By Liv Facey
If like us you’ve just finished binge-watching the third season of Netflix's Sex Education—and loving all the smart characters and the craziness that is their lives—you may be curious about where was Sex Education filmed.
Sex Education season 3 is mostly filmed in beautiful South Wales, while the first and second seasons of the British comedy series took place in Wye Valley in England and in Wales at Llandogo, Tintern, and Penarth. This means that fans can actually plan a trip to see where their new favorite show is filmed.
Here's everything you need to know about those Sex Education filming locations:
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Where was Sex Education filmed?
1. South Wales
In real life, the setting of Moordale School is actually a university—the University of South Wales to be specific.
Prior to its closing in 2016, it catered to 4,500 students. Sex Education uses the now-vacant Caerleon campus in South Wales as its main set. This 20th-century building definitely gives off the perfect British-American high school vibe that Sex Education creators have going on throughout the series.
Other South Wales locations Sex Education uses include the Newport International Sports Village for all of Jackson's swim meets and Cwmbran Stadium for the running track. Adam’s military school from season two is Margam Country Park and Castle.
2. The Paget Rooms, Penarth
However, not all school locations are filmed at the closed University of South Wales location. The school dance in season one was actually filmed at the Paget Rooms in Penarth. In fact, the show uses the location for all of the school gym and hall scenes including school assemblies.
Outside of the show, the Paget Rooms are used as the town’s public hall hosting things like local group meetings and even weddings.
3. The Wye Valley
Going away from school, we can’t forget about the homes of our favorite characters such as Otis Milburn (Asa Butterfield). The red-and-white Milburn house where Otis and his mum, sex therapist Jean—and, spoiler alert, Ola and dad Jakob in season three—live is located in the idyllic Wye Valley and Forest of Dean, which is bordering Wales and Gloucestershire. The location makes total sense if you think back to the beginning of the series, which shows a birds-eye view following the River Wye that leads to the Milburn house.
In real life, the house is actually a bed and breakfast called "The Chalet," though it is currently closed to the public.
Other filming locations in Wye Valley include Sterrett’s Caravan Park in Symonds Yat, which is used to portray the setting of Maeve and Isaac’s caravan homes.
Aimee’s house, which hosted the big season one party, is a place called Bigsweir House, which overlooks the River Wye. Unlike some of the other spots, Aimee’s house is privately owned by Caroline Hopkinson, who told The Guardian in 2019: “We thoroughly enjoyed having the crew here, although I guess more exposure for this area could have some disadvantages.” This is a similar situation with Eric’s house, which is the Old Farm House Mews in Wye Valley.
4. Llandogo, Wales and Tintern, Gloucestershire
Other filming locations include the Browns store, where Ola and Adam used to work and Rahim lives, which is in a coastal town south of Symonds Yat in north Wales called Llandudno. The shop the show uses has been around since 1928, and today’s owner Roger Brown has been running the store with his wife Ruth since 1958. Who doesn’t love a historical set?
The cycling route which we often see Otis and his best friend Eric riding to school on or walking home from a late-night party is the Wireworks Bridge in Tintern, which is also near the border of Gloucestershire.
5. The Forest of Dean
This is a well-known area with plenty of high-profile appearances in films and TV shows, such as Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part I, King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, Doctor Who, Merlin, Alice in Wonderland: Through the Looking Glass, and Tess of the D'Urbervilles.
While other shows have used the area for mysterious scenes, Sex Education used the location to focus on the greenery as they aim to shoot in the high summer so school looks more glamorous than it really feels.
What year is Sex Education set in?
There is some confusion over what time period Sex Education is set in, due to the show's retro vibes, including 80s and 90s fashion (shout out to Eric's windbreakers!), throwback soundtrack cues, and even production design like old-school cars. However, the show is in fact set in the present day. (It does not, however, address the COVID pandemic at all, even though it did have any impact on the filming of the show itself.)
Those vintage vibes were no mistake, however. Show creator Laurie Nunn told Thrillist: "It was a very conscious decision from myself and the producers and director Ben Taylor, who is also an executive producer on the project."
Nunn continued: "We all absolutely love the teen genre, particularly the John Hughes films of the 1980s, so we really wanted to make the show have the feeling that it's an homage or that it has this nostalgic backdrop, but that we are talking about very contemporary, modern themes and storylines for the characters."
Liv is a freelance journalist who is currently studying English at university. She has previously written for The Times, The Resident and The Bookseller.
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