Famous filming locations in Cornwall
PUBLISHED: 15:30 16 January 2019 | UPDATED: 15:42 18 January 2019
Many stars have appeared in front of the cameras in one of Cornwall’s many fantastic filming locations. Here’s just a few of the movies and TV shows that have been, at least in part, filmed in Cornwall
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides
Did you know part of the 2011 film starring Johnny Depp, Penélope Cruz, Stephen Graham and Geoffrey Rush (to name just a few), was filmed in St Ives? Johnny Depp is rumoured to be a big fan of a pint in The Sloop Inn too.
Johnny Depp said: ‘I have been to Cornwall a number of times. What a beautiful part of the world. It is a perfect spot for movies because it has a little of everything but I liked the atmosphere and the history of the place. You can get off a plane, drive to Cornwall in a modern motor and still expect to see a galleon moored at the quayside and pirates heading towards the inns. It’s fantastic.’
And Then There Were None
Aidan Turner has talked to us before about his love of filming Poldark in Cornwall but he was also in the special BBC adaptation of Agatha Christie novel And Then There Were None which also had quite a bit of location work in Cornwall.
‘That is another of the special assets of Cornwall for filming,’ said Aidan. ‘It can be whatever you want it to be – it is beautiful and welcoming but it can also be quite daunting and threatening if that’s the mood you need. Cornwall is more than a location, it is one of the actors.’
Doc Martin continues to be a big TV viewer favourite and that means Martin Clunes who is also a huge fan of Cornwall.
‘We all just love being in Cornwall so any excuse to stay there,’ said Martin. ‘We did not all stay in the same place. I usually stayed at Delabole which is about six miles away from Port Isaac, our main location. Delabole was just a fantastic place to be living, very beautiful and very peaceful, especially welcome when you need to learn your lines. I also found another place that I do really like – Port Quin.
‘What an amazing part of the world. For anyone who has never been there it is a truly beautiful and traditional fishing village just along the coast from Port Isaac. Do give yourself a treat and visit Port Quin.’
Die Another Day
Several Bond films have included scenes shot in Cornwall which prompted Die Another Day star Pierce Brosnan to say: ‘Cornwall and Bond go well together. Bond spends a lot of time on the ocean surrounded by beautiful coastlines and beautiful girls. That is exactly what you find in Cornwall. It really is quite inspiring.’
The secret Korean military base in Die Another Day took four weeks to build on Holywell Bay near Newquay. Other locations include around St Austell, featuring the Eden Project (where a piece of the set – a fake boulder – remains).
Ladies In Lavender
‘Cornwall is just so beautiful,’ said Dame Maggie Smith who knows the area well and was delighted to film most of Ladies In Lavender in the Penzance and Helston areas along with her friend and fellow star Dame Judi Dench. ‘We had a lovely time,’ said Maggie. ‘The only problem was that we found Cornwall so nice we just wanted to wander around and visit tea shops but they kept making us work, so unfair really. Cornwall is one of those places that you want to relax in except for exploring. Cornwall is really quite unique.’
St Michael’s Mount is one of the favourite locations for films and television and has appeared in countless productions as well as documentaries. It even had a special role in the 2003 spy-comedy film Johnny English staring Rowan Atkinson, Natalie Imbruglia and Ben Miller.
In the film, St Michael’s Mount is used as the French château owned by baddie Sauvage played by John Malkovich.
Charlestown, Falmouth, Pendennis Castle, St Mawes and Rame Head were also used as locations in the popular nautical series, Hornblower, starring Ioan Gruffudd who fell in love with Cornwall.
‘From a film-making point of view Cornwall has everything from great bays and cliffs to the wonderful seascapes and inland some of the most picturesque countryside and town locations you will find in Britain.
‘As an actor there is more to it than that because you are able to draw on the local atmosphere to help your performance and Cornwall is simply brilliant for that. It has very nice people but also you can feel centuries of history wherever you go and a great nautical tradition whether within the law or outside the law. It is not only a pleasure to work in Cornwall, it is a privilege to walk in the footsteps of Cornish people of both yesterday and today. I fell in love with it.’
The 2012 romantic comedy directed by Richard Curtis, starring Domhnall Gleeson, Rachel McAdams and Bill Nighy was largely filmed in Cornwall.
Porthpean House is used as the family home, whilst many scenes were filmed 8 miles away on Vault Beach in Gorran Haven although the film portrays the beach to be sat directly underneath the house.
St Michael’s Penkevil Church near Truro is used as the venue for where Tim and Mary get married.
Jack Shephard spent a number of years filming all over Cornwall in the very popular Wycliffe series. Jack is mostly involved in writing and stage work these days but has great memories of Cornwall.
‘I think we must have filmed all over Cornwall because there was so much location work in the series,’ said Jack. ‘We all loved it. Sometimes when you are filming very early in the morning before there are too many people about it can be hard work but none of us ever felt like that in Cornwall, we embraced the countryside and the coastline and saw it more as a partner than a problem. It was beautiful and it still is of course. The pubs are excellent too.’