I’m a lifelong anglophile and I don’t know if that’s because of my fondness for British frock flicks or I love British frock flicks because I’m an anglophile. Either way, they work together! And right now, I’m spending some time indulging said addiction in situ, thus, this week’s top five is all about the highly idealized countryside pictured in some of my favorite historical costume movies and TV shows. These are the rolling green hillsides and charming cottages behind the action that make for the perfect setting of my dreams!
Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights (1992)
My favorite filmed version of the classic novel is set in North Yorkshire with those wild and windy moors as the background. I’ve been to the Brontë Parsonage House Museum and surrounding moors several times, and it really is this stunning.
Not a great series, but some gorgeous scenery! I still haven’t been to Cornwall, but I want to just because of the gorgeous shots of Porthcothan that stood in for Nampara cove.
Pride and Prejudice (1995)
OK, some of this is about the houses — Lyme Park makes a gorgeous Pemberley! — but I’d also like to roam around the Peak District National Park where Lizzie travels with the Gardiners.
Howards End (1992)
I’ve mentioned before how relevant this movie is to me. While the specific locations like Peppard Cottage in Henley-on-Thames that was used as the exterior of the house Howards End isn’t accessible, the essence of Leonard Bast’s walk can be recreated in so many places in England.
All Creatures Great and Small (2020-)
I love the original series and this remake equally, but the new version has one thing over the old: high-definition landscape photography. The visuals of North Yorkshire are gorgeous, green, sweeping, and charming AF.
What frock flicks showcase the English countryside best?
I’ll throw in a vote for Miss Potter.
Yes! Some beautiful shots of the Lake District
Same here as well as the original All Creatures. Also Wives and Daughters
Yes to all the ones listed in the post and a big yes to Miss Potter. The scenery was the best thing about that movie.
Ang Lee’s Sense & Sensibility. 1992?
The scenery in the original ACGAS is far more characteristic and typical, despite the lesser picture quality. The new is often smoothed out, for the simplified appeal. The landscape from the 2005 P&P are also gorgeous, even though the film has of course the wrong vibe for Austen. I agree on the comment about S&S 95. Also, The Secret Garden and FairyTale have gorgeous scenery. Out of tv shows, I’d say Cranford and Lark Rise To Candleford have lovely scenery.
I’ve seen both Poldarks and having spent time in Cornwall, I’d have to vote for that.
My best friend and I went to England while in college, and we HAD to go to Cornwall. Even though the old Poldark didn’t have many exterior scenes, it still inspired us to go, and we loved it!
For me it is Wuthering Heights allllll the way – though, as yet, I have to find the perfect filmed version; there is always something which niggles the hell out of me and spoils my enjoyment. Most damn frustrating. I think I would have to add Tess of the D’Urbervilles to my list though. Hardy writes such deep and descriptive passages about the landscapes surrounding his characters – so much so that the landscapes become characters in their own right. This is ripe for dramatic and symbolic filmography. Also he writes a grand deal about Dorset and as Dorset is my home county it would seem churlish not to include one of his novels. P.S Cornwall is STUNNING, you really must visit! Tintagel is really amazing to explore and Port Isaac is gorgeous.
Summer in February is set in Cornwall circa 1912 and has some gorgeous scenery and costumes. The movie on the whole is just okay, though
Gentleman Jack — I love that Ms. Lister’s home Shibden Hall in Yorkshire is filmed at Shibden Hall! Not to mention the scene during the 2nd season at Rievaulx Abbey. Second choice — Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell in Yorkshire — especially the scenes filmed in Gordale Scar.
Yes! Gentleman Jack is really bringing it with the costumes and scenery
Under the Greenwood Tree (2005) is one I could watch over and over, it’s the only cheerful Hardy I’ve seen or read! Plus it has one of my favourite frock tropes – scenes of a character sewing a frock she’ll wear later in the film.
Any votes for Month in the Country? A very young Branagh and Firth (Colin) in rural Yorkshire, as WWI soldiers healing from the war trauma, with Branagh doing archaeological digging and Colin Firth uncovering a doom painting in a medieval church. Quietly beautiful.
Good movie 👍
All Creatures for me.