A Discovery of Witches is the magical television adaptation of Deborah Harkness’ All Souls Trilogy of books which takes place in some spectacular locations.
A Discovery of Witches is about a witch called Diana Bishop who discovers her incredible powers while studying in Oxford, although she also gallivants through time with her vampire lover to Elizabethan London, France and Bohemia, as well as modern-day London, France and Italy.
With such stunning locations, it’s almost natural to start wondering “Where was A Discovery of Witches filmed?” As always, we also wondered and decided to hunt down as many filming locations as possible, which we can now share with you here!
Of course, if you haven’t caught up with all three seasons yet, beware of spoilers ahead…
A Discovery of Witches Filming Locations in the United Kingdom
The majority of A Discovery of Witches was filmed in the United Kingdom, which makes sense since a large portion of the action takes place here in the story. Some locations in the UK were also used to stand in for places in other countries, while others were filmed in the correct country, but in a different city to the one being represented! Here are all the United Kingdom filming locations for A Discovery of Witches that we could confirm.
Wolf Studios, Cardiff (AKA Multiple Locations)
Address: Bldg One, Glass Ave, Cardiff CF24 5EN, United Kingdom
Wolf Studios in Cardiff is an off-shoot of the Bad Wolf production company, and A Discovery of Witches was the first production to be filmed at their new studios!
Many of the interior sets were created at the Wolf Studios in Cardiff, including the interiors of Sept-Tours, the Bishop House, the congregation meeting hall and a complete recreation of Duke Humfrey’s Library in the Bodleian! While the showrunners did get permission to film within the real Bodleian Library, they found the restrictions too difficult and instead just decided to make their own version that they could film for as long as they liked, and also mess up a little when needed.
Apparently, when Phillip Pullman visited the set (before they started using the studios for filming His Dark Materials) he was very impressed and said their Bodleian Library set was perfect!
Cardiff Market, Cardiff (AKA Oxford Covered Market)
Address: 5-7 St Mary St, Cardiff CF10 1AU, United Kingdom
Before cooking Matthew dinner, Diana goes shopping (with the ‘help’ of Marcus) at the covered market in Oxford for ingredients. This scene was actually filmed at the Cardiff Market rather than in Oxford, apparently very early in the morning to avoid regular shoppers. While they are both covered markets they’re still quite distinctive, so we assume that the showrunners just figured viewers wouldn’t notice the difference.
Insole Court, Llandaff, Cardiff (AKA Matthew’s lodgings at All Souls College)
Address: Cardiff CF5 2LF, UK
Only the interior of Insole Court was used for filming, but these opulent interiors were perfect for the private Oxford lodgings of a vampire professor. You can’t see the beautiful interiors on Google Maps, of course, but you can visit Insole Court if you want to explore ‘Matthew’s rooms’ for yourself!
Glamorgan Building, Cardiff University (AKA the court building in New Orleans and Phoebe’s office interior)
Address: King Edward VII Ave, Cardiff CF10 3NS, UK
The Glamorgan Building at Cardiff University was used to depict two very distinct locations, the first being the exterior of the court building in New Orleans where Matthew and Marcus talk to Geraldine, one of Marcus’s children. You can just see in the picture below where they were standing at the top of the steps.
The interiors of the Glamorgan Building were also used when filming the scenes at Phoebe’s office in Oxford, which is meant to look like it’s located within the Sheldonian Theatre but obviously, that doesn’t resemble an antiques dealer inside!
Cardiff University, Cardiff (AKA the house in New Orleans)
Address: Cardiff CF10 3AT, United Kingdom
The house where Matthew, Marcus and Jack stay while visiting New Orleans is not a real house, but in fact, a facade that was built on the lawns outside Cardiff University. At this link, you can actually see photos of the Louisiana house being built in front of the main university building!
Barocco Wales Restaurant, Cardiff (AKA the vampire bar in New Orleans)
Address: 12 Wharton St, Cardiff CF10 1AG, United Kingdom
Another location in Cardiff was used to stand in for New Orleans and that is the Barocco Wales Restaurant. This atmospheric restaurant was used for the scenes inside Ransome’s nightclub as it does look like something you might expect to find in New Orleans. You can’t see the interiors from the map picture below but if you check out the pictures added on Google the distinctive two-storey design is very recognizable.
