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Kent filming locations: 27 big budget movies shot in the county

Whether it be the sunny coast, idyllic countryside, or old stately homes, Kent offers an abundance of filming locations.

Dozens of movies have therefore been shot in the county, and after Disney crews were spotted in Herne Bay yesterday, we take a look at the big budget movies to have been filmed in the Garden of England.

Disney film crews in Reculver
Disney film crews in Reculver

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 (2010)

In the penultimate movie of the eight film franchise, the Dartford Crossing makes a brief appearance as Harry and co are chased by Death Eaters.

Harry's owl Hedwig meets his unfortunate demise in the skies above the Kent and Essex border.

Canterbury Cathedral could have been an integral Hogwarts filming location for the globally-adored series, but authorities refused Warner Bros permission to shoot at the historic place of worship.

Durham Cathedral was instead used, with the cloisters regularly being spotted on screen.

Hagrid escorts Harry Potter away from Death Eaters moments before Hedwig dies above Dartford
Hagrid escorts Harry Potter away from Death Eaters moments before Hedwig dies above Dartford

Wonder Woman (2017)

When you think of mega budget American superhero movies, the Kent countryside isn't the first place that comes to mind.

However, Lower Halstow, near Sittingbourne, takes centre stage in the hit DC movie Wonder Woman.

Film crews made the the grounds of St Margaret of Antioch Church and the nearby docks into a military encampment doubling as the Belgian coastline.

Film stars were given a tour of the church by villager Alan Swift who said Star Trek star Chris Pine took an interest in its Roman tiles.

Filming for Wonder Woman in 2015
Filming for Wonder Woman in 2015

Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)

Hollywood A-listers including Robert Downey Jr and Scarlett Johansson shot scenes at Dover Castle back in 2014.

The medieval castle was used as an enemy Hydra base which is stormed by the Avengers team led by Captain America, portrayed by Chris Evans.

Parts of the keep and wartime tunnels can be spotted in the early stages of the film.

Robert Downey Jnr was spotted getting off a helicopter close to Dover Castle
Robert Downey Jnr was spotted getting off a helicopter close to Dover Castle

The Other Boleyn Girl (2008), Lady Jane (1986)

Production for the costume drama flitted around Kent throughout 2006, with Knole House, Dover Castle, and Penshurst Place regularly being used.

Eric Bana, Natalie Portman, and Scarlett Johansson were among the big-name cast.

Dover Castle's medieval backdrop acted as the Tower of London during the execution of Anne Boleyn, played by Natalie Portman.

The castle also doubled up as the Tower of London in Lady Jane, starring Helena Bonham Carter and Sir Patrick Stewart.

The Other Boleyn Girl was filmed at Dover Castle (20492968)
The Other Boleyn Girl was filmed at Dover Castle (20492968)

Into the Woods (2015), Hamlet (1990) Wind in the Willows (1993) and Johnny English (2003)

Dark fairytale Into the Woods saw Johnny Deep, James Corden, and Meryl Streep take to the screen together and shoot scenes at Kent's most impressive castle.

Dover's sprawling castle plays host to Cinderella attending a ball and her marriage to the Prince.

Atmospheric night-time scenes were also filmed on site – with only torches burning to light the way – while another scene saw an earthquake strike the castle.

In Mel Gibson's Hamlet, Dover portrays the Danish Castle of Elsinore. It makes its first appearance in the title sequence and during a key battle.

As well as the castle, the nearby village of Chiddingstone makes an appearance in 1993 version of the Wind in the Willows.

Emily Blunt and James Corden star as a baker and his wife in Into The Woods, filmed in part at Dover Castle
Emily Blunt and James Corden star as a baker and his wife in Into The Woods, filmed in part at Dover Castle

Diamond's Are Forever (1971)

Sean Connery's last outing as the suave spy saw him make an escape to France from the Port of Dover.

Miss Moneypenny appeared as a customs officer at the docks as Bond made his getaway to Europe in a hovercraft.

Pirates of the Caribbean On Stranger Tides (2011)

Known as one of the weakest instalments in the money-making franchise, On Stranger Tides was another big budget movie to make the most of the setting at Knole.

The large inner courtyard at the National Trust property was filled with gallows for an execution scene intended for Jack Sparrow's long-term ally Gibbs, played by Kevin McNally.

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides had a scene filmed at Knole
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides had a scene filmed at Knole

Sherlock Holmes (2009), Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (2011)

Chatham’s Historic Dockyard played a key role during the filming of both Robert Downey Jr-led Sherlock Holmes movies.

The docks can be spotted in a number of scenes throughout the two Victorian England blockbusters, which star Jude Law as Dr Watson.

Stephen Fry - who starred as Holmes’ older brother Mycroft - tweeted to update his followers on his time filming at Chatham.

Stunts for Sherlock Holmes being filmed at Chatham
Stunts for Sherlock Holmes being filmed at Chatham

The World is Not Enough (1999), Die Another Day (2002)

The 19th James Bond film, this time starring Piers Brosnan, saw Chatham's dockyard appear on screen once again.

It was used for a section of the boat chase at the start of the film. Chatham High Street can also briefly be spotted just before Bond goes past the O2.

The following Bond instalment also included a brief stint in Kent, with a cargo plane scene being filmed at Manston airport in Thanet.

Manston appeared in Die Another Day
Manston appeared in Die Another Day

Les Misérables (2012)

Hollywood's go-to location in Kent cropped up again in 2012 in Les Misérables, starring Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe and Anne Hathaway.

