau.
- The Premier Inn hotel group also filmed at Usk Castle in December as part of a campaign that visited numerous locations around the UK.
- Over the past year the Wales Screen Commission, part of the Welsh Government’s Creative sector, has received 27 enquiries from Commercials looking for locations in Wales, including ones for KitKat, Visit Britain, Premier Inn and the National Lottery.
- They also received 15 enquiries over the past year for stills shoots including from Aston Martin, Bloomingdales, Jaguar, QVC, Landrover and Virgin Media. Stills for the Next Christmas Catalogue campaign for 2013 were taken around the Bodnant Estate; Llanberis Pass and Snowdonia National Park; Dolbadarn Castle and Rhos-on-Sea marine parade and harbour.
The Wales Screen is the location service for Wales offering comprehensive information and support on locations, facilities, crew and local services throughout Wales. Watch their locations showreel.
There is also a film & TV map for Wales.
A list of films shot in Wales 2014 onwards
List of films set entirely in Wales
Richard Burton Trail
The Richard Burton Trail is a three mile (4.8km) walk around the villages of Pontrhydyfen and Oakwood, surrounded by the Afan Forest Park. It starts at Burton's birthplace in Pontrhydyfen. Visitors can then listen to the Oscar-nominated star quote a passage from Under Milk Wood, the play by his favourite poet Dylan Thomas. Signposts with facts about Burton's childhood and career are placed along the trail.
BBC’s state of the art centre of excellence for drama located in Porth Teigr, Cardiff Bay, provides a purpose-built home to our flagship BBC dramas – Casualty, Pobol y Cwm, Dr Who and Wizards v Aliens.