Filming locations in Cumbria to zoom in on

7 mins read
Filiming Locations in Cumbria - Mission Impossible 7: Dead Reckoning (2023) - Buttermere
Mission Impossible 7: Dead Reckoning (2023) - Buttermere

It’s not just visitors who flock to the Lake District. Hollywood stars such as Tom Cruise, Henry ‘Superman’ Cavill and Oscar winner Renée Zellweger have used Cumbria as a Filming Location.

Whether you’re a fantasy fan, or just fond of a certain carrot-stealing rabbit, there’s something for everyone. Watching a film or series before your trip also helps get children and teenagers excited about coming!

We’ve listed them in order of the most family-friendly rated films first.

The Tale Of Peter Rabbit (2018) 

Rating: U

This charming mix of animation against real-life backdrops has some top stars providing the voices, such as James Corden and Star Wars’ Daisy Ridley. Keep an eye out for Ambleside in particular.

Peter Rabbit 2018 filmed in Lake District - filming locations in Cumbria

Swallows and Amazons (1973 and 2016)

Rating: 1973 version: U, 2016 version: PG

Set in 1929, this beloved childhood series is the tale of when the Swallows (the Walker children) meet the Amazons (the local Blackett sisters) in the Lake District. The 1963 version follows the book closest. Whereas the 2016 version spices things up with a spy plotline.

  • 1973 version: Coniston, Bowness-on-Windermere as Rio and Derwentwater
  • 2016 version: Windermere, Ullswater and Derwentwater

Tip: Author Arthur Ransome’s Wild Cat Island was inspired by Peel Island on Coniston Water.

Swallows and Amazons - Filmed on Coniston Water -  filming locations in Cumbria

Miss Potter (2006)

Rating: PG

Although much of this film about artist, author and conservation hero Beatrix Potter happens in London, Lake District locations are also used. They include:

Miss Potter filmed at Yew Tree Farm near Coniston -  filming locations in Cumbria
Miss Potter filmed at Yew Tree Farm near Coniston

Brief Encounter (1945)

Rating: PG

This black-and-white tearjerker about two thwarted lovers is a cinematic classic. The bridge scene is filmed at Langdale Beck, at Middle Fell Bridge.

And just over the border in Lancashire is Carnforth railway station. Director David Lean opted to film here because of its ramps rather than steps. This allowed his heroine Celia Johnson to move more elegantly.

Brief Encounter - Film in Langdale  -  filming locations in Cumbria
Brief Encounter – Film in Langdale

Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015)

Rating: 12

Star Wars? Really? Yes! When two X-Wing fighters skim across a lake on the planet Takodana, they’re actually swooping down from Walla Crag across Derwentwater. Thirlmere was also used as a setting.

Tip: Certain landmarks have been singled out and sometimes flipped vertically, so it can be hard to get your bearings. Photographer Colin Bell’s Star Wars article goes into all the details.

Star Wars the Force Awakens -  filming locations in Cumbria

Mission Impossible 7: Dead Reckoning (2023)

Rating: probably 12A

In the summer of 2022, we stumbled upon the filming of the latest Mission Impossible while walking around Buttermere Lake!

Mission Impossible 7: Dead Reckoning (2023) - Buttermere - Filming locations in Cumbria
Mission Impossible 7: Dead Reckoning (2023) – Buttermere

It was unreal with helicopters flying around the mountains and paragliders coming down in droves doing stunts. We didn’t see Tom Cruise, but we did get a picture of Simon Pegg, who plays Benji Dunn.

Simon Pegg filming  Mission Impossible 7: Dead Reckoning (2023) - Buttermere
Simon Pegg filming Mission Impossible 7: Dead Reckoning (2023) – Buttermere

Snow White And The Huntsman (2012)

Rating: 12

Chris Hemsworth, Charlize Theron and Kristen Stewart appear in this updated version of the classic fairy tale. There are scenes in:

Legend has it the cast and crew drank the Waterhead Inn on Windermere dry during their ‘wrap’ party on the last day of filming!

Snow White And The Huntsman (2012) - filming locations in Cumbria

Withnail and I (1987)

Rating: 15

“We’ve gone on holiday by mistake!” While it may not show off Cumbria at its best, this cult classic is hilarious. Locations include Shap and Bampton, as well as a stunning shot of Ullswater. Uncle Monty’s cottage of ‘Crow Crag’ is the privately-owned Sleddale Hall in Wet Sleddale, near Shap.

Tip: Want to watch the film at Crow Crag itself? Picnic Cinema hosts cinema parties there throughout the year.

With Nail and I - film Wet Sleddale, Near Shap, filming locations in Cumbria
With Nail and I – filmed Wet Sleddale, Near Shap

The Witcher – Season 2 (2019)

Rating: 15

During the Covid pandemic, travel restrictions saw Netflix’s fantasy series The Witcher switch to filming locations in Cumbria. The main locations are north and west of Ambleside:

For even more specific screen descriptions, check out superfan Third Eye Traveller’s The Witcher blog.

The Witcher – Season 2 (2019) - Filmed in Ambleside area
The Witcher – Season 2 (2019) – Filmed in Ambleside area

28 Days Later (2002)

Rating: 18

If there was a zombie apocalypse, Cumbria would be a pretty good spot to hide out. The producers of this movie agreed. The film ends with a zombie horde racing towards survivors sheltering in a remote cottage in Ennerdale.

28 Days Later (2002) - filming locations in Cumbria

Know about other filming locations in Cumbria and the Lake District?

Please let us know! Or tag us into any of your social media posts, as we always love to hear when we’ve inspired people to come to Cumbria! We are @cumbria_dot_com on Instagram or @cumbriadotcom on Twitter.

Disclaimer: We’ve tried to be as accurate as possible when writing this article, but information can change. Please check for yourself before making any decisions based on this blog.