If you're in search of captivating backdrops, beautiful scenery, and authentic, characterful streets for your next production, York is full of amazing potential filming locations. Whether you’re shooting an advert, a short film, a series or exploring places for a documentary, York is an historically rich and vibrant city.
Here are some spots we think you should check out (just make sure you’ve cleared it with the film office first):
1. York Minster
Let's kick things off with a bang - or should we say… a chime. York Minster is an Anglican cathedral and is one of the largest of its kind in northern Europe. With its incredible architecture, towering spires, and huge, intricate stained glass windows, it’s pretty impressive. If you’re looking for a backdrop for a royal or period drama, this is the place.
Location: York Minster, Deangate,York, YO1 7HH
Amenities: Being in the heart of the city means there are plenty of restaurants, cafes, bars and parking and transport links nearby.
2. The Shambles
Wandering through the cobblestone streets of The Shambles makes you feel like you've stepped into a time machine. This well-preserved medieval street is a character in itself, with its overhanging, higgledy-piggledy timber-framed buildings, original features and little door frames. It's perfect for adding a touch of old-world charm to your period piece or creating an enchanting and quirky atmosphere for modern storytelling.
More information: www.visityork.org/business-directory/category/shambles
Amenities: Being just down the road from York Minster, there are plenty of restaurants, cafes, bars and parking and transport links nearby.
3. York City Walls
Looking for a panoramic view to set the stage for your video? The York City Walls offer just that. The Roman walls offer breathtaking views of the city's rooftops, gardens, and historic landmarks. It's an ideal spot for capturing the essence of York's timeless beauty, and better yet - if you go in the springtime, the grass banks surrounding the walls are flooded with yellow daffodils which is a vision in itself. There are various points to hop on and off at the different bars (meaning gates), which can be seen in the map linked below.
York City Walls trails info & Map: https://www.yorkwalls.org.uk/?page_id=3690
4. York Railway Museum
The National Railway Museum in York is a treasure trove for history buffs and filmmakers alike. This expansive museum features an impressive collection of well-known, vintage trains. Whether you're shooting a documentary or seeking a unique, vintage backdrop for a period piece or even a commercial, the railway museum could be a great place to consider. It’s free entry as a guest, making for a cheap recce, too!
Amenities: There are cafes, pubs and restaurants within walking distance as well as accessible parking and transport links nearby.
5. York's Riverside
For scenes that require a touch of serenity and nature whilst still being in a city, the banks of the River Ouse provide a peaceful backdrop. Running through the centre of York, the wide, gently flowing river, historic bridges and riverside parks offer a tranquil setting for your outdoor shoots. It's the perfect place for moments requiring a sense of calm and reflection, whether you’re filming a romantic walk, a boat ride or establishing shots of a city.
Learn more: www.york.gov.uk/RiverOuse
Amenities: Public restrooms, cafes, bars, shops and more can be found within short walking distance of the Ouse in the centre of York.
6.The Museum Gardens
The Museum Gardens in York offer a captivating blend of natural beauty, historical significance, and versatility for filmmakers. The Abbey ruins, botanical gardens, Yorkshire Museum and Hospitium are all dotted around the gardens and would make an incredible backdrop for any filmed piece. Whether you're filming a promotional video, a romantic scene, a period drama, a documentary, or a music video, the gardens could provide an enchanting and idyllic atmosphere.
Amenities: Ciao York is a small, outdoor cafe open everyday from 9am-4pm, situated by the entrance of the gardens.