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Netflix’s comedy-drama Sex Education burst onto our screens back in 2019 and is now one of the best-known TV shows filmed in Wales. Since its release, we’ve all fallen in love with its likeable, realistic characters that are dealing with real-world problems that surround sex!
The show is set in the town of Moordale, which is in the UK somewhere, and the plot centres around the students who attend Moordale Secondary School.
But the ‘must visit’ school isn’t exactly your stereotypical British school. The building, the props used, the costumes and the lack of school uniforms, in fact, give it a definite olde-worlde, come modern American school feel.
It’s the type of school that you wish you’d gone to! So with this in mind, can you visit Moordale and be a part of the epicness? Keep on reading to find out!
Is Moordale a Real Place?
No, Moordale is not a real place, it’s a made-up town that’s supposed to be somewhere in the UK based on the characters’ accents in the show.
This, unfortunately, also means that Moordale Secondary School, the thriving hub of the series, is a fictitious location too! However, you are in luck as the filming location for the much-loved school is set in South Wales.
The filming location for Moordale Secondary School in Sex Education is actually the old University of Wales Caerleon campus.
The former university, which shut in 2016, provides a stunning backdrop for the school because of its vast size, it can be decorated to suit the show’s needs, and it has an almost ‘American school’ theme (especially with the big clock tower), which is a prominent feature in the show1 (source: Wikipedia).
Can You Visit Moordale?
Moordale is a fictitious town from Sex Education, and while a lot of us would love to visit the location, and meet Otis, Maeve and Eric, of course, it doesn’t actually exist.
Moordale is a collection of various filming locations from across South Wales, namely the Wye Valley, Monmouth and Newport, that all come together to make up the quirky 80’s themed, yet modern-style town.
Unfortunately, you cannot visit Caerleon campus where Moordale High is set. The campus closed when the university merged it with their other campus in Newport city centre.
Recently some development plans were released for the site, so it’s highly unlikely that the area will be accessible to the general public for some time.
According to sources, some buildings have already been demolished in preparation for a luxury development project. But on the plus side, the main Edwardian-style building is still standing and will remain in place2 (source: The National).
Given how Season 3 of the show ended – Spoilers! – with the demolition of the sex therapy toilet block and the school losing funding, and the real-world project above, perhaps Moordale Secondary School will have a new filming location for Season 4. But we’ll just have to wait and see!
Other Sex Education Filming Locations in Wales
While Caerleon campus certainly plays a huge role in Sex Education, several other popular locations across South Wales have been used for filming too. Check out some sites below.
The Paget Rooms Penarth
The Paget Rooms in Penarth is a Grade II listed theatre building and it’s where shots for the school’s hall are filmed. The theatre itself does bear some resemblance to the hall in the show.
Symonds Yat East
Perhaps one of the most notable locations in the show is Jean and Otis’s Scandinavian-style house, which can be found in Symonds Yat, in the Wye Valley. The red-coloured home of the sex therapist stands out against the green backing of the valley.
Interestingly, you can actually stay at Jean’s house, but don’t expect the interior of the house to match the one you see in the show (there are a lot less erotic ornaments, magazines and artworks on show!).
Tintern’s Wireworks Bridge
The Grade II listed bridge that’s located near Tintern Abbey, helps you cross the River Wye, and takes you from Monmouthshire and into Gloucestershire (and vice versa). The bridge can be seen throughout the seasons as Otis and Eric bike to school. Watch a scene featuring the bridge here.
Browns Village Stores is located in Llandogo, in the Wye Valley, and it’s where Adam, Ola and Rahim work. The shop has actually been around since 1928 and was owned by Roger and Ruth Brown for many years.
Newport International Sports Village
Sex Education’s Jackson is often seen swimming during seasons one and two. And the filming for these scenes was actually done in Newport’s International Sports Village! Jackson goes on to peruse performing arts later on in the series, so the swimming hobby dwindles.
The Forest of Dean
The forest which straddles the English/Welsh border provides the backdrop for much of the green scenery seen throughout the seasons. For example, when Eric and Adam take a walk and go for a romantic picnic in the woods. You can visit the Forest of Dean all year round!
Margam Country Park
As Adam starts his training at military college in season two you can see Margam Castle and steps in the background. The castle is from the 19th century and features Tudor Gothic architecture. The castle and its magnificent grounds can be visited throughout the year!
Kieren is the founder and editor-in-chief of Wales Guidebook. Originally from rural Mid-Wales, he has lived all over the country from Cardiff to Wrexham. A true Welshman, Kieren created this site to share his passion for Wales and help others discover this beautiful country.