As varied as it is beautiful, Cornwall naturally draws hordes of starry-eyed visitors each year. Among these, TV crews and big screen directors are seen on the regular, making use of the cobalt seas, turquoise coves, sweeping moorland and characterful towns and villages. If you are a fan of popular TV drama, then series like Doc Martin and Poldark are bound to have you searching out the locations. Similarly if you love cinema, everything from comedies to arthouse masterpieces have used the Duchy as a backdrop. Find us an actor that wouldn't want to sign up for a movie in the South West? The county is so beautiful.
So whilst the film crews and performers are long gone in most cases, you can still enjoy some pristine, unspoiled Cornwall filming locations that are easily recognisable. While some of the productions are well-known for their connection to Cornwall, others may take you by surprise. Celebrating this awe-inspiring county, here are 10 movies and TV series filmed in Cornwall for you to check out on your next visit.
Why not stay at one of our self-catering holiday cottages in Cornwall? This way you can do a tour of all the best Cornish film locations, ticking off everywhere from where Doc Martin was made to the location of atmospheric folk horror Enys Men. Click the button below to find your perfect holiday accommodation in Cornwall.
Jamaica Inn | filmed on Bodmin Moor
A fantastic adaption of Daphne du Maurier’s 1936 novel, Jamaica Inn was directed by Alfred Hitchcock and released in May 1939. Starring Charles Laughton, it was actually the last film that Hitchcock ever directed in the UK and was filmed on location in Cornwall. Perched on the edge of the wild Bodmin Moor, the real Jamaica Inn still welcomes all to enjoy a hearty meal and spin a yarn within its history-rich walls.
- Year released: 1939 | Directed by: Alfred Hitchcock | Starring: Charles Laughton and Maureen O'Hara
- Nearby attractions: Bodmin Moor, Bodmin Jail, The Camel Trail, Brown Willy, Rough Tor
- Stay nearby: Otterbridge | sleeps 4 + 2 dogs
Enys Men | filmed near St Just
Enys Men is a Cornish folklore horror set on a fictional island off the coast - however it was really filmed at various locations around West Penwith, mostly dominated by the area close to St Just including Men-An-Tol. Men-An-Tol is a rock formation that centres around a boulder with a hole through the middle. There are many legends about what will become of anybody that can wriggle through it's centre. Enys Men was the second feature by Cornish filmmaker Mark Jenkin who also made the highly acclaimed Mevagissey-set film Bait (2019).
- Year released: 2023 | Directed by: Mark Jenkin | Starring: Mary Woodvine, Ed Rowe and John Woodvine
- Nearby attractions: Cape Cornwall, Crown Engine Houses (Botallack), Men-An-Tol, Land's End, Geevor Mine, Levant Mine
- Stay nearby: The Old Sunday School | sleeps 4 + 1 dog
Doc Martin | filmed in Port Isaac
Ever since 2004, the gorgeous white-washed cottages, winding lanes and stunning waters of Port Isaac have been gracing our screens in Doc Martin. Fictionally dubbed Portwenn, the popular ITV series starring Martin Clunes has been filmed on location in Port Isaac and is the go-to place for fans from around the world. Several other major films have been made in Port Isaac too, including Fisherman's Friends 1 & 2, Blue Juice, and Saving Grace.
- Years of broadcast: 2004 - 2022 | Directed by: Various | Starring: Martin Clunes, Caroline Catz and Ian McNeice
- Nearby attractions: Polzeath Beach, Museum of Witchcraft and Magic, Bodmin Moor, Daymer Bay, Padstow
- Stay nearby: Seacroft | sleeps 6 + 2 dogs
Brown Willy | filmed on Bodmin Moor
This very funny and touching indie comedy made in Cornwall with a Cornish cast and crew drew favourable reviews when it was released nationally. Brown Willy tells the story of two mates on a stag weekend hike, it showcases the rugged beauty of the wilds of Bodmin Moor and the village of St Breward. Worth watching for the fine performances and the monochrome cinematography, put Brown Willy on your list of to-watch movies, as well as touring local peaks such as Brown Willy (Cornwall's highest point) and Rough Tor.
- Year released: 2016 | Directed by: Brett Harvey | Starring: Ben Dyson & Simon Harvey
- Nearby attractions: Brown Willy, Rough Tor, Jamaica Inn, Trippet Stones, Stripple Stones Henge, Siblyback Lake, The Cheesewring
- Stay nearby: The West Wing Plus | sleeps 4 + 1 dog
Fisherman’s Friends 1 & 2 | filmed in Port Isaac
Hitting the screens in 2019, Fisherman's Friends tells the story of ten fishermen from Cornwall being signed by Universal Records and hitting a coveted top-ten spot with their debut album of sea shanties. Filmed in Port Isaac, it is another star-studded credit to add to the village’s growing list of productions. An inevitable sequel, Fisherman's Friends 2 - One and All, followed in 2021, also set in Port Isaac, but also using locations close to Polzeath and the Minack Theatre in Porthcurno.
