Poldark wouldn’t be Poldark without its glistening blue waters, its craggy cliffs and its sweeping expanses of romantic Cornish countryside.
The BBC drama takes us right back to the turbulent years of the late 18th century, with Cornwall as the timeless backdrop to plenty of topless bathing and horseback riding. In series four, the show also takes us to London as Ross Poldark (Aidan Turner) goes to Westminster.
But where exactly are all the different filming locations in Cornwall – and beyond?
Where are the Westminster scenes in Poldark filmed?
The Westminster area of London was recreated with the help of Greenwich Naval College, which you’ll have almost certainly seen on screen before: it has been used as a filming location for Four Weddings and a Funeral, The Mummy Returns, The Avengers, Lara Croft Tomb Raider, Pirates of the Caribbean, Les Miserables, and Thor: The Dark World.
But the actual House of Commons scenes were filmed in a studio in Bristol.
Where do they film the Hyde Park scenes?
We see some of London’s Hyde Park in series four, but it’s not actually Hyde Park. Instead, producers used the grounds of Bowood House, a Georgian country house in Wiltshire with an extensive park and garden.
Where are Ross Poldark’s London lodgings?
Ross Poldark’s lodgings in London may look pretty legit, but the exterior was actually filmed in Bristol – in St Nicholas Market.
Where is the gambling and dining club in London?
The London gambling and dining club was filmed at Kings Weston House, a grand historic building in Bristol.
Where is Ross Poldark’s cottage at Nampara filmed?
Scenes featuring the exterior of Ross Poldark’s rustic Nampara cottage are shot on Bodmin Moor, along with many other horseback scenes. The actual building that stands in for his cottage is located near St Breward.
Bodmin Moor is also the site of the miners’ cottages, and is home to Dr Dwight Enys’s original cottage and Poldark Way.
Where are the Nampara Valley scenes filmed?
The fictional Nampara Valley, part of the Poldark family estate, is filmed using St Agnes Head. Here, old engine houses perched on the cliff edge give a sense of the scale of Cornwall’s mining heyday.
Naturally, the area has also been used for those classic horse-riding scenes.
Where is Trenwith mansion filmed?
At the grander end of the scale is the Poldarks’ ancestral home at Trenwith where George and Elizabeth now live with Geoffrey Charles and Valentine.
Producers opted to use Chavenage House in Tetbury, Wiltshire, for both exteriors and interiors. The Elizabethan mansion is now the family home of David Lowsley-Williams, but all signs of modern living (light switches, cables, radiators…) had to be covered up; gravel was removed from the driveway and the wallpaper and curtains were switched out.
Where are Poldark’s Truro and Falmouth scenes filmed?
Producers have made good use of Charlestown, near St Austell. It stands in for Poldark’s version of Truro, and – with its tall ships and old-fashioned appearance – plays the role of Falmouth.
Where are Poldark’s mining scenes filmed?
The TV series shines a a light on Cornwall’s mining heritage with Ross’s mine Wheal Grace.
These scenes are filmed at the National Trust’s Botallack mine, part of the Cornish Mining World Heritage Site. The engine houses, situated between the town of St Just in Penwith and the village of Pendeen, were built in the mid-1800s at the height of the Cornish mining boom.
Also featured on the show is Levant Mine and Beam Engine. This National Trust owned mine is well preserved and restored, and houses the only existing working steam beam engine (as featured in series two when Ross and Francis debate the merits of the machine’s inventor, engineer Richard Trevithick).
Levant appears on screen as Tressiders Rolling Mill, where the copper from the Poldark mine goes to be processed. The roofs of the ruined engine-houses were recreated digitally with the help of the visual effects team.
It seems Aidan Turner’s Ross Poldark is particularly fond of clifftops and beaches. That’s pretty understandable when you consider Cornwall’s gorgeous seaside locations.
With a huge expanse of golden sand and grass tufted dunes, Holywell Bay has made several appearances – with encounters between Ross, Demelza and George Warleggan, and horseback races between Dwight and Caroline. You may also have stopped its iconic twin-peaked Gull Rock, which sits just off shore.
Also featuring heavily is Porthcurno, which stands in for Nampara Cove. Here, producers found a beach with soft white sand, turquoise water and high cliffs on both sides.
You may remember Porthgwarra from that classic scene when Ross took a swim in the crystal clear water – while Demelza spies from the cliff tops. A peaceful spot with plenty of wildflowers and birdlife, Porthgwarra is at the heart of the St Aubyn Estates and is also home to the tunnel where Ross stored his boat.
The team also took a trip to Kynance Cove, which is one of Cornwall’s most famous beaches and proves great aerial shots and clifftop riding scenes.
Where are Poldark’s clifftop scenes filmed?
Talking of clifftops: nearby to Porthgwarra is Gwennap Head, a headland with panoramic vistas across the Penwith peninsula. This is the scene for many a romantic horseback ride.
Producers also made use of the windswept headland at Predannack Wollas, the cliff tops at Park Head near Porthcothan, and Levlizzick in North Cornwall.
Poldark season four airs on Sundays, 9/8c, Masterpiece on PBS
This article was originally published in June 2018
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