You might have seen the oddly-titled film, Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, and thought how lovely Guernsey is. Well, we are sure it is lovely but the scenes you saw in the film are not Guernsey at all but actually very close to us at the Beach Haven!
It really is an excellent film and if you haven’t already seen it, or you want to watch it again, it’s currently available on Amazon Prime Video (free if you have an account).
Cornwall and north Devon are no strangers to film crews. The long-running Doc Martin films every two years just twenty miles down the coast in Port Isaac, and Poldark films every year in various different locations around Cornwall. Recently, scenes from the Night Manager were shot around Hartland just up to the coast over the Devon border, and Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children was shot on the south Cornwall coast. In this recent film, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, one scene was shot even closer to home: Sandymouth, a two-mile walk up the beach at low tide from Bude and most of the other location shots were only a little further away in
This production is a big-screen adaptation of the international best-selling historical novel, directed by Mike Newell (Four Weddings and a Funeral/Harry Potter: Goblet of Fire). It stars Game of Thrones’ Michiel Huisman and Downton Abbey’s Lily James and Jessica Brown Findlay. Although it is set on the Channel Island of Guernsey in the aftermath of World War II, the filming locations for Guernsey Literary Potato Peel Pie Society were set in north Cornwall and north Devon. Hartland Abbey, Clovelly and Bideford were all been used. In another scene, a WW2 Dakota transport aircraft landed on the beach at Saunton in
I was lucky enough to catch them filming the scene at Sandymouth, on a gloriously sunny and warm May afternoon. The scene was set, when the tide dropped, with invasion tank traps, barbed wire and an unexploded mine sign all set out amongst the rocks. The two lead actors, Lily James (from Downton Abbey and War & Peace) and Michiel Huisman were present throughout the day, filming multiple takes until the incoming tide halted proceedings.
One scene required Lily to remove her shoes and stockings to paddle on the beach. The poor girl had to repeat this about thirty times for all the different takes and camera angles and it wasn’t even included in the final cut!
The cast and crew of the Guernsey Literary Potato Peel Pie Society stayed in Bude during filming and were a relatively common sight in the local hotels and restaurants.
Lily James cools off by taking a paddle in between takes for The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society.
Lily James (Downton Abbey/War and Peace) with Director, Mike Newell (Harry Potter/Four Weddings and a Funeral)
A quick costume change for Lily for some promotional photographs.
Pretty as a picture. Lily James looking very elegant in her 1940’s dress.
A relaxed-looking Lily James at the end of the day’s filming the Guernsey Literary Potato Peel Pie Society at Sandymouth.
We also saw a little of the filming at Clovelly.
Sandymouth is a popular National Trust owned beach a few miles north of Bude. At low tide it is possible to walk (or paddle) there from The Beach Haven along the sand, or along the clifftops to enjoy the spectacular coastal scenery. If you fancy exploring it for yourself, check out our availability here.
We hope we can welcome you to The Beach Haven soon 🙂