Where was Brideshead Revisited filmed? Well, there are a few adaptations of the 1945 novel knocking about. If you want to know about the filming locations of the beloved 1981 Brideshead Revisited TV show with Jeremy Irons, you are out of luck. But if you want to know where the pretty decent 2008 version’s locations are, I will tell you all I know!
Brideshead Revisited focuses on the friendship of two University of Oxford chums. One is the upper class and wealthy Lord Sebastian Flyte (Ben Whishaw) and the other is commoner Charles Ryder (Matthew Goode). When the impressionable Charles visits Sebastian at his ancestral home of Brideshead, Sebastian and the family’s power and privilege draw him in, despite their staunch Catholicism.
Most of the film’s locations are in England but there are a sprinkling of Brideshead Revisited locations in Venice, Italy too. All grand and gorgeous! Let’s find out exactly where they are.
Where Was Brideshead Revisited Filmed?
Brideshead Revisited Filming Locations in England
1. 38 Great James Street, London
Brideshead Revisited starts in the “present-day” then throws it back ten years earlier, which is where this Brideshead Revisited filming locations guide begins. Charles is preparing and packing for his move to Oxford for university. He bids his father farewell at their home in London, which is 38 Great James Street. For a middle-class family, they look pretty bloody loaded to me.
2. Radcliffe Camera, Radcliffe Square, Oxford, Oxfordshire
The next location is one of the most iconic places in Oxford. Charles stops to stare up at the Radcliffe Camera in Oxford, which is a cylindrical reading room and library at the heart of the university campus. It’s here that the many cyclists almost run Charles over and where cousin Jasper meets him to show him around.
3. Merton College, Oxford, Oxfordshire
As cousin Jasper reels off all the etiquette, manners and rules that Charles must quaint himself with, Brideshead Revisited treats us to a few fleeting shots of different Oxford colleges. The first Brideshead Revisited location featuring a college is Merton College. Specifically, in the Merton College Fellows’ Garden. You can see people playing rugby in Merton Field next door.
4. Magdalen College, Oxford, Oxfordshire
The men continue their walk and end up at Magdalen College. Charles stands on a bridge over the River Cherwell near Addison’s Walk and catches his first glimpse of flamboyant Sebastian cuddling a teddy bear and relaxing in a punting boat. I’ve pinned the exact location on the map at the top of this blog post.
5. Lincoln College, Oxford, Oxfordshire
Charles moves into his college dorm room and Jasper drones on and on about how it not being a good idea to have a ground-floor room on the quad. Since Lincoln College is supposed to have stood in for the interiors of both Charles and Sebastian’s colleges (they attend different ones), then I’m guessing they shot this scene here.
When Charles visits Sebastian the next day, his college interior, I believe, was also somewhere in Lincoln College.
6. Christ Church College, Oxford, Oxfordshire
Sebastian throws up through Charles’ window and the very next day he promptly invites Charles to have lunch with him as a way of apologising. Sebastian’s college is the famous Christ Church College and we see Charles walk up to the main quad. I do love how there are so many authentic Brideshead Revisited filming locations shot in the actual colleges.
Most of the films in the Harry Potter series shot some scenes in Oxford including Christ Church, but unfortunately, I haven’t visited them yet! Though I have many other Harry Potter location guides you can check out.
7. Castle Howard, York, North Yorkshire
Sebastian is so taken with Charles that he drives them both to visit his family estate, Brideshead. It must be somewhere relatively close to Oxford if they are only visiting for a day trip (in an open-topped car). But in real life, the house in Brideshead Revisited is Castle Howard just outside of York in North Yorkshire. It is over 300 years old and sits upon a thousand acres of land. We have some pretty grand and historic homes in England, and this must be one of the grandest.
But you have already seen the Brideshead Revisited house (or the estate, at least) before you see it as Brideshead! Yes, the huge tree by the lake where Sebastian and Charles sit and have their Oxford picnic was by one of the lakes on this estate. The Temple of the Four Winds is where Charles, Julia and Sebastian hang out drinking champagne when Sebastian hurts his foot.
Are you wondering where was Brideshead Revisited filmed elsewhere in the house? Well, the High Saloon stood in as the dining room. And in fact, I think the production company Miramax helped restore this room as a fire destroyed it in the 1940s. And the Long Gallery is where they host Julia’s 21st birthday ball.
