New Death In Paradise spin-off Beyond Paradise highlights the beauty of the Devon coast. It’s not the only TV series that makes a UK location look seriously good
By Virgin TV Edit
Easy communication, shorter travel times and no need to visit a bureau de change – yep, there are plenty of benefits to a good old-fashioned UK holiday. And if you’re planning to take a trip in Britain in 2023, you could do worse than turning on the TV for travel inspiration.
While there are some excellent homegrown TV shows set in places you definitely wouldn’t want to spend a fortnight (hello, Happy Valley), many others highlight the beauty of where we live, from rural regions to elegant cities – reminding us that the UK has a lot to offer as a travel destination.
The latest TV series to champion the magic of a British setting is Beyond Paradise, arriving on BBC One on Friday 24 February. A new spin-off from long-running detective series Death In Paradise (whose latest series ends on 24 February), Beyond Paradise sees DI Humphrey Goodman (Kris Marshall) and his fiancée Martha Lloyd (Sally Bretton) relocate to Devon from the fictional Caribbean island of Saint-Marie.
“Being a Death In Paradise show we knew it had to be set somewhere beautiful and, in the UK, we are spoilt for choice,” says Beyond Paradise series producer Tim Key (who isn’t Tim Key the comedian and Alan Partridge actor, in case you were wondering). “There were lots of conversations about where we [would set Beyond Paradise] but we settled quite quickly on the West Country as we felt that Devon hadn’t had a huge amount of exposure in TV drama. Cornwall often nabs the glory… The series looks beautiful, and we were lucky with the weather as well!”
Of course, good weather is one thing that’s never guaranteed on a UK holiday. But book a trip to one of these TV-inspired destinations, and you can at least be sure you’ll get breathtaking views.
Friday 24 February, 8pm, BBC One HD (CH 101). Catch up in Apps & Games > BBC iPlayer
Devon is very much a main character in Beyond Paradise. Although scenes in its fictional seaside town of Shipton Abbott were filmed in the Cornish town of Looe, much of the series was filmed on location around Devon, including in the rolling green hills of the Tamar Valley. Kris Marshall, who grew up in nearby Somerset, says the West Country as a whole is “the most beautiful part of the UK. It has everything: cider, cheese, countryside, amazing coastline.”
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This BBC fantasy adventure series is technically set in Camelot. But King Arthur’s magician is a central figure in Welsh myth, and the series itself was filmed all over Wales (as well as a couple of choice locations across the English border). It takes just a few hours to drive between some of the most beautiful locations featured in Merlin: start in the Brecon Beacons National Park before checking out the castles at Caerphilly and Chepstow. Then head over the border to visit the magical Clearwell Caves in Gloucestershire, finishing with more beautiful natural scenery in the Forest of Dean and the Wye Valley.
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Cornwall has served as the backdrop for plenty of films and TV shows – but the most overtly Cornish series of recent years is undoubtedly Poldark. The period drama was filmed at locations including the wild and windswept Bodmin Moor, the golden sandy beach at Holywell and the old-school Charlestown Harbour, which lent themselves beautifully to the series’ outdoorsy, romantic mood.
Find series 10 in Apps & Games > BBC iPlayer. Find series 1-9 in Catch Up > Channels > Alibi
Like Death In Paradise, this long-running series about solving murders is a light and cosy detective drama. It’s also rooted firmly in a particular location – in this case, the Cotswolds (and specifically the fictional village of Kembleford). The show, now in its 10th series, is filmed across the real Gloucestershire villages of Blockey, Winchcombe, Upper Slaughter, Kemerton and Guiting Power, known for their golden-brick cottages, winding lanes and higgledy-piggledy churches.
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Outlander begins as the story of an English nurse who’s transported from the 1940s to 18th-century Scotland. (Later seasons criss-cross from Paris to North Carolina, but we won’t get into that now.) It was filmed all over Scotland – tempting us to visit everywhere from the picturesque village of Culross in Fife to the magnificent Glencoe valley in the Highlands and Doune Castle in Stirling.
Find it in Apps & Games > BBC iPlayer
Based on the true story of Anne Lister, who lived openly as a lesbian in early 19th-century England, Gentleman Jack also captures the beauty of Anne’s native Yorkshire. Set in Halifax, it’s filmed across Yorkshire, including at Shibden Hall (where the real Anne lived). Around Leeds, you can visit stately homes featured in Gentleman Jack including Bramham Park, Harewood House and Oakwell Hall – while the beautiful cathedral city of York also features heavily in the series.
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Bath’s elegant Georgian architecture served as the backdrop to much of Bridgerton, but Netflix’s Regency-era romance was actually set in London. In contrast, the action in ITV’s crime drama McDonald & Dodds – which returned last summer for a third series – really takes place in the Somerset spa city. It follows tough ex-London cop DCI Lauren McDonald as she arrives in Bath and is paired with mild-mannered DS Dodds. “We kind of consider Bath as one of our characters,” producer Sarah Lewis has said. “It’s so beautiful, it’s such a gorgeous city.”
When is BBC One’s Beyond Paradise on TV?
Beyond Paradise starts on Friday 24 February at 8pm on BBC One HD (CH 101). Episodes will also be available in Apps & Games > BBC iPlayer.
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Image credits: Beyond Paradise © Red Planet Pictures /. Craig Hardie
Gentleman Jack © Lookout Point / Ben Blackall
Father Brown © BBC Studios / Gary Moyes
Merlin © BBC Wales / Nick Briggs
Poldark © Mammoth Screen / Craig Hardie