Despite his Norwegian roots, the magic and whimsy of Roald Dahl has a distinctly British tint to it. So, it makes sense that filming for the latest Wonka film, starring Timothée Chalamet, took place in locations across the United Kingdom.
Scenes for the chocolate god’s origin story were shot in Bath, Oxford, London, Lyme Regis, and the Warner Bros. Studio in Watford between the tail end of 2001 and beginning of 2022. If you’re a fan of the film, or just want to check out where these gorgeous settings are located in hopes of some holiday inspiration, then read ahead to find out about all the Wonka filming locations, and where you can find them.
The fairytale university city of Oxford is known for its long history as an academic centre, but it also has plenty of pedigree as a filming location. Harry Potter, The Golden Compass, The History Boys, and numerous other movies have used the city’s stunning architecture as a backdrop, and Wonka continues the tradition with scenes filmed at Radcliffe Camera and Catte Street.
Radcliffe Camera is one of the most recognisable of the University of Oxford buildings, housing the Radcliffe Science Library. The circular, Baroque-style building sits at the heart of the city, and is often used as a meeting point thanks to its unique design. It’s easy to access via guided tour, too, so you can check out the inside. Wonka isn’t the first time it’s been used as a backdrop, as the iconic building appeared in Young Sherlock Holmes (1985), among other productions.
Catte Street is a historic, central street in Oxford that’s also famous for its gorgeous aesthetic and stunning architecture. You can wander down the road and check out other attractions like Saint Mary’s Church, the Bodleian Library, and Radcliffe Square. Highlights like these are just one of the reasons why it was used as one of the Wonka filming locations.
Named for the Roman baths that were built by the conquerors from the Italian peninsula, Bath is undoubtedly one of the UK’s most beautiful cities, so it makes sense that it was used as one of the Wonka filming locations. Although shoots took place during the winter months, fake snow still had to be used during filming to give scenes that magical touch.
One of the main Wonka filming locations in Bath is the Colonnades. Located right next to the Roman baths and the riverside, these regal columns were built in a Tuscan style, and offer an imposing yet elegant glimpse into the city’s long and storied history.
The other major Wonka filming locations in Bath are all a short walk from the Colonnades: Parade Gardens, Bath Abbey, and Orange Grove are historic locations known for their beauty, and are all easy to visit on a trip to this West England wonder. Some of these are also home to iconic Bridgerton locations…
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The Cobb, Lyme Regis
Tucked away on the Southeast coast of England lies the quaint town of Lyme Regis, home to one of the oldest and most beautiful harbour walls in the entire U.K. The Cobb, as the stone structure is known as, may have been built under the reign of Edward I, making it nearly a millennia old. The landmark protects the harbour, but also has a history of appearances in both literature and film, having been featured in Jane Austen’s Persuasion, as well as the 1989 Oscar winner The French Lieutenant’s Woman. You can stroll along The Cobb at any time, and it’s a truly delightful coastal walk.
By being one of the Wonka filming locations it’s continuing this long history of being involved in art. However, this time there was an additional cost for Warner Bros.: they had to close off the harbour for filming and also pay various fishermen for lost earnings, as the use of The Cobb meant no boats could go in and out.
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Rivoli Ballroom, London
When most tourists visit London, the furthest south they tend to head is to the Tate Modern. However, deep in the electoral ward of Brockley lies one of London’s most sought after filming locations: the Rivoli Ballroom.
Decked out in glamorous 50s and 60s decor, the venue has been used in films like The Muppets and The Avengers franchise, so it has plenty of pedigree in Hollywood terms. It’s the only intact ballroom in the entirety of England, which gives it a special vibe, and is certainly one of the reasons it was used as one of the Wonka filming locations.
The amazing thing is you can actually party in the Rivoli Ballroom. The venue shows films and hosts exhibitions during the day, and on weekends and special events it is opened to the public so they can have a drink and a dance.
Warner Bros. Studio, Watford
The final scenes that couldn’t be shot on location for Wonka were filmed at the Warner Bros. Studios in Watford, just north of London. Tours can be arranged and it’s easy to get here from the capital, although it has to be said that the location is very Harry Potter heavy. So, if you’re more excited about Wonka filming locations than the magic of movies in general (especially the kind that comes from Hogwarts), you might not quite enjoy it as much as the other spots on this list.