Folly Bridge, Oxford (AKA where Matthew is standing in episode one)
Address: Abingdon Rd, Oxford OX1 4LB, United Kingdom
At the very beginning of the first episode of A Discovery of Witches, Matthew is standing on a bridge in Oxford as his voiceover begins the story. This bridge is the actual Folly Bridge in Oxford and it also makes sense that Diana rows under him as a little further down the river is where the rowing boathouses are located as well.
Exeter College, Oxford (AKA where Diana is staying in Oxford)
Address: Turl St, Oxford OX1 3DP, United Kingdom
The story of A Discovery of Witches starts with Diana (who’s a professor at Yale University) visiting Oxford University where she had previously studied. She’s staying in tiny Oxford student quarters and the exterior scenes of her coming and going from her rooms were filmed in Exeter College.
It’s a little weird for anyone familiar with Oxford geography why she rides her bike from Exeter College to the Bodleian Library since they’re literally next door to each other, but it does also allow the showrunners to show off some of the other famous sights in Oxford as she rides past the Radcliffe Camera and under the Bridge of Sighs.
The Sheldonian Theatre, Oxford (AKA where Diana parks her bike)
Address: Broad St, Oxford OX1 3AZ, United Kingdom
In the very first episode after Diana has been rowing, she heads back to her rooms at Exeter College before grabbing her stuff and setting out on her bike to the Bodleian Library. She parks her bike on the west side of the Sheldonian theatre where she accidentally uses magic and looks around to check if anyone saw. You can see the famous busts outside the Sheldonian Theatre behind the oblivious people on screen.
University Church of St Mary the Virgin, Oxford (the church Matthew walks out of after Diana opens Ashmole 782)
Address: The High St, Oxford OX1 4BJ, United Kingdom
When Diana first opens the Book of Life it sets off a magical current that all nearby creatures can feel. Matthew was standing in a church praying when he feels it and as he walks out Miriam calls him to ask if he had also felt the disturbance.
While we’re not sure where the interior of this scene was filmed (the interior of this church doesn’t match what was shown on screen), the exterior is clearly the University Church of St Mary the Virgin. Matthew walks out and looks across at the Radcliffe Camera which is directly opposite the church in real life, and also quite close to the Bodleian Library where he goes next.
Bodleian Library, Oxford (AKA the Bodleian Library)
Address: Broad St, Oxford OX1 3BG, United Kingdom
Duke Humfrey’s Library was created on set but the exterior scenes were shot on location in Oxford. Matthew is standing in the main square of the Bodleian library after Diana opened the book and then hears Diana talking to Gillian outside the very ornate Divinity School entrance, which is opposite the Sheldonian Theatre.
Brown’s Café, Oxford (AKA where Diana googles Matthew)
Address: 92, The Market, Oxford OX1 3DY, United Kingdom
While a different scene at the Oxford Covered Market was actually filmed in Cardiff, the scenes in Brown’s Café (which is located within the Oxford Covered Market) were actually shot on location. This is the café where Diana tries to Google Matthew before he turns up and talks to her.
The White Horse Pub, Oxford (AKA where Matthew, Marcus and Miriam talk about the book)
Address: 52 Broad St, Oxford OX1 3BB, United Kingdom
We think the scene where Matthew, Marcus and Miriam have a beer was filmed inside this pub, as the interior photos seem to match the scene. This cute little pub is also definitely where Domenico later sits to stalk Marcus and Phoebe since he looks out the window directly at the History of Science Museum entrance, which is used to portray Phoebe’s office in the series.
Alley next to Blackwell’s Bookshop, Oxford (AKA where the second murder takes place)
Address: 48 Broad St, Oxford OX1 3BB, UK
Next to the White Horse Pub is Blackwell’s, a famous Oxford bookshop and directly next to that is a little alley that doesn’t appear to have a name. This is where a man rides his bike and parks down the alley, before being brutally murdered by the blood-raged vampire.