- Years released: 2019 and 2022 | Directed by: Chris Foggin / Meg Leonard & Nick Moorcroft | Starring: James Purefoy, Dave Johns, Daniel Mays, Tuppence Middleton
- Nearby attractions: Outlaw's two fish restaurants, Doc Martin's house, Boscastle, Bodmin Moor
- Stay nearby: Sea Haven | sleeps 11
Poldark | filmed all over Cornwall
Both the original and latest series of Poldark, filmed 40 years apart, have undeniably helped to put Cornwall on the map. Gaining a loyal following over several generations, the series has famously featured Charlestown, Kynance Cove, Botallack and Bodmin Moor, along with many more jaw-dropping Cornish locations.
- Years broadcast: 2015 - 2019 | Directed by: Various | Starring: Aidan Turner, Eleanor Tomlinson, Jack Farthing
- Attractions featured: Crown Engine Houses (Botallack), Wheal Coates (St Agnes), Charlestown, Bodmin Moor.
- Stay nearby: Polgreen Meadowside | sleeps 4
Ladies in Lavender | filmed on The Lizard Peninsula
Based on William J. Locke’s short story, Ladies in Lavender was filmed in several places around the Lizard Peninsula, most notably the chocolate-box fishing village of Cadgwith. Ladies in Lavender is the kind of film the British are so good at, and when this was released, the public absolutely loved it and the Cornish backdrop. The Lizard is a fantastic area of Cornwall to explore with gorgeous coves and hidden beaches galore to discover.
- Year of release: 2004 | Director: Charles Dance | Starring: Maggie Smith, Judi Dench, David Warner and Daniel Brühl
- Nearby attractions: Kynance Cove, Lizard Lighthouse, Kennack Sands, Roskilly's Farm, Goonhilly Downs
- Stay nearby: Seascape | sleeps 4
The Bad Education Movie | filmed in Mevagissey
Jack Whitehall’s side-splitting comedy, Bad Education, sees hopeless teacher, Mr Wickers, take his GCSE tutor group on a school trip to the fictional Port Jago. Filmed in Mevagissey, the movie features a group of actual Morris dancers from Bodmin, the Trigg Morris Men, pretending to be May Day revellers. The notorious zip line scene was filmed at the Eden Project, Prideaux Place in Padstow, and Pembroke Castle (in Wales!)
- Year of release: 2015 | Director: Eliot Hegarty | Starring: Jack Whitehall, Joanna Scanlan, Iain Glen, Harry Enfield and Mathew Horne
- Nearby attractions: The Roseland Peninsula, Eden Project, Gorran Haven, Dodman Point, Hemmick Beach, King Harry's Ferry
- Stay nearby: Safe Harbour | sleeps 4 + 2 dogs
Alice in Wonderland | filmed near Saltash
Hollywood film director Tim Burton brought us his weird and wonderful adaption of Lewis Caroll’s Alice in Wonderland back in 2010. Set in a future where a teenage Alice (Mia Wasikowka) returns to her childhood world of grinning cats and evil queens, audiences were thrown head-first into intrigue and adventure alongside her. To get a little closer to the magic of Alice, head to National Trust property, Antony House near Saltash where filming took place. The initial scenes of the film were set in Antony's gardens.
- Year of release: 2010 | Director: Tim Burton | Starring: Johnny Depp, Mia Wasikowska, Helena Bonham-Carter, Anne Hathaway
- Nearby attractions: Plymouth, Tamar Bridge, Cotehele, Whitsand Bay, Torpoint, Rame Head
- Stay nearby: Omega | sleeps 2 + 2 dogs
Blue Juice | filmed in St Agnes
This ridiculous film about Cornish surfers is an unlikely cult classic but for lovers of over-ripe cheese and all things day-glo and 90s, Blue Juice scratches a certain itch. Filmed in and around St Agnes, this follows the travails of a surfer whose weekend is invaded by estranged mates from London. Over-the-top stunts, riotous comedy and questionable acting from a cast of very famous people, Blue Juice has had a life of its own in Cornwall, frequently screened at outdoor cinema events every summer since it was made.
- Year of release: 1995 | Director: Carl Prechezer | Cast: Sean Pertwee, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Ewan McGregor, Jenny Agutter, Keith Allen
- Nearby attractions: St Agnes Beacon, St Agnes Head, Wheal Coates, Chapel Porth Beach, Carn Brea
- Stay nearby: Blowing House Cottage | sleeps 4 + 1 dog
Stay at a self-catering holiday cottage in Cornwall
Discover your perfect self-catering holiday cottage in Cornwall so you can enjoy fun-packed movie-related days out to remember. From traditional fisherman's cottages to more modern accommodation, you’ll soon find a characterful retreat for your next escape to the South West. For more information about the growing UK film industry, read our 'behind the screen' guide here.
Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing,
please ensure you check carefully before making any decisions based on the contents within this article.