Film locations in Wales

The Shell House in the sand dunes at Freshwater West

Here in Wales we look after some of the finest buildings and some of the most dramatic coast and countryside scenery in the country, many of which have doubled up as scenes in Hollywood blockbusters, but do you recognise which ones?

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King Arthur Legend of the Sword, Snowdonia

2017’s blockbuster movie King Arthur Legend of the Sword was mostly filmed on our land in Nant Gwynant near Beddgelert and Capel Curig in Conwy in 2015. Directed by Guy Ritchie, the film stars Charlie Hunnam and Jude Law and follows the legend of Arthur as he grows up and fights for his kingdom. Some of our rangers in Carneddau and Glyderau were enlisted to help set things up and many local people were drafted in as extras. Legends say that Llyn Ogwen is Excalibur’s last resting place, you can pick-up a map from Ogwen ranger base and explore the lakeside in search of the lost sword.

Cast and crew of The Last Kingdom at Porthor, Llŷn Peninsula

The Last Kingdom, Porthor 

A British television series, The Last Kingdom was mostly recreated in the countryside surrounding Budapest, Hungary but some of the coastal scenes were shot on our very own Whistling Sands in Llŷn Peninsula. Based on Bernard Cornwell’s historical novels, The Saxon Stories, the series follows the story of orphaned son of a Saxon nobleman. Cast, crew, horses and equipment made their way down to the beach as Easter holiday makers had front row seats for the filming.

Scenes from Snow White and the Hunstman

Snow White and the Huntsman, Marloes Sands 

Hollywood’s elite; Kristen Stewart and Chris Hemsworth gathered on Marloes Sands, Pembrokeshire in 2012 to film dramatic scenes for Rupert Sanders’ epic fantasy Snow White and the Huntsman. In the film, we see Kristen and her armoured entourage galloping towards the wicked queen’s castle, but the castle was digitally superimposed on Gateholm Island. Due to the vast amount of crew, equipment and 150 horses a local contactor had to build an access ramp down to the beach.

Looking down to Barafundle Bay from coast path

Third Star, Barafundle Bay 

Named as one of the best beaches in the world, there’s no wonder why Barafundle Bay was chosen as the stomping ground for Third Star. It tells the story of friends in their late twenties who return to Barafundle Bay, for a last hurrah before Cumberbatch's character succumbs to terminal cancer. Previous films in Pembrokeshire have superimposed castles and cast, but this film really shows how beautiful and unspoilt Barafundle really is. "It's a story of how the bonds you make as a child, with people and places, never leave you, even if your life circumstances change," said Mr Sivell.

The Shell House in the sand dunes at Freshwater West

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Freshwater West 

Freshwater West in Pembrokeshire became the backdrop of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 starring Daniel Radcliffe based on the book by J. K. Rowling. The Shell House served as a safe house for the Weasley family and allies of the Order of the Phoenix. It was built on the sand dunes down to the smallest detail including the seaweed, they even filled it with heavy water containers to prevent it from moving during filming.

The cast of Robin Hood on the beach at Freshwater West

Robin Hood, Freshwater West 

In June 2009, a film crew set up on Freshwater West to film an epic battle sequence for Ridley Scott’s Robin Hood, in which horsemen with pennants gallop along the water’s edge. Over 600 extras and 150 horses were used during the filming on the beach. Russell Crowe loved it here so much that instead of being helicoptered back to his London hotel after filming, he opted to camp on the sand for several nights.

Nant Gwynat in early morning mist

Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life, Llyn Gwynant 

2002 sees Hollywood icon Angelina Jolie take on Lara Croft Tomb Raider. Although the film was based in China, filming was denied so they decided to host a Chinese village on the shores of Llyn Gwynant in Snowdonia. The production brought some surprise benefits to the area, including 30 members of the Chinese community in Caernarfon who were drafted in as extras and a local farmer who was asked to supply chickens, a gaggle of geese and a mule.

The golden sands of Penbryn beach

Die Another Day, Penbryn Beach 

Penbryn Beach in Ceredigion serves as a stand-in for North Korea in the 20th Bond film, directed by Lee Tamahori and starring Pierce Brosnan. A team of eight people took three days to build a shack on the hill for the exteriors of the final love scene between Halle Berry and Pierce Brosnan. To celebrate 007’s 50th anniversary we were given a commemorative gold disc honouring Penbryn’s role in Bond history.

Walkers on the Watkin Path, Snowdonia

Carry On Up The Khyber, Watkin Path 

In 1968 the Watkin Path in Snowdonia doubled as the Khyber Pass, it was deemed to look like the real Khyber Pass in Afghanistan. Up to 40 local Welshmen played their part in the film and the cast and crew lodged at local accommodation for 10 days. The film stars Carry On regulars Sid James, Kenneth Williams, Charles Hawtrey, Joan Sims and Peter Butterworth. You can retrace their footsteps and follow the Watkin path all the way to the summit of Snowdon.

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