History of Science Museum, Oxford (AKA Phoebe’s office)
Address: Broad St, Oxford OX1 3AZ, United Kingdom
While the interior scenes at the antique dealer where Phoebe works were filmed in Cardiff, all the exterior shots were filmed at the entrance to the History of Science Museum, which is next door to the Sheldonian Theatre. Again, anyone who knows Oxford knows that building is not actually an antique dealer, although there are a lot of antique scientific pieces of equipment on display here in real life! The History of Science Museum is well worth a visit if you are hunting down filming locations in real life.
Magdalen College Boathouse, Oxford (AKA where Diana goes rowing)
Address: Boathouses Walk, Oxford OX1 4PP, United Kingdom
Diana likes to go rowing on the River Thames while she’s in Oxford, and there are a couple of scenes filmed at the real college boathouses where she takes her rowing shell in and out of the water. The building where she stores her rowing shell, and where she has a creepy confrontation with Matthew, is the Magdalen College Boathouse.
The Randolph Hotel, Oxford (AKA where Domenico is staying)
Address: Beaumont St, Oxford OX1 2LN, United Kingdom
We only see a very quick shot of Domenico walking into the Randolph Hotel in Oxford after being attacked by the blood-raged vampire, but this is definitely where a vampire of his standing would stay while in Oxford! It’s a very beautiful hotel located directly opposite the Ashmolean Museum, and since the whole story revolves around an Ashmole text, it’s an even more fitting location.
Bristol Harbour Hotel & Spa, Bristol (AKA where Knox and Diana have tea)
Address: 53-55 Corn St, Bristol BS1 1HT, United Kingdom
When Diana first meets Peter Knox she doesn’t know he’s a… bit of a dick, and goes with him to have tea somewhere in Oxford. While they are meant to still be in Oxford, these scenes were actually filmed in one of the ornate rooms at the Bristol Harbour Hotel & Spa.
6 Berkeley Square, Bristol (AKA Marcus’s house in Oxford)
Address: 6 Berkeley Square, Bristol BS8 1HG, UK
Marcus’s home in Oxford is visited quite a bit in season two, since he offers it to Sophie and Nathaniel to stay in, and later takes Phoebe there as well. The house used for exterior shots is also not in Oxford though, instead it’s located at number 6 Berkeley Square in Bristol.
All Saints Lane, Bristol (AKA where Diana and Gillian get coffee)
Address: All Saints Ln, Bristol BS1 1JH, United Kingdom
When Diana first meets up with Gillian in Oxford they go and get coffee to catch up. While it looks like they’re still in Oxford they are actually sitting in All Saints Lane, which is located in Bristol. The exact spot they sit in the lane is outside the Rummer Hotel and you can see the sign for Kamuren’s Barber Shop in front of them.
38 Queen Square, Bristol (AKA Clairmont House in Mayfair, London)
Address: 38 Queen Square, Bristol BS1 4QS, UK
When Matthew and Diana are basically kicked out of Sept-Tours by Baldwin, they head to Matthew’s house in London (along with Marcus, Phoebe, Sarah, Gallowglass and Fernando). The exterior shots of this particular “London” house were once again filmed elsewhere, this time at 38 Queen Square in Bristol.
Aberglasney Gardens, Carmarthenshire, Wales (AKA the gardens of Sept-Tours)
Address: Llangathen, Carmarthen SA32 8QH, United Kingdom
The De Clermont ancestral home is a stunning castle in France called Sept-Tours, which was brought to life on screen in a number of real-life locations. Any of the scenes where characters were walking around the gardens of Sept-Tours were filmed in the beautiful Aberglasney Gardens in Wales, which are about a 40-minute drive from Swansea.
Carew Castle, Pembrokeshire, Wales (AKA the interior ruins of La Pierre)
Address: Castle Ln, Carew, Tenby SA70 8SL, United Kingdom
When Satu kidnaps Diana from Sept-Tours she flies her to the nearby ruins of La Pierre, a castle owned by Gerbert. The scenes at this castle ruin were filmed at Carew Castle, also in Wales and just over an hour from Swansea. This is quite an impressive castle ruin that you can visit in real life if you want to walk in the literal footsteps of Diana.
Tretower Court and Castle, Crickhowell, Wales (AKA the Council of Witches house)
Address: Powys, Tretower, Crickhowell NP8 1RF, United Kingdom
When Matthew and Diana travel back in time they end up tracking down another Weaver, the witch Goody Allsop. The scenes where Diana meets with Goody and the council of witches were filmed at Tretower Court, although only the interiors were used as the exterior is meant to be in the middle of Elizabethan London.
