Essex On Screen

Did you know the county of Essex has been used for the location of quite a few Hollywood scene? Film crews have used the county for the backdrop to their movies from Osea Island to Southend Airport. Here we take a look at some Hollywood blockbusters where directors have realised that The Only Way is Essex.

We’re going back in time a bit for this one but Goldfinger, the James Bond Classic has a seen that was filmed at Southend Airport. The villain, Goldfinger is seen on a British United Air Ferries Carvair which is transporting him and his car. The 1964 film saw Goldfinger travelling between Southend and Geneva. The scenes were actually shot in 1963 and in them, Sean Connery drives his Aston Martin DB5 into the airport, after tracking Goldfinger’s Rolls Royce there. Interestingly, he uses a device that looks like a forerunner to today’s sat nav. For Web Design Essex, visit

The huge blockbuster Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade actually has a scene filmed in Tilbury. It seems a far cry from the action-packed, swash-buckling adventures of exotic lands but Essex does indeed feature when Indiana Jones tracks the Holy Grail to Venice. The Venice waterfront is real but the high-speed chase through the waterways were actually filmed around Tilbury Docks!

Osea Island features heavily in the horror film The Woman in Black. The island is in the River Blackwater and is connected to the north bank by a causeway which gets covered over during high tide. Filming took place here for the film in 2012. It was a definite change of direction for Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe as he plays a young lawyer who visits the strange cut off island to arrange a sale after the death of the owner.

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Ever seen the film Batman Begins, the 2005 movie about the back story of Batman, played by Christian Bale? There are scenes at the start of the film where Bruce Wayne has hit rock bottom and is languishing in a Bhutanese prison. Well, he wasn’t in Bhutan – yes, you’ve guessed it – he was in Essex! The scenes, in which Liam Neeson also appear, were filmed at Coalhouse Fort, East Tilbury. This Victorian fort was built in 1870 and was intended to protect London from French invaders but is now a lovely park on the north bank of the River Thames and is protected by a moat.

Castles are great for historical dramas and we have lots of castles. Hedingham Castle is a fine example of a Norman motte and bailey castle and is often used in films and TV programmes. It featured significantly in the 1997 BBC TV mini-series of Ivanhoe, based on the Sir Walter Scott novel. Set in 1192, the story follows a disinherited knight accused of treason during the Crusades.

Essex has also appeared on the small screen too and the opening credits and most of the first series of the very popular series Porridge were filmed in Chelmsford Prison. The prison was out of use at the time and so provided the perfect backdrop.