It’s easy to see why the Vale of Glamorgan is such a popular choice with film and TV directors: amazing coastline, golden beaches, ancient castles, picturesque countryside, thatched cottages, pretty villages. Film crews are a familiar sight in the Vale – usually working on productions that feature the region’s natural beauty in a high-profile way.
On your next visit, relive scenes from your favourite movies and dramas by seeking out the real locations used in these hits including, of course, the iconic Gavin and Stacey.
Netflix comedy-drama filmed at various South Wales locations. The school hall scenes are shot in The Paget Rooms, a Grade II listed theatre in Victoria Road, Penarth. Nearby in Victoria Square, the Community Centre is actually All Saints Church Hall, which you might have also spotted in Doctor Who.
Keeping Faith / Un Bore Mercher
Beautiful backdrops are a key feature of this dual language drama starring Eve Myles, which started in 2017 and was followed by two further series. Locations include Barry Yacht Club, Porthkerry Caravan Park and Nash Point. The last series was filmed at St Donats castle, with unmistakable views from the castle grounds out to sea.
His Dark Materials
2018 BBC series adapted from Philip Pullman’s trilogy of fantasy novels. The dramatic scenery at Nash Point and St Donat’s Castle was the backdrop for some of the action – the castle also featuring in the Tudor dramas The Spanish Princess and Wolf Hall.
Six Minutes to Midnight
2021 British period spy thriller set in 1939. The Vale’s dramatic coastline stands in for Bexhill-on-Sea.
2019 TV sitcom series about the life of Warren Thompson, a pedantic driving instructor who believes the world is against him. Filmed at Fontygary Leisure Park.
This dark comedy film, released in 2020, was filmed at various South Wales locations including the village of Sully, between Penarth and Barry. One of the stars is Penarth-raised Morfydd Clark.
Starring Kate Beckinsale, this 2019 ITV thriller includes scenes filmed in Penarth.
South Wales has been home to the BBC’s cult sci-fi series since 2005, and the Vale of Glamorgan has appeared in many, many episodes. Dyffryn House & Gardens was transformed into 18th century French palace gardens in ‘The Girl in the Fireplace’, 19th century Scottish moorland in ‘Tooth and Claw’, and a cyberspace reality in ‘Forest of the Dead‘. Hensol Castle becomes a hotel in ‘The Unicorn and the Wasp’, and 10 Downing Street in ‘World War Three’. Bad Wolf Bay in ‘Doomsday’ and ‘Journey’s End’ was actually Southerndown Beach, and this gorgeous stretch of coastline also appeared in Merlin and Sherlock.
Channel 4’s drama series from 2017, featuring Sarah Lancashire, shot several scenes in Penarth.
A Very English Scandal
The village of Monknash featured in the 2018 BBC TV drama based on the Jeremy Thorpe scandal, and starring Hugh Grant and Ben Whishaw.
Made for American TV, the wild story of young William Shakespeare includes scenes shot at St Donat’s Castle, Llantwit Major and Ogmore by Sea Beach.
Born to Kill
Cosmeston Lakes Country Park and Penarth Pier are some of the locations which feature in this intense 2017 Channel 4 psychological thriller.
Set over four days in March 1918 in the WWI trenches on the front line, and starring Sam Claflin, this 2018 film includes scenes shot at Old Beaupre Castle, near Cowbridge.
Billed as Britain’s answer to Game of Thrones, this 2018 Sky series shot scenes on location at Nash Point.
Decline and Fall
Much of the drama of this classic Evelyn Waugh novel is set in Wales, and the BBC’s 2017 adaptation used various locations in the Vale for filming, including the Plough & Harrow pub in Monknash, Southerndown Beach and St Donat’s Castle.
Gavin and Stacey
It was this much-loved BBC comedy drama (2007 – 2019) which put Barry on the map for so many TV viewers. There are loads of locations to visit within a short space, and you can even take a guided tour. Check out Trinity Street where Stacey and her family live, Marco’s Café where Stacey gets a job, St Peter’s Church in Peterston-Super-Ely where Nessa and Dave nearly get married, The Colcot Arms Hotel where Smithy has a quiz night, Island Leisure Amusement Arcade where Nessa works, and Whitmore Bay also known as Barry Island beach.
Eagle eyed viewers will see the Vale regularly featured in BBC's Casualty and many Welsh language productions for S4C, including welsh soap, Pobol Y Cwm.
Very recently Barry Island was used for the filming of The Undeclared War, a six-part drama series by seven-time Bafta winner Peter Kosminsky in which the beach huts and Whitmore Bay were used as part of the production. Also coming soon is ITV Thriller Hollington Drive, and On The Edge, Season 3. And, new Sky thriller Extinction starring Paapa Essiedu recently filmed part of their production in the village of Wick in the Western Vale.
Keep an eye out for future filming in the Vale by following us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Looking to film in the Vale? Great, our Filming page will tell you all you need to know about filming in this great location.