UK Castles, just waiting to be filmed

The beauty and mystery that surround a castle can make it a perfect image for a sinister backdrop in a horror story, a mystical destination in a fantasy, or an exquisite look into medieval times.

The United Kingdom has castles that will lend a dramatic atmosphere to any filmmaker’s movie scenes. Some castles have been spotted in films repeatedly and can be recognized from afar, while others have not been so lucky as to attain a leading role. What are some of the magnificently charming castles the United Kingdom has to offer that have not been filmed quite as often?

1. Alnwick Castle

The first parts of the castle were designed in the year 1096. Currently, the duke and his family reside in part of this very large castle. The vistas surrounding this beautiful castle and garden are breathtaking. Any filmmaker would relish at the opportunity to include this in a scene of their movie.

UK Castles Filming - Alnwick

This castle is one of the most famously known castles from this list to have been viewed in a few different movies and television shows. It has been filmed in two Harry Potter movies, “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets “and “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, as well as in the film “Robin Hood Prince of Thieves”. The castle is also very prevalent in the PBS television series “Downton Abbey.


2. Castell Coch

Castell Coch is a brilliant castle that is found north of Cardiff. This castle has an eerie glow about it that gives the feeling that supernatural beings will spring from the windows above the trees. The Victorian castles almost gothic atmosphere makes room for a vivid imagination.

A filmmaker could really use this location for a film involving vampires, werewolves, or even ghosts. Though Castell Coch is not often filmed, it was the perfect location for three episodes of the BBC’s series “Doctor Who”. What better location is there for a school of blood sucking creatures? All three episodes, “Journeys End”, “The Vampires in Venice”, and “Nightmare in Silver” had the perfect plot to bring out the features of this castle that must be seen.


3. Killyleagh Castle

The Killyleagh Castle dates back to the year 1180 as one of the oldest in the United Kingdom. Found in Northern Ireland, this chateau gives the feel of a castle from a childs fairy tale. This castle is currently inhabited by Gawn Rowan Hamilton and his family.

UK Castles Filming - Killyleagh Castle

The structure is a building with a tower on either side of it, and would be a delightful home in any dramatic film. This castle has not been seen often, but it did play the role of the sinister Bogmoor Castle in BBCs children’s show entitled “Dani’s Castle.


4. Corfe Castle

Corfe Castle was once a fortified home of the royals of the United Kingdom. It was originally built during the eleventh century and remained a royal fortress until Queen Elizabeth I sold it to her Lord Chancellor Sir Christopher Hatton. As a result of the English Civil War, Corfe Castle was seized, and parliament voted to slight the castle. The demolished look seen today is the result of this declaration.

UK Castles Filming - Corfe Castle

These ruins are one of the world’s most visited historical sites, and would be a true treasure to spot in a film. Seen in such series as BBC’s “The Mayor of Castorbridge” that aired in 1978 and “Tess of the Urbervilles” from 2008, the ruins do not see enough screen time. Fantasy is a genre that is increasing in popularity due to features such as the “Game of Thrones” and “The Hobbit”. What is left of the beautifully designed stone architecture is the perfect staging grounds for an epic fight with a dragon.


5. Peckforton Castle

Peckforton Castle is a country home that was built in the middle of the nineteenth century to resemble a gothic style medieval castle. This exquisite castle is considered to be one of the last built fortified homes left intact in England.

UK Castles Filming - Peckforton Castle

Peckforton Castle has been seen on screen in films such as “Robin Hood”, and television series such as an episode of BBC “Doctor Who” during the year 1973 entitled “The Time Warrior”, but its air time has been limited greatly. It currently serves as a luxury hotel that specializes in weddings and corporate events.


6. Bodiam Castle

The Bodium Castle is a moated castle that was built in the fourteenth century in East Sussex. The castle itself has no keep, as the high defensive walls and the inner courts were a focus of its design. After the Civil War many castles were slighted to prevent them from future use, and Bodiam Castle was one of the castles that was to be dismantled.

UK Castles Filming - Bodiam Castle

Luckily it was sufficient to have the bridges demolished. This location is a great location for a scenic shot; in fact a movie that took advantage of this castle’s beauty is “Monty Python and the Holy Grail”.


All of the castles in this article have very photogenic surroundings and an atmosphere that any filmmaker would love to incorporate into a great film. Fantasy is a growing genre that should not be ignored, and adding a mysteriously, breathtaking castle to the mix will not disappoint the viewers or the filmmaker.


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