Suffolk Goes to Hollywood: 5 Film and TV Locations You Can Visit During A Holiday in Suffolk

Thanks to its historic cathedrals, unusual architecture, and bountiful countryside, Suffolk has provided filmmakers with a rich variety of backdrops over the years.

From period dramas to sagas about boy wizards, sites around Suffolk feature in more blockbusters than you might expect.

Largely open to the public, many of these film locations can be visited during a holiday and make for a truly unique day out. 

To spark a little inspiration, we’ve gathered up five of our favourite spots to visit when holidaying at one of our barns or barges for rent.

The TV Show: The Crown

The Location: Newmarket Racecourse

A Netflix original series that has taken the world by storm, the producers of The Crown have turned to Suffolk on more than a few occasions. 

Indeed, eagle-eyed viewers will have noticed that it was actually Somerleyton Hall used to recreate the Queen’s Sandringham retreat rather than the estate itself. Interestingly, set designers also dressed up the stately Elveden Hall to look like a Ghanian palace back in the first season. 

It is, however, the scenes filmed at the Rowley Mile racecourse in Newmarket which are perhaps the most inspiring. Capturing all the drama and glamour of the occasion, these scenes will no doubt have roused more than a few fans of the show to head off for a day at the races.

A forty five minute drive from our barns for rent, you’ll have no difficulty in getting dressed up to enjoy something special when staying with us.

What’s more, if you visit on a Friday during the height of summer, you’ll be able to enjoy one of the “Newmarket Nights” which feature live performances from arena-filling music acts like the Beach Boys, Tom Jones and the Script.  

All in all, a day at the races in Suffolk is more than a little remarkable.

The Film: The Personal History of David Copperfield

The Location: Bury St Edmunds

Starring multi-award winning actor Dev Patel as the titular character, The Personal History of David Copperfield chronicles the life and times of a fictional gentleman author. Based on a loosely autobiographical novel by Charles Dickens, the producers turned to Bury St Edmunds when telling this compelling story.   

From shots of the historic Theatre Royal and Chequers Square to an imposing backdrop of the Angel Hotel, there’s more than a few scenes which feature the town described as “a jewel in the crown of Suffolk”.  

It’s also no mere coincidence that a venue in the town was selected for a scene where Copperfield reads to a captive crowd. A place Dickens held close to his heart, he once described in a letter to a friend how he himself read extracts of David Copperfield to what he described as a “very fine audience” in the Bury St Edmunds Athenaeum.

Only a half hour drive from our barns, you’ll find it easy to visit the town to enjoy all of these settings as well as its various bars and restaurants.

The Film: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

The Location: Lavenham

The beginning of the end for the world’s most famous wizard, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part One sees the iconic trio set out to destroy the dark wizard Voldermort once and for all.   

In their quest to rid the world of evil, Harry and the gang find themselves in Suffolk. Specifically, they find themselves walking the cobbled streets of Lavenham to visit Harry’s childhood home.
Though a fair amount of CGI wizardry went into making the place look suitably magical, the house and streets of Lavenham don’t require any special effects to look beautifully quaint.

From our barns, you’ll be able to get to Lavenham inside of thirty minutes to enjoy a walk around the village and a suitably filling pub lunch.

The Film: Dad’s Army

The Location: Thetford Forest

Running for nine seasons and clocking in at an impressive eighty episodes, there’s no question that Dad’s Army is one of the most successful – not to mention most quotable-  British comedies of all time.

Following the many foibles of a bungling contingent of the British Home Guard during the second world war, the sitcom is another production that turned to Suffolk for its backdrops. Namely, it’s Thetford Forest which forms the majority of the exterior shots.

For true fans of the show, a Dad’s Army museum in Thetford (technically just inside of Norfolk) offers walking tours of all the locations used for the show. For everyone else, the walking trails and cycle routes around the forest are perfect for an active day out.

The Film:The King’s Speech

The Location: Ely Cathedral

Whilst the final entry on the list is technically in Cambridgeshire, Ely Cathedral is only an hour’s drive from Woodfarm Barns and makes for a superb day out. 

Dressed up in the Oscar Winning King’s Speech to represent Westminster Abbey, the enormous Cathedral dates back to 672 AD and welcomes visitors throughout the year to enjoy walking tours through its pews and towers.

And…Action!

If you’re feeling suitably inspired to immerse yourself in the cinematic delights of Suffolk, get in touch with us today to book a getaway.