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24 September 2014

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Cumbria on film

You are in: Cumbria > History > History features > Cumbria on film > What else has been filmed in Cumbria?

Justine Waddell and Anthony Howell

What else has been filmed in Cumbria?

Here's a brief list of all the other films and serials that we know of that have been filmed in and around Cumbria ...

Children's TV



Thomas the Tank Engine

Still successful, this series was created by Reverend W V Awdry in 1946.
When readers started to ask where the characters lived, Awdry needed to create a location. He ‘discovered’ the Isle of Sodor for Thomas and his friends to inhabit.
Awdry came across the unusual name one summer. He stayed on the Isle of Man and met the island’s bishop - the Bishop of Sodor and Man. ‘Sodor’ is an area in South-West Scotland but the name isn’t used any more.
The fictional Isle of Sodor lies between Walney Island and the Isle of Man. It’s huge - much larger than the Furness area of Cumbria. The Awdry family website displays a map of the Isle of Sodor.


Extremely tenuous link to Cumbria - currently the music rights for Bagpuss are held at Fellside Recordings in Workington. They produce the CD of music from the series. Sorry if we got your hopes up with this one.


Miss Potter (2007)

The Cumbrian landscape is the unbilled star of the Renee Zellweger movie Miss Potter which explores the early life of the author Beatrix Potter. Ewan McGregor plays Beatrix Potter's publisher, Norman Wayne.



28 Days Later (2002)

The final scenes from Danny Boyle's horror film were filmed around Ennerdale.

The French Lieutenant's Woman (1980)

Most of the filming took place in Dorset, where the book was originally set. However, the final scenes were shot around Windermere.

The Loss of Sexual Innocence (1997)

Denton Holme and Dickson's chimney at Shaddon Mill in Carlisle feature in this film. It was directed by Mike Figgis who spent his childhood in Carlisle.

Robin Hood - Prince of Thieves (1991)

A poacher is running away to escape the men chasing him. He hides from them by climbing up a tree - this scene was shot at Hadrian's Wall near Haltwhistle.
The film doesn't show the poacher climbing the trunk of the tree - a contributor on the Movie-Mistakes website says this is because it's impossible. " I've tried," he says. "There is nowhere to put your feet or hands".



Currently the most-repeated show on terrestrial TV, Porridge was set in HMP Slade, a fictional prison in Cumbria.

Wives and Daughters

Levens Hall in Kendal became the Hamley’s family estate for this BBC TV drama. Set in the 1820s, the plot follows Molly and her step-sister Cynthia as they grow up in a village community.

Oliver Twist (1999)

In 1999, an ITV crew descended on Alston for the filming of this Dicken's classic. The market town, high in the mountains, was transformed into the fishing village of Bruntmarsh. Quite a feat for a town 1000 feet above sea-level!
Almost all the extras in the TV drama are Alston locals. The town itself is rich in history and had a real workhouse in Dickensian times.
Use the web-link on the left to visit Alston's own website.

Poirot (1991 - 1994)

Many of the outdoor scenes were filmed around Cumbria.
Also nearby, but not in Cumbria, the Midland Hotel in Morecambe was a regular in the series. The Grade II* listed building is perfect for the series as it retains many Art Deco features, characteristic of the 1930s setting.

Chimera (1991)

A half-man half-ape creature is being hunted in Cumbria in this ITV thriller. Chad - the 'chimera' - escaped from a secret government research clinic after killing the staff. He was created by Dr Jenner who was developing a strong slave race of people to serve ordinary humans. Chad progressed too far and objected to being terminated. Peter Carson, a journalist, investigates after his girlfriend is murdered at the clinic.
The screenplay was written by Stephen Gallagher, who also penned the novel of the same name. The series was not filmed in Cumbria - sadly, North Yorkshire was used for the Cumbrian locations.
This four-part drama has been repeated as an edited two hour 'movie' since its original showing on ITV.
Gallagher has also written for Dr Who and Bugs (shown on BBC One in 1995).

last updated: 20/05/2008 at 15:50
created: 31/03/2006

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