The top TV and movie filming locations in Cornwall to visit
The dramatic coastlines, harsh moorlands, and world-class beaches not only attract holidaymakers each year but TV crews and big-screen directors too.
Over the years, some blockbuster movies and popular TV shows have been filmed in Cornwall. In this guide, we look at some of the locations where top TV shows and movies were filmed in the Duchy so you can explore them on your next trip to the county.
TV and movie filming locations in Cornwall
- Port Isaac
- Bodmin Moor
- Holywell Bay
- Eden Project
TV shows and movies filmed here: Doc Martin Iand Fisherman’s Friends
Port Isaac is a quaint fishing village boasting a picturesque harbour, white-washed cottages, and a rugged coastline.
From 2004-2022, it became known as the Doc Martin village as it was used as the fictionally dubbed seaside resort of Portwenn in the popular TV series.
The ITV series featured stars like Martin Clunes, Caroline Catz, Joe Absolom, and Ian McNeice, to name just a few, and Port Isaac now attracts fans from all over the world.
If you are planning caravan holidays in Cornwall and you want to visit Port Isaac, we have listed some of the locations where Doc Martin was filmed in the village:
- Golden Lion Pub – You can follow in the footsteps of Martin Clunes’ by enjoying a drink at the pub, which was not only used for filming in the TV series but was also used sociably by the crew.
- Fern Cottage – Arguably, the most recognisable location in Doc Martin is Fern Cottage, as it was used as Doctor Ellingham’s surgery.
- The Liberal Club – This was transformed into the village shop in the TV series.
So, if anyone asks you ‘where is doc martin filmed’, you can say it was predominantly filmed in the charming village of Port Isaac.
Although the filming for Doc Martin has finished, it still attracts movie and television directors as Port Isaac took centre stage in all its glory and charm as the home of The Fishermen’s Friends movie, which featured popular actors like James Purefoy, Daniel Mays, and Tuppence Middleton.
During a visit to Port Isaac, you will still find it has a working harbour and lots of craft shops, art galleries, and restaurants, as well as boasting one of the narrowest streets in the UK, called the Squeezy Belly Alley by locals.
ALSO READ: Cornwall fishing villages you need to visit
TV shows and movies filmed here: Poldark, Pirates of the Caribbean, Alice in Wonderland, The Eagle Has Landed, Treasure Island, and Frontier
Charlestown is just a mile outside of St Austell and is home to an unspoilt Georgian port built between 1791 and 1801 by Charles Rashleigh.
This port will be instantly recognisable to anyone who watched Poldark as it was used as Truro Harbour in the hugely popular TV series.
The BBC drama television series follows the lead character of Poldark, played by Aidan Turner, as he returns to Cornwall after the American War of Independence, and Charlestown Harbour regularly features in it as well as other locations across Cornwall.
The popularity of the drama series has seen Poldark tourism become a thing as destinations across Cornwall saw a huge rise in visitors during the filming of the show as well as dedicated tours being run that take you to these filming locations, and these still take place today!
Poldark isn’t the only production that has taken place in Charlestown, as the films Pirates of the Caribbean, Alice in Wonderland, The Eagle Has Landed, Treasure Island, and Frontier have all been filmed here.
Sophie, a solo female travel blogger who runs the Third Eye Traveller site, says Charlestown is a great place to visit if you are in Cornwall: “The historic harbour village of Charlestown in Cornwall makes you feel like you have travelled back in time.
“When you step out onto the haven and stroll along its cobbled pathways, you’ll see Tall Ship sails floating with the breeze in the port.
“A labyrinth of docks to explore and a quirky Harbourmaster’s hut overlooking the endless views of the ocean horizon.”
ALSO READ: Poldark locations around Cornwall
TV shows and movies filmed here: Jamaica Inn, Poldark, and Doc Martin
It is a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and its ancient standing stones, smuggler’s dens, cascading waterfalls, and scenic hikes along the moor welcome thousands of visitors. Whilst Bodmin Moor is one of Cornwall’s most popular natural attractions, its rugged beauty doesn’t only attract holidaymakers, it is a hugely popular location for filming.
