Forget the swampy Caribbean backdrop of Guadeloupe (which doubles as fictional Saint Marie in Death In Paradise) – Devon is the standout star of the new BBC1spin-off series Beyond Paradise.
Indeed, the south-west is home to some of our best-loved television shows, so follow Tamar Hinson on a location lookout and discover some gems along the way…
We know where we are going to book when it comes to our next staycation.
Did anyone say a TV tour?
Death In Paradise fans will already know that Devon is the setting for new spin-off Beyond Paradise, starring Kris Marshall. Although some of the scenes are filmed in Cornwall (more on that later), the fictional coastal town of Shipton Abbott is set in its neighbouring county.
But that’s not all – reality TV fans may also recognise the scenic South West Coast Path, which passes through, thanks to ITV2’s Ready To Mingle, as the show’s home offers amazing views of it. The path is a great way to explore the area and offers plenty of places where hikers can rest their weary limbs.
Ramblers hiking with friends in tow should consider Luxury Coastal’s Poplar Cottage in Budleigh Salterton, a short walk from the path. There’s room for six people, and the property is filled with attractive period features.
This historic city offers just the right amount of sophistication as the grandiose backdrop to TV’s Bridgerton, with a new series filming recently. If you look carefully, you might still spy a film crew in action – with scenes from Wonka, which hits the cinema screens in December 2023, wowing passers-by.
With Bath’s scene-stealing architecture, it’s little wonder that film crews are eager to pitch up – film buffs will recognise nearby Lacock village from the Harry Potter franchise and the 1995 BBC classic Pride And Prejudice, starring Colin Firth.
For a brilliant insight into the city, head to Bath Abbey, which dates back to 675AD. Visitors will soon be able to gain an even deeper knowledge of this historic building – the abbey’s new Discovery Centre is due to open by summer.
The colourful city had a starring role last year in the hit Beeb mystery Chloe, which starred The Crown’s Erin Doherty. And with Bristol celebrating turning 650 this year, there’s never been a better time to visit this West Country hotspot.
It’s also home to cult classic teen drama Skins, which went on to make Hollywood stars out of Nicholas Hoult, Dev Patel and Kaya Scodelario, with many iconic locations featured in the Channel 4 series.
Relive your halcyon days visiting Brandon Hill Nature Park, where Cassie and Sid stare down Bristol in twilight in the conclusion of season one, or head to the West Country Water Park and recreate Freddie and Effy’s steamy kiss in the lido.
Aside from Poldark, with its sweeping shots of the beach front (as well as Aidan Turner’s bare chest), making Cornwall a popular destination for TV addicts, Game Of Thrones fans may want to pop down to Holywell Bay beach, where the HBO prequel series House Of The Dragon was filmed.
The National Trust site, a peaceful retreat that features amazing views, was used in many promotional shots ahead of last year’s series launch. And don’t forget to visit the town of Looe and the Tamar Valley to see if you can spot scenes from the BBC1 show Beyond Paradise.
Fans of Netflix’s 2022 hit The Sandman, based on Neil Gaiman’s popular comic book series, should be sure to check out Sandbanks in Poole. Recognised as one of Britain’s best beaches, the area can fill up in the summer as tourists flock to enjoy the many leisure activities and water sports.
However, there’s still plenty to enjoy if you’re looking for a slower pace of holiday – there are some world-renowned restaurants and pubs overlooking the shores. The Rick Stein restaurant, with its delicious seafood dishes, is a must.
Family-friendly Somerset is the home of Wells, the UK’s smallest city, which doubled up as the quiet village of Sandford in the movie Hot Fuzz, starring Simon Pegg. Edgar Wright, who directed the film, grew up in Wells and was keen to have the small city home to a big cop drama. However, it’s not just a place for drama – it’s had its fair share of horror filming too, with Stranger Things stalwart David Harbour bringing the demonic to Wells Cathedral when filming 2019 film Hellboy.
Venture off the beaten path and there are plenty of lesser-known treasures to discover, such as Noah’s Ark Zoo Farm, just a short drive from Bristol (bonus points if you spot Wallace, Gromit, Shaun, Timmy and Shirley – all sheep named after animated Aardman characters).
We’re especially excited about the new Shaun the Sheep trail, which launches next month.
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