All the films and TV shows you didn’t realise were filmed in Wales
Who knew Wales was so popular?
Whether on the TV or the big screen, Wales isn’t usually the first place you think of when it comes to major blockbuster sensations. However, despite the sheep and grey weather, Wales holds some of the most breathtaking views that perfectly capture wide shots of scowling villains and protagonists pacing deep in thought. From the Brecon Beacon’s to Cardiff University’s very own Students Union, these movies or TV shows might come as a surprise as having been filmed around Wales.
Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows parts 1 and 2
The widely anticipated two-part finale of J.K Rowling’s beloved books was filmed in Pembrokeshire, located in the south-west of Wales. The rugged coastline of Pembrokeshire Coast National Park is a popular landscape for filming, with the backdrop of historic castles and fortresses perfect for long camera shots. The secluded, picturesque location relates to the fictional village where Harry, Ron and Hermione seek shelter in Shell Cottage.
Honourable mentions: The coastlines in Pembrokeshire prove incredibly popular, also appearing in the 2010 adaptation of Robin Hood starring Russell Crowe, as well as Snow White and the Huntsman, where Kristen Stewart can be seen riding on horseback through the water.
The Dark Knight Rises
The iconic 2012 Batman film starring Christian Bale features Henrhyd Falls waterfall as the entrance to the Batcave. Nifty location, as Tom Hardy’s villain Bane is unlikely to find you in the middle of the Brecon Beacons! As well as Wales, the films also has backdrops of London, Glasgow, Los Angeles and New York. Interestingly, Henrhyd Falls is South Wales’s tallest waterfall, with a drop of 90ft.
A Discovery of Witches
The Brecon Beacons lays claim to some of the most exquisite views and treks in Wales, so it’s unsurprising that this fantasy series used it as a backdrop for hunting scenes and supernatural battles. Based on the trilogy “All Souls” by Deborah Harkness, the mystical lake Llyn y Fan Fach proved perfect as a stunning natural environment that would double as the Scottish Highlands, the location originally mentioned in the book.
The twentieth film in the James Bond series, starring Pierce Brosnan, is a surprising entry into the mix. With the opening backdrop of the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, boat chases on the Thames and paragliding attacks on the slopes of Mont Blanc, Wales also makes the cut in in this high-featured film, with the exterior of the oil pipeline filmed in Cwn Dyli, Snowdonia.
Honourable mention: Swallow Falls located in Snowdonia National Park, was the backdrop of multiple scenes from the recently released Wonder Woman 1984, starring Gal Gadot and Chris Pine.
In season three of The Crown, Josh O’Connor’s Prince Charles is sent to Aberystwyth University to learn Welsh, in an attempt to show camaraderie to the people of Wales in response to the rise of Welsh nationalism. Aber looks great in this episode, light and bright with gorgeous wide shots of the seafront- not grey or gloomy in the slightest!
Whilst this one might not come as a surprise, it would be wrong not to big up Cardiff and the various locations in which Sherlock was filmed. The National Museum, Cardiff University’s main building halls and the SU are to name but a few of the places where Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman have graced us with their presence.
A Brave New World
Based on Aldous Huxley’s dystopian novel of the same name, the sci-fi drama was seen filming at various locations, including the Carmarthenshire coast and Llanharan’s Dragon Film Studios.
All who love Wales will not be surprised that it’s been featured in so many blockbuster films and national TV programmes. If Cwn Dyli’s oil pipeline is good enough for James Bond, then we’re doing pretty well. Wales’ Breathtaking views, long sandy coastlines and everything in between make it the perfect setting for films and beyond.
Related stories recommended by this writer:
• Here’s where Doctor Who and Sherlock are filmed around Cardiff Uni
• Netflix’s Sex Education is looking for extras from South Wales, and it could be you!