Film and TV locations in Northumberland holiday cottages

Film and TV locations in Northumberland

Clare Willcocks 06 November 2023

It doesn’t come as a surprise to the locals and those who’ve had the pleasure of visiting that Northumberland has been featured many a time on the big and small screen. Its awe-inspiring landscapes, historic sites and dramatic coastline have caught the eye of location scouts, elevating the county to Hollywood fame!

There is a whole host of TV shows and movies filmed in Northumberland, making it a great pilgrimage destination for movie buffs. Harry Potter, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves and Transformers have all seen film crews flock to the county to make the most of its ancient architecture and rugged views. Dramas and TV series have also made parts of Northumberland famous, with popular examples being Beowulf, Downton Abbey and Blackadder.

Join us on a journey across England’s northernmost county as we highlight some of the films and TV series filmed in Northumberland along with some of the star-studded cast who have graced this humble corner of the UK. If you’re looking for somewhere to stay while you discover these sites, have a browse of our collection of Northumberland cottages.

Films shot in Northumberland

Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny

Surfer passing in front of Bamburgh Castle, where parts of Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny were filmed

The latest eagerly anticipated film in the Indiana Jones franchise, Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny showcases stunning Bamburgh Castle in its opening scenes. At the time of filming, unsuspecting onlookers thought the castle was on fire as it was used to double for a location in 1944 Nazi Germany.

The castle was dressed with flags and banners, and props were brought in, including army vehicles. A whole fleet of caravans and trailers took up residence at the base of the castle during the shoot too.

Good to know

Location: Bamburgh Castle near Bamburgh

Fun fact: Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service had to reassure people that the fires they could see at the castle during filming were ‘controlled burning’ and were nothing to worry about!

Stay nearby: Bamburgh holiday cottages

Robin Hood Prince of Thieves

A shadowed figure with a bow and arrow and the now-felled tree in Sycamore Gap where parts of Robin Hood Prince of Thieves were filmed

A small but important cameo was made in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves by Sycamore Gap which is found along Hadrian’s Wall, close to Hexham. A visit to this iconic place is made all the more poignant now, given the fact that the eponymous sycamore tree was felled in an act of vandalism in September 2023.

In the film, Kevin Costner and Morgan Freeman (Robin and Azeem) are shown wandering along Hadrian’s Wall on their way to see Robin’s father, plucking mistletoe from the tree and chatting before an unexpected bloody battle ensues.

Also seen in the film is Hulne Priory, the ruins of a 13th-century monastery in the grounds of Hulne Park. The priory doubles as Maid Marian’s home in the blockbuster. There are pleasant walks around Hulne Park, taking in some of Northumberland’s beautiful woodland scenery.

Good to know

Location: Sycamore Gap, close to Hexham; Hulne Priory, close to Alnwick

Fun fact: The film earnt the late sycamore tree the moniker Robin Hood’s Tree

Stay nearby: Hexham holiday cottages near Sycamore Gap | Alnwick holiday cottages near Hulne Priory

Harry Potter

Harry Potter paraphernalia - parts of the film were shot at Alnwick Castle

Two of the enduringly popular Harry Potter films, The Philosopher’s Stone and The Chamber of Secrets, filmed many of the Hogwarts scenes at Alnwick Castle. Fans of the film will recognise the outer bailey as the place where Harry and friends learned to fly broomsticks, and some familiar-looking courtyards frequented by the pupils of the school.

One of the more remarkable scenes shot at Alnwick was the crash landing of the Weasley family car by Ron and Harry, which actually took place in the castle’s inner bailey. Viewers will also remember the inner arch which was the entrance to Hogwarts, through which the characters left to visit Hagrid’s cabin and the Hidden Forest.

Read our guide to Northumberland’s castles to find out more about the county’s historic sites.

Good to know

Location: Alnwick Castle

Fun fact: 16 different prop Ford Anglias were used to portray the Weasley’s car in the films, all adapted for different uses. Several were used to film the crash scene at Alnwick Castle, to show the car in different stages of destruction

Stay nearby: Alnwick holiday cottages

Outlaw King

Views of Berwick-upon-Tweed which features in Outlaw King

The Netflix film Outlaw King is set in 14th-century Scotland, telling the story of Robert the Bruce’s rise as king, and the uprising he led for the country’s independence. While most of the filming locations are in Scotland, Berwick in Northumberland enjoys its moment in the spotlight, with its quayside and Old Bridge doubling as Glasgow and London Bridge respectively.

During filming, the town’s locations were transformed, and crowds gathered to watch the behind-the-scenes action. Actors dressed as knights on horses, locals cameoing as extras, and Hollywood celebrity, Chris Pine as Robert the Bruce created a buzz of excitement in the Northumberland market town.

