Where is Welsh drama Keeping Faith filmed?
Director and producer Pip Broughton tells RadioTimes.com why the Welsh landscape is so central to this breakout hit from S4C and the BBC
Keeping Faith's beautiful Welsh filming locations are a key part of what has made so many viewers fall in love with the show. "People have joked that the Welsh tourist board should be paying us money!" says series director and producer Pip Broughton.
With series two set to air in Welsh (with the option of English subtitles) as "Un Bore Mercher" on S4C and BBC iPlayer, and a BBC broadcast to follow under the name Keeping Faith, the drama puts the spotlight on beautiful beaches and clifftops and views across the countryside.
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But where are the filming locations we see on screen? Here's what you need to know:
Where is Keeping Faith filmed in Wales?
The drama is filmed in Wales, mainly around Laugharne – a town on the south coast which lies on the estuary of the River Tâf and was once home to the poet Dylan Thomas.
From the very beginning, director Broughton and screenwriter Matthew Hall knew exactly where the story had to be set. "So often, when you get a drama, you think, 'Ooh I'll go recce-ing and find out where to set it," explains Broughton. "It's an add-on, whereas that [location] is central to our intention right from our start." The landscape they chose, as the director tells RadioTimes.com, is "very, very beautiful, and lyrical – but a place where dark things lurk."
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In series two, locations used for filming included Gloucester Prison, the Carmarthen Guildhall Magistrates' Court, and Brangwyn Hall Swansea – which stands in for the Crown Court. The beautiful St Fagans National Museum of History in Cardiff served as an exterior for an open prison, with the help of Canada Lodge and Lake.
Keeping Faith is set in the fictional village of Abercorran, with most of the exteriors shot in Laugharne, including the high street. But while the outside of Faith's gorgeous two-storey house was filmed on location, the interiors were actually filmed in a studio.
Nearby Pendine Sands, a seven-mile stretch of beach on the shores of Carmarthen Bay, features in series two – but the producers also went further afield for some of the beach scenes, filming at Oxwich Bay on the south of the Gower Peninsula in Wales. Here, you'll find an area of sand dunes, salt marshes and woodland. At the local village, Oxwich, they also made use of St Illtyd's Church.
Further filming took place at Southerndown, a village in southern Wales with a rocky and sandy beach enclosed by beautiful cliffs and surrounded by open countryside, and at Llansteffan where Faith's father-in-law Tom moors his boat near the estuary of the River Tywi.
You will also catch sight of various locations in Newport and Bridgend and Cardiff in series two.
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Why is the Welsh landscape crucial to Keeping Faith?
"It's interesting, because I was very very clear that that was where it had to be set," Broughton says. "I've filmed there before, and that estuary – what I love about it is that there is a sense of ebb and flow, and the light changes. When you live there you are part of that ongoing change, and how the light and the colour changes.
"And when you live in an environment like that, unlike say London, it becomes an emotional extension of you as a character."
That's important, because in the series Faith and her husband and business partner Evan (Bradley Freegard) have opted to move out of London to bring up their three children in this rural idyll. When Evan goes missing on his way to work, that idyll collapses as the tight-knit local community becomes increasingly claustrophobic.
"The idyll turns into a prison," says Broughton. "But what's wonderful is that you always have that beautiful background as the place where the bad stuff starts to kick in."