The Princess Bride movie cover Movie Locations Guide

Where was The Princess Bride filmed?

1987

About The Princess Bride

The Princess Bride started as an American romantic fantasy comedy and ultimately became a cult classic. It was publicly released in 1987 and was directed and co-produced by Rob Reiner. The movie is an adaptation of the 1973 novel 'The Princess Bride' authored by William Goldman. While it did not make waves at the box office soon after its release, The Princess Bride gained such popularity and fame that it was considered one of the best films of the 1980s. In 1988, The Princess Bride won the Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation, and in 2016, it was inducted by the American Library of Congress for being 'culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.'

It follows the love story of Buttercup (portrayed by Robin Wright) and Westley (portrayed by Cary Elwes) in the fictional country kingdom of Florin. Buttercup is a young woman living on a farm, and Westley is her farm hand. Westley and Buttercup fall in love while on her farm, and no matter what Buttercup says or demands, Westley always looks at her adoringly and says, "As you wish." Westley soon goes off to make his fortune when Buttercup receives the news that he has died because his ship was struck by Dread Pirates, namely, the notorious Dread Pirate Roberts. She locks herself in her room for several days and vows, "I will never love again."

The plot skips five years ahead when Buttercup is betrothed to the handsome Crown Prince Humperdinck (who she does not love), the heir to the throne of Florin. However, to gain an advantage, three kidnappers kidnap and plan to ransom Buttercup to earn a pretty amount. Soon the kidnappers realize they are being followed by a black-clad masked man slowly gaining on them. The kidnappers think this man wants to steal Buttercup and their money.

What follows is a discovery of love, emotion, trust, loyalty, and surprises as Buttercup makes sacrifices, finds true love, and learns the importance of commitment. There is also a fair amount of sword fighting, honorable duels, killings, and some extremely whacky medicine.

City Locations

Yorkshire, Kent, Derbyshire, Buckinghamshire, England, County Clare, Ireland

Location Types

Beach/Oceanview, NatureScapes, Rustic, Studios

Location Styles

Bohemian, Sail

The Princess Bride Locations

The filming location of The Princess Bride was mainly in England. However, a few parts were shot in Ireland, like the Cliffs of Moher, which were used to depict the Cliffs of Insanity. There are plenty of funny scenes in The Princess Bride, like the one where Buttercup throws the man in black off a mountain top, which is in a national park. Considering the complexity of the characters and the simplicity of the plot and storyline, The Princess Bride locations were absolutely spot on!

The English locations were Yorkshire, Kent, Derbyshire, and Buckinghamshire, with County Clare in Ireland. Several of the film shoot scenes were also studio sets like the Fires and the bit with the weirdly large vermin. The locations' greenery, rugged coastal filming aesthetic, moorlands, and rolling verdant green hills were excellent at tying the movie together and keeping audiences interested.

The famous 3-minute sword fight atop the Cliffs of Insanity took the actors several months to prepare and a week to film! The actors took sword fighting lessons from professionals and practiced rigorously for several months prior to shooting the iconic sword fight. Visitors can see the incredibly high Cliffs of Moher from the seaside via a yacht or by traveling to the cliffs and clicking photographs from the top.

Fun fact:

Did you know that Cary Elwes was not the first choice for Westley? Oscar-winner Colin Firth was in the running for this coveted role.

Buttercup and Westley at her farm scene in The Princess Bride

Bradley Rocks, Derbyshire, England

Buttercup (portrayed by Robin Wright) riding a horse on her farm is one of the first scenes in the The Princess Bride. Buttercup was slightly arrogant, and nothing pleased her more than ordering the farm boy Westley (portrayed by Cary Elwes) around.

Once when she is done with her morning horseback ride, she comes to the stable and unsaddles her horse. As Buttercup leaves, she halts and turns around to address Westley, the farm boy, "Farm boy, polish my horse's saddle. I want to see my face shining in it by morning." Westley simply nods and responds, "As you wish."

Westley never back-answered Buttercup and always responded 'As you wish,' which became quite a line the world over. Couples in the 1980s would express their love by professing 'As you wish' to each other. This iconic interaction is also one of the best scenes in The Princess Bride.

This pretty farm is in the area of Bradley Rocks near Birchover in the gorgeous Derbyshire region in England. Visitors can reach the location by hopping onto bus number 172 and getting off at The Green. From this stop, the Birchover is approximately a 2-minutes walk. However, it may take slightly longer to get to the farmlands.

Prince Humperdinck's wedding announcement at the castle scene in The Princess Bride

Haddon Hall, Bakewell, Derbyshire, England

This scene is set approximately five years after Buttercup learns that the farm boy Westley is dead (drowned on a ship attacked by the fearsome Dread Pirate Roberts). And Buttercup vows, "I will never love again."

In this scene, the main square of the fictional Florin City was filled with people, children, street performers, and artists. Everyone had gathered to hear the announcement of Prince Humperdinck's (portrayed by Chris Sarandon) fiancée. Prince Humperdinck and the royal family are high on a turreted balcony. He announces, "My people, a month from now, our country will have its 500th anniversary. On that sundown, I shall marry a lady who was once a commoner like yourselves. But perhaps, you will not find her common now. Would you like to meet her?" The gathered people scream, "Yes!" The Prince continues, pointing to an entryway, "My people, the Princess Buttercup."

The filming location of The Princess Bride is the famous Haddon Hall. Haddon Hall is a manor house that was built in the eleventh century. It is now the home of Lord Edward Manners (brother of the current Duke). Haddon Hall was also used in filming Jane Eyre and other period films. To get here, hop onto bus number 171 and get off at Haddon Hall. The walk from the bus stop is barely a minute.

