Home » Wales Welcomes Willow: Step onto the set of Disney’s magical new blockbuster
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Wales Welcomes Willow: Step onto the set of Disney’s magical new blockbuster

As Lucasfilm’s hotly anticipated sequel to Willow prepares to hit screens on Disney+ November 30th, Visit Wales has revealed nine of the fairy tale shooting locations that played host to the epic fantasy thriller.

From idyllic hamlets to twisting, ancient forests, the new series returns once again to Wales more than 30 years after the original film – and is set to shine a light on some of the country’s most magical hidden spots that are right on our doorsteps.

With Disney’s streaming platform, Disney+, the reprisal showcases Wales as a stunning destination primed to welcome the 53% of Brits who specifically travel to visit the backdrops of their favourite TV shows and movies*.

Filming locations are a growing draw for holidaymakers – on TikTok alone ‘filming location’ and ‘film location’ hashtags have totalled 92.6 million views from superfans yearning to step into their favourite shows. Wales has plenty to offer dedicated movie fans of all genres – with hits such as Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallow (Parts One and Two), Captain America: The First Avenger and The Dark Knight Rises also being filmed in part across the Welsh landscape in the last few years alone.

Dawn Bowden, Deputy Minister for Arts and Sport had this message to Willow fans: “The series has been an excellent opportunity to showcase Wales’s spectacular scenery and show the world what a beautiful country we live in. This extremely popular series offers a fantastic opportunity to elevate our country on a global level, and the locations demonstrate the diverse landscape we’re blessed with.”

The series was supported by Creative Wales – the Welsh Government agency that supports the creative industries in Wales – which funded both the production of the show and training programmes for Welsh creatives behind-the-scenes. Creative Wales has brought £155.6m of production spend into the Welsh Economy since 2020 and hopes to welcome more of the world’s most iconic franchises to Welsh studios.

Pendine Sands / Traeth Pentywyn


This expansive, 7-mile beach was once used to test the world land speed record. The first driver to make an attempt there was Malcolm Campbell. In September 1924, he set a world land speed record of 146.16 mph; in June 2000, his grandson and nephew set the UK electric land speed record at Pendine Sands, reaching 137 mph. Speaking of Pendine, Amar Chadha-Patel, who plays Thraxus Boorman in the new series, said: “Pendine truly is the most remarkable location – just the biggest beach I’ve ever seen in my life. An endless sand bank. The locations we’ve been to have been stunning.”

Llanddeusant

Set in the least developed area of the Brecon Beacons, Llanddeusant is a picturesque village in Carmarthenshire. Steeped in a rich history, the village’s name, meaning “church of two saints”, supposedly originates from the fact that Teilo and Saint David are believed to have met there. The village lies below the prominent and stunning Black Mountains and the 25 acre lake, Llyn y Fan Fach, a popular nesting site for a magnificent population of red kites.

Morlais Quarry / Chwarel Morlais

One of the series’ most significant battle scenes, the battle at the Inn of the Slaughtered Lamb, was filmed at the Morlais Quarry in southeast Wales. The Quarry is made up of a series of four limestone quarries situated on the west and north slopes of Morlais Hill. Each of the quarries offers its own atmosphere and secluded gathering points for large groups.

Breath-taking mediaeval ruins now mark the spot of what was once the largest abbey in Wales. The abbey was established in 1129 AD, when Richard I de Grenville gave 8,000 acres of his estate in Glamorgan to Savignac monks. The Afan Valley to the west is popular with cyclists and mountain bike enthusiasts across Britain as it offers some of the most impressive mountain bike trails in the country.

Merthyr Mawr

The scenes involving the Newton Village ruins in Willow were shot at Merthyr Mawr – an early 19th-century mansion built by Sir John Nicholl, set in an extensive park and grounds. Within the park is the Iron Age hillfort known as Chapel Hill Camp, and within the embankments is the now roofless 15th century chapel. Set on the South Wales coast, the nearby Merthyr Mawr Warren National Nature Reserve is home to the highest dune in Wales, known as the Big Dipper.

Taf Fechan Forest (Owl’s Grove)

This peaceful forest walk leads ramblers alongside the river, before plunging them into the quiet woodland where only the sound of their own crunching steps can be heard. The short, circular walk leads to the gorgeous Blaen y Glyn waterfall, a perfect mid-morning lunch spot for visitors.

Penwyllt

This former quarrying village is located in the upper Swansea Valley which once produced quicklime and silica brick. Beneath Penwyllt and the surrounding area is the extensive limestone cave system. The caves can’t be accessed by tourists, however the Dan-yr-Ogof National Showcaves Centre is just across the valley, offering three cave walks for families to explore.


Margam Country Park / Parc Gwledig Margam

Margam offers visitors surprises around every corner in its 1000 acres of glorious parkland, from the magnificent 18th Century Orangery that is the longest Orangery in Britain, an impressive and picturesque Tudor-Gothic style Victorian Mansion House, a 12th Century Chapter House, ornamental gardens and the best deer herd in Wales.


Bridgend / Pen-y-bont ar Ogwr

A market town since the 16th century, Bridgend has a lively mix of independent shops, cafés and high street names. Tourists are encouraged to explore St John’s House – the oldest habitable building in the town – which offers great views of the town.

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