The holiday period is often a time for families to sit down and watch a film together – and you might just spot some of Sussex’s landmarks in the background of your favourite flick.

Brighton and Sussex have provided the backdrop for countless Hollywood blockbusters past, present and future with scenes shot from Rye to Arundel and everywhere in between.

We sat down and took a look at a handful of the films that were shot in the county and which scenes might look familiar.

Petworth House – Napoleon and Maleficent

Petworth House was used as the backdrop for two blockbuster Hollywood films starring Joaquin Phoenix and Angelina Jolie.

Napoleon, the latest epic from Ridley Scott, features Petworth House doubling up as a stately home. The film was released earlier this year.

In Maleficent, Petworth Park was used as the backdrop for Maleficent’s Moors in the Disney re-telling of Sleeping Beauty.

Beachy Head – Harry Potter and Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves

Anyone who has watched Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire will remember the opening scenes at the Quidditch World Cup – but did you know these were filmed near Eastbourne?

Beachy Head provided the backdrop for the opening scenes of the film and has been used in many other blockbusters.

Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves is another famous flick to have been filmed on the East Sussex cliffs with Kevin Costner featuring in the 1991 hit.

Cuckmere Haven – Atonement and Wicked

The Argus: A boat in Cuckmere Haven used in Wicked filmingA boat in Cuckmere Haven used in Wicked filming (Image: Denise Tidder)

Atonement, set against the background of Second World War Britain, is another star-studded film shot in Sussex.

The scenes featuring the beach on Robbie’s postcard, played by James McAvoy, were filmed at Cuckmere Haven ahead of the 2007 release.

More recently filming took place at Cuckmere Haven earlier this year. The project is believed to be linked to the film adaptation of Wicked which is yet to be released but will star Ariana Grande.

Rye – The Great Escaper and Black Mirror

The Argus: Michael Caine in Camber SandsMichael Caine in Camber Sands (Image: Ali Burt)

Rye has been at the centre of two different projects which both released in 2023.

The Great Escaper, featuring Michael Caine and the late Glenda Jackson, was shot in nearby Camber Sands despite the film being based on a real life story from Furze Hill in Brighton.

In Rye town centre The Old Grain Store restaurant was transformed into the centre of an alternative 1960s America for Netflix’s Black Mirror.

The episode Beyond The Sea was partly shot in the town and featured Aaron Paul and Kate Mara.

Ashdown Forest – Winnie The Pooh: Blood and Honey and Christopher Robin

Ashdown Forest has famously been the inspiration for A.A. Milne’s beloved Winnie the Pooh stories and some of the many projects linked to the books have been filmed there.

Christopher Robin, starring Ewan McGregor as the grown-up child protagonist of the books, was partly shot in the East Sussex Forest.

More recently the cult horror film Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey was shot in the forest as a dark adaptation of the books.

The now infamous film will also return for a sequel which is also being filmed in the forest.

Eastbourne – The Crown

The Argus: Helena Bonham Carter and Olivia ColmanHelena Bonham Carter and Olivia Colman

Eastbourne has often provided a backdrop for many a film and TV show, not least Netflix’s The Crown.

As the show culminates with its final season this year viewers might recall the Queen’s Hotel in Eastbourne featuring on the show.

Other scenes from the very first series, featuring Helena Bonham Carter as Princess Margaret, were also shot in Rye nearby.

Brighton – Grace, My Policeman, Quadrophenia and Angus Thongs and Perfect Snogging

Brighton has played host to a wealth of film and TV projects over the year with filmmakers clamouring to have the city in their shows.

Most prominent in recent years has been ITV’s Grace which is set and shot in the city and adapted from Peter James’s ever-popular novels about DS Roy Grace.

Brighton’s Royal Pavilion and other locations have also featured in Amazon’s My Policeman film. The project was shot all over the city and gained fame thanks to the success of frontman Harry Styles.

Another film that has called Brighton home is Quadrophenia which centres around the Mods and Rockers riots of the 1960s. A scene in Quadrophenia Alley has since become notorious and attracts hundreds of Mods to the passageway each year.

Another project filmed in and around Sussex was teen film Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging, filmed in Hove in 2008. The famous scene where Georgia Nicolson is dressed as a stuffed olive was actually filmed in Borough Street.

Arundel – Wicked Little Letters

Another project set to come out next year, Wicked Little Letters saw Arundel transformed into 1920s Littlehampton for filming.

The film, starring Olivia Colman and Timothy Spall, was described as a period comedy and was filmed in Arundel this year.

It is due to be released in 2024.