From dense woodland to open heathland and ancient villages, The New Forest is home to a plethora of environments that have made it the perfect location for films of any budget and genre. The New Forest has been providing stunning backdrops and environments ever since beautiful scenery been an on screen requirement and we’re going to show you some of the most interesting times The New Forest has been immortalised on film.
The Famous Five
One of the earliest mainstream productions to be filmed in The New Forest was Enid Blyton’s The Famous Five between 1978 and 1979. Whilst parts of the television series produced for ITV was shot in Dorset and Devon, the vast majority of outdoor scenes found themselves being filmed in The New Forest’s beautiful locations such as Exbury Gardens, part of the Rothschild Estate.
A beautiful place to visit with the family, Exbury Gardens features a narrow gauge steam railway, tea rooms and ever changing scenery that make an ideal day out for all the family – especially those that remember the show.
The Brittas Empire
BBC comedy The Brittas Empire follows Mr Brittas, the well-meaning but incompetent manager of Whitbury New Town leisure Centre. Shot between 1991 and 1997, over 7 series and 52 episode, The Brittas Empire used Ringwood’s Leisure Centre to double as the fictional Whitbury Leisure Centre.
Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves
1991 saw one of The New Forest’s first Hollywood productions set up location in Fritham. Robin Hood – Prince of Thieves was filmed in many of the UKs beautiful locations such as Alnwick Castle, Hadrian’s Wall and The New Forest. The scenes shot in The New Forest saw Kevin Costner and Morgan Freeman galloping on horseback through what is now a Beautiful 4.5mile walk and camp site with frequent deer spotting opportunities in Fritham.
Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation
Moving on to a more recent 2015 film, The New Forest’s Fawley Power Station became host to the movie of epic proportions. With an estimated budget of $150m and starring Tom Cruise, Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation set its sights on Fawley Power Station as the filming location for one of its most nail-biting scenes. The power station provided internal and external shots that double as a Moroccan security facility where Ethan (Tom Cruise) dives into a giant water-cooled server and holds his breath for 6 minutes.
Using New Forest locations, such as the Beaulieu River and surroundings to double as Miami, The Infiltrator is the most recent film to use some of the stunning scenery that The New Forest has to offer. Staring Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad) this thrilling true-to-life story follows federal agent Robert Mazur undercover in Colombia. The film releases on 13th July 2016.
Beaulieu Motor Museum
Whilst not a filming location in its own right, The Beaulieu National Motor Museum is home to a swathe of cars that star in Hollywood films. The Museum is now home to some of British comedy television’s most iconic automobiles such as Mr Bean’s Mini, Del Boy’s Reliant Robin and Wallace and Gromit’s Anti-Pesto Van. The TV and Film exhibit also features the Jaguar XKR from James Bond’s Die Another Day, the flying Ford Anglia from Harry potter and the last Cadillac Elvis Presley bought for his own use. Most recently, Beaulieu has taken collection of the getaway car from Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie, starring Jennifer Saunders as Eddy and Joanna Lumley as Patsy.
Filming within The New Forest can generate up to £40,000 per day for the local economy, as well as being a fantastic part of showcasing what The New Forest has to offer and is protecting. The New Forest District Council have partnered with Creative England to help attract more filming to the area and to the 8,000 businesses within The New Forest.