Renowned the world over for its dramatic landscapes and glorious coastline. Wales has been featured in TV and movies for decades.
No stranger to photographers and artists from all over the World. Wales has strong ties to the arts, but did you know it’s played a supporting role in Hollywood productions?
Wales has been the backdrop to some of the biggest movies ever put to screen. From mountainous peaks to beautiful sandy beaches. Wales has appeared in some movies you’ll know (and some you might not).
In this blog, we’ll look at some of our favourite locations in North Wales that have featured in films over the years.
For film buffs looking for your next Welsh retreat, we’ll help you find the spots from your favourite films.
The most recent adaptation of the Dr Dolittle story is about a physician who can talk to animals.
The film stars Robert Downey Jr in the titular role and features the voices of Tom Holland (Spiderman), Rami Malek (Bohemian Rhapsody), and Ralph Fiennes (Harry Potter) as some of Dolittle’s animal companions.
While the film failed to impress audiences, it’s a favourite of ours and featured our hometown Menai Bridge.
Actors and production crews packed the town for a few weeks in 2018 while filming took place. A pleasant surprise for our quiet town! Walk the same streets as Robert Downey Junior and his crew. See some of our favourite cottages near Menai Bridge.
The first James Bond flick on our list is From Russia with Love.
Sean Connery’s second outing as Bond, this installation was released in 1963. The plot follows SPECTRE as they target Bond for revenge after the death of their agent Dr. No. Considered one of the best Bond movies ever made, the film sees Bond travel all over the world. Filming predominantly took place in Turkey, specifically around Istanbul.
Bond wasn’t locked to one location for long, and much of the filming took place here in the UK. A large part of the action was shot at the famous Pinewood Studios and outdoor scenes in Scotland and Wales.
The Snowdonia national park features in much of the film’s action sequences. The mountainous backdrops played their part well in this BAFTA-winning film. Now a piece of iconic British cinema. Snowdonia is the perfect backdrop to any adventure-filled stay. Find the base of operations for your next stay in Wales.
Willow is one of those love-it-or-hate-it movies from the 80s that you’ve either seen or you haven’t.
Some will have fond childhood memories of it and some will struggle to remember at all. Starring Warwick Davies and Val Kilmer. This late 80’s fantasy tale follows a dwarf who adventures to the mythical Castle Nockmaar. Directed by Ron Howard and involved George Lucas. The film has since become a cult classic and was even revived for a Disney+ series which released in 2022.
Wales lends itself to fantasy productions and key locations in Willow are in North Wales. These include Dinorwc Quarry in Gwynedd, where the majority of filming took place.
Stay at one of Wales’ mythological locations and browse our properties throughout Gwynedd.
The second entry on our list to star Sean Connery – he must love Wales!
First Knight is an action-adventure movie set in Arthurian Britain. Alongside Connery, the movie stars Richard Gere and Julia Ormond. The plot surrounds Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table fighting a violent warlord. It tackles a love triangle between King Arthur (Connery), Guinevere (Ormond), and Lancelot (Gere).
North Wales plays a feature role in the film, with the town of Blaenau Ffestiniog used as a stand-in for Camelot. Film sets were constructed six miles south of the town along the Trawsfynydd lake. The film also used cutting-edge technology to render the rest of the ancient city. The crew used much of Wales for its backdrops. Alongside Blaenau Ffestiniog and Trawsfynydd, some scenes used the historic town of Harlech.
Experience your own Arthurian legend. Discover our properties surrounding Blaenau Ffestiniog and Harlech.
Set in Scotland, Half Light’s story follows a novelist (Demi Moore) who struggles to move on after the death of her son. Despite taking place in Scotland, most of the movie’s scenes were filmed in Anglesey. Llanddwyn Island and Llanbadrig Church are both areas used for key story beats.
Crews spent several months on Anglesey shooting. For this romantic thriller and the lighthouse at Llanddwyn played a starring role. The film made the most of what North Wales has to offer. Many outdoor scenes took place in Porthdinllaen on the Llyn Peninsula. The famous front is the background for many story beats.
Find your next place to stay on Anglesey and the Llyn Peninsula.
The second James Bond entry on our list, this 1999 stars Pierce Brosnan in his third outing as 007.
The plot of this Bond flick revolves around the assassination of a billionaire. Bond’s assignment is to protect a royal daughter from a terrorist group.
Oil plays a central part in the plot. Specifically, a new pipeline becomes the target of the antagonists’ activities. Scenes of the pipeline used the Cwm Dyli Pipeline, which runs through Snowdonia. A full-scale model and computer animation created the series’ notorious explosive scenes. Cwm Dyli sits in the heart of Snowdonia. It is home to a hydroelectric power station which provides energy to the region. Cwm Dylis is very close to Pen-y-Pas, which is home to three of the most popular routes to walk up Snowdon.
Snowdonia is a great place to go exploring. You can set off on your own mini-Bond adventure in one of our many self-catered cottages in the area.
Sean Connery is back in his third entry on our list for this 1980’s cult classic highlander.
Highlander follows the story of immortal warriors who compete to be the last of their kind. The main character of the film is a Scottish man from the 16th century. Despite taking place in Scotland, some filming took place in Wales for production reasons. Highlander’s famous final scene was filmed in Sychnant Pass in Conwy. The valley makes its way through Snowdonia and out to the North Wales coast.
The valley is home to breathtaking views providing great access to the surrounding hills. In particular, Penmaenbach offers one of the best views of the Great Orme from its summit.
Another film based on Arthurian legend. King Arthur: Legend of the Sword stars big names like Jude Law, Eric Bana, and even David Beckham. Directed by Guy Ritchie, this telling of King Arthur and Excalibur was a box office flop. Ritchie’s signature quick-cut style worked surprisingly well in a fantasy setting. Much of the film was shot in Snowdonia, particularly at Capel Curig and the surrounding area. Capel Curig is a small village in Snowdonia popular with outdoors enthusiasts. With mountain paths stemming in every direction. Capel Curig is a hotbed for rock climbers and mountaineers.
Get ready to go up into the mountains and take a look at properties we have available near Capel Curig.
Videogame enthusiasts will recognise the name Lara Croft Tomb Raider. Starting as videogames, the series spun into a movie franchise starring Angelina Jolie. Lara Croft is an adventuring archaeologist putting a stop to nefarious criminal plots. There are two films in the series, and both have used North Wales as a backdrop to their cinematography.
The first movie used Snowdonia as a backdrop. For the second, huge portions of Snowdonia stepped in for regions of China where the film was set. The most recognizable area used in the film is Llyn Gwynant. One of Snowdonia’s largest lakes it has peaceful mountain views and plenty of spots for boating.
Tread in a Tomb Raider’s footsteps and discover places to stay near Llyn Gwynant.
This apocalyptic horror stars Brad Pitt as he seeks a solution for a zombie apocalypse. The movie has a few ties to Wales. The climax of the movie takes the stars to a facility in Cardiff where they think they’ve found a cure. An interesting fact about the film is that whilst taking place in Cardiff, filming took place in Blaenau Ffestiniog. Blaenau was chosen due to its appearance being more suited to the film’s narrative.
Popular with movie buffs, and those with an interest in the arts. Blaenau Ffestiniog has its own arts centre and a two-screen cinema which screens new releases and Welsh films.
Explore the scenery from your favourite movies and choose North Wales for your next staycation!
There are plenty of locations that make the perfect base to set up for days of exploring and adventuring. Browse some of our cottages today and find the one that’s perfect for you.
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Hi, I'm Liam.
I'm a digital and content marketer and have been with the team at Menai since January 2023!...
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