Where is Little Women filmed?

The authentic look of Civil War-era Massachusetts has been recreated on location in Ireland

Little Women filming in Ireland

How do you take the quant town of Concord in 19th-century Massachusetts and transport it to 21st-century Ireland? The answer is: very, very carefully – and with a LOT of attention to detail.

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The BBC’s beautiful new adaptation of the classic Louisa May Alcott novel Little Women is set in Civil War-era America, but the three-part drama was filmed at a location far, far away from Concorde.

Where was 2017 BBC drama Little Women filmed?

Little Women was filmed in Wicklow, Ireland – which stands in for Concord, Massachusetts. Wicklow is a region south of Dublin in the east of Ireland with plenty of mountains and a long stretch of coastline, and shooting took place in Ardmore Studios and the surrounding area in Bray.

The adventures of Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy March take us through snowy winters and idyllic summers. They feature iced-over ponds and snow-laden trees as well as overgrown fields and row-boat races on the water.

Lansbury (Aunt March) and Michael Gambon (Mr Laurence) on the set of Little Women (BBC, TL)
Lansbury (Aunt March) and Michael Gambon (Mr Laurence) on the set of Little Women (BBC, TL)

Ex-Doctor Who producer Susie Ligat has taken on plenty of weird challenges through her career – but Little Women particularly troublesome. “This was probably the biggest challenge that I’ve ever had to face,” she told the audience at a preview screening in London.

“Planets – easy. Fine. Different galaxies, kind of fine. Because you don’t have people with an invested or a native interest in it.”

Every scene they shot Ireland had evoke a real place, in a real time in history. And that was extremely tricky.

Little Women filming in Ireland

“Our ambition was to make it feel real,” Ligat said. “Everything that the women touched, their world, the house, where the house was, how the house related to the inside and the outside, the seasons – and then as soon as we had the mantra of ‘real’, it was the hardest things to do.

“I’ve done a lot of snow. It’s hard. It’s really hard to do that authentically, it’s hard to do seasons authentically and the effects guys in Ireland were amazing.”

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She added: “It was a big challenge, but I’d like to think nobody watching this would have said that you shot it in Wicklow. In August. I’d like to think that nobody thought that…”