The Last Kingdom: 10 Phenomenal Locations in Real Life Over Which the Dane and Saxon Warriors Fought
Updated On: September 12, 2023
Period dramas have been sweeping the industry for years, offering audiences glimpses into the past. With Netflix as the leading streaming app, there has been a plethora of period drama series and films added to the trending queue. The Last Kingdom has been reigning supreme since its release in 2015, along with its newest follow-up film, Seven Kings Must Die, tying the loose ends.
This epic series is an adaptation of the historical book series “Saxon Stories” by Bernard Cornwell. The series presents compelling characters and rich details about uniting England against the tyranny of the Danes. Although many characters are fictional, some are still based on real-life figures, including Aethelwold and Lady Aelswith.
Moreover, the leading character, Uhtred of Bebbanburg, played by Alexander Dreymon, has managed to capture the fascination of audiences, playing Uhtred, a character based on the ruler of Bamburg, Uhtred the Bold, yet they have so little in common besides the name and the title.
Besides the compelling characters and exciting plot line that contributed to the enormous success of The Last Kingdom, one cannot deny the significance of the filming locations. Authentic fans couldn’t help but wonder about these locations that genuinely speak of the past. The short answer is Hungary, England, and Wales, yet the detailed ones are to come shortly.
Keep reading to learn about the real-life location where Uhtred and his army have been battling and fighting for England. We cover the most famous Castle in England to the incredible film sets used for this tv show.
1. Bamburgh Castle in Northumberland – Uhtred’s Bebbanburg Fortress of Northumbria
Although most of The Last Kingdom’s scenes were shot in Hungary, it’s easy to guess that the coastal scenes were filmed elsewhere. Even more interestingly, the outstanding Bebbanburg Fortress that was seen in The Last Kingdom was far from fictional. It was set in the real-life Bamburg Castle on England‘s northeast coast. This royal stronghold proudly sits in Northumberland, which was also depicted as the ancient Northumbria of England in the series.
Out of all The Last Kingdom filming locations you can visit, this is the most accurate depiction where you can follow in the footsteps of Uhtred of Bebbanburg. You can visit this ancient fortress and enjoy the glorious coastal scenery from a high stronghold sitting on the rocky shores.
2. Göböljárás Village – Winchester, Rumcofa, and Eoferwic Sets
In The Last Kingdom, scenes of Winchester town, located in the kingdom of Wessex at the time, were not filmed in the current real-life location in England. Instead, it was set in the Hungarian village of Göböljárás, located outside Budapest.
On the other hand, there were also the towns of Rumcofa and Eoferwic, the lands where the Saxons and Danes disputes continued. These towns were built in Göböljárás Village, located in the Fejer region with more than a few attractions and landmarks. Visiting this Hungarian town is an adventurous quest to go on and feel the Vikings’ ambience in real life.
The production manager believed that Hungary was the right place to recreate Old England, given that its lands embrace a plethora of medieval and Renaissance buildings. Göböljárás Village was also the chosen location for some of the battlefields in The Last Kingdom.
With the massive success of the series, it’s easy to see why Hungary was chosen for filming most of the show.
3. Szárliget Village – Battlegrounds
Another remarkable village situated in the Fejér region was Szárliget. It was the chosen location for one of the prominent battles of The Last Kingdom. By looking at its photos, it’s pretty easy to envision why this village, in particular, worked perfectly with the series’ settings. It offered a picture-perfect backdrop seamlessly integrated into the series’ scenes. Besides its fictional significance, Szárliget Village is home to dense forests, cliff edges and rocky paths, all of which were quite perfect elements for a battlefield.
Szárliget Village is a popular hiking spot among tourists who seek real-life adventures with breath-taking views. Enthusiasts from all corners of the world travel to marvel at this wonderful spot. This area also embraces several hiking trails, with the National Blue Trail being the most famous attraction. It passes through the renowned mountain range of Vértes, where visitors experience an unforgettable journey within the embrace of nature’s raw beauty.
4. Lake Velence – Cocchum Town (Kingdom of Mercia)
Despite the existence of real-life Cookham or Cocchum, the shooting location of Cocchum town in The Last Kingdom was set near Lake Velence in Hungary, which is known to be home to several natural lakes. Lake Velence is the third largest natural lake in the country, offering a stunning sight of the mighty Velence mountains meeting the lake’s shimmering waters.