Good to know

Locations: Old Bridge and Berwick quayside, Berwick-upon-Tweed

Fun fact: Controversially, Berwick did not receive a mention in the closing credits for the film

Stay nearby: Berwick holiday cottages

The Railway Man

View of the railway bridge in Berwick where parts of the Railway Man were filmed

Telling the story of the World War II prisoner of war, Eric Lomax, who was tortured by a Japanese officer, The Railway Man is a harrowing and moving portrayal of a real-life situation. For those wanting to follow in the footsteps of Colin Firth, Nicole Kidman and the rest of the star-studded cast, there are several Northumberland filming locations to choose from.

Early in the film, characters Eric and Patty are seen on the windy beach at Lindisfarne, near to which was the home of the real-life Eric and Patty. The Royal Border Bridge at Berwick-Upon-Tweed also features in the film, when Patty and Eric are walking with Eric’s best friend Finlay; and finally Berwick-Upon-Tweed railway station was also featured.

Good to know

Locations: Lindisfarne, Holy Island; The Royal Border Bridge, Berwick-Upon-Tweed and Berwick-Upon-Tweed railway station

Fun fact: Nicole Kidman was not originally cast as Patty, but stepped in when Rachel Weisz had to drop out due to other commitments

Stay nearby: Holy Island holiday cottages

Transformers: The Last Knight

Bamburgh Castle and Alnwick Castle - Parts of Transformers: The Last Knight were filmed at both

A fast-paced sci-fi thriller is hardly the first thing that springs to mind when picturing films set in Northumberland’s romantic landscape, but happen it did when the crew of Transformers: The Last Knight descended on Alnwick Castle in 2016. The opulent interior and the dramatic exterior of the castle provided a backdrop for some of the action, with tanks and recognisable cars from the movie turning up on set, much to the delight of those lucky enough to watch the filming take place.

Good to know

Bamburgh Beach and Castle also had their role to play as an atmospheric backdrop for some scenes

Locations: Alnwick Castle and Bamburgh Beach

Fun fact: Hundreds of plastic daffodils were planted at Alnwick Castle to make it look like it was spring for filming!

Stay nearby: Alnwick holiday cottages

TV series shot in Northumberland

Robson Green’s Weekend Escapes

Seahouses harbour, which features in Robson Green's Weekend Escapes

Actor, singer songwriter and television presenter, Robson Green, shone the spotlight on many of Northumberland’s beautiful and iconic destinations in his series about the North East, Robson Green’s Weekend Escapes.

The show follows Robson e-biking from Seahouses to Bamburgh, eating smoked kippers in Seahouses, paddleboarding at Beadnell Bay, making sausages in Rothbury, birdwatching on the River Coquet and gliding over the Cheviots and the coast – and that’s just in episodes 1 and 5! In episode 8 he visited Craster before kite buggying in Druridge Bay, foraging in the landscape, and enjoying a safari ride in Northumberland National Park.

In episodes 10, 11, 12, 14 and 15 he covers even more of the county, ticking off destinations including Hexham, Allendale, Langley Dam, Ford and Etal Estates, Belford, Holy Island, Chillingham, Budle Bay and Sugar Sands, trying out interesting and exhilarating outdoor activities everywhere he goes.

Our favourite part of the series though, is in episode 10, where he attends a cookery class in Hexham – which happens to be onsite at one of our properties, The Barn at Devil’s Water. Stay here, and you, too, could try your hand at making a stottie like Robson did in the show!

Good to know

Location: All over Northumberland!

Fun fact: Robson Green was born in Hexham in 1964, son of a miner and a cleaner/shopkeeper

Downton Abbey

Alnwick Castle, which plays a role in Downton Abbey as Brancaster Castle

Everybody’s favourite period drama, Downton Abbey tells the story of the aristocratic Crawley family and their servants living on their beautiful country estate. Over the course of the series, we follow their ups and downs, witnessing the effect of historic events on their lives, and finding ourselves enthralled by the relationships, scandals and depictions of day-to-day happenings.

While the drama is set on a fictional Yorkshire estate, the crew used locations across the UK to bring the series to life. One of the Northumberland filming locations for Downton Abbey was Alnwick Castle, which featured in the fifth series finale, ‘A Moorland Holiday’, posing as fictional Brancaster Castle. Scenes for subsequent series were also filmed here, with the state rooms, castle grounds and ramparts amongst some of the backdrops you’ll recognise.

Good to know

Location: Alnwick Castle

Fun fact: Alnwick Castle is no newcomer to the movie scene – it has featured in 41 movies and TV shows (and counting!)

