Dorset’s West Bay is inextricably linked with Broadchurch, providing the filming location for ITV’s hit whodunit. “We always enjoy coming back here,” explains Doctor Who actor David Tennant.
Tennant starred as DI Alec Hardy alongside Olivia Colman as DS Ellie Miller in the award-winning first series which saw the duo investigate the murder of 11-year-old local boy Danny Latimer, whose body is found on the beach during episode one. This summer, the pair returned to the south coast to film the eagerly-awaited second series.
“West Bay is the location that everyone recognises – the Jurassic cliffs still feature prominently in season two,” explains Tennant to the Dorset Echo. “We’ll see the police station again and other locations audiences have seen before.”
All the beach and water scenes in the new episodes have been filmed in Dorset, while most interiors were filmed in studios in London and Bristol.
Olivia Colman adds that filming back in West Bay was like going on a “childhood holiday”.
“The people are incredibly nice considering we must turn it upside down for them, but they welcomed us back.”
New additions to the Broadchurch cast include Stardust Memories actress Charlotte Rampling, Secrets & Lies star Jean-Baptiste, Torchwood’s Eve Myles and Cloud Atlas actor James D’Arcy, all of whom loved their new working environment.
Rampling says filming in West Bay was “the best of times”. The production team were lucky enough to catch one of the hottest summers on record in England, perfect for capturing the glorious Jurassic World Heritage Site. “I find it an extraordinary coastline. Very inspiring country and a beautiful part of England.”
Myles has plans to take her kids on holiday to Dorset in the future. “It’s two hours from my house door-to-door, I’ll be going there a lot more,” she says. “I was spotting out places to take the children next summer. It’s beautiful.”
Since Broadchurch hit our screens in 2013, West Bay and the nearby town of Bridport has seen a huge uplift in visitors. Fans of the show come to take pictures outside the newsagents where DI Hardy spoke to suspect Jack Marshall, the main shopping street we see Mark Latimer walk along on his way to work and the pretty Methodist chapel, which doubles as the Sea Brigade Hall in the series.
‘[It was] a joy to go to work every morning in one of the most beautiful places in England,” says D’Arcy. Meanwhile, Jean-Baptiste took the opportunity to do some scenic art, while filming in Dorset’s stunning surroundings: “I did some drawing in West Bay, even brought my watercolours, which is harder, but the light is so gorgeous.”
See Broadchurch’s stunning backdrop and the new series trailer here: