The Cotswolds has a unique offer for film location managers: hotel, Cotswolds, scenery, built heritage and natural beauty all combine to make it an attractive location. Here are some famous locations and their real life names - which may help to explain why certain places look familiar to you when you visit for the first time. In fact, the Cotswolds in general also pop up in BBC Countryfile, because Adam Henson’s Cotswolds Farm Park is near Naunton.
Owlpen Manor, a Tudor manor house and garden, near Dursley, was location for The Other Boleyn Girl, based on Philippa Gregory's acclaimed best-selling novel.
Chavenage House was used for Lark Rise to Candleford, Flora Thompson’s memoir. And also the recent BBC revival of the Poldark stories, where it appeared as the Poldark family home. The hotel Cotswolds combo seems to have worked its magic on location managers again.
Outdoor scenes in Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant’s movie Cemetery Junction were filmed in the Stroud Valleys.
From your hotel Cotswolds is not the only option - the cloisters attached to Gloucester Cathedral have been used in many of the Harry Potter films - appearing as ‘Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardary’ - pupils from the adjacent King’s School appeared as extras, Harry’s classmates. The Cathedral has also popped up in episodes of Sherlock and Dr Who.
Arlington Row in Bibury, near Cirencester, provided a street-scene backdrop in the fantasy adventure film Stardust, which starred Sienna Miller.
The country Christmas scene in Bridget Jones’s Diary was shot in Snowshill and the crew returned to the area for the sequel Bridget Jones's Baby. The Christening scenes were filmed in Swinbrook church.
‘Eat what you want, when you want’ is not the usual offer from your hotel but Foxhill Manor is not an everyday sort of place. Unusually amongst hotels in the Cotswolds, this Grade II listed country home is based on the idea that you have free run of the place during your stay, a chef is on call when needed and you can take dinner wherever you fancy it - whether that’s your room, the terrace, the media room (cinema is a better word) or, well, the safe but predictable option of the dining room. You can book up to three rooms, after that you need to book out the whole of Foxhill Manor - this helps them to ensure a house party atmosphere.
Stay there on a B&B basis and drinks and snacks all day are included. It’s a great experience and dogs are welcome too, perfect for a sneaky luxury escape.
There are 400 acres at Foxhill, in prime Cotswold country overlooking Broadway and the quirky setting and charm of the accommodation have attracted the likes of Lady Gaga and Take That to stay there - but that’s a secret by the way.
Another funky little place is the perfectly-named Village Pub in Barnsley. This sits amongst the accommodation in our groups of hotels in the Cotswolds as an almost perfect example of what a British inn should be like - expect creaking floorboards, impeccable Sunday lunches and good beer. The honeypot visitor village of Bibury is just down the road.
Visit our website for more ideas to find your choice of hotels in the Cotswolds. Calcot Manor Hotel and Spa is a revered name amongst hotels cotswolds, with an outdoor pool , tennis and outdoor gym, free bikes and seasonal horse riding on offer. The Spa is situated in a quiet corner of the grounds, close to the main house, it’s everything you would expect from a hotels Cotswolds Spa. Quiet, calm, beautifully designed and with the uplifting spa aroma that instantly suggests relaxation.
The Calcot Spa team will do whatever they can to make sure you have everything you need and that every detail of your visit is taken care of. The building is lovely, the lavender-lined outdoor hot tub and open fire is inviting and of course the healthy menu is delicious – but most importantly, the spa and the team are exceptional. You will have a great time.
Massages, facials, body polishing, reflexology, waxing, pedicures, manicures and make-up applications are all available at Calcot Spa. There are seven treatment rooms.
Amongst hotels Cotswolds villages remain very popular and, for many, a Spa is an important part of a weekend stay. If you’re booking, the advice is to book spa treatments and sessions early because Cotswolds Finest Hotels are very often as much loved and used by locals as by guests. The combination of Spa treatments, Cotswolds clean air and open spaces and the new emphasis on healthy and organic menus is a powerful one and keeps Spa lovers coming back to the area.