8. Keighley and Worth Valley Railway, Keighley, West Yorkshire
It’s summer break and Charles is back in London with his cold and unfeeling father. He receives a letter from Sebastian asking him to visit Brideshead, so Charles leaves at once. He catches a train and arrives at Brideshead Station. In reality, this is the Keighley and Worth Valley Railway in Keighley, West Yorkshire. This station is where Charles first meets Sebastian’s sister, Julia (Hayley Atwell).
This Brideshead Revisited filming location also appears in Swallows and Amazons (2016).
9. Eltham Palace, Court Yard, London
Cut to 10 years later and everyone has been through a lot. Lady Marchmain is dying, Sebastian is in Morocco with fluid in his lungs, and Charles (an ex-soldier) is married and making a living as a famous artist on an ocean liner somewhere in the middle of the sea.
The cruise ship, however, is not an actual cruise ship. It is a mixture of a few different interiors on dry land. The first is the Entrance Hall to Eltham Palace in London. It is a circular room with wood panelling and stairs going off from it in all four corners. This is where the little art showing/gathering takes place and where Charles’s wife raves about him to her friends.
10. Town Hall Hotel & Apartments, Patriot Square, London
Suddenly, Charles spots Julia walking down the corridor and follows her. And he is suddenly in a totally different Brideshead Revisited filming location! The corridor is in Town Hall Hotel & Apartments in London. The dark, Art Deco wood panelling is unmistakable.
The dining room in this hotel stood in as a tea room in the Keira Knightley and James McAvoy hit film Atonement (2007).
11. Sheraton Grand London Park Lane Hotel, Piccadilly, London
And the final London location that makes up the ocean liner’s interiors is the Park Lane Hotel. Specifically, their Art Deco-style dining room with palm leaves on their floor stands in as the ship’s ballroom. No actual dances take place here, but Charles and Julia pretend they are together here behind their spouses’ backs.
Brideshead Revisited Filming Locations in Italy
12. Sotoportego del Magazen, Venice
Sebastian’s father sends for him and his sister to go and visit him in Venice. Sebastian’s mother (Emma Thompson) asks Charles to accompany them, and off they go! So, where was Brideshead Revisited filmed in Venice? The threesome arrives in Venice and they sail down Rio dei S. S. Apostoli next to the street named Sotoportego del Magazen.
13. Basilica dei Santi Giovanni e Paolo, Venice
They somehow hop from one canal to another three rivers over, but that’s movies for you. They sail past Basilica dei Santi Giovanni e Paolo, the next Brideshead Revisited film location. It is a goliath-esque basilica with no less than 25 Venitian doges buried there.
14. Church of Santa Maria dei Miracoli, Venice
The next church they spot is just down the canal from the basilica, and that’s the Church of Santa Maria dei Miracoli. Charles is getting rather excited at all of these different churches but like, Venice has so many beautiful churches it almost waters down how gorgeous they are!
15. Palazzo Contarini Polignac, 874, Sestiere di Dorsoduro, Venice
They finally arrive at one of the best Brideshead Revisited film locations, the humble abode of Lord Marchmain (Michael Gambon). Of course, it is a palazzo. Specifically, it is Palazzo Contarini Polignac right on the banks of the Grand Canal.
16. Spiaggia Di Punta Sabbioni, Cavallino, Venice
The next day, the whole family go to the beach for a splash in the sea and for Charles to paint the scenery. The beach they visit is Spiaggia Di Punta Sabbioni which is technically on the mainland and on the outskirts of Venice city centre.
17. Calle de Castelforte San Rocco, Venice
After frolicking at the beach, the family head to a nighttime carnival to get (in Sebastian’s words) plastered. It looks like a traditional Venetian carnival with masks and 17th-century wigs and finery. I think they alight their boat on Parochia Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari and walk down the street to Calle de Castelforte San Rocco. Charles chases Julia to somewhere called Sotoportego Botera but I’m not sure this is a Brideshead Revisited movie location that exists, the street sign looks fake.
18. Church of San Francesco della Vigna, Venice
After Charles kisses Julia, he catches Sebastian spying on them. Charles follows Julia inside the Church of San Francesco Della Vigna where Cara and Lord Marchmain are already praying.
So, where was Brideshead Revisited filmed in Italy and where was Brideshead Revisited filmed in England? You will now be able to answer both of those questions! Have you watched the movie or visited any of the locations? Let me know in the comments below!
Read next: Atonement Filming Locations in England