Photo by James Tanner.
It may come as no surprise that the Welsh landscape has attracted many production companies over the years, with its abundance of mountains and valleys near the sea. North Wales has certainly not fallen short of the mark, as it remains one of the most in-demand regions for TV producers and location managers to this day. Here is a rundown of some nearby spots that have featured on the small screen and with lockdown restrictions lifting soon, they’re all within reasonable distance for you to visit!
Hidden (BBC iPlayer, 2 series) – Bangor University, Garth Pier, Bangor, Gwynedd
The critically acclaimed crime drama series centred around the discovery of a young girl in a lake in Snowdonia, and the investigation that follows was both set and filmed in and around many locations in North Wales. It features quite a few scenes of Bangor and Anglesey which were filmed in 2018-19, including Garth Pier, Menai Bridge and Bangor University itself, providing the perfect moody atmosphere that will send chills through your bones. A third series is currently underway.
If you liked this try… Keeping Faith, set and filmed in South Wales on BBC iPlayer now.
It’s A Sin (All 4, 5 episodes) – Bangor, Gwynedd
In a blink- and- you’ll-miss-it moment, eagle-eyed viewers may have spotted Bangor and Anglesey in the record-breaking TV drama that has won the hearts of millions. This was used as the backdrop for when lead Ritchie (Olly Alexander) returns home to the Isle of Wight in episode 4. There are brief shots of Siliwen Road and Bangor beach at night, as the production team chose this as their shooting location over a few days in October 2019. Other scenes were also shot in nearby Rhos-on-Sea and Conwy.
If you liked this try… Cucumber, another drama from Russell T Davies, on All4.
The Prisoner (ITV, 1967)- Portmeirion, Gwynedd
This popular sci-fi series, one of the first to be made in colour for TV is remembered for the picturesque village of Portmeirion used to shoot principal scenes of ‘The Village’. It made a huge mark on audiences at the time and has continued to entrance viewers with its avant-garde style, often thought of as one of the most allegorical TV shows of all time. While the Mediterranean-inspired village is currently closed, just by watching this series you can get a sense of the surreal ambience that it creates towards all who encounter it. The series is currently available to watch on Amazon Prime.
If you liked this try… The Handmaid’s Tale on Hulu.
Hinterland (BBC/Netflix, 3 series) Aberystwyth, Ceredigion
Another Welsh noir drama, set and filmed in Aberystwyth has helped the town become a recognised location on TV in recent years. The show follows the mysterious goings on in a local community, which the troubled DCI Tomas Mathias (Richard Harrington) is determined to solve in his search for redemption… This was the first mainstream series made for the BBC in both English and Welsh, and although filmed in mid-Wales, is a worthy mention for Welsh representation on the small screen. You may recognise a few actors who also appeared in the previously mentioned Hidden. All three series are currently available to binge on Netflix now.
If you liked this try… The Missing, on BBC iPlayer.
There are many other films and TV shows that have put North Wales on the map, including The Crown, The Secret Garden and The Watchmen that just might inspire you to go and explore more of the outstanding natural beauty that is within easy reach.