With the Oscar weekend just past, we’re still feeling the Hollywood glitz and glamour here in Cumbria. Not to be left out, we’ve put together a list of films shot in and around the wonderful Lake District.
Kicking off our list is a film about one of the regions best-loved authors, Beatrix Potter. Starring Renee Zelwegger as the titular character, Miss Potter follows the author/farmer/conservationist as she overcomes various obstacles, including the sexism of Victorian England, to publish her now-famous children’s books with their beautiful drawings.
As you might expect, filming locations for Miss Potter took place in various parts of the Lake District including Loughrigg and Grasmere as well as Yew Tree Farm in Coniston, which was owned by the author.
28 Days Later
The end of the world is perhaps not what you think of when dreaming of the fells and lakes of the beautiful Lake District, but this post-apocalyptic zombie movie is partly set in the region. When the lead character Jim (Cillian Murphy) wakes up in an abandoned hospital, he ventures out to find an even emptier London, wiped out by a fast-spreading virus. The last scenes of the film are set in the Lake District and were shot around Ennerdale.
You don’t have to hide from a zombie apocalypse, but if you’d like a break from a busy life, nowhere could be more relaxing than the tranquil Ennerdale.
Snow White and the Huntsman
Based on the original Grimm fairy tale, Snow White, this updated telling of the story was partly shot in Langdale, at locations including Cathedral Cave and Blea Tarn. Two of the film’s stars, Kristen Stewart and Charlize Theron spent some time in Windermere and locals in Ambleside were starstruck when big names including Bob Hoskins, Eddie Izzard, and Ray Winstone popped into the Wateredge Inn for a refreshment after a hard day’s filming.
Find your dream cottage in the beautiful southeast Lake District and you’ll feel like you’re in your own fairy tale.
Swallows and Amazons
Based on the beloved children’s book, Swallows and Amazons is inspired by and filmed in the Lake District. There are two versions of this film, one released in 1974 and the other more recently in 2016. The nostalgia-inducing story follows a group of children as they sail, camp, and explore whilst on holiday. Although the names of places aren’t the same, Arthur Ransome, the book's author, confirmed that they were based on real places around the Lake District, including Coniston and Windermere. Parts of the original 1974 film were shot around Windermere and the 2016 version includes scenes shot around Coniston and Derwentwater. One of Coniston’s Steam Yacht Gondolas was used for Captain Flint’s houseboat.
Withnail and I
This cult film, starring Richard E. Grant and Paul McGann, is a British black comedy that follows two unemployed actors living in near-squalor in London. Deciding that it’s time for a holiday, they head on a journey to the Lake District to visit Withnail’s uncle.
Although the film’s Cumbrian scenes are mostly set in Penrith, they were not actually filmed there, instead being shot at nearby Shap and Bampton on the northeast edge of the National Park. You can also catch views of Haweswater Reservoir during the film.
For a more successful Lake District trip than the lead characters in this film, browse through our lovely, cosy cottages in the northeast Lake District.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens
A galaxy far, far away was filmed much closer to home! The planet of Takodana was partly shot in the Lake District, although you’ll be forgiven for missing it as much of the footage was edited with CGI to add additional mountains and features in the background! The most recognisable location can be seen when two X-Wing Fighters fly across Derwentwater, from Walla Crag got the southeast edge of the lake. The popular lake, which is also home to the lovely market town of Keswick, features in other parts of the film, as is Thirlmere reservoir, where you will see yet more X-Wing Fighters flying overhead!
The newly released film, starring Beatrix Potter’s most well-known and beloved character, boasts an all-star cast including James Corden, Daisy Ridley, and Margot Robbie. Peter Rabbit is synonymous with the Lake District, so it’s no surprise that parts of the film were shot in Ambleside and Windermere.
Brief Encounter is a classic British romance about two comfortably-married people (Celia Johnson and Trevor Howard) who begin an affair with one another. Though mostly shot at Carnforth railway station in Lancashire, one poignant and passionate scene is set on Middle Fell Bridge in the Langdale Valley.
Search out your own romantic getaway in the southeast Lake District.
Without a Clue
A twist on the popular Sherlock Holmes stories, Without a Clue follows Dr. Watson (Ben Kingsley), a man who creates a fictional character called Sherlock Holmes so that he can solve crimes incognito. Responding to popular demand, Watson hires an actor (Michael Caine) to play the deerstalker-clad detective.
Take a look through all of our cottages in and around the Lake District with our cottage search.
Other blog posts that you may be interested in: