There are over 70 films, TV movies, and TV shows starring the mythical man from Nottingham with well-meaning morals. Errol Flynn forever sliced the tapestry of film history when he starred in The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938). But the Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves locations are much, much more authentic and interesting. It’s filmed in England, for starters.
Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (1991) starred Kevin Costner as Robin and Morgan Freeman as his Moorish friend Azeem fresh from fighting in the Crusades. He returns home to his estate in Nottingham to find his father dead and his house in ruin at the hands of the evil Sheriff of Nottingham (Alan Rickman). Robin Hood finds an unlikely team in Little John et al to overthrow the sheriff’s power.
Granted, it’s not the best Robin Hood incarnation. It’s a trifle too long (read: one hour too long) and the tone is a bit too gloomy. But the Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves filming locations take you all over England from Northumberland in the north to Seven Sisters in the south. Shepperton Studios barely got a look in (except for all the interior scenes, of course).
Ready to grab your quiver and stick it to the man? Then let’s discover where all the Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves film locations are in England (and even in France, too!).
Where Was Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves Filmed?
Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves Locations in England
1. Seven Sisters, East Sussex
The first scenes are in Jerusalem where new pals Robin and Azeem escape capture during the crusades, but those scenes look like they’re on studio sets to me. So, the very first major Robin Hood filming locations are the Seven Sisters Cliffs in East Sussex. The men sail into England on a tiny wooden rowing boat with the iconic white canvas backdrop behind them.
These scenic chalk cliffs also appear in Atonement (2007).
Read next: Atonement Filming Locations in England
2. Sycamore Gap, Hadrian’s Wall
Robin and Azeem are travelling from the southern coast to Locksley Castle in Nottingham (where Robin famously lives) to see Robin’s father. Nottingham, for those not acquainted with English geography, is roughly in the Midlands region. So it will baffle any Brit to see the pair suddenly walking along Hadrian’s Wall in Northumberland which is near the Scottish border.
But that’s the movies for you, kids!
Robin and Azeem walk along the part of the wall by the famous Sycamore Gap (now also known as Robin Hood Tree), where they defend a young boy from the sheriff’s men. It is, without a doubt, my favourite Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves location for a very biased reason. I was lucky enough to walk the 84 miles along Hadrian’s Wall in September 2021 and this tree is just as photogenic in real life as it is in the film. Honestly, so worth the trip and you can read my Hadrian’s Wall walk guides below if you’re interested.
3. Old Wardour Castle, Wiltshire
Robin and Azeem reach Locksley Castle, the former’s home estate in Nottingham but he finds the once grand manor in ruins. This Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves filming location isn’t in Nottingham or even in the midlands, it’s Wardour Castle in Wiltshire. It dates back to the 14th century which is 200 years after the time period of this film.
You might be wondering… In the movie, the castle wasn’t always in ruins. When the Sheriff of Nottingham ambushes Robin’s dad (Brian Blessed) at the start of the film, the castle looked intact. Cinematic trickery, my friend! A simple, low-budget drawing on top of the footage of the real castle.
4. Hulne Priory, Northumberland
Seeking shelter and food (for themselves and Robin’s old friend Guy of Gisborne), Robin rocks up at Peter’s old home. You remember Peter, right? He was the dude who gave Robin a ring to give to his little sister Marion as he lay dying in Jerusalem.
Hulne Priory in Northumberland stands in as the exterior to this Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves film location. The grand front entrance to Maid Marion’s home and the interiors are set-pieces because the building is now largely in ruins.
5. Fritham Plain, New Forest, Hampshire
Poor Robin can’t catch a break. Everywhere he seeks respite the sheriff’s men catch up with him! Robin, Azeem and Guy hightail it on horses across a plain which I’m pretty sure is Fritham Plain in the New Forest but I’m not absolutely certain. They’re supposed to be on the very edge of the haunted Sherwood Forest in Nottinghamshire.
6. Mark Ash Wood, New Forest, Hampshire
Several Robin Hood film locations make up the famous Sherwood Forest. The first is Mark Ash Wood in the New Forest. It’s here where Robin reassures the other two men that the “ghosts” in the forest are nothing more than windchimes. Azeem is not convinced.
This setting is also where Robin, Azeem, Guy, and the merry men they meet later spend their first night in the woods.
7. Aysgarth Falls, River Ure, North Yorkshire
The next Robin Hood filming location is Aysgarth Falls on the River Ure in North Yorkshire. This is a beautiful, wide and multi-layered waterfall that you can hike to easily. But Robin has no time to enjoy the scenery. Just as he’s attempting to find a way to cross the river, Christian Slater’s Will Scarlet, Little John, and the rest of his merry men ambush Robin because they assume he has wealth.
8. Church of St Bartholomew The Great, London
The Sheriff of Nottingham and other people in the city attend mass at Nottingham Cathedral. The interiors, however, are actually of St Bartholomew the Great Church in London. Robin catches up with Maid Marion at this church and gains information about the sheriff’s plans.
This church is no stranger to the silver screen having appeared in Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994), Shakespeare in Love (1997), Elizabeth: The Golden Age (2007) and The Other Boleyn Girl (2008).
9. Burnham Beeches, Buckinghamshire
After cutting the sheriff’s cheek in church, Robin escapes and returns to the Sherwood Forest camp. The sheriff retaliates by destroying a poor community in Nottingham, who then find shelter with Robin Hood’s men. The Robin Hood location of their camp is somewhere in Burnham Beeches in Buckinghamshire. It’s here that Robin teaches the common folk to fight and fire arrows so they can rise up against the sheriff’s army and steal from the rich, of course!
10. Chapel of Saint Mary Magdaline, Buckinghamshire
Meanwhile, the sheriff’s men are causing havoc elsewhere. They take valuable items from a small village church to fund their war, which in real life is the quaint Chapel of Saint Mary Magdaline in Buckinghamshire.
11. Hardraw Force Waterfall, Hardraw, Hawes, North Yorkshire
A few months pass and Marion eventually offers her support to Robin Hood and his cause. She and Sarah, her right-hand woman, travel into Sherwood Forest and she spies Robin and a few other men in a compromising position: bathing in a waterfall. This waterfall is Hardraw Force Waterfall in North Yorkshire, one of many scenic Robin Hood locations in the film. It’s very close to Aysgarth Falls and did you know it’s the tallest single-drop waterfall in England? Now you do!
12. Alnwick Castle, Northumberland
After the sheriff and his army kill many of the people living in Robin’s camp and burn down their huts, Robin and friends must tear down his power over the city and country once and for all. Oh, and save Marion too, who the sheriff captured and intends to marry. Robin and his merry men infiltrate Nottingham Castle and, while most of the scenes are studio sets, Alnwick Castle in Northumberland stood in for some of the courtyard scenes. Specifically, after the hanging scenes where the common folk manage to break through the iron door to storm the castle.
Alnwick Castle is most famous for being the filming location of Hogwarts Castle in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (2001) and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002).
Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves Locations in France
13. Cité de Carcassonne, France
There is only one Robin Hood film location outside England, and that’s Cité de Carcassonne in the south of France near Toulouse. It stands in for the long, establishing shots of Nottingham Castle (notably just after the Sycamore Gap scene) where the evil Sheriff of Nottingham resides. It’s a UNESCO-listed fortress and definitely looks like somewhere a powerful bad guy would live in medieval times.
Director Kevin Reynolds shot the interiors of Nottingham Castle in Shepperton Studios.
And those are all the top Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves locations in England! Have you watched the movie or visited any of the film locations? Let me know in the comments below!