Lake Velence is a popular holiday destination for locals and visitors, where they swim and sunbathe. In winter, adventurous spirits lace up their skates and fearlessly venture across the frozen lake, gliding their worries away. The warmth of the lake is among the contributing factors that set it apart. This lake is one of the warmest in Europe. Its water is said to be laden with several minerals that help refresh the body and relax the muscles.
5. Esztergom Hills – Wealas (Rural Wales)
Although Wales was one of the filming locations of The Last Kingdom, the rural Wales scenes represented on the show took place in Hungary as well. It’s pretty confusing, but that didn’t take out any of the series’ huge success, thanks to the perfect choice of filming locations—Esztergom Hills, the chosen spot for depicting Wales in the series. These hills were seen in the scenes where pregnant Brida was carrying wood and being humiliated by King Hywel’s brother, who didn’t want to give her the satisfaction of death.
Esztergom is home to a fascinating fortress that used to be the capital of Hungary and the primary seat of royalty. This castle overlooks the pretty Danube River and embraces Hungary‘s largest church, the Esztergom Basilica.
6. Korda Studio – The Majority of the Scenes
As Hungary was mainly the filming location of The Last Kingdom, most of the series’ scenes occurred within Korda Studios in Budapest. The studio owns a vast land that stretches over eight acres, located near the Hungarian capital of Budapest. This studio was built and set in a Medieval design, an ideal choice for period dramas in the Middle Ages.
Despite the numerous facilities of Korda Studio, its medieval backlot was the primary shooting set for The Last Kingdom. It was formerly built for other TV Series and movies, yet it serves Netflix’s The Last Kingdom quite perfectly, adding to its immense success.
Besides, its location within the mighty mountains, coursing lakes, and dense forests offer a lot of breathtaking outdoor shooting. Although the studio was mainly built to serve the needs and dynamics of the film industry, it still hugely contributed to Hungary’s tourism, thanks to the included surroundings. Interestingly, booking tours to the Korda Studio is open for visitors all year round, yet you can book in advance, for the tour takes a limited number of people.
7. Old Quarry Outside of Budapest – The Icelandic Opening Scene of Season 5
We see Brida in the opening scene of Season 5 in Iceland, or that is what the creators of The Last Kingdom made us believe. Although such scenery would be faithful to the identity of Iceland, the Land of Fire and Ice, it was instead shot in Hungary.
The scene took place in an old quarry outside Budapest. Among the elements that contributed to creating an Icelandic ambience is the volcano’s existence within the set, where Brida took its eruption as a sign to start a war. Although Hungary is no longer home to active volcanoes, it’s still home to several extinct ones, where it once was a hotbed of volcanic activity.
8. The Whistling Sand in North Wales – Coastal Shoots in Season 1
There were scenes in The Last Kingdom Season One that took place in real-life Wales; however, they weren’t ones that depicted the fictional Wealas, the Welsh kingdom. The scenes in North Wales mainly were the coastal shoots that took place precisely in Llŷn Peninsula, where the Whistling Sands is located.
These sands literally create a whistling sound when you walk over them. Some also call it the Singing Sand. The sound produced when walking over the sand is due to sliding sand grain layers over one another with every step. Such a surreal experience is nowhere to be found in Europe besides this Welsh Whistling Sand beach and another beach in Scotland.
9. Dobogókő, Visegrád – Wessex Countryside
In all of the seasons of The Last Kingdom, Uhtred and his men were seen roaming the countryside of Wessex. Again, these scenes weren’t shot in real-life Sussex but in Hungary, in the Dobogókő region specifically. This region lies in the county of Pest and features the beautiful mountain range of Visegrád, a top tourist destination that perfectly served the settings of The Last Kingdom.
These mountains have always been a hot hiking spot for adventurous souls, embracing a wide array of natural elements that offer scenic views during the journey. Waterfalls, andesite rocks, and the Danube River coursing across the region are among the hallmarks that make up this outstanding landscape.
As an extra bonne bouche, Dobogókő is a neopagan pilgrimage site for Hungarians, where they revive pagan rituals from ancient times, another element that was showcased in The Last Kingdom series.
10. Nose’s Point in England – Uhtred’s Slavery Scenes
There were many battle scenes where we got to see Uhtred vigorously taking down his enemies and entitled as one of the greatest warriors of his time. His men followed him wherever he went and never suspected his choices. However, the unexpected life changes got Uhtred by the neck when he was sold into slavery. These slavery scenes were among the most painful storylines in The Last Kingdom.
