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A guide to the movies & TV shows filmed in the Forest of Dean

Posted on 07th February 2015

The Forest of Dean has been a part of King Arthur’s kingdom, a land full of giants and, more recently, a galaxy far, far away.

It is the region’s natural backdrop that is not only a source of inspiration for many writers, TV and film producers, but also the reason why so many people stay in hidden away holiday cottages in the Forest of Dean.

But holidaymakers often do not realise that they are visiting sites in the Forest of Dean that have appeared in blockbuster Hollywood movies and many famous TV series.

Here we take you through some of the most famous blockbuster movies and TV series that have been filmed in the Forest of Dean.

Star Wars Episode VII – The Force Awakens


Image Credit: Nick Royer (flickr.com)

Set 30 years after “Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi”, the next movie of the saga, which is set to be released in December this year, was filmed in the Forest of Dean.

A letter confirmed Star Wars 7 was filmed in the Forest of Dean in November last year and that Luke, Leia and the rest of the Star Wars team visited Puzzlewood to film a number of scenes for the new movie.

Following this news, a new Star Wars trail that the public can walk is currently under consideration. The walk is also believed to allow walkers to visit other sites within the Forest of Dean that have also featured in movies.

Jack the Giant Slayer

The likes of Ewan McGregor, Nicholas Hoult and Stanley Tucci were just some of the well-known names to descend on the Forest of Dean for the filming of Jack the Giant Slayer in 2013.

Puzzlewood was again the centre of the majority of filming for the Jack the Giant Slayer blockbuster movie and unlike most other sites that were used in the film, Puzzlewood did not need any digital enhancement; its moss-covered trees and air of enchantment were already the perfect setting for a mysterious forest.

Doctor Who

Image Credit: Doctor Who Spoilers (flickr.com)

Merlin

Another hugely popular TV series in recent years has been Merlin, and as many people go on Forest of Dean cottage holidays because of the area’s links with King Arthur, it was naturally the perfect setting for the filming of the TV series.

Several Forestry Commission sites were used for filming the five series of Merlin, and Puzzlewood and Clearwell Caves were just two particular sites that were used extensively by its production team.

Primeval

In episode 1 of the sci-fi thriller Primeval, the Forest of Dean appears throughout the episode as the evolutionary zoologist Professor Nick Cutter, attempts to find out some information about the disappearance of his wife in the Forest of Dean.

In the first episode of the TV series a number of sites throughout the Forest of Dean are featured predominantly.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1

The Forest of Dean also features in the first part of the Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows film, when Hermione and Harry head to the forest to escape from Voldermort’s snake Nagini.

You can see a part of the movie that was filmed in the Forest of Dean below:

The seventh book, the Deathly Hallows, was based in the Forest of Dean for quite a large part of the film as Hermione takes the group to the forest because she enjoyed many holidays there with her family.