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13 Films Set in North East England

April 11, 2020 in Films 4

This blog usually focuses on fun filled adventures and cultured nights out around Newcastle and the surrounding areas. However, at the time of writing this post our local restaurants, theatres, bars, shops and tourist attractions are all closed until further notice due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

It’s a weird, daunting and overwhelming time for the entire population. Unless you are a key worker the only thing you can do right now is ‘Stay Home, Protect the NHS and Save Lives’. This means many of us are watching more movies than ever to prevent going stir-crazy during self-isolation.

With that in mind I was inspired to pull together a list of films that feature North East locations. We might not be able to explore the region in real life at the moment, but these movies can give us lots of ideas about places to visit when we are free to roam once again. Let’s hope that time comes sooner rather than later!

Robin Hood Prince of Thieves

Image Credit: Mandy Charlton

The 1991 blockbuster starring Kevin Costner is a film that most people will remember for it’s chart topping soundtrack; ‘Everything I Do’ by Bryan Adams was at number one for 16 weeks which was unheard of back then! The movie also featured an iconic tree which is nestled within the Whin Sill along Hadrian’s Wall in Northumberland.

Sycamore Gap, aka ‘The Robin Hood Tree’ is well worth hunting down once the lock down is over. Big thanks to Mandy Charlton for sharing the beautiful image above.

Billy Elliott

You can’t fail to feel uplifted by the heart warming tale of  Durham lad Billy Elliott. The town of ‘Everington’ mentioned in the film may have been fictional but locals will recognise it as the village of Easington Colliery. The Trasnporter bridge in Middlesbrough also makes an appearance.

Get Carter

This Michael Caine classic from 1971 is a bit before my time and I’ve never actually seen the film. I did see an amazing production of it at Northern Stage a few years ago though and LOVED it!

Sadly some of the iconic filming locations are no more, including the concrete car park that once stood on the site of Trinity Square in Gateshead. You may recognise other spots though, including Newcastle Central Station, Pink Lane and the High Level Bridge.

I, Daniel Blake

I was fortunate enough to attend the premiere of I, Daniel Blake a few years ago at the Tyneside Cinema. The Ken Loach drama documents the plight of a middle aged widowed carpenter in Newcastle who turns to the welfare system for support after a heart attack leaves him unable to work. It’s a moving yet sadly all too common story that stirs up all kinds of emotions.

Sorry We Missed You

Sorry We Missed You was Ken Loach’s follow up to I, Daniel Blake and was also shot on Tyneside. There are scenes around Grey’s Monument and outside Newcastle Labour Club amongst others.

Purely Belter

If you didn’t guess by the title that this a Geordie film then the familiar landmarks in the film certainly give it away! The 2000 British comedy was filmed almost entirely on Tyneside and follows the mishaps of two teens trying to get their hands on the cash for Newcastle United season tickets. There’s even an appearance from Alan Shearer!


Sticking with the football theme, Goal! is a must watch for any Toon supporters! It was made in 2005 and there are a couple of follow up films as well, so you could kill a whole afternoon by watching the trilogy!

The Harry Potter Film Series

Eagle-eyed Potter fans will no doubt have already spotted famous North East venues in the film series. The ancient cloisters of Durham Cathedral feature in various exterior and interior shots of Hogwarts in the first three films. While several scenes in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone and the Chamber of Secrets were shot at Alnwick Castle.

Lady Macbeth

This gripping tale may have been set in Northumberland but it was actually all shot in County Durham! The Lambton Estate in Chester-le-Street, a beach in the coastal town of Seaham and Cow Green Reservoir near High Force in Teesdale were all used as filming locations. Sit back, relax and see if you can spot them all!

Stormy Monday

Nope, I’d never heard of this one either! I’m definitely going to check it out though after discovering it stars Sean Bean, Melanie Griffith, Tommy Lee Jones and Geordie legend Sting. The 1988 film seems to be rather mean and moody, with a seedy jazz bar on the Quayside being at the centre of the action. Hopefully that means an awesome soundtrack as well as lots of location spotting!

The One and Only

This a romantic comedy from 2002, another one I’d not heard of till I started researching this post. It’s actually a remake of a Danish box office hit from a few years earlier and seems like quite a sweet and funny film about marriage, pregnancy and adoption, with magnificent Geordieland as the backdrop throughout.

School of Seduction

This one looks pretty funny, it’s about an Italian woman (played by Kelly Brook) who moves to Newcastle from Naples and attempts to teach a group of Geordie women the art of seduction. If you’re a fan of the TV show Benidorm you’ll recognise a few familiar faces, including Tim Healy, Jake Canuso and Margi Clarke.

The Railway Man

This screen adaptation of Eric Lomax’s memoirs as a prisoner of war has a star studded cast, including Colin Firth and Nicole Kidman. As well as scenes in flung destinations in Australia and Singapore the film also features Holy Island and Berwick upon Tweed where Eric lived in the last few years of his life. The film is beautifully shot and it was nominated for a ton of awards!

Working your way through this list should fend off the isolation boredom for a while! If you know of any other films set in North East England be sure to let me know by leaving a comment below!

Stay safe, Rachel x

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Vincent Seymour
Vincent Seymour
4 years ago

Transformers: The Last Knight has scenes in Kielder, Bamburgh Castle, Alnwick Castle, Grey St. Newcastle
Stormy Monday shows Newcastle before its rapid gentrification in the 90s

4 years ago

Try The Night of the Fire (1939, with Ralph Richardson) 1939 and The Clouded Yellow (1952 with Trevor Howard)

Rob Burrows
3 years ago

Missed out on all Solarus Films, six if them!

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