As seen on screen: Top film locations in Derbyshire and the Peak District
With stunning stately homes and breathtaking countryside, it's little wonder that Derbyshire and the Peak District is regularly used as a backdrop for blockbuster films and TV series.
With an abundance of stunning stately homes and breathtaking countryside, it's little wonder that Derbyshire and the Peak District is regularly used as a backdrop for blockbuster films and TV series. Here's a round-up of some of the most famous movies and programmes filmed in Derbyshire and the Peak District.
Game of Thrones fans have been eagerly awaiting the much-anticipated release of the House of the Dragon prequel starring Matt Smith. Set 200 years before the events of the hit HBO fantasy epic, viewers of House of the Dragon can expect to see some familiar Peak District places including Castleton’s iconic limestone valley of Winnats Pass (transformed using spectacular CGI technology) and Cave Dale, beneath the imposing ruins of Peveril Castle.
The magnificent home of the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire, and often referred to as ‘the jewel in the Peak District’s crown’, Chatsworth House was used as the location for films such as Pride and Prejudice (film 2005, BBC TV series 1995), The Duchess (2008) and The Wolfman (2009), plus TV dramas such as the BBC’s Death Comes to Pemberley (2013).
One of the UK’s best-preserved medieval houses was the recent setting for the blockbuster Mary Queen of Scots (2019), starring Margot Robbie and Saoirse Ronan - a fitting choice considering Derbyshire's links to the real Mary Queen of Scots.
In the new film, Haddon was used in scenes representing Hampton Court Palace; as the interior of Lord Darnley’s Chamber at Holyrood; and as a servant prep room. The Hall's entrance and lower courtyard were also used as a makeshift camp.
Haddon Hall was the backdrop for several film and TV versions of Jane Eyre, including Cory Fukunagas’s acclaimed 2011 movie, cult film The Princess Bride (1987), Elizabeth (1998), Pride and Prejudice (2005) and The Other Boleyn Girl (2008). Home to the Manners family, Haddon is renowned for its romantic atmosphere and unspoilt rooms, including a medieval kitchen and Elizabethan long gallery (which regularly makes an appearance on screen).
This rugged gritstone edge found fame as the scenic spot where Elizabeth Bennet (played by Keira Knightley) daydreamed of dashing Mr Darcy (played by Matthew Macfadyen) in the 2005 blockbuster Pride and Prejudice. Stretching for around four miles, Stanage Edge is known for its brilliant walks with stunning views.
Dating from Tudor Times, Lyme was later transformed into an Italianate palace, though some Elizabethan interiors survive. Visitors still flock to its lake to see where actor Colin Firth emerged, dripping wet in white shirt and breeches, as Mr Darcy in the BBC TV version of Pride & Prejudice (1995).
Lyme Park was also the location for supernatural thriller The Awakening (2011) – a ghost story set in post-World War I England - and in the BBC TV drama The Village (2014).
Bess of Hardwick’s impressive Elizabethan masterpiece – which earned a reputation for having ‘more glass than wall’ – was featured in the new Mary Queen of Scots movie (2019), starring Saoirse Ronan and Margot Robbie. Read all about the real Mary Stuart's Derbyshire links, and her 'jailer' Bess of Hardwick, here.
In Mary Queen of Scots, the hall and grounds at Hardwick were used as external shots of Hampton Court Palace, including a scene where actress Margot Robbie (Queen Elizabeth I) is standing on the roof of Hardwick Hall (the roof is closed to visitors).
Hardwick was also the inspiration for Malfoy Manor in Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows (2010).
Now cared for by the National Trust, Hardwick is full of architectural and and artistic delights – from Elizabethan embroidery to Forties furnishing – and the Hardwick Estate is open daily for countryside walks.
This imposing neo-classical house near Derby, once home of the influential Curzon family, was the setting for the The Duchess (2008) starring Keira Knightley. Kedleston depicted three key locations in the film; the Spencer family home in Althorp, Devonshire House in London and a rented villa in Bath. It also featured in Jane Eyre (BBC TV series 2006).
A visit to the National Trust Kedleston Hall of today will bring you closer to the aristocratic world which has recently been seen in the popular television series Downton Abbey.
