Sex Education: Is Moordale a Real Place? Is Cavendish College Real?

Sex Education Season 1

Netflix’s ‘Sex Education’ is a comedy-drama series that follows the story of the residents of Moordale, primarily the teenagers. The protagonist of the story is a boy named Otis, who becomes famous for his sex advice and opens a clinic with school outcast Maeve. Over the course of four seasons, Otis and Maeve go through many ups and downs, and we also follow the stories of other students, all of whom are going through one thing or another. The events in the Netflix series take place in a town called Moordale. Is it a real town in the UK, and if so, where is it located? SPOILERS AHEAD

Moordale is Inspired by John Hughes Movies

For four seasons, we follow the stories of the students in Moordale. Through the residents of the town, the show focuses on real problems, adding a touch of relatability for the audience and making it all seem real. However, Moordale is not a real town. The filming for ‘Sex Education’ took place in Wales, with several locations over different towns used to create a complete look for the fictional Moordale. The Wye Valley, the Forest of Dean, and Symonds Yat East in Hertfordshire serve as one of the central locations for the show. Gloucestershire is another place where the filming for the show took place to add to the locales of Moordale.

The most important location in the first three seasons of ‘Sex Education’ is the school, Moordale Secondary. It is a fictional school, the shooting for which took place in the Caerleon campus in Newport, Wales. The scenes in the gym were filmed at the Paget Rooms in Penarth. According to the show’s creators, despite the show being set in the UK, they wanted to create a vibe from the John Hughes movies, like ‘The Breakfast Club.’ They crafted a very particular look for what they wanted Moordale Secondary to be, making it a memorable location for the audience.

By the time the filming for the third season wrapped up, Caerleon was sold to developers, which made it unavailable for filming the following season. This issue was addressed at the end of the third season, where it was announced that owing to its bad reputation as a “sex school,” the funding has been retracted, which means the school is going to be closed.

Cavendish College and Wallace University Are Entirely Fictional

With Moordale Secondary out of the picture, the fourth season shifts to a new school for the teenagers of Moordale. Otis, Eric, and their friends join Cavendish College, which is completely different from what they had at Moordale Secondary. This school is much more laid back and more open about the conversations that were otherwise discouraged or shut down in Moordale. Just like Moordale Secondary, Cavendish College is a fictional school. To film the scenes at the school, the crew turned to St Fagans National Museum of History in Cardiff.

While her friends and classmates stay in Moordale, Maeve takes a leap to America, where she starts a new chapter of her life. She gets a place at Wallace University, where she hones her writing skills. Several interior scenes for Wallace took place in the Wills Memorial Building of Bristol University. The library scenes in Wallace were filmed in the Law Library in the Wills Memorial complex. Several other scenes in Wallace were filmed in Westonbirt School in Tetbury, Gloucestershire. It has been a private boarding school since 1928 and lends a very polished air to Wallace University, showing the audience how far Maeve has come from her days at Moordale Secondary.

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