All the scenes where Diana learns to weave spells are filmed in the Upper North Range of Tretower Court, and the scenes with Diana and Goody sitting in front of a fire were filmed in the kitchen at Tretower. You can visit Tretower Court in real life if you want to reenact your own council of witches!
Caerphilly Castle, Caerphilly, Wales (AKA the Thames and Tower of London)
Address: Castle St, Caerphilly CF83 1JD, United Kingdom
When filming the outdoor scenes of Elizabethan London, a lot of CGI was used to create the panoramic shots showing the ancient city skyline. Any time a character was shown crossing the river Thames on a boat, this was apparently filmed in the moat surrounding Caerphilly Castle in Wales. The showrunners also said that they used the interior of one of the gatehouses for Matthew’s cell scenes in the Tower of London.
Llanvihangel Court, Abergavenny, Wales (AKA Matthew’s mansion)
Address: Llanvihangel Court, Llanvihangel Crucorney, Abergavenny NP7 8DH, United Kingdom
In episode three of season one, Matthew takes Diana to his ‘house’ just outside Oxford. While some overhead shots of the car place it somewhere in the Cotswolds (and perhaps in the same town where later scenes were filmed when Diana and Sarah visit TJ Weston) the estate house he takes her to is Llanvihangel Court, a Tudor country house in Wales. You can’t really see it from Google Maps, but the beautiful property (including resident peacocks!) photos on the website match up with both interior and exterior shots from the show.
The intersection of Victoria Square & Salisbury Avenue, Penarth, Wales (AKA where Marcus tries to save his friend)
Address: 21 Victoria Square, Penarth CF64 3EJ, UK
Viewers first meet the character of Marcus finishing off a shift as a paramedic with a friend. The two share some friendly banter before parting ways, when Marcus’s friend is unfortunately hit by a car and dies, despite Marcus’s attempts to turn him into a vampire to save his life. This shocking scene takes place in a residential part of Penarth, a town that’s located just south of Cardiff.
Llyn y Fan Fach, Brecon Beacons, Wales (AKA where Matthew goes hunting in Scotland)
Address: Llangadog SA19 9UN, UK
When Matthew first meets Diana he finds it difficult to not, you know, drink her blood… In order to avoid temptation he visits his daemon friend Hamish in Scotland, where he hunts a magnificent stag as a way to take the edge off. The spectacular scenery that he runs through is actually part of the Brecon Beacons in Wales, near the Llyn y Fan Fach lake (which was also used for filming His Dark Materials, incidentally).
Chapter House at Wells Cathedral, Wells, England (AKA Queen Elizabeth’s Chamber)
Address: Cathedral Grn, Wells BA5 2UE, United Kingdom
While an earlier scene with Queen Elizabeth I was probably filmed on a set, the scene where Matthew tells her about her future was filmed on location at Wells Cathedral, specifically in the rounded chapter house. This stunning room can be explored during a visit to the cathedral, which is one of the most beautiful in England.
Wogan Cavern, Pembroke Castle, Wales (AKA the cave where Kit and Louisa take Diana)
Address: Castle Terrace, Pembroke SA71 4LA, United Kingdom
The creepy cave where Kit and Louisa attempt to kill Diana is another location you can actually visit, as it’s part of Pembroke Castle in Wales. Wogan Cavern is a natural cave and a fascinating archaeological site, that has been used by humans for more than 11,000 years! The castle and cave are both open to the public, with lots of fun events for visitors to experience as well.
Rhossili Bay Beach, Gower Peninsula, Wales (AKA the beach by Mont Saint-Michel)
Address: Rhossili SA3 1PL, United Kingdom
In the past, Matthew and Diana are summoned to France by Philippe. Gallowglass escorts them by sea to a huge beach, which is meant to be by Mont-Saint Michel. The beautiful Mont was actually added in digitally, as these scenes (also featuring some gorgeous horses galloping across the beach) were filmed on Rhossili Bay Beach in Wales.