Alfred Hitchcock’s interpretation of Jamaica Inn was a huge hit when it was released in 1939, and it was predominantly filmed at Bolventor. The movie follows the story of a young orphan called Mary, who is sent to live with Aunt Patience and Uncle Joss, who are landlords of the Jamaica Inn. However, Mary soon realises her uncle’s inn serves as the base for a gang of shipwreckers – who lure ships to their doom on the rocky Cornish coastline.
If you were a fan of Doc Martin, you may remember the scene where the doctor marries Louisa. That was filmed at St Nonna’s Church on Bodmin Moor. Poldark was also no stranger to Bodmin Moor, as it was regularly featured on the TV series.
ALSO READ: Places to visit in Cornwall
TV shows and movies filmed here: World War Z
Falmouth combines a fascinating maritime heritage with modern creativity, and it has become one of the South West’s leading cultural and festival destinations. With Blue Flag Beaches on its doorstep, a vibrant town centre full of unique shops, and a variety of gardens and galleries, the town should be on your bucket list of places to visit during your holiday to Cornwall.
Anna, the lifestyle blogger behind The Cornish Life, says Falmouth is one of her favourite towns in Cornwall: “If anyone ever asks me my favourite Cornish town, I always say Falmouth.
“I think for many of my friends; it’s the same answer; Falmouth seems to be universally appreciated as Cornwall’s town that ‘has it all’.”
Unsurprisingly, Falmouth is a hotspot for films, and the zombie thriller World War Z, starring Brad Pitt, was filmed on board a boat that was moored in Falmouth docks. The horror movie is about former United Nations employee Gerry Lane as he faces a race against time to try and stop a zombie pandemic threatening to destroy humanity itself.
ALSO READ: Most beautiful harbourside towns in Cornwall
TV shows and movies filmed here: Die Another Day, Poldark, And Then There Were None
Holywell Bay is a large, golden sand beach which is a popular spot to visit no matter what time of the year you are visiting Cornwall. You can go surfing in the summer or go storm watching in the winter, and the large sand dunes, some of which rise up to 60 feet, act as a great playground for children or an ideal spot for a picnic.
This stunning beach is most famous for being featured in the James Bond movie Die Another Day. It was used as the Korean beach that James Bond lands on after night-surfing ashore on the famous Jaws Wave. Fans of Poldark will also recognise it (it featured regularly in the popular TV series), and it also starred in the And Then There Were None TV series.
The Eden Project
TV shows and movies filmed here: Die Another Day
An iconic landmark in Cornwall, the Eden Project is the world’s biggest greenhouse, as it offers you the chance to walk through topical rainforests and arid deserts. The Eden Project has grown over the years, and now you can explore an education facility, experience a rainforest aerial walkway, and go on the longest zip wire in England.
The Eden Project played a major role in the James Bond Die Another Day movie as it was used to depict the Icelandic diamond mine owned by villain Gustav Graves.
Other filming locations in Cornwall
- Porthpean House near St. Austell: About Time, a romantic comedy-drama, was filmed at the house.
- Saltash: the streets of the town were lined with film crews as part of the TV series Delicious were filmed here.
- Mount’s Bay: Ladies and Lavender is a British drama filmed that starred Dame Judi Dench. The film is about two sisters who befriend a mysterious foreigner who washes up on the beach near their home, and it was filmed at Prussia Cove, on Mount’s Bay.
ALSO READ: All weather fun in Looe
There are many films and television series that have been set in the county, and many more movie directors and actors will be attracted by the Duchy’s natural beauty.
So, if you plan on visiting one of the campsites in Cornwall, no matter whether it rains or shines, you can guarantee the whole family will have a great trip.
For more tips, guides, and advice, visit our blog.