Buttercup is kidnapped by a trio of thugs scene in The Princess Bride

Black Park Lake, Buckinghamshire, England

Buttercup is still extremely sad about the death of Wesley, and her sadness has created a void in her. To keep the sadness at bay, she goes horse riding each morning. As Buttercup is riding out in the woods, she comes across three men waiting at the side of the road. She halts the horse as she sees the motley crew. There are three men, a short man, a tall and hefty man, and one with slightly long hair.

As she halts, the short man says, "A word, milady. We are but poor, lost circus performers. Is there a village nearby?" Hearing this, Buttercup responds, "There is nothing nearby. Not for miles." As soon as she says this, the tall, burly man steps forward while the short one says, "Then there will be no one to hear you scream." The tall man presses a nerve on Buttercup's neck, and she faints and goes limp.

Considering all The Princess Bride action scenes, this one was entirely expected. The road that Buttercup is carried across is part of the Black Park Lake Road in Buckinghamshire. Visitors need to catch the 83 from Wellington Street Stop C and get off at Blinco Lane to get here. From this stop, you need to walk for a while, nearly 30 minutes, to reach Black Park Country Park and the lake.

Inigo Montoya and the man talk atop the Cliffs of Insanity scene in The Princess Bride

Cliffs of Moher, County Clare, Ireland

As the kidnappers run off with Buttercup, they see another ship following them in the night. To try to outrun the other ship, Fezzik, Vizzini (portrayed by Wallace Shawn), and Inigo Montoya (played by Mandy Patinkin) with Buttercup spot the Cliffs of Insanity. Fezzik deftly carries the four of them up a rope to the cliff top. While halfway up, Inigo sees a black-clad man climbing up their rope. As the four reach the top, Vizzini cuts the rope but sees the man still holding on to the cliff. He orders Inigo Montoya to wait and kill the man once he reaches the top.

When Inigo and the man are resting on the top, Inigo tells the man his life story, about how his father was killed by a 6-fingered man who refused to pay for the total amount of a commissioned sword. When Inigo meets him, he will say, "Hello. My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die" as he avenges his father's death. After he narrates his story, Inigo and the man have an extraordinarily fair and respectful duel while enjoying the other's swordplay.

For this gorgeous scene, The Princess Bride production team decided on the Cliffs of Moher to be the real-world location of the fictional Cliffs of Insanity. To get to this incredibly picturesque location, hop onto bus number 350 from Ennis Bus Station and get off at the Cliffs of Moher stop. You can walk to the cliff's edge from this bus stop in about 6 minutes.

Buttercup is dragged across the countryside by Vizzini scene in The Princess Bride

Peak District National Park, Castleton, England

After the black-clad man renders Inigo Montoya unconscious, Vizzini sees him running towards himself, Buttercup, and Fezzik. Vizzini exclaims, "Inconceivable!" and orders Fezzik to stay back to finish off the black-clad man, "Pick up one of those rocks, get behind the boulder. In a few minutes, the man in black will come running around the bend. The minute his head is in view, hit it with the rock!!" Screaming this at Fezzik, Vizzini grabs Buttercup and runs off.

Fezzik purposely misses hitting the man in black to give him fair warning and says, "I didn't have to miss. We face each other as God intended. Sportsman-like. No tricks. No weapons. Skill against skill alone." When the black-clad man hears this, he responds, "You mean, you'll put down your rock, and I'll put down my sword, and we try and kill each other like civilized people?" Hearing this, Fezzik smiles, raises his rock, and says, "I can kill you now."

As Buttercup is dragged across the countryside, viewers get to see another famous Princess Bride filming location, the Peak District National Park close to Manchester city. To get to this picturesque park, hop onto bus number 401, get off at Manchester Road/ Whams Lane, and walk into the park.

Buttercup discovers the true identity of the man in black scene in The Princess Bride

Cave Dale, Peak District National Park, Castleton, England

As the man in black baits Buttercup, she gets furious. She realizes he is the Dread Pirate Roberts, who killed her beloved Westley. In a fit of rage, she says, "You can die too for all I care!" and pushes him into a valley. While the pirate is tumbling down, he yells, "As you wish!" Buttercup is shocked as she realizes the pirate is her beloved Westley and whispers, "Oh my sweet Westley!"

She also tumbles down after him to save her first love. As Westley awakens, he crawls towards Buttercup and holds her in his arms. He asks her, "Can you move at all?" She looks up at him and exclaims, "Move?! You're alive! If you want, I can fly!" Hearing this, the happy couple embraces each other for the first time in five years.

Out of all The Princess Bride action scenes, this one was the most awaited since Westley gets unmasked and his identity is revealed! This scene is shot at Cave Dale in the Peak District National Park. To get to Cave Dale, visitors should take 272 Sheffield's Peak Link number 272 and get off at Castleton. Cave Dale is a 1-minute walk from the stop.

Conclusion

The Princess Bride is an epic cult classic that viewers enjoy watching even today. Narrated from the viewpoint of a grandfather narrating a story to his sick grandson, the story of Westley and Buttercup still makes everyone swoon. The actors did a remarkable job of bringing these iconic characters to life, with lines like 'As you wish' and 'Hello, my name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die,' made the movie immortal.

The production team did a smashing job of matching the topographic descriptions of the scenes in the book with those in the movie. Fans who followed the book and saw the film were pleasantly surprised by the dialogues, dressing style, characterizations, and geographic similarities.

While The Princess Bride may not be the first movie that comes to mind regarding cult movies, it is definitely in the top 10 all-time favorite hits.