One of our favourite places to visit from hotels in cotswolds is Chavanage House. It is said to have a ghost.
When Britain had a civil war, in the 17th Century, Colonel Stevens, the owner of Chavanage 17th century, reluctantly agree that the King Charles (who was a prisoner) should be executed. His daughter, in a fit of anger at the decision, laid a curse upon her father.
Eventually Colonel Stevens died and all were assembled for his funeral, a carriage drew up at the door of the manor house driven by a headless man. The Colonel was seen to rise from his coffin and enter the hearse driven by the headless personage, who as he drove away assumed the shape of the dead King, Charles I - this being a reminder of the Colonel's disloyalty to the King. The headless ghost and carriage is said to reappear whenever the owner of the house dies.
Ghost hunters also love a visit to Woodchester Mansion a unique Victorian Gothic house hidden in a beautiful Cotswold valley. I t is an unfinished masterpiece. Building started about 1857, but mysterious stopped in the mid-1860s. Floors and ceilings are missing, walls not plastered and windows unglazed. All the secrets of the construction of the Mansion are visible - something vou will never see in another Country House.
On the Eastern side of the Cotswolds, Blenheim Palace is an extraordinary place. It’s a World Heritage Site and the only non Royal, non episcopal palace in Britain. Blenheim Palace was built to mark a series of spectacular military victories against the French. The scale is enormous
Kelmscott Manor was the scene of a tragic love affair. It’s the perfect Cotswold manor house. In Victorian times (19th Century) Kelmscott Manor was leased by William Morris and his friend Dante Gabriel Rossetti. Both were artists, Morris a hugely influential designer of wallpaper and furnishings (still popular today) with connections to Liberty shop in London. Morris brought his family to The Manor, which was then a setting for a love affair between Jane, Morris’s wife, and Rossetti. Morris accommodated the arrangement in the interests of his wife and friend. These days you can visit the house, see the designs and crafts and learn the whole story. There’s a fine garden too - a terrific day out from hotels in cotswolds.
The ‘visiting a country house’ from hotels in Cotswolds experience is never complete without afternoon tea in the cafe and maybe a visit to a garden shop. Most are open between April and October. Blenheim Palace is a bit of a magnet for film locations, James Bond Spectre had scenes shot there, the not entirely successful 2010 Gulliver’s Travels version, starring Jack Black. Young Victoria, Inspector Morse and Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix were also filmed there in part.
Chipping Campden was all a stir when Johnny Depp stayed at a property belonging to the hotel Cotswolds House on the High Street. This was for The Libertine, which was actually filmed at Stanway House, which is an historic house open to the public. Mr Depp developed a huge liking for the hotel’s Sticky Toffee pudding and spent evenings in the Lygon Arms bar in the centre of Chipping Campden.
The Trout at Tadpole Bridge is on the Thames and the hotel Cotswolds location includes the nearby village of Bampton, where the Cotswold village of Bampton doubles as the fictional village of Downton in the drama series Downton Abbey. Houses, church and pub exteriors have been used in the show and nearby Cogges Manor Farm also featured prominently as Yew Tree Farm, where Lady Edith's illegitimate baby was looked after.
Castle Combe, in the South Cotswolds, has a claim to be the Cotswolds most-filmed village. Steven Spielberg shot scenes for War Horse there featuring another hotel Cotswolds Finest is pleased to have as a member, The Castle Inn. Also filmed in the village: parts of The Wolfman, the TV series Agatha Christie, Poirot, The Murder of Roger Ackroyd TV Episode, the 1967 Doctor Dolittle film and Stardust.
Cider with Rosie the BBC drama retold the story of Laurie Lee’s childhood during and after WWI. The Cotswold village of Miserden doubles as ‘Slad’.
And finally, the popular ITV Father Brown series was filmed in and around Blockley back in the north Cotswolds.