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Dorset in the movies
Dorset's countryside, coast and picturesque villages have made it the ideal backdrop for movie directors over the years. Here's a few of the big (and small!) screen hits in which you can spot some familiar locations.
Mapperton Gardens was the perfect setting for the period dramas including Jane Austen's Emma, starring Gwyneth Paltrow, in 1996. The house was also used in the BBC TV adaptation of Tom Jones.
It is set in a valley among tumbling hills and unspoilt countryside in West Dorset. The house, Elizabethan in origin, was enlarged in the late 1670s and is currently home to the Earl and Countess of Sandwich.
Stephen Fry starred as the Irish playwright Oscar Wilde in the 1997 bio-pic Wilde.
Scenes were shot around Swanage Pier, Lulworth & Studland Beaches and the spacious grounds of the 18th Century Houghton Lodge in Stockbridge in Hampshire.
Lyme Regis was the Undercliff in the John Fowles romantic novel, The French Lieutenant's Woman.
The Cobb, Lyme Regis
The 1981 film starring Meryl Streep and Jeremy Irons made the Cobb (sea wall) at Lyme Regis world famous as the location of one of the most memorable moments in cinema history.
Jim Henson Productions' lavish production of Gulliver's Travels starring Omar Sharif, Ted Danson and Mary Steenburgen made use of the picturesque Jurassic coastline.
The Dam Busters
Two of the most famous films of the war years were shot around Weymouth and Portland. 1954's The Dam Busters features scenes around the Fleet where the revolutionary bombs were tested.
Noel Coward, John Mills, and Richard Attenborough starred in the wartime drama In Which We Serve in 1942 with scenes filmed around Portland.
On the TV
There have been plenty of television crews in Dorset over the years.
In April 2008, several members of the EastEnders' cast, including Barbara Windsor, spent five days shooting scenes in Weymouth, shown in July 2008.
Nick Berry in Harbour Lights
The short-lived BBC TV series Harbour Lights starring Nick Berry as a harbour master was filmed in and around West Bay in 1998/9.
Gold Hill in Shaftesbury is known the world over as 'Hovis Hill' after being the location for 'that' bread advert more than two decades ago.
Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's popular River Cottage series on Channel 4 have shown off the best of the county's countryside and farming traditions.
And the BBC's 2008 adaptation of Thomas Hardy's Tess of the D'Urbervilles featured location work on Dancing Ledge, near Swanage.
If there's any more we've missed out, let us know. Please leave your comments below.
last updated: 19/01/2009 at 11:32
Have Your Say
Do you know of any other film locations around Dorset?
Mrs Elizabeth Cockerell
Laura Hicks, West Dorset
John R. Davies
frances papazafiropoulos (fran)
Janet O. Burlington, Canada
Morris: a life with bells on
Peter G: Montreal Canada
Richard F Randall
Jenny and Ian Edlin
Trevor Payton Sidney B.C. Canada