Dovedale, Lindale and Ilam Hall
This idyllic part of the White Peak – famous for its rolling dales and stepping stones across the River Dove – featured in the 2010 version of Robin Hood starring Russell Crowe, plus Jane Eyre (BBC TV series 2006) and The Other Boleyn Girl (2008), starring Natalie Portman and Scarlett Johansson.
This scenic training ground where the 617 Dam Busters squadron practiced low-level flying for raids on German dams in the Second World War was featured in the famous film The Dam Busters (1955). More recently, Ladybower Reservoir's giant 'plug hole' was used in scenes for Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation (2015).
Known for its three beautiful reservoirs and countryside walks, visitors to the Upper Derwent Valley can explore three dams: Ladybower, Howden and Derwent.
This sleepy Staffordshire Moorlands village starred in ITV’s peak-time medical drama Peak Practice in the 1990s, and more recently in psychological thriller The Holding (2011), starring Vincent Regan and David Bradley (caretaker of Hogwarts, Argus Filch, in the Harry Potter series of films).
Known as a 'seaside resort with everything but the sea', Matlock Bath was developed as one of the country's first tourist destinations and, with its Swiss-style landscape, was referred to as 'little Switzerland'. The village was the location for Derbyshire director Nick Whitfield’s award-winning debut film, Skeletons (2010), a quirky cult movie that was acclaimed as Best New British Film at the Edinburgh Film Festival.
One of the UK’s most complete historic estates, with a Tudor Old Hall, neo-classical mansion, 50 acres of gardens and 1,000 acres of parkland, Tatton played host to the popular ITV drama Brideshead Revisited (1981), starring Jeremy Irons, Anthony Andrews, Claire Bloom and Sir John Gielgud.
This unassuming village near Glossop in the High Peak doubled as Royston Vasey in darkly satiric comedy The League of Gentlemen BBC TV series (1999 – 2002) and film (2005).
Sudbury Hall – country home of the Lords Vernon and now owned by the National Trust – was used for the interior shots of Pemberley House in the BBC’s 1995 adaptation of Pride and Prejudice, starring Colin Firth and Jennifer Erle.
North Lees Hall
This impressive mansion near Hathersage was once visited by Charlotte Bronte in 1845, and it is thought the hall and the surrounding areas were her inspiration for Thornfield Hall in Jane Eyre. Parts of North Lees were used for filming Pride and Prejudice (starring Keira Knightley, Matthew MacFadyen and Dame Judi Dench) and The Other Boleyn Girl (2008, starring Cate Blanchett).
Mentioned in the article
Business Directory Castleton Visitor Centre
Castleton Visitor Centre is the perfect place to begin your trip or stay in the Hope Valley.
Business Directory Chatsworth
Chatsworth is a place to learn, explore and create in the heart of the Peak District National Park.
Business Directory Stanage Edge
Situated north of Hathersage, Stanage Edge is a popular place for walkers and for rock climbing with stunning views of the Dark Peak moorlands and the Hope Valley.
Business Directory Hardwick Hall
Home to one of the most influential women in the Elizabethan realm, Hardwick Hall is the culmination of the personality and ambition of its builder and patron Elizabeth, Countess of Shrewsbury, known as Bess of Hardwick.
Business Directory Kedleston Hall
Take a trip back in time to the 1760s at this spectacular Neo-classical mansion, framed by historic parkland.
Business Directory Dovedale
Dovedale is known for the River Dove and it’s impressive limestone ravines, but the most iconic part of a trip to Dovedale has to be the picturesque stepping stones…
Business Directory Ilam Park
Part of the National Trust in the Peak District, Ilam Park is a family friendly destination and open year round.
Business Directory Upper Derwent Valley
The Peak District National Park's Upper Derwent Valley is known for its majestic reservoirs, spectacular scenery, peaceful forests and wild open spaces.
Business Directory Matlock Bath Information Point
Located within the Mining Museum, an extensive range of information can be found at the Tourist Information Point.
Sign up to our newsletter
Receive the latest news, special offers, ideas and inspiration straight to your inbox by signing up to the Visit Peak District & Derbyshire e-newsletter.