Imperial College London (AKA Chris’s laboratory)
Address: Exhibition Rd, South Kensington, London SW7 2BX, United Kingdom
When Diana contacts her friend Chris to help Matthew and Miriam study blood rage, he meets up with them in a high-tech-looking building in South Kensington, London. The exterior shots that are shown when the text on the screen says the location are accurate, as the building is the Imperial College London, a research university that is indeed in South Kensington.
The British Library, London (AKA The British Library)
Address:96 Euston Rd., London NW1 2DB, United Kingdom
During their search for the final missing page from Ashmole 782, Diana and Sarah visit the British Library in London to look at a different book. For once, this was filmed actually on location at the real British Library, at least for the shots of the building’s exterior. As Diana says to Gallowglass, you need a Reader Pass to access the Reading Rooms here, but it does look like the interior scenes were also filmed on location, based on photos on the British Library website.
Plas Machen, Graig, Newport, Wales (AKA Elizabethan London)
Address: Lower Machen, Bassaleg, Newport NP10 8GW, UK
When Matthew and Diana travel in time in season two, the showrunners decided to build an entire set of ‘Elizabethan London’ streets on an estate near Cardiff. Plas Machen is a Grade II listed building which you can’t actually visit, but the open spaces near the main building were used to construct a very realistic-looking set to represent London of the past.
The Cloisters of Gloucester Cathedral, Gloucester, England (AKA where Matthew meets with William Cecil)
Address: 12 College Grn, Gloucester GL1 2LX, United Kingdom
While living in Elizabethan London Matthew visits William Cecil a number of times at Whitehall. The scenes of him walking through corridors with courtiers (before being ushered into Cecil’s rooms) were filmed in the beautiful cloisters of Gloucester Cathedral.
Defensible Barracks, Pembroke Dock, Wales (AKA the abandoned hospital in Poland)
Address: Pembroke Dock SA72 6NT, UK
Matthew tracks down Benjamin in the abandoned hospital in Poland where Philippe had also previously been held, although the exterior scenes of the building were actually filmed in Wales! CGI was used to make it look like the building was in the middle of a Polish forest, instead of a Welsh town, but the main entrance is very recognizable.
A Discovery of Witches Filming Locations in Italy
Aside from the United Kingdom, a number of locations were used for filming in Italy, which makes sense when a major part of the story takes place in Venice! There were also some places in the region surrounding Venice which were used to represent locations in other countries. These are all the Italy filming locations for A Discovery of Witches that we were able to confirm.
San Giorgio Maggiore, Venice (AKA the Congregation)
Address: 30100 Venice, Metropolitan City of Venice, Italy
The Congregation Headquarters are depicted in the series as being invisible to humans and located on an island called Isola della Stella in the books. For the television series, the island of San Giorgio Maggiore was chosen to depict this spot, as it’s close enough to the main part of Venice for the city to be visible in panning shots. Of course, if you visit in real life the island will be visible from afar, but it’s still very cool to see for yourself! The interior scenes at the Congregation Headquarters were created on set.
Bar Foscarini, Venice (AKA where Juliette is having coffee)
Address: Ponte dell’Accademia, 878/c, 30123 Venezia VE, Italy
At the beginning of episode 2, we see Juliette having coffee and then stalking a young man across the Ponte dell’Accademia bridge in Venice. We then see shots of them near the Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute but we’re not sure where exactly they start hooking up before she then kills him.
Palazzo Contarini Polignac, Venice (AKA Gerbert D’Aurillac’s Palace)
Address: Sestiere Dorsoduro, 874, 30123 Venezia VE, Italy
Exterior scenes featuring Gerbert’s opulent canal palace in Venice were filmed at the Palazzo Contarini Polignac, which is just next door to the café where Juliette was having coffee. There are a number of scenes showing characters pulling up to the ‘front door’ of this palazzo via boat, and Juliette speaks to Domenico through the distinctive gate here as well. Monet even painted this stunning building so it seems a fitting home for one of the most powerful vampires in the series.
The courtyard at the Congregation Headquarters was also filmed in the gardens of Palazzo Contarini Polignac, and a scene on a balcony overlooking these gardens was likewise filmed here.