Chatham’s Historic Dockyard was used extensively, with it doubling as a factory, court room, hospital and various streets.

Gladiator star Crowe was spotted in the Ship and Trades pub during the production.

Directors held auditions for extras at the nearby University of Kent campus. Thousands of hopefuls waited in the cold before they could try and prove their worth and bag a part in the hit musical.

Russell Crowe filming Les Miserables Chatham
Russell Crowe filming Les Miserables Chatham

The Mummy (1999), The Golden Compass (2007), Children of Men (2006), Mr Turner (2014)

You guessed it. It's Chatham Dockyard yet again.

As well as starring in numerous TV productions, the Medway setting has welcomed a host of A-listers over the years.

The scene where Rachel Weisz and Brendan Fraser’s characters board a steam boat in Giza was filmed in Chatham.

Fantasy film The Golden Compass - starring Daniel Craig and Nicole Kidman - took advantage of the dockyard's impressive backdrop and mixed computer-generated-imagery to add mountains in the background.

Scenes from the Golden Compass were filmed at Chatham
Scenes from the Golden Compass were filmed at Chatham
Timothy Spall as Turner
Timothy Spall as Turner

Post-apocalyptic movie Children of Men was shot partly in Chatham when Clive Owen's character is taken to a rebel safe house.

In 2014 movie, Mr Turner, Timothy Spall is tied to the mast of a ship in the docks. The HMS Gannet also doubled for a pleasure vessel on the Thames, and Stangate Creek on the River Medway was also used to film a rowing scene.

Black Sea (2014)

It seems Jude Law can't get enough of filming in Kent.

Portraying a rogue submarine captain, he shot parts of thriller Black Sea on an old Russian nuclear submarine moored on the River Medway in Strood.

The ex-Soviet Union submarine on the River Medway
The ex-Soviet Union submarine on the River Medway

My Week with Marilyn (2011)

Saltwood Castle and Hawkinge both featured in the Marilyn Monroe biopic.

Starring Michelle Williams and future Academy award winner Eddie Redmayne, the movie includes numerous interior shots of Saltwood Castle and, in 2010, Gibraltar Lane in Hawkinge was closed for shooting.

King of Thieves (2018)

Margate takes centre stage during the mid-point of the film based on infamous Hatton Garden robbery.

Sir Michael Caine's character Brian Reader gets cold feet following the London break-in and takes the train to the Thanet coast.

The veteran Italian Job actor shot scenes at various places across the town, including on the harbour arm and at the Nayland Rock Hotel.

Sir Michael Caine on Margate seafront for King of Thieves
Sir Michael Caine on Margate seafront for King of Thieves

Monuments Men (2014)

Directed by George Clooney, Monuments Men starring Matt Damon, Cate Blanchett, and Bill Murray is a comedy set in the Second World War. It follows the fortunes of an Allied platoon as they attempt to rescue artworks plundered by the Nazis.

Crews filmed establishing shots of farmland in High Halden, between Ashford and Tenterden, in 2013.

Camber Sands in neighbouring East Sussex can also clearly be distinguished as an Allied camp in the first half of the movie. During filming, George Clooney, and Matt Damon were spotted enjoying fish and chips in Rye.

Matt Damon, Hugh Bonneville and George Clooney in Monuments Men
Matt Damon, Hugh Bonneville and George Clooney in Monuments Men

Pride and Prejudice (2005)

Director Joe Wright used Britain's countryside extensively in the critically-acclaimed book adaptation of Pride and Prejudice.

Groombridge Place in Tunbridge Wells was used to portray the Bennett house and grounds.

Keira Knightley was among the stars to have filmed at the 17th century house.

Mary Queen of Scots (2019)

Directors seem to love coming to Kent to film their costume dramas.

Penshurst Place was widely used in Mary Queen of Scots, starring Saoirse Ronan and Margot Robbie.

Filming, which included the execution scene, took place in October 2017 with the normal fittings in the Baron’s Hall being removed.

Keira Knightley filming Pride and Prejudice at Groombridge Place
Keira Knightley filming Pride and Prejudice at Groombridge Place
Mary Queen of Scots came out this year
Mary Queen of Scots came out this year

Darkest Hour (2018)

Two Kent locations have starring roles in the recent Churchill biopic, featuring Gary Oldman.

The prime minister's former home, Chartwell, near Westerham, is featured extensively, and some scenes were filmed at Fort Amherst in Chatham.

During his teenage years, Academy award winner Oldman lived in Stanhope, in Ashford, and went to the Duncan Bowen Secondary School which is now The John Wallis Academy.

Benedict Cumberbatch has been filming in Deal. Picture: Ann Priestland
Benedict Cumberbatch has been filming in Deal. Picture: Ann Priestland

Still more movies to come... (2019+)

This year has seen a host of big actors in Kent, with a selection of films being shot in the county.

Benedict Cumberbatch was spotted on Deal beach filming of Louis Wain biopic, Kate Winslet was seen shooting overnight in Charing, and Jude Law and Naomie Harris were spied on the Romney Marsh.

Film crews for an up-and-coming Jude Law film were seen arriving at a car park in Greatstone recently
Film crews for an up-and-coming Jude Law film were seen arriving at a car park in Greatstone recently

For more ideas on days out and things to do, head to our What’s On section

Read more: All the latest news from Kent


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