Car-free ways to visitFilm and TV locationsSuffolk

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Beaches and bars, marshes and mansions, half-timbered cottages and glass-walled office blocks: Suffolk’s unique landscapes and buildings have often been used to film all kinds of stories from crime dramas and fantasies to true-life stories of war, royalty and archaeology. And you can get to lots of them by public transport or a short walk in the countryside. Here are some great film and TV locations that you can reach without a car.

  • County: Suffolk
  • Great for: film locations | good cafés and pubs | military history | museums | scenic bus and train |
  • Refreshments: lots of great cafes, restaurants and pubs.
  • Please note: researched/updated in January 2024. If anything’s changed or you have more tips to share, do get in touch:
  1. 4. Yesterday

    After an accident leaves him with concussion, Lowestoft musician Jack Malik (Himesh Patel) wakes up to find that the Beatles never existed and he seems to be the only person who remembers their songs. Yesterday, Danny Boyle’s feel-good celebration of music, featuring local boy Ed Sheeran, is rooted in the landscapes of East Anglia. The film makes use of several Suffolk locations, including the Latitude Festival in Henham Park, which organises buses from Halesworth Station.

    • Halesworth Thoroughfare, the town’s main shopping street, is the road that Jack and Ellie (Lily James) run through on the way to meet Gavin, who wants to record Jack’s songs, in the Hideout café (now sadly closed).
    • The Thoroughfare easy to get to as trains from Lowestoft and Ipswich stop at Halesworth Railway Station hourly and the High Street is about ten minutes’ stroll from there. Bus X41 from Norwich stops even closer, just a couple of minutes from the White Hart.
    • A more remote location, but worth a bit of forward planning is the Ramsholt Arms on the shore of the beautiful River Deben. Jack first sings Yesterday to his friends at a waterside table outside this brilliant pub. As he sings, the camera swings round to show views children playing near the estuary in golden afternoon light and then views of the pub and beach with boats in the foreground.
    • How do I get to the Ramsholt Arms without a car? Connecting Communities rural public transport service provides a cheap pre-bookable shuttle from Melton Railway station to Ramsholt. Phone the Suffolk Coastal service 01728 635938 to book well in advance.
    • Is anything else filmed in this area? There are further crucial scenes from Yesterday filmed on the picturesque Deben Peninsula, the remote area between the river and the sea. Later in the film Jack finds a significant character living in an isolated house on a huge pebbly beach. This is Shingle Street, also accessible via the community transport system.
    • You could walk between the two locations and book the minibus back. It’s about five miles cross-country. If you choose to walk round the coast via Bawdsey it’s about eight miles. It’s best to allow plenty of time and to end at the Ramsholt Arms (check opening times) so there’s somewhere to wait if you’re early.
    • Bawdsey, also accessible via Connecting Communities, was a key location for the 2023 sci-fi-thriller series, The Power. Amazon studios chose the wide, open landscapes of the Deben Peninsula as the setting for the convent, where main character Allie (Halle Bush) arrives after fleeing her foster family. The dramatic building, constructed for the show, is surrounded by the area’s flowering meadows, huge marshes and atmospheric coast.
  1. 5. The Dig

    Poignant 2021 Netflix film The Dig about the excavation of Sutton Hoo used lots of locations locally. Shingle Street appears in the film (see 4 above), Thorpeness Beach, and the river and marshes at Snape Maltings.

    • How do I get to Snape Maltings without a car? You can book the Katch minibus from Wickham Market railway station. You could also cycle to Snape Maltings and other sites in the area on an Electric Bike. You can hire one from EEZYBIKE, based at Hall Farm Lane near Aldeburgh. Bus 522 and bus 64 from Saxmundham both stop nearby.
    • The Dig wasn’t actually filmed at the famous Anglo-Saxon burial site, but Sutton Hoo, with its new museum and viewing tower, is also a must-visit for anyone interested in the story.
    • How do I get to Sutton Hoo without a car? Melton Station is 1¼ miles away and you need to walk some of the way along the road. Bus 70 (not Sundays) runs from the railway station to Sutton Hoo’s entrance.
  1. 6. The Crown

    This royal drama on Netflix was filmed in some spectacular places. Lots of scenes in The Crown take place in Buckingham Palace or Sandringham, but the show was rarely filmed there. Instead, the producers chose a series of picturesque alternative locations.

    • One of these was Somerleyton Hall and Gardens, known for its gorgeous springtime wisteria and lots more. Somerleyton stood in for Sandringham in Season 4. The house was decked with Christmas decorations in March to film scenes with Queen Elizabeth (Olivia Colman), Princess Diana (Emma Corrin) and others
    • How do I get to Somerleyton Hall without a car? It’s about 1½ miles’ walk from Somerleyton station, mainly along pleasant paths and quiet country lanes.
    • Another Suffolk location that starred in The Crown was Newmarket, where racing scenes were filmed. Rowley Mile racecourse is walking distance from Newmarket station. There’s also the National Horse Racing Museum, about ten minutes’ walk from the station.
    • For more Crown locations you can visit without a car, see our dedicated guide.
  1. 7. The Detectorists

    This gentle gem of a TV series won a dedicated audience of fans. Part of what made The Detectorists so attractive were the enduring Suffolk landscapes that formed a backdrop to the all-too-human stories of Lance (Toby Jones) and Andy (Mackenzie Crook). Scenes were filmed in the countryside around Woodbridge and Orford.

    • The most recognisable locations are in the town of Framlingham, where you can see Lance’s flat, the hall where the characters assemble for meetings of the Danebury Metal Detecting Club, and the pub, just by the town’s impressive castle, where they all go for a drink.
    • How do I get to Framlingham without a car? Catch bus 118 from Ipswich. If you arrive by train, you will need to walk or take a bus through town to the Old Cattle Market bus station. Look left as you cross the bridge and you’ll catch a glimpse of glass-walled Endeavour House, the County Council’s office building, which doubles for London in The Detectorists‘ third season.
  1. 8. Dad's Army

    Just over the border in Norfolk, the town of Thetford was a base for much of the filming of the classic TV serial Dad’s Army. There are numerous locations in the town as well as a museum and a bronze statue of Captain Mainwaring sitting near the river.

    • Dad’s Army was also filmed in lots other places, including Lowestoft, where the lifeboat sheds were used as the setting for a scene about a rowing boat. And further up the River Waveney near Beccles, where the platoon learn to row. Thetford, Beccles and Lowestoft all have railway stations.
    • Between them, all these film and TV locations showcase some of the most interesting scenery in Suffolk and much of it is accessible without a car. Have a good journey!