5 epic drama film locations in Kent

Date Posted: 18/05/2016

Benedict Cumberbatch In The Hollow Crown

Pictured: Benedict Cumberbatch in Hollow Crown: Wars of the Roses. Credit Rovert Viglasky.

Get on the trail of Benedict Cumberbatch and Scarlett Johansson on your next group trip to Kent.

If you’ve spent the last two Sundays curled up in front of the BBC’s Hollow Crown: The Wars of the Roses starring Benedict Cumberbatch, you might be interested to find out that it’s possible to take your group to some of the filming locations in Kent.

In fact, Kent has a bit of a track record for wooing movie directors. Scenes from Woolf Hall, The Other Boleyn Girl, and Lady Jane starring Helena Bonham Carter have also been shot in the county.

Here are a few of the filming locations that we think are best for groups.

Leeds Castle

The moat of Leeds Castle was used to film the scene in the Hollow Crown; The Wars of the Roses in which King Richard III – played by Benedict Cumberbatch – takes a boat to the Tower of London.

On the day of filming make-up artists buzzed around Benedict, bloodying up his face, before scenes were shot.

Leeds Castle was used as a palace by King Henry VIII and his first wife Catherine of Aragon. The king made his last visit there in 1544, this time with his sixth wife Catherine Parr.

Groups visiting Leeds Castle can arrange additional specialist talks and guided tours.

Dover Castle

Dover Castle’s great tower has been used as an understudy for the Tower of London in several films and television dramas. It was used on both Hollow Crown: The Wars of the Roses and Woolf Hall.

In the Hollywood movie The Other Boleyn Girl (2008), the grand chamber was used as the prison meeting room and the courtyard housed the scaffold where Anne and her brother George were beheaded.

Groups visiting Dover Caste can take advantage of 15 per cent off entry prices and specialist guided tours.

Penshurst Place, Kent

Pictured: Penshurst Place.

Penshurst Place

The production team for Wolf Hall visited Penshurst Place to film in several of the state rooms, including the Long Gallery which doubled as Anne Boleyn’s chamber in Whitehall where she often sat with her ladies in waiting.

Penshurst Place kept their doors open to the public during the filming and on one of their tours, a visitor gave Damian Lewis a curious look and asked “I know you don’t I?” to which the actor, fully in costume, replied “Well of course you do – I’m Henry VIII!”

In Tudor times, King Henry III used Penshurst Place as a hunting lodge from which to court Anne Boleyn.

Special rates, tours and lunches are available to groups visiting Penshurst.

Knole House, Kent

Pictured: Knole House, Kent. Credit: John Miller.

Knole House

The National Trust property Knole House was a favourite with King Henry VIII. In fact he was so enamoured by it that in 1538 he forced Thomas Cranmer the then Archbishop of Canterbury, who had braved great opposition by validating Henry’s marriage to Anne Boleyn, to hand it over to him.

For the film The Other Boleyn Girl, Knole’s romantic courtyards and deer-park were transformed into Tudor London, doubling for many street scenes as well as Whitehall Palace.

Groups of 15 plus should e-mail knolegroupbookings@nationaltrust.org.uk to book a visit to Knole.

Hever Castle

Hever Castle was the childhood home of Anny Boleyn. In Lady Jane, featuring a very young Helena Bonham Carter directed by Trevor Nunn, the Long Gallery is used for the scene where Jane and Princess Mary talk about God.

Groups visiting Hever can claim a range of perks, including discounted admission rates and special group meus.

To find out more about filming locations in Kent visit www.kentfilmoffice.co.uk.

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