Pirates of the Caribbean On Stranger Tides (2011)

Movie poster. Johnny Depp as Jack Sparrow holding smoking guns in each hand with burning ships behind him.. Pirates of the Caribbean on stranger tides is written in a white panel in front,

Pirates of the Caribbean on Stranger Tides Poster © Disney

Directed by: Rob Marshall

Produced by: Jerry Bruckheimer

Starring: Johnny Depp, Penélope Cruz, Ian McShane, Kevin R. McNally, Geoffrey Rush

Production companies: Walt Disney Pictures, Jerry Bruckheimer Films

Kent Filming Locations: Knole

In the fourth instalment of the blockbuster Pirates of the Caribbean series, Johnny Depp returns as the lovable rogue Captain Jack Sparrow. On a quest to find the fabled Fountain of Youth, he is joined by veteran pirates Geoffrey Rush (returning as Captain Barbossa) and Kevin R. McNally as Captain Jack’s long time comrade, Joshamee Gibbs. Ian McShane makes his pirate debut as the murderous Blackbeard.

In this action packed tale, Jack is lured on board the ship of the notorious Blackbeard by the mysterious Penelope Cruz, a long lost love from his distant past. Racing against the Spanish and English Naval fleets to reach the Fountain of Youth; Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides is a whirlwind story of adventure, revenge and dangerous mermaids.

Directed by Rob Marshall (Chicago, Into the Woods), the film stars a host of acting talent including Johnny Depp (Sleepy Hollow, Alice in Wonderland), Penélope Cruz (Volver, Vicky Cristina Barcelona), Ian McShane (Lovejoy, Hercules), Kevin R. McNally (Legend, Dad) and Geoffrey Rush (Shakespeare in Love, The King’s Speech).

Knole Park near Sevenoaks was the Kent location used in the film. The large inner courtyard was filled with gallows intended for Gibbs.

Set in the heart of the only remaining medieval deer park in Kent, the beautiful 18th Century house has been shown off to visitors for the past 500 years. Family home to the Sackvilles’, the house was also the setting for Virginia Woolf’s novel Orlando. Within its thirteen rooms, the stately home, it contains the world renowned Stuart furniture, paintings by Gainsborough and Many 17th Century Tapestries.

Pirates of the Caribbean is not the only Hollywood film to recognise the beauty of Knole as a filming location. Costume Drama The Other Boleyn Girl (2008) was filmed there in 2006; it was the setting for many of the London night scenes. The inner courtyard was used to replicate the famous Whitehall Palace where grand arrivals and departures were depicted. The courtyard was also transformed for 2010 film Burke and Hare (2010) into a crowded market square complete with extras and stars Simon Pegg and Isla Fisher.

The film was released in cinemas in May 2011 and is now available to buy on DVD.

For more information about Kent’s Filming History please visit our Movie Map. 


The Island (2011)

This independent UK film tells the story of a woman who sets out to track down her birth mother and seek revenge after being abandoned at birth.

Natalie Press sitting on a rock with sea and hills behind her.

Natalie Press in The Island sitting on a rock © Hopscotch Films

Production Company: Hotscotch Films

Kent Filming Locations: Gravesend promenade, Somerhill School

In cinemas from April, this psychological drama is based on the acclaimed novel by Jane Rogers. Produced by Kent based film producer Charlotte Wontner, the Kent Film Office supported the feature and helped with the local aspect of the shoot.

The film has been directed by Brek Taylor and Elizabeth Mitchell who describe it as ‘a haunting tale of yearning, retribution and redemption’.  The main character, Nikki Black, was abandoned at birth and has spent most of her life in care, using fairy stories as her escape.

She is incapable of love and desperate for revenge, so she sets out to find her mother and ultimately kill her.

However, when she finds her parent on a remote Hebridean island, she also gets to know and like her half-brother, Calum. Plenty of drama follows as her murderous paranoia intensifies.

Gravesend Promenade now known as the Gordon Promenade and provides extensive panoramic views of the River Medway; while Somerhill School is a Grade I Jacobean mansion set in 150 acres of beautiful parkland.

The historic town of Gravesend is situated in North West Kent and has exceptional transport links up to London. The area has previously hosted productions including  The Interceptor (2015), Babylon (2014) and Great British Railway Journeys (2014).

The Island screened in 2011.

For more information about Kent’s Filming History please visit our Movie Map. 


Canterbury Tales (2003)

Canterbury Tales DVD cover- montage of images from the film, with canterbury tales written in black above

Canterbury Tales DVD cover © BBC

Starring: Julie Walters, James Nesbitt, Billie Piper, John Simm, Keeley Hawes, Dennis Waterman

Production Company: Ziji Productions, BBC

Kent Locations: Rochester Castle, Cathedral, Chertsey Gate, the High Street and Esplanade, River Medway, Stangate Creek, Gravesend

Canterbury Tales is a BBC adaptation of a handful of Geoffrey Chaucer’s 14th century stories of the same name which are still set along the traditional Pilgrims’ route to Canterbury, but in the 21st century.

The stories include themes such as love, adultery, jealousy and revenge.

The six single dramas feature an all-star cast including Julie Walters (Mamma Mia!, Calendar Girls Billy Elliot), James Nesbitt (The Missing, Murphy’s Law, Cold Feet), Billie Piper (Doctor Who, Secret Diary of a Call Girl, Penny Dreadful), John Simm (Human Traffic, Life on Mars, The Village), Keeley Hawes (Death at a Funeral, The Bank Job, The Avengers) and Dennis Waterman (New Tricks, The Sweeney, Back in Business).

Rochester is the principal setting for The Pardoner’s Tale with the castle, Cathedral, Chertsey Gate, the High Street, Esplanade and various streets, pubs and restaurants featuring.

The river scenes in The Man of Laws’ Tale were filmed on the River Medway and The Medway Estuary.

Gravesend is the setting in The Seacaptain’s Tale where old waterfront warehouses, the pier and Town Pier Square feature.

Rochester is a historic city set on the River Medway offering a Medieval Cathedral and castle and cobbled streets with shops, pubs and restaurants. Rochester has previously featured in productions such as Jekyll and Hyde (2015), The Mystery of Edwin Drood (2012) and Great Expectations (1989).

The River Medway starts in Sussex and runs through Tonbridge, Maidstone and Medway before flowing into the Thames Estuary near Sheerness. Stangate Creek is part of the River Medway and has been used as a film location by productions such as Mr Turner (2014), Great Expectations (2012) and The Long Memory (1953).

On the south bank of the River Thames, Gravesend has a cast iron pier, promenade and high street as well as international links at the nearby Ebbsfleet International station. The area has previously been used as a film location in productions such as The Interceptor (2015) and Age of Heroes (2011).

The Canterbury Tales aired in 2003 and is now available for DVD purchase.

For more information about Kent’s Filming History please visit our Movie Map.