Even if you’ve only seen the trailer for Saltburn, which is now in theaters, you’re likely wondering: Is Saltburn a real place? Well, yes and no. The English estate where the drama unfolds is an existing historic property that’s never been seen on-screen until now, but it isn’t called Saltburn. Below, take a look at everything we know about the filming location.
Is Saltburn a Real Place?
For starters, there is a real location called Saltburn-by-the-sea or Saltburn for short. That town in England is roughly a couple hours away by car from the estate featured in the movie, which was given the fictional name Saltburn.
Where Was Saltburn Filmed?
Writer-director Emerald Fennell told Vanity Fair that while searching for an English estate to film at, she had a driving requirement: It shouldn’t look familiar to viewers. Nothing seen in widely beloved productions, like Downtown Abbey, would do. She also wanted the home to serve as the movie’s main location, where the interiors could be tapped for filming instead of sets built on soundstages. So, the production secured a long-standing, lush estate that had never been used for filming before. Contractually, no one involved in the film was allowed to reveal its true identity. But it’s not exactly easy for a sprawling country home to hide, even if it’s surrounded by vast parkland and not visible from any public road.
Known as Drayton House, the property exists in England’s Northamptonshire. Dating back to 1300, the mansion and its grounds boast commanding towers, battlements, and cupolas. For Saltburn, the production had rare freedom. “Often, in stately homes, you can’t touch anything, but we were painting walls and changing fabrics,” production designer Suzie Davies told The Credits.
Davies and her team rearranged rooms and embellished gardens. They even worked with maze designer Adrian Fisher to construct an outdoor maze through a mix of reality and computer generation, Davies told the outlet.
Flexibility at the estate also meant that cast members could actually stay in the mansion during filming, The Credits reports. This helped enforce the normality of the opulent setting for their characters and created a summer camp-like feel.
Can You Visit the Estate in Saltburn?
As you may have guessed, no. But seeing the estate on the big screen is more than enough to fill curious minds, so don't even think about trespassing. And if you're eager to explore immaculate properties, there are plenty of other incredible estates that have been used as filming locations—including those in Bridgerton, The Crown, Downtown Abbey, Emma, Enola Holmes 2, The Gilded Age, and many more—that you can actually see IRL through proper tours and open visits.
You love filming locations. So do we. Let’s obsess over them together.
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