The South West of the UK may slip under the radar of video audiences and TV viewers alike. But it may surprise you just how much screen time has been clocked up in the stretch from Penzance to Bristol, even across to Bridgend. Here’s a list of our top 5 places to shoot outdoors in the South West, based on their natural beauty and the inspiration that they conjure.

  1. Mendip Hills

Covering a huge area of North Somerset, Mendip Hills is perched at the base of a triangle formed by Bristol, Bath and Weston-Super-Mare. There’s plenty more to these splendid hills than having a cider named after them. The unique limestone rock formations and cinematic views make for an incredible backdrop, invoking inspiration for poets and crusaders alike… oh and the film ‘Hot Fuzz’ was filmed in Wells, a quaint English village right at the edge.

  1. Clifton Suspension Bridge

You could devote a whole article to Bristol itself when it comes to adoration from behind the camera, but we’ve broken it down and picked just a couple. Brunel’s suspension bridge needs no introduction to anybody who has visited Bristol, it’s the city’s most iconic landmark. However, it has made it into our top 5 filming locations, not for the bridge itself (which is stunning) but for the gorge that it’s hoisted above. Looking along the Avon river through this gorge is like capturing England in a single shot, with industrial design married alongside old colourful cottages, and the bridge provides the perfect frame.

  1. Ashton Court

Another Bristol landmark. Ashton Court has been home to many a TV drama, including most recently BBC’s ‘Sherlock’ and it’s not hard to see why. This Grade 1 listed building is imperious in both its architecture and its surroundings. While the entrance may look like a fortress, the woodland and main house within it are nothing short of spectacular – there’s even a deer park for you to enjoy!

  1. Porthcurno Beach

Otherwise known as paradise. This beautiful white beach lies at the western tip of Cornwall – it’s about as far South West as you can get but it’s worth the journey! The stunning sands and crystal blue Atlantic Ocean have most recently appeared in the period drama ‘Poldark’. Plus, it’s pretty good for surfing too.

  1. In a Hot Air Balloon

OK, so this one may be a bit of a cheat but the South West is famous for more than green pastures and listed buildings. The best way to see it all is from the sky! You’ll often see a balloon or two in the sky on a normal day in Bristol, but in August, the skies are adorned with a plethora of colourful designs as part of the International Balloon Fiesta. It really is a sight to behold from the air or the ground, especially in the early evening light.

We may be based on Bristol, and a big fan of its surroundings, but we’re a full video production agency operating throughout the whole of the UK. Get in touch for a chat about your next video.

Jo Mar 27th, 2017

About Jo Haywood

Jo is the Managing Director at Skylark Media. Before starting Skylark in 2005, Jo ran the BBC Lifestyle website and prior to that directed science documentaries for the BBC and Channel 4. To switch off she can be found on the tennis court, at yoga, or planting trees in the forest garden.