With plenty of beautiful countrysides and peaceful landscapes, Wales is a top filming location. It has made a significant impact on the recording world and has been seen as a backdrop in many popular Hollywood films and television shows, with lots of scenic locations around the country substituting for hotter, more exotic ones typically found abroad. Here are some of the most iconic filming locations the country has to offer.
Brecon Beacons – The Dark Knight Rises
It’s surprising to know that Henrhyd Falls in Brecon Beacons National Park was actually used as the Bat Cave entrance in Christian Bale’s blockbuster film. This iconic waterfall makes the perfect discreet entrance to Batman’s secret hideout and was used in the movie as such, undeniably fitting in with Gotham’s landscape.
Southerndown Beach – Doctor Who
Used in several episodes of Doctor Who, namely Army of Ghosts, Doomsday and Journey’s End, Southerndown Beach made a melancholy backdrop for some of the Tenth Doctor’s most poignant scenes with Rose Tyler, with the recognizable pale sands and hilly countryside lurking in the background of each shot.
Snowdonia – The World is Not Enough
Blockbuster film The World is Not Enough starring Pierce Brosnan as James Bond was filmed in Snowdonia National Park, with the stunning mountainous terrain being used to depict Kazakhstan. The same location was used in another James Bond film years previously, appearing in From Russia With Love in 1963, starring Sean Connery.
Pembrokeshire – Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 & 2
Used in the last Harry Potter films, Pembrokeshire was the backdrop and home of Shell Cottage, home of Bill Weasley and Fleur Delacour. Interestingly, Ireland was also used as a filming location for the Harry Potter movies, with the striking Cliffs of Moher being used in the Half-Blood Prince. Both locations are seaside resorts and have lots of entertainment options available for tourists, including nightclubs, amusements, and casinos that cater to these areas.
Gwili Steam Railway – The Edge of Love
In The Edge of Love, Gwili Railway’s Llwyfan Cerrig station plays the part of the film’s New Quay station, with the picturesque greenery surrounding the railway line making it stand out in the picture. There are a few camera shots from around the steam train itself, adding more of an old-timey atmosphere to the period film.
Llŷn Peninsula – The Last Kingdom
Used as a filming location for the popular television series The Last Kingdom, based on Bernard Cornwell’s The Saxon Stories, the quaint Llŷn Peninsula made the perfect backdrop depicting the coastal scenes for the Vikings and Anglo-Saxons.
Merthyr Mawr – Lawrence of Arabia
In one of the most famous films in history, Lawrence of Arabia, Golden Age Hollywood star Peter O’Toole, can be seen walking across what is supposed to be an Arabian desert. In actual fact, he’s walking across Wales’ famous dunes, showing just how powerful imagery can be in cinema.
The exoticised setting of an Arabian desert remains a popular backdrop for many blockbusters in the modern-day, with Middle Eastern culture continuing to appeal to mainstream audiences. This is evident across lots of entertainment mediums, from video game franchises such as Prince of Persia to slot games, like Egyptian-themed, free spins title Rich Wilde and the Book of Dead, to even modern filmmaking such as the newest interpretation of Dune.
Evidently, Wales is a versatile country with landscapes that can be re-envisioned for the benefit of many genres and mise-en-scenes. From ancient castles to sandy dunes or tranquil fields and seaside escapes, it’s no wonder Hollywood keeps coming back to use the country in so many of their blockbuster movies!