A Screen Buff’s Location Guide To The Chilterns

Four Movie Locations You Should Visit…

If a nuclear bomb were to drop on London tomorrow the chances of the Chilterns being saved from destruction would be rather slim.

After all, along with the destruction of hundreds of square miles of beautiful countryside, we’d also lose the rich cinematic history that goes with the area (as well as the possibility of any more films being made in the area. Then again, in a post-apocalyptic Britain, that perhaps wouldn’t be the biggest tragedy at hand).

Thankfully nuclear war seems to be a way off yet and with the advent of the Nuclear Event Detector we’re more likely than ever before to be prepared for it, although the countryside will still suffer the same dismal fate.

We digress.

For the last 60 years, the Chilterns have been used as a location for numerous productions on both big and small screens. Here’s a quick run down of just a few of the locations that you can visit on your next trip to the area:

Berkhamstead

Son of Rambow (2007)

Although director Garth Jennings has arguably moved on to bigger and better things in the shape of the Sing animated movies, he made his first feature in and around the Chilterns, whilst using the nearby settlement of Berkhamstead as a stand-in for the 1980s council estates in his coming of age tale, Son of Rambow.


West Wycombe House

Downton Abbey (2010-2015)

The Chilterns is well known for its plethora of country homes, so its unsurprising that many of these are often used as filming locations for period dramas, none of which have made more of a splash in recent years than the award winning Downton Abbey. West Wycombe House served as the home of Downton mainstay Lady Rosamund and was the home of real-life aristocrats the Dashwoods for more than 300 years.


Turville

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1968), Vicar of Dibley (1994-2007) and Midsomer Murders (1997-)

Any fan of ITV’s Midsomer Murders will find the idyllic environs of Turville instantly familiar, it’s been featured in countless episodes of the classic murder mystery series. The village also provided the location for the fictional village of Dibley, where Dawn French’s cheery Geraldine Granger would be constantly struggling with her weird and wonderful congregation. Baron Bomburst in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang also hovers menacingly over the village in the 1968 children’s classic.


Hambledon

101 Dalmatians (1996) and The Avengers (1998)

Widely regarded as one of the prettiest villages in the Chilterns, Hambledon has resisted the pull of modernity to such an extent that, if it weren’t for the modern vehicles driving through it, you would feel as if you’d travelled back in time. Such is the authenticity of this places that it has been frequently used as a location to depict the English countryside at its most idyllic – notably in Disney’s live-action remake of 101 Dalmatians.

These locations just scratch the surface of the locations in the Chilterns that have been used in works of TV and Film. If you’re a film buff planning on taking a trip to see us soon, you might want to think about coinciding your trip with one of the special showings put on by Vintage Cinema. This company projects new and classic films in particularly fitting locales, think: Night at the Museum at The Natural History Musuem in Tring or The Goonies in the eerie Hell-Fire Caves.