Top 10 Movies and TV Series Filmed in Cornwall
Published: Friday 14th Jun 2019
As varied as it is beautiful, Cornwall naturally draws hordes of starry-eyed visitors each year. Among these, TV crews and big screen directors are regular habitués, making use of the cobalt seas, turquoise coves, sweeping moorland and characterful towns and villages.
While some names are well-known for their connection to Cornwall, others may take you by surprise. Celebrating this awe-inspiring county, here are 10 movies and TV series filmed in Cornwall for you to check out on your next visit:
A fantastic adaption of Daphne du Maurier’s [link] 1936 novel, Jamaica Inn was directed by Alfred Hitchcock and released in May 1939. Starring Charles Laughton, it was actually the last film that Hitchcock ever directed in the UK and was filmed in our very own Cornwall. Perched on the edge of the wild Bodmin Moor, the real Jamaica Inn still welcomes all to enjoy a hearty meal and spin a yarn within its history-rich walls.
Born in Lelant, Rosamund Pilchard [link] is a true treasure. Embraced internationally, her novels have been adapted for the German TV series, Rosamund Pilcher, which has featured more than 100 episodes since 1993. Lanhydrock Estate, Trewithen Estate and Prideaux Place have all enjoyed their moment in the spotlight, as have St Michael’s Mount and numerous landmarks and bays.
Since 2004, the gorgeous white-washed cottages, winding lanes and stunning waters of Port Isaac have been gracing our screens. Fictionally dubbed Portwenn, the ITV series starring Martin Clunes has been filmed on location in Port Isaac and is the got-to place for fans from around the world.
A real classic, Byron Haskin’s 1950 version of Treasure Island regaled audiences with tales of young Jim Hawkins and the treasure-seeking pirate captain Long John Silver. With Helford’s mystical charm and broccoli trees draping down over cloudy, emerald waters, it’s little surprise this enchanting location was used to shoot some of the film’s piratical scenes.
Hitting the screens in 2019, the Fisherman’s Friends film tells the story of ten fishermen from Cornwall being signed by Universal Records and hitting a coveted top-ten spot with their debut album of Sea Shanties. Filmed in Port Isaac, it is another star-studded credit to add to the village’s growing list.
Both the original and latest series of Poldark, filmed 40 years apart, have undeniably helped to put Cornwall on the map. Gaining a loyal following over several generations, the series has famously featured Charlestown, Kynance Cove, Botallack and Bodmin Moor, along with many more jaw-dropping Cornish locations (link).
Ladies in Lavender
Based on William J. Locke’s short story, Ladies in Lavender (2003) was filmed in several places around the Lizard Peninsula, most notably the chocolate-box fishing village of Cadgwith. Starring much-loved national treasures Judi Dench, Maggie Smith and Miriam Margolyes, the ladies thoroughly embraced their Cornish setting and even enjoyed boat trips on the locals’ boats.
Bad Education Movie
Jack Whitehall’s side-splitting comedy, Bad Education, saw hopeless teacher, Mr Wickers, take his GCSE tutor group on a school trip to the fictional Port Jago. Filmed in Mevagissey, the movie features a group of actual Morris dancers from Bodmin, the Trigg Morris Men, pretending to be May Day revellers.
Alice in Wonderland
In 2010, Tim Burton brought us his weird and wonderful adaption of Lewis Carol’s Alice in Wonderland. Set in a future where a teenage Alice returns to her childhood world of grinning cats and evil queens, audiences were thrown head-first into intrigue and adventure. To get a little closer to the magic of Alice, head to Antony House near Torpoint where filming took place.
Starring household favourites Dawn French and Catherine Tate, the BBC series Wild West was a hilarious comedy about Mary Trewednack and her neurotic partner Angela. Based in the Cornish village of St Gweep (Portloe), the series showcased the duo’s comedy genius along with a stunning backdrop of Cornish goodness.
View cottages here