Sunday, 7 June 2015

Six important Broadchurch locations NOT found in Dorset: The Clevedon trail

It would be reasonable to think that all location shooting for Broadchurch takes place in or around West Bay in Dorset, home of those imposing cliffs that feature in the show’s marketing. But you’d be wrong in that belief, as a lot of the filming actually takes place on the northern coast of Somerset in Clevedon, some 70 miles north of its Dorset cousin.

Clevedon is a Victorian seaside town overlooking the Severn Estuary, sitting 13 miles down from Bristol and 10 up miles from Weston-Super-Mare, just off the M5. Many people visit for the famous Grade 1 listed pier (featured in movie Never Let me Go and One direction’s video ‘You and I’) but our eyes are on the Broadchurch trail and six key locations NOT found in Dorset.

1. Broadchurch parish church and cemetery - Starting at Marine Lake it’s a quick walk along the coastal path (Poet’s walk) to St Andrew’s Church, a 12th century structure with sprawling graveyard that looks out to the estuary. Many scenes form both seasons one and two of the show were filmed here, notably Danny Latimer’s funeral and subsequent exhumation. Depending on the day you visit you may be able to go inside, but it was locked on the Saturday afternoon we called by.

2. The Latimer house – Bear south from the churchyard, cross the small Land Yeo river and you’re on Marshall’s Field recreation ground where you’ll soon spot the Latimers’ house on the perimeter. Many scenes have been filmed looking out of the kitchen window and across the green to the steep bank. The Latimers’ house is privately owned, so do respect their privacy.

3. Amusement arcade – Loop back to Salthouse Fields play park and skateboard park behind Marine Lake carry on north up towards the pier. You’ll find a tiny amusement arcade on your right which is where the Latimer’s had a game of air hockey in their brief moment of fun. I was going to take a photo but the controller/overseer looked a bit formidable...

4. Jack Marshall’s newsagents – Possibly the greatest difference there has ever been between the exterior and interior of a newsagents – 70 miles! With exteriors in west Bay and interiors in Clevedon, there’s some time rift going on here! Continue north form the amusements, past the bandstand and turn right directly opposite the pier (though it is itself worth a stroll). At 16 Alexandra Road you’ll find Alexandra News – you can’t miss it as they have stills with cast members in the window.

5. Broadchurch Echo office – Turn left onto Bellevue Road and follow it round until it becomes Hill Road. Here’s the Broadchurch high street where the families walked in the re-enactment of Danny’s disappearance. The newspaper offices are actually The Food Market @ Seeley’s, an indoor market which sadly was derelict when we visited.

6. The Traders Hotel – Directly opposite the newspaper’s office is The Trader’s hotel where David Tennant’s Hardy and stayed in Season 1 and the defence team stayed in series 2. It's actually a former Lloyds bank. Interiors were filmed up the coast, along Wellington Terrace to Walton Park Hotel.

So there you have it, a whistle stop tour of Clevedon’s many Broadchurch locations. Come for the Broadchurch locations but stay for the atmosphere and spend some time in the boutiques, coffee shops and art shops.