Whether it’s a trip to the cinema to see the latest blockbuster or settling on the sofa to watch the next must-see drama series, Britain is a nation of film and TV lovers!

Many of our favourite movies and shows were filmed at some incredible locations, including some of the UK’s ancient castles. With each aspect of filming carefully considered to bring the story to life and impress both audiences and critics, what impact does the filming location have on the success of a movie or TV show?

We’ve looked at the success of movies and TV shows filmed at 15 castles throughout the UK to establish which of these ancient locations leads to the most success at the box office.

Overall Performance & Averages

Overall, the 15 castles examined as part of our work have bagged a huge 970 awards and 2,103 award nominations across a total of 114 films and TV shows. That averages at 8 awards and 18 award nominations per film filmed at the castle.

In terms of box office performance, movies filmed at the castles have cumulatively generated £6,172,877,886 worldwide — or £411,525,192.40 each on average.

Most Award Wins

Of the 15 castles analysed, movies and shows filmed at Stirling Castle have enjoyed the greatest award success. The 11 films and TV shows filmed there have scooped 367 awards in total. Game of Thrones is the location’s greatest success story, winning a huge 352 of the 367 awards.

In second place is our very own Alnwick Castle. Films and shows shot here have won 179 awards. Contributing the most to the total is Downton Abbey, winning 57 awards including 3 prestigious Golden Globes.

Rounding off the top three is Dover Castle, with 90 award wins. 52 of these awards were from The Crown, surprisingly dwarfing blockbuster movie Avengers: Age of Ultron’s 8 award wins.

Most Award Nominations

The top 3 remains unchanged when looking at the number of award nominations received, driven by the recognition Game of Thrones, Downton Abbey and The Crown received.

Cumulative Gross Worldwide by Location

As well as attracting critical acclaim, how did the movies filmed at the castles perform at the box office?*

  *Based on available figures from IMDB. Data was unavailable for selected TV shows and movies. Averages have been updated to reflect reduced number of shows and movies. Castles with no data have been omitted.

Films shot at Alnwick Castle have grossed the highest amount globally, racking up £2,935,772,241.00 at the box office. This was largely fueled by the two Harry Potter movies filmed here (accounting for £1,857,553,207 collectively) and the Transformers: The Last Knight movie (£605,425,157).

While the Avengers: Age of Ultron didn’t rack up the most awards or nominations, it contributed the most to the total worldwide gross of films shot at Dover Castle, totaling £1,402,805,868. Interestingly, the movies and TV shows filmed at Stirling Castle attracted more in the way of awards success than box office performance. This is largely due to the removal of TV series Game of Thrones from the data.

Highest Percentage of Films with Zero Award Wins & Nominations

Of course, not every film or TV show can achieve the levels of success actors and directors would like. Many films that have been shot at the locations analysed have failed to attract critical acclaim.

Castle Howard had the greatest proportion of films and TV shows that did not scoop any awards, with six of the 11 filmed there failing to take home any awards — that’s 54.5%! Following in second place, of the 13 movies and TV shows filmed at Dover Castle, 5 of them have failed to win any awards.

With high competition, many films and TV shows may fail to win awards, but some struggled to even be nominated. Stirling Castle and Windsor Castle both had two films shot there that failed to pick up any award nominations: The 39 Steps and Pyaar Ishq Aur Mohabbat at Stirling Castle and Simon Sez and A Royal Family for Windsor Castle.

Seven of the 15 castles we analysed have films that all received award nominations, which shows that the historic grounds of a UK castle could be a lucky charm for film and TV show creators!

Book your tickets online to beat the queue and explore the real-life filming locations of some of your favourite films and TV shows at Alnwick Castle. We offer daily guided tours of our filming locations, perfect for topping up your knowledge of some of your favourite films.