Discover Where ‘Dark Shadows’ Was Filmed: Best Time to Visit, Wildlife, and More!

Written by Angie Menjivar
Updated: September 1, 2023
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In classic Tim Burton style, this movie has a gothic theme complemented by comedic timing that creates a visually appealing and humorous tone throughout. An adaptation of the earlier TV series, this film offers a condensed and witty sequence of events following a unique character played by Johnny Depp. Discover where ‘Dark Shadows’ was filmed, the best time to visit, wildlife in the area, and more!

What is ‘Dark Shadows’ About?

Dark Shadows follows the experiences of Barnabas Collins over the course of two centuries. The film was an adaptation of a longer television version that graced the small screen between 1966 and 1971. The big screen version incorporates the same gothic themes and applies humor alongside horror for a unique viewing experience. It was released many years after the original in 2012 and highlights the power of a witch, who after having her heart broken by Collins, decides to turn him into a vampire. As if that fate weren’t drastic enough, she takes it a bit further and buries him alive.

It takes 200 years before Collins is able to make it out of his tomb. The year is 1972 when he’s able to escape. Knowing only his previous home, a family mansion, he ventures off to discover the current events there. He comes to find that his descendants inhabit the place and they’re dysfunctional as can be. Collins works toward restoring the family mansion to its former glory but the witch who initially cursed him to the life of a vampire is still alive and well, and she intends to follow through with her vengeful plan. Overall, the film explores quirky personalities and offers bits of comedic relief interspersed throughout the gothic and horror themes.  

Where Was ‘Dark Shadows’ Filmed?

Dark Shadows was filmed in England, with many of the scenes captured at Pinewood Studios. In the movie, the setting is Maine, but it was filmed in England as well as Scotland and Canada. The family mansion, known as Collinwood Manor, is not a true location. Rather, it was a set production built close to Farnham, Surrey. There’s also a bit of behind-the-scenes creativity employed when filming the mansion. For instance, some of the scenes are of a 30-foot miniature mansion! The original small-screen series did have a true location, however. It was filmed at the Carey Mansion, which is located in Newport, Rhode Island. The fishing village as depicted in the movie, was entirely fabricated as well as Collinwood Manor, and filmed at Pinewood Studios, which is located in Iver Heath, Buckinghamshire.

Wildlife in Buckinghamshire

Many mammals call Buckinghamshire home, including the polecat, field vole, brown hare, pine marten, wildcat, weasel, water vole, greater horseshoe bat, brown rat, stoat, American mink, harvest mouse, European badger, common pipistrelle, red fox, gray squirrel, red squirrel, Chinese water deer, serotine, and common shrew. Birders can spot the yellowhammer, sparrowhawk, goldcrest, blackbird, hummingbird hawk moth, raven, red kite, and goldeneye. There are also water rails, Canada geese, pied wagtails, white-tailed eagles, woodpigeons, northern gannets, whooper swans, and kingfishers.

Chinese water deer standing in a meadow

Water deer have a golden brown coat mixed with some black hairs.

© Bowman

Things to Do in Buckinghamshire

Buckinghamshire is in the southeastern region of England and there’s never a shortage of things to do when you visit. To visit a real manor, head out to High Wycombe, where you can tour Hughenden Manor. This home once belonged to Benjamin Disraeli, one of Great Britain’s prime ministers. To spend the day exploring nature and animals, check out Green Dragon Eco Farm. Here, you can explore 44 acres of farmland on your own or with a guide. There are multiple sections that include a wildlife area, a corner for pets, and an animal barn. It’s a family-friendly excursion that incorporates plenty of play opportunities for kiddos.

For a trip without kids, head out to Chiltern Brewery, where you can taste a variety of natural beers. It’s situated on a farm, and you can turn the outing into a learning opportunity as you hear more about the brewing process. If you find a beer you like, you have the option to purchase a pack to take home with you. Another manor option is Waddesdon Manor, located in Aylesbury. A Rothschild family once inhabited this home and today, it’s filled with an impressive antiques collection. This manor even served as a set for a popular streaming show, The Crown. For a picturesque outing by the river, head out to Marlow. You can enjoy a variety of restaurants and shops before walking along the river for a leisurely day.

The photo featured at the top of this post is © Pavlo Lys/

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About the Author

Angie Menjivar is a writer at A-Z-Animals primarily covering pets, wildlife, and the human spirit. She has 14 years of experience, holds a Bachelor's degree in psychology, and continues her studies into human behavior, working as a copywriter in the mental health space. She resides in North Carolina, where she's fallen in love with thunderstorms and uses them as an excuse to get extra cuddles from her three cats.

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