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 • Rural & Authentic  • Where to Visit the Real Life Shardlake Filming Location
Where to Visit the Real Life Shardlake Filming Location

Where to Visit the Real Life Shardlake Filming Location

The popular Shardlake series of novels follows a crime-solving lawyer’s adventures during the Reformation. They have now won many new admirers, thanks to the popularity of the hit Disney+ TV series ‘Shardlake’. Now, you too can visit the Sharlake filming location and experience what it has to offer.

Where to Visit the Real Life Shardlake Filming Location


In the series of books by the English historian C. J. Sansom, and the new TV show (starring Arthur Hughes as Shardlake and Sean Bean as the brooding Lord Cromwell), Shardlake navigates controversial religious reforms and political intrigues while solving a perplexing series of murders. In the TV series, based on the novel ‘Dissolution’, he serves Henry VIII’s Chief Minister, Lord Cromwell. As time goes on, his increasingly Catholic sympathies are tested during the destruction of monasteries across Britain. If you love visiting historical places of interest, such as castles and other film locations then you won’t want to miss out on exploring the real life Sharlake filming location!


Where Was Shardlake Set?

A leading travel expert says that Shardlake’s growing legions of fans can still experience some of the remarkable atmosphere of the books and TV series by staying in genuine monasteries and convents in Britain. Moreover, if you want to experience the real life Shardlake filming locations for yourself then why not take a trip to Austria, where some of the new series is filmed.

Lily Smith, a leading travel expert from, says: ‘If you’re attracted to the peace and calm of the close-knit community conjured by monasteries, you will be pleased to learn that many religious institutions still survive in Britain and welcome visitors.

‘Despite its alarming crime rate, even the monastery in Shardlake’s remote (and fictional) south coast town of Scansea contains many pious and spiritual characters. It’s wonderful to sample the atmosphere such places must have conjured in the 16th century. Many of today’s monasteries, convents and theological colleges are still in the heart of historic Christian sites. For example, Sarum College is just opposite Salisbury’s awe-inspiring cathedral.

‘Spoiler alert! Tragically for lovers of historic buildings, Cromwell’s Reformation destroyed many of the UK’s most notable monasteries and abbeys. That’s one of the reasons why the TV series was largely filmed in Hungary, Romania and Austria. Excitingly, through you can also stay at places such as the historic Gästehaus Des Deutschen Ordens in Vienna, opposite the medieval St Stephens Cathedral. It’s just a 25-minute drive to the jaw-dropping Kreuzenstein Castle, where much of the TV series is filmed. Gästehaus des Deutschen Ordens combines 18th-century ambience with modern amenities. To add to its lure, both Mozart and Brahms once lived in the famous building.


Closer to home, Oxford is one of the UK’s top tourist attractions with a magnificent collection of ancient colleges and churches. St Stephen’s House, near Magdalen Bridge, is an Anglican Theological College in a quiet street running between the Cowley and Iffley Roads. The college, while not radiating the Gothic splendour of Scansea’s St Donatus, is a former monastery and a charming example of Victorian Gothic-revival architecture. Although not the exact Shardlake filming location season 1, these places will most certainly make you feel as though you’ve landed in the middle of the film set of the Shardlake series!


The Shardlake Books in Order

Like many film and TV series, Shardlake was originally a book series that was adapted into a Disney+ TV show. There are actually 7 original Shardlake books, beginning with Dissolution which was first published in 2003 to Tombland, the last in the set, published in 2018. The Sharlake books in order are as follows:

Where to Visit the Real Life Shardlake Filming Location

Who Wrote the Shardlake Books?

Very sadly, author C. J. Sansom died on 27 April, just four days before the first episode was shown. It’s a fitting legacy that we can still experience some of the world he captured. Many people are surprised to discover they are able to stay in monasteries and convents both here in the UK and in countries across Europe. Remember, monasteries have offered sanctuary to pilgrims and travellers for centuries, with a vow of “hospitality” a feature for many religious orders. That means monasteries, convents and abbeys are often more welcoming, encompassing and friendly than an anonymous hotel.

Where to Visit the Real Life Shardlake Filming Location Season 1

Often, the only significant restriction might be a curfew, which is typically between 10pm and midnight.  Furthermore, the abbeys, convents and monasteries at start from as little as €40 a night and provide low-cost city centre stays in some of Europe’s most-visited cities. For example, the Casa Il Rosario in Rome is opposite the Roman Forum and close to the Piazza Venezia and Trevi Fountain, with ensuite double rooms available for less than €50 per person.

Visitors can really get a sense of living in Shardlake’s world. Happily, far from having to take a vow of silence, guests often get the chance to meet like-minded travellers at many monasteries and abbeys. Food plays a very important role in monastic life, with guests often encouraged to come together for meals and friendly conversation. Most properties provide bed and breakfast as standard, with many catering for all meals, full board, if booked in advance. All provide comfortable sleeping quarters, with most now offering ensuite facilities.

Perhaps contrary to expectation, visitors are not required to be of a religious background. Properties are available to any guest who is respectful of the surroundings and lifestyle of the monks or nuns. Booking a stay in an abbey or monastery is surprisingly easy. The unique accommodation site focuses on providing a booking platform for European religious orders with stays across mainland Europe, Great Britain and Ireland. There is particular emphasis on Italy, Spain and France, where accommodation is most widely available.

There’s much more information about locations and how to book at


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