Eight of the biggest filming locations in the north east and the big Hollywood blockbusters that were filmed there
Written by Lucy Baker on 30th March 2023
The North East of England is home to some of the most spectacular scenery and most iconic landmarks in the UK. Some of these places have even been the backdrop of the most recognisable movie and tv show scenes. From Downton Abbey’ to Avengers: Endgame, these are eight places in the North East where TV shows and movies have been filmed.
- Newcastle City Centre
Being a big city, Newcastle certainly isn’t shy to the camera. TV shows like Vera, The Dumping Ground and Byker Grove among many more have been filmed here. Newcastle really saw Hollywood stardom in 2016 when the city centre saw high speed car chases with the filming of Transformers: The Last Knight and Hollywood star Josh Duhamel was wandering around the city. While these scenes were eventually cut from the movie, the city still saw some pretty spectacular action scenes!
2. Bamburgh Castle
Bamburgh Castle is one of the most important Anglo-Saxon archaeological sites in the world, situated on the coast of Northumberland. Its importance has certainly been displayed on screen in massive franchises like Harry Potter and been a key element in major TV series’ like Downton Abbey. Hollywood icon Elizabeth Taylor has even visited the castle in 1963, while accompanying her then husband Richard Burton when he was filming Becket. It will also be featured in the upcoming Indiana Jones movie starring Harrison Ford and Phoebe Waller – Bridge. This comes after Harrison Ford was spotted by fans riding his bike in Newcastle and watching as fire surrounded Bamburgh castle as part of a scene that was being filmed.
3. Durham Cathedral
Durham Cathedral is one of the most notable landmarks in the UK and has been the backdrop to the most recognisable TV and movie scenes. It is the home of Thor in Avengers: Endgame, which is the former highest grossing film of all time. Like Bamburgh Castle, it’s also a key part of the Harry Potter series in many scenes, like when Harry flies Hedwig in the snow or where Ron vomits slugs. You can even visit the Cathedral chapter House where you’ll find Professor McDonagall’s classroom!
4. Alnwick Castle
Alnwick Castle is one of the most iconic castles in England and has been a rather popular filming location over the past 20 years. Situated in Northumberland, some of its best known appearances have been in the final ever episode of Downton Abbey along with many previous episodes, the Harry Potter franchise and even the Oscar nominated film Elizabeth starring Cate Blanchett.
5. Low Force
Low Force is an 18 foot high waterfall on the River Tees accompanied by the High Force waterfall that is further upstream. Due to its beautiful scenery, it’s really no surprise that filmmakers have chosen this to be a part of their movies. Its most recent feature has been on the Netflix series The Witcher season two starring Henry Cavill. The waterfall was also featured in Sam Mendes’ Oscar winning war movie ‘1917’.
6. High Level Bridge
High Level Bridge is a road and railway bridge positioned over the River Tyne, between Newcastle upon Tyne and Gateshead. The specific look of the bridge makes it easy to recognise on screen, like in the hit detective series Vera and even in multiple pivotal scenes in the 1971 crime thriller Get Carter starring Michael Caine.
7. Seaham Beach
Seaham Beach is a long stretch of rocky and sandy beaches located in the coastal town of Seaham. The beach, more specifically the Blast Beach has been an inspiration to North East film directors like Ridley Scott, as he used it in his Blockbuster franchise Alien. Due to its futuristic look, the Blast Beach was used in the film as the surface of an alien planet. More recently, the 2016 drama Lady Macbeth starring Oscar nominated actress Florence Pugh was filmed on the same beach.
8. Hadrian’s Wall
Hadrian’s Wall is a historical landmark that spans 73 miles from coast to coast and was built as a defence mechanism. Due to its incredible historical scenery it’s pretty obvious why it’s been featured in so many movies and tv shows like the 1991 action film Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves starring Kevin Costner and Morgan Freeman, and the crime drama Vera.