Stay nearby: Alnwick holiday cottages

The Red King

Craster, the filming location for a new crime drama called The Red King

The Red King is a new six-part crime drama due to air on Alibi for the first time in 2024, and hawk-eyed locals have spotted the cast filming in the village of Craster. The series focuses on police sergeant, Grace Naryan (Anjili Mohindra), who is sent to an island where she picks up the unsolved case of a missing teenage boy, Cai. Cult history and a pagan god called The Red King are intertwined into the story, which promises to be a nail-biting on-screen saga.

Harbourside roads in Craster were closed for filming, and crews have been spotted in various locations, suggesting that the little fishing village will have more than just a bit part in the series.

Good to know

Location: Craster

Fun fact: The Red King’s creator, Toby Whithouse, is also known for Being Human, The Game and Bridget Jones’s Diary

Stay nearby: Craster holiday cottages

Other Northumberland places featured in film and on TV

Hexham, Farne Islands and Dunstanburgh Castle - all locations which have featured in film and TV


ITV drama Vera, based on the novels by author Ann Cleeves, follows fictional character Vera Stanhope, a detective, as she investigates a series of murder mysteries. The gripping series features a whole host of locations in Northumberland. The following are just some of the places fans will remember from the series:

  • Amble – outside the Morpeth Larder
  • Corbridge
  • Hexham – Tyne Green, St Mary’s Chare and the Sele
  • Newton – Duke of Wellington pub
  • Lindisfarne Island – where Vera lives in the series
  • Blyth – residential street
  • Amble – near the Fish Shack on Harbour Road
  • Thrunton Woods
  • Seaton Sluice
  • Alnmouth
  • Amble
  • Farne Islands
  • Dunstanburgh Castle

Alien 3

The disused Blyth Power Station in Bedlington featured in the 1992 movie, Alien 3. The once iconic towers have since been demolished, but live on in the film.


The 2015 Hollywood film based on Shakespeare’s play Macbeth with lead actor Michael Fassbender features Bamburgh Castle and Beach.

Macbeth (again)

Roman Polanski’s 1971 incarnation of Macbeth features a lot of scenes shot in Northumberland, in locations including Lindisfarne Castle, Bamburgh Castle, St Aidan’s Church, and North Charlton Moors.

The Scarlet Pimpernel

View of Lindisfarne Castle

In 1982, The Scarlet Pimpernel was released, set during the French Revolution and including scenes of Lindisfarne Castle which doubled as Mont St. Pierre in the film.


1998 film, Elizabeth, saw Hollywood star Kate Blanchett filming at Alnwick Castle in her role as the Queen. Bamburgh Castle also features.

Billy Elliot

While much of Billy Elliot (2000) was filmed in County Durham, some Northumberland locations do feature too, including Ellington Colliery and Lynemouth Colliery in working pit scenes, the cemetery in Lynemouth and Newbiggin-by-the-Sea.


View of Druridge Bay

In 2015, ITV drama Beowulf was filmed in locations in Northumberland and County Durham. Places you might recognise include Bamburgh, Druridge Bay and Derwent Reservoir and a former clothing factory and warehouse in Blyth.

One More Kiss

The Scottish film One More Kiss crept just south of the border, using Berwick-upon-Tweed locations for some scenes. The father (James Cosmo) of protagonist Sarah (Valerie Edmond), lives in a house next to the beach, behind the sea wall.


View of Lindisfarne Island

The Holy Island of Lindisfarne is the setting for Roman Polanski’s 1966 film which features an American gangster, hostages, and disturbing and violent games – not one for the faint-hearted.

Game of Thrones

Contrary to popular belief, none of Game of Thrones was actually filmed in Northumberland, but novelist George R. R. Martin has said that the ice wall was inspired by Hadrian’s Wall, so the two are intrinsically linked!

The Black Adder

Yes, that’s right – it’s not a typo, the hugely popular sitcom Blackadder was previously called The Black Adder, and it was the first series that featured Alnwick Castle and the surrounding countryside as a location for filming.

The Dumping Ground

The Dumping Ground is a continuation of the successful Tracey Beaker TV series – a fictional programme which documents the lives of the young people living in a care home and their carers. The former Loansdean Fire Station in Morpeth, Northumberland became the interior of the care home from series 5 to 8.

A few more …

The Devils (1971), Mary Queen of Scots (1971), Becket (1964), Get Carter (1971), A Knight in Camelot (1998) and Ivanhoe (1982) all feature Northumberland locations.

Stay in Northumberland

A family on holiday in Northumberland

Be the protagonist of your own Northumberland story with a stay in one of our Northumberland holiday cottages! Follow in the footsteps of the characters in these famous Northumberland films and TV series and explore the ancient landscape with your favourite scenes in mind.

Our self-catering Northumberland cottages offer a cosy base to return to, worthy of any discerning guest, TV star or otherwise! Take your pick of our Northumberland collection below.

Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing, please ensure you check carefully before making any decisions based on the contents within this article.

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