As seen in the series, Ragnar went to the rescue of his younger brother, where he found him on the coast somewhere far away. Although The Last Kingdom was supposedly set in England and Denmark, only a few scenes were actually shot in England, and that scene was among them. It takes place in Nose’s Point in Seaham, which is known for its rugged coastline and the large waves carved out sea stacks.
This location has been quite popular among tourists for its scenic views. Moreover, Nose’s Point is known to have unique geological and ecological properties. It’s home to a plethora of rare species of both animals and plants. Furthermore, it embraces more than a few Award-winning hotels where you can stay for a few nights and enjoy the facilities. There is a lot to discover around Durham City and endless landmarks to marvel at.
The Last Kingdom Shooting Locations – Most Scenes were filmed in Hungary!
- Göböljárás village, west of Budapest (set for Winchester, Rumcofa and Eoferwic)
- Hills of Dobogókő
- Coastal Scenes – The Whistling Sands in Llŷn Peninsula, North Wales & County Durham
- Traders Camp – Nose’s Point near Seaham, UK
- Hungary – Various sites played Iceland – it was not filmed in Iceland
- Lake Velence and Esztergom – Hungary
- Esztergom Hills, north of Budapest, was used to depict Wales
- Gyermely – used to build a complete Welsh Village
- Bamburgh Castle in Northumberland was used to represent Bebbanburg, Uhtred’s family home
- Lovasberény – just west of Budapest – depicted the Mercian town of Cocchum – now Cookham
- Lovasberén was also used to recreate the port at the Mercian town of Grimsby – now in Lincolnshire
- Battles were filmed at Páty, 25km west of Budapest, Göböljárás and Szárliget, a village 50km west of Budapest.
- Korda Studios in Hungry was also used a lot for filming the scenes in The Last Kingdom
Filming Locations in the United Kingdom
- Northumberland, England: Bamburgh Castle, standing in for Bebbanburg, is one of the most iconic locations featured in the series. The imposing fortress, with its dramatic coastal backdrop, perfectly captures the atmosphere of the turbulent times in which the story is set.
- County Durham, England: Several locations in County Durham, including Durham Cathedral and Auckland Castle, were used to depict various monasteries and fortresses throughout the series.
- North Yorkshire, England: The picturesque village of Goathland in the North York Moors was transformed into the Danish settlement of Kjartan’s Hall.
Filming Locations in Hungary
The majority of The Last Kingdom was filmed in Hungary, which provided a diverse range of landscapes and historical sites that lent themselves well to the show’s settings. Some of the key locations include:
- Budapest: The Hungarian capital served as a base for many of the show’s interior sets, including the royal halls of King Alfred and the various Saxon and Viking dwellings.
- Kecskemét: This city, located just an hour’s drive from Budapest, was used to film several battle scenes, as well as the picturesque landscapes that characterise the series.
- Tószeg: The village of Tószeg, with its traditional Hungarian architecture, was transformed into the bustling market town of Eoferwic.
FAQ The Last Kingdom Film Location
Was The Last Kingdom filmed at Bamburgh Castle?
Yes, The Last Kingdom was filmed at Bamburgh Castle, which represented Bebbanburg, Uhtred’s family home.
Are the places in The Last Kingdom real?
The places in The Last Kingdom are real locations, while the names have changed over the ages.
Was any of The Last Kingdom Filmed in the UK / England?
Some of the TV was filmed in the UK, but it was a very small part. It was mainly filmed in Hungary, where the countryside more resembles the English countryside from the 800’s.
What TV Series was filmed in Bamburgh?
The Last Kingdom was filmed at Bamburgh Castle, which represented Bebbanburg.
Being on this page directly indicates how true a fan of The Last Kingdom you are. If you wish to search medieval areas featured in this historical masterpiece, Hungary is what you are looking for.
In case you need a recap of some of the tv shows as well as glimpses of the filming locations – we have compiled all the season trailers – which was your favourite season?
The Last Kingdom transports viewers to a time of turmoil, heroism, and intrigue, with its rich storytelling and stunning cinematography. By visiting the series’ filming locations, fans can immerse themselves in the world of Uhtred and his allies, experiencing first-hand the breath-taking scenery and historical sites that brought the story to life. Our ultimate guide to The Last Kingdom filming locations will help you plan your journey through these captivating destinations, providing a unique and unforgettable travel experience.