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Film and TV locations in the East of England

3 Nights Itinerary

‘‘Where the movies were made’’

Norfolk and Suffolk, UK, are no strangers to Hollywood. With locations in North Norfolk, Norwich, Bury St Edmunds, and the East of England coast, taking centre stage on more than one occasion.

Given our close proximity to London, it is an ideal choice for the film industry and many of the locations here are doubles for locations around the world.

This is by no means an exhaustive list but gives you some of our top film and TV locations that you can visit and walk in the footsteps of the movie stars.

 Arrive/Depart – Harwich/London – perfect extension to London or Cambridge, the gateway to the rest of the East of England.

Choose Your Day…
Day 1
Day 2
Day 3
More information
Day 1
Norwich and north Norfolk

After an overnight stay in Norwich, England’s UNESCO City of Stories, visit Norman Foster’s futuristic Sainsbury Centre of Visual Arts at the University of East Anglia.  The venue played the Upstate New York HQ of Marvel’s Avengers in Age of Ultron (2015) and Spiderman: Homecoming (2017) with Tom Holland.

Still in Norwich as you wander through the historic lanes to Elm Hill where an episode of the BBC’s 1980s antiques drama Lovejoy with Ian McShane was filmed.  However, it is the towns of Lavenham and Long Melford in Suffolk where he was a regular driving around the country lanes and villages.

Shakespeare Festival Norwich Cathedral

The interior of Norwich’s Norman cathedral was turned into a medieval castle in the fairytale adventure Jack the Giant Slayer (2013). Directed by Bryan Singer, it starred Ewan McGregor, Ian McShane, and Bill Nighy.


Holkham Hall & Estate

Heading out of Norwich to Holkham where Holkham Hall is arguably Norfolk’s most significant film location. The 18th century Palladian house has been used for The Duchess (2008), starring Keira Knightley and Ralph Fiennes, All The King’s Men (1999) with David Jason, and Dean Spanley (2008) with Peter O’Toole and Sam Neill.

The marble staircase inside Holkham Hall in The Duchess with Ralph Fiennes.

The nearby beach has also seen its fair share of filming too… The Eagle Has Landed (1976) with Michael Caine, Shakespeare in Love (1999) with Gwyneth Paltrow, and Annihilation (2018) with Natalie Portman.


Further along the coast in autumn 2019, King’s Lynn featured in Armando Iannucci’s Dickens’ adaptation The Personal Life of David Copperfield, with a starry cast including Tilda Swinton, Dev Patel, Hugh Laurie, Game of Thrones’ Gwendoline Christie, Peter Capaldi and Paddington himself… Ben Whishaw.  See filming spots in Bury St Edmunds on Day 2 of this itinerary.



The beach at the seaside town of Hunstanton on the North Norfolk coast features in scenes from the film ‘Spencer’, featuring Kristen Stewart as the late Princess of Wales and Oscar nominee Sally Hawkins.

Other locations include the church of St Peter and St Paul in the Breckland village of Shropham, near Attleborough, which was used as a double for Sandringham church in another scene from the film.


It’s unlikely that the Royal Family’s private home would be used as a film or TV location, but the BBC’s All The Kings Men (1999), with David Jason and Dame Maggie Smith, was different – it tells the story of a group of world war one volunteers from the Sandringham estate, led by estate manager Captain Frank Beck, who joined the Norfolk Regiment and inexplicably disappeared in Gallipoli in 1915. You can learn more about the story at the Sandringham Museum.

Sandrignham House

Sandringham House, a Royal residency of King Charles III, in North Norfolk.

The TV drama was also shot at Blickling Hall, Cromer, West Newton, Sheringham, Burnham Deepdale and Holkham.


Stay in the city of Norwich at the Maids Head Hotel or Assembly House.

Stay in north Norfolk at The Victoria, Holkham.

Day 2
Ely, Bury St Edmunds and Lavenham


Leave Norwich or north Norfolk and head to the Cathedral city of Ely in the Cambridgeshire fens.  The majestic Cathedral has taken centre stage as stand in for the coronation rehearsal in The King’s Speech with Colin Firth and The Crown where it doubled as Westminster Abbey.

More recently the cathedral was used in Maestro. Bradley Cooper and the cast and crew stayed for a week at Poets House Hotel.


Heading eastward and you’ll find the historic town of Bury St Edmunds in Suffolk.  Traditional market days are Wednesday and Saturday and here you will find plenty of restaurants, cafes and shopping opportunities.

It is here that The Personal History of David Copperfield film was directed by Armando Iannucci, based on the novel David Copperfield by Charles Dickens. The Angel Hill in Bury St Edmunds was transformed for filming.

The Angel Hotel also features in Dickens’ The Pickwick Papers with the writer staying here on occasions when he did readings in the town, at The Athenaeum.


Harry Potter Lavenham

Any trip to Suffolk is not complete without a visit to the medieval village of Lavenham.  The buildings are little changed and in this charming place you can see where it played its part in the blockbuster movie, The Deathly Hallows Part 1 & Part 2, as Godric’s Hollow, the magical village where Harry Potter was born.  Although many of the actors didn’t visit for filming, Ralph Fiennes, the actor who played Lord Voldemort, was born in Suffolk.

Finish your stay in one of Lavenham’s oldest hotels, which is steeped in history, the Swan at Lavenham, situated in the centre of the village.

Day 3
Norfolk and Suffolk Coast


In May 2018 more than 6000 people gathered on the fine sands of Gorleston-on-Sea’s beach to be extras in Danny Boyle’s ‘Yesterday’.

Boyle, who won a Best Director Oscar for Slumdog Millionaire in 2009, was filming a rooftop performance at the Pier Hotel by the film’s leading character Jack, played by Himesh Patel. The film, written by Richard Curtis, also featured Lily James and Ed Sheeran.

‘It’s one of the great secrets of England, Gorleston beach,’ said Danny. ‘It’s beautiful.’

“I loved Gorleston, which is a town I did not know. It reminded me a lot of Liverpool, so it was perfect for a film that tried to summon up the spirit of The Beatles. It was a working port, and you still see evidence of that but if you look the other way, you then encounter one of Britain’s most remarkable beaches and I am amazed that no-one seems to know about it.’


Lydia Eva at South Quay, Great Yarmouth

Close by is Great Yarmouth and Wonka, a prequel to Charlie And The Chocolate Factory, which is to be released at the end of 2023, features a performance by Great Yarmouth’s Lydia Eva.  She is the world’s last surviving steam-powered herring drifter, and now is floating museum, that also takes passengers out to sea.


Further down the Suffolk coast is Sutton Hoo, where in 1939 the burial ship of Anglo-Saxon King Raedwald was excavated.  Along with the hoard, this is arguably one of Europe’s greatest-ever archaeological find.  The movie ‘The Dig’ is based on the eponymous book and re-enacts the events that took place that year.

Ralph Fiennes plays Basil Brown in ‘The Dig’


Stay at the Brudenell Hotel or White Lion Hotel in Aldeburgh.

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Don’t miss, coming soon and featuring Norfolk….

Masters of the Air, the third and final of Tom Hanks’ and Steve Spielberg’s second world war mini-series after Band of Brothers and The Pacific, will be streamed by Apple TV+ in 2023. Filmed in Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire in 2021, the story will focus mainly on the exploits of the 100th Bomb Group, based at Thorpe Abbotts near Diss, between 1942-45.

And, for further inspiration of places to visit ‘where the movies were made’ take a look at these: –