Campo de l’Abazia, Venice (AKA the Venice morgue that Domenico visits)
Address: 30100 Venice, Metropolitan City of Venice, Italy
After Juliette has killed the poor French tourist, Domenico can be seen visiting a rather grand morgue to inspect the body. The entrance used to depict this morgue was filmed on the Campo de l’Abazia which is located in the northern part of Venice.
Chiesa di Santa Maria della Presentazione, Venice (AKA the church where Juliette leaves Gerbert)
Address: Fondamenta Zitelle, 33, 30133 Venezia VE, Italy
When Juliette decides to finally stop doing what Gerbert wants her to do, she does this inside a church in Venice. We don’t know where the interior scenes for this event were filmed, but when she walks out of the church and passes by Domenico, this was filmed at the main door of the Chiesa di Santa Maria della Presentazione on Guidecca island.
Castello Cini Monselice, Veneto (AKA Sept-Tours)
Address: Via del Santuario, 17, 35043 Monselice PD, Italy
While the gardens of Sept-Tours were filmed in Wales, the exterior of the castle was filmed at Castello Cini Monselice, which is located in a town not far from Venice. You can’t see it very well from Google Maps, but the main entranceway was used for a number of scenes in Sept-Tours, like when Diana conjured the witch water and when Philippe had a sword-fight with Matthew in the past.
Many of the interior sets were modelled on the actual interiors of this castle as well, although they were mostly filmed at the studio in Cardiff. But this is one castle you can visit and find parts of both the interior and exterior match what you’ve seen on screen!
Arquà Petrarca, Veneto (AKA St. Lucien)
Address: Via Castello, 3, 35032 Arquà Petrarca PD, Italy
Ysabeau takes Diana for a walk through the village surrounding Sept-Tours (which is called St Lucien) and they visit the church where Matthew’s former wife and son are buried. These scenes were filmed in the Italian town of Arquà Petrarca, and specifically at the Oratory Saint Trinity. The exterior tower where Ysabeau found Matthew is quite recognisable and the interior shots were also filmed inside this ancient church.
Prösels Castle, South Tyrol (AKA Emperor Rudolf’s Castle)
Address: Via Presule, 2, 39050 Fie’ Allo Sciliar BZ, Italy
When Diana and Matthew head to Bohemia to meet Emperor Rudolf II, they visit him at his ‘country house’, which is actually the very impressive Prösels Castle. This beautiful castle looks very much as it does in real life as it did on the screen, and was used for filming a number of scenes both interior and exterior that took place in ‘Bohemia.’ You can visit this castle for yourself, and even experience an escape room!
Have Any Tips on A Discovery of Witches Filming Locations?
Let us know in the comments so we can update our guide and make it better!
Some of the A Discovery of Witches filming locations we can’t quite figure out are:
- The chapel where Matthew is praying in the first episode. While he walks out of the University Church of St Mary the Virgin, the interior of that church doesn’t match the scene where he was praying while holding a rosary.
- Hamish’s house in Scotland. In episode two, Matthew visits his daemon friend in Scotland to get away from Diana. We would love to know where this estate was filmed, at least the exterior as the interiors may have been created on set.
- Where Peter Knox finds Satu in Finland and she returns to her mother later. These scenes were reportedly filmed in Newport near the Transporter Bridge but we can’t nail down the exact spot.
- The church in Venice where Juliette leaves Gerbert. We have identified the exterior where Juliette walks out and passes by Domenico, but the interior of this building doesn’t match the scene and we haven’t been able to figure out where the interior church scenes were filmed.
- The restaurant where Marcus and Phoebe have dinner. In season 2, Marcus asks Phoebe on a date and they visit a beautiful restaurant with a fabulous balcony view over Oxford. We’ve scoured all the restaurants and bars in Oxford with rooftop views but haven’t been able to narrow it down. It might have been filmed elsewhere and the Oxford buildings added in with CGI.
- The cemetery in New Orleans. While in New Orleans Jack spends a lot of time in a cemetery and while we assume this wasn’t actually filmed in New Orleans, we’re not sure where the scenes were filmed.
- TJ Weston’s home in the Cotswolds. When Diana and Sarah finally track down the deamon TJ Weston, text on the screen tells us they are driving through the Cotswolds in England. This is a beautiful area filled with quaint towns, but we’re not sure which town was used for the exterior scenes where TJ Weston lives. The interiors were most likely created on set.