The Famous Five (2023): Exploring All Filming Locations

‘The Famous Five’ follows four children and their dog as they go on adventures, solve mysteries, and help the Secret Service with missions. Set in World War II era England, their escapades take the team to historical sites, seaside caves, countryside mansions, and even a circus. Created by Nicolas Winding Refn and based on Enid Blyton’s eponymous novels, the series transports us to a diverse range of landscapes in each episode, from rolling grasslands stretching into the distance to mysterious castles and beachside coves. Given the array of backdrops featured in ‘The Famous Five,’ we are tempted to peek behind the curtain and discover the picturesque real-world locations seen in the series.

The Famous Five Filming Locations

Filming for ‘The Famous Five’ took place in multiple sites across South West England. Principal photography for the series began in June 2023 and was wrapped up for the first set of episodes by the end of September 2023. In behind-the-scenes interviews, the cast and crew praised the child actors and the infectious energy they brought to the set.

“The kids are just amazing; they are just so on it, so captivating and brilliant on-screen and off-screen,” said actor Jack Gleeson. “There is so much fun, so they just bring such a brilliant energy to the set.” The nostalgic visual tapestry of the show further underscores the charm of its leads and their adventures, taking us back to a simpler time.

South West England

‘The Famous Five’ is filmed in South West England, with most of the shooting locations being concentrated within Cornwall, a county that comprises the south west peninsular tip of England. The region is characterized by hilly terrain, wild moorland, sandy beaches, and scenic harbor villages. The stunning locations prompted Jack Gleeson to say, “It looks as if we were staying in Greece!” Diaana Babnicova agreed with him, calling it “a real-life version of ‘Mamma Mia!‘”

Image Credit: CBBC/YouTube

It is in around two such harbor villages that many of the impressive seaside sequences of the series are captured. These include the fishing village of Port Isaac and the hamlet of Port Gaverne, which are situated half a mile apart and fall under the St Endellion parish. The scene of George’s boat running aground on a beach with cliffs on either side was shot at Port Gaverne. The beach stands in for Dorset’s vibrant Lulworth Cove in southern England, where the original work is set.

The young cast members especially enjoyed the filming locales, sailing the boat, and riding the train seen in the series. “We’ve been to so many different locations, we’ve been to Cornwall for the sea, in caves, in the woods, in castles and a mansion,” said Elliott Rose in an interview. “Each one has been really nice. The studio is also great, the people who build the sets are amazing. The train in episode two is brilliant, there’s also a mushroom tunnel, there’s a cave system, the den, the cottage. There are so many things, I have no idea how they fit it all in there!”

The cathedral seen in the show is actually the Gloucester Cathedral, situated at 12 College Green in the city of Gloucester. The 11th-century structure exudes a medieval atmosphere and makes for a fitting backdrop that evokes a sense of wonder in ‘The Famous Five.’ The cathedral has been the site of royal coronations in England’s history and has served as a filming location for the ‘Harry Potter’ movie series, ‘Mary Queen of Scots,’ and ‘The White Princess.’

Another prominent historical structure seen in the series is the Tyntesfield country house located in Wraxall. Boasting grand Victorian Gothic Revival architecture, the 19th-century property falls under the care of the National Trust as a Grade I listed building. It is a highly visited tourist attraction that frequently hosts events on its premises and features an aviary, a large garden, a library, and a light sculpture inside a fallen tree. The house can also be seen in the background of the episode, ‘Sherlock: The Abominable Bride’ of ‘Masterpiece Mystery,’ ‘Golden Years,’ and ‘Crooked House.’

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