Christmas movie hit Wonka puts Bath in the spotlight

It looks like one of this year’s Christmas movie hits will be Wonka, featuring Timothée Chalamet as a young Willy Wonka. But did you know much of the film was shot in Bath? 

The city of Bath has hosted many famous faces over the years. From turning back time in Bridgerton, when the streets doubled up for Regency London, to welcoming multi-award-winning musical Les Misérables to turn Pulteney Bridge and the Weir into a 19th-century Paris. 

The highly anticipated Wonka film followed suit, turning the city into a winter wonderland as its star-studded cast took to the streets during 2021 to film some of the key scenes from the movie. 

So, if you are heading to the cinema this Christmas to see Wonka, why not try and spot a few familiar Bath landmarks. Here’s a list of the places you might recognise: 

Bath Abbey

During filming, crowds gathered to watch as vintage cars trundled along outside Bath’s magnificent 16th century Abbey, while a dusting of artificial snow covered the courtyard. 

People gather to watch a green car driving by the Bath abbey

Credit: Jamie Bellinger and Visit Bath   

Parade Gardens 

Parade Gardens where, earlier this year, you would have found Bath Spa University students donning caps and gowns in celebration of their summer graduation ceremony, not only acted as the backdrop to filming, but became home to the crew’s production offices. With the Bath Abbey silhouetted against the sky, the park became part of the movie’s misty backdrop. 

A girl takes a photo of a river and a film set

Credit: Jamie Bellinger and Visit Bath 

The Colonnades 

Filmmakers breathed new life into Bath’s abandoned 17th century Colonnades, transforming them into a winter wonderland for the Wonka film. Movie goers will recognise the landmark’s distinguishable pillars as atmospheric mist settles over a shot of Timothée Chalamet leaning back on a bench. 

A dark river is illuminated by lights and falling snow

Credit: Jamie Bellinger and Visit Bath 

Bath Street 

Just a stone's throw from the city’s famous Thermae Bath Spa, Bath Street is normally bustling with tourists and city shoppers but closed its roads to become part of the Wonka film. Black cabs left marks in the snow as Bath Street’s towering Georgian architecture made for an impressive backdrop. 

A snowy street with black cabs

Credit: Fifi Powell and Visit Bath 

You can find out more about how Bath was featured in Wonka on Visit Bath’s webpage.

Disclaimer: The Bath Spa blog is a platform for individual voices and views from the University's community. Any views or opinions represented in individual posts are personal, belonging solely to the author of that post, and do not represent the views of other Bath Spa staff, or Bath Spa University as an institution.



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