Cotswolds feature in BBC/HBO mini-series The Casual Vacancy

Northleach / Photo: Simon Atkin

Northleach / Photo: Simon Atkin - Credit: Archant

The Cotswolds has a starring role in BBC TV’s adaptation of The Casual Vacancy, JK Rowling’s story of a fictional town which is torn apart by parish council politics.

Northleach / Photo: itakefotos4u

Northleach / Photo: itakefotos4u - Credit: Archant

The cast includes Michael Gambon, Keeley Hawes, Rory Kinnear, Monica Dolan and Julia McKenzie; and the BBC One mini-series consists of three one-hour parts, the last of which will air on March 1. The series can be watched via BBC iPlayer.

JK Rowling’s The Casual Vacancy has sold more than six million copies worldwide since its publication in 2012. The action centres on Pagford, a seemingly idyllic English village with a cobbled market square and ancient abbey. Behind the façade, however, is a town at war: rich with poor, teenagers with their parents, wives with their husbands and teachers with their pupils.

Northleach was chosen for the setting of Pagford. Equidistant between Gloucester and Oxford, it is perhaps most famous for its 14th century gothic church, which is dubbed “the cathedral of The Cotswolds”.

Its winding high street charms many visitors who are also attracted to Northleach Gaol, which hosts a permanent exhibition about 19th century prison life, and also boasts a popular café.

Gloucestershire destinations Stroud, Painswick and Minchinhampton have also featured in the filming of the mini-series, which will be shown in the United States on HBO.

Sally Graff of Cotswolds Tourism is excited about this opportunity to showcase Northleach and other local attractions:

“J K Rowling is a household name and it’s big news when her works are filmed. Great care has been taken to recreate Pagford and surrounding areas for TV and I am sure that viewers will fall in love with Northleach and the other local places which feature. Obviously, we hope that this will generate additional visitors to this part of the world and we are confident that they will be very impressed by the multitude of attractions, events, restaurants, cafes and shopping experiences that we offer.”

For further details about The Cotswolds, visit