The Secret Garden: New film adaptation of beloved children's novel starring Colin Firth and Julie Walters heads to Sky Cinema

The new adaptation is set in 1940s England and follows young orphan Mary Lennox who is sent to live with her uncle Lord Craven only to discover a magical garden at his estate...

By Sophia Moir Published: 2 October 2020 - 4.31pm

Watch The Secret Garden on Sky Cinema with NOW TV from Friday, October 23

A whole new generation of children are set to fall in love with the story of The Secret Garden in the 2020 film adaptation of the beloved children’s novel.

From the makers of Harry Potter and Paddington, The Secret Garden follows an orphaned girl who discovers a magical garden hidden at her strict uncle's estate, and boasts acting legends Colin Firth and Julie Walters among its cast. 

And one of the best bits about the film is you don’t even have to leave your sofa to watch it, as it’ll be available on Sky Cinema in the UK.

From the film’s release date and plot, to its cast, characters, filming locations and more, we reveal all you need to know about the 2020 release of The Secret Garden.

When is The Secret Garden out in the UK?

The Secret Garden is set to be released on Sky Cinema from Friday, October 23.

NOW TV customers will need a NOW TV Sky Cinema Pass to watch the film.

You'll also be able to watch the film in cinemas from the same date.

The film was originally scheduled for an April 2020 release in cinemas, before the date was pushed back due to the Covid-19 (coronavirus) pandemic.

What is The Secret Garden about?

The Secret Garden is a new film adaptation of the classic children’s novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett, which was first published in book form in 1911.

Set in 1940s England, this adaptation tells the story of 10-year-old orphan Mary Lennox (Dixie Egerickx), who’s sent to live with her uncle Archibald Craven (Colin Firth) at a remote country manor house deep in the Yorkshire moors.

While here, she’s under the watchful eye of Mrs Medlock (Julie Walters) with only the household maid, Martha (Isis Davis) for company.  

Julie Walters The Secret Garden

Mary begins to uncover many family secrets, particularly after chancing upon her cousin Colin Craven (Edan Hayhurst), who has been shut away unwell in a wing of the house.  

Whilst exploring the grounds of the Misselthwaite Manor, Mary discovers a wondrous garden and meets a local boy Dickon (Amir Wilson) who helps her fix stray dog Hector’s injured leg using the garden’s restorative powers.  

The three children adventure deep into the mysteries of the garden - a magical place that will change their lives forever.  

Who’s in the cast of The Secret Garden?

Young English actress Dixie Egerickx (Patrick Melrose, The Little Stranger) plays Mary Lennox, the orphan who is sent to live with her uncle. Mary is an unpleasant and unkind young girl who has had to repress her own emotions.

Mary's uncle, Lord Archibald Craven, is played by Oscar-winner Colin Firth (The King's Speech, A Single Man, Bridget Jones's Diary). Firth actually appeared in the 1987 version of The Secret Garden, where he played the adult Colin Craven.

Bafta-winning actress Julie Walters (Billy Elliot, Mamma Mia!, the Harry Potter series) plays Lord Craven's strict and firm servant, Mrs Medlock.

The Secret Garden Colin Firth

Lord Craven's bedridden son Colin Craven, who Mary befriends in the film, is played by Edan Hayhurst (There She Goes).

Martha, the manor's house maid, is played by actress and writer Isis Davis, in her first major feature film role, while Martha's brother Dickon is played by Amir Wilson (His Dark Materials, The Letter for the King).

Where is The Secret Garden filmed?

Filming locations for The Secret Garden include:

  • Fountains Abbey, a National Trust site in North Yorkshire (filming took place amongst the ancient abbey ruins, which were transformed into a sunken temple complete with vine-covered walls).

  • Bodnant Gardens, another National Trust site near Conwy, North Wales (the young cast were spotted filming a scene swimming in the stream here).

  • Osterley Park, London (the interior was used for the kitchen scenes in Misselthwaite Manor).

  • Iford Manor Gardens, near Bath (some of the exterior garden shots were filmed here).

  • Woodhall Estate, Hertfordshire (the location serves as the movie’s iconic garden wall and gate).

  • Trebah Gardens, Cornwall (Dixie Egerickx who plays Mary Lennox was spotted filming here).

  • Abbotsbury Subtropical Gardens, Dorset (these gardens were used to film Mary’s experience living in India).

  • Puzzlewood, Forest of Dean in Gloucestershire (the woodland tourist attraction was used as a backdrop for the film).

  • Helmsley Walled Garden, in North Yorkshire (for some of the scenes that take place in the secret walled garden).

  • Duncombe Park estate and house, York (which was used to stand in for the entrance hall and the ballroom of the fictional Misselthwaite Manor).

  • Harlaxton Manor, Lincolnshire (which was used to stand in for the exterior of Misselthwaite Manor).

Watch The Secret Garden trailer 

Watch The Secret Garden if you liked…

Harry Potter, Paddington, A Little Princess, Mary Poppins Returns, Maleficent, Christopher Robin, The BFG, Into The Woods.

 

The Secret Garden is available to watch on Sky Cinema with NOW TV, along with cinemas in the UK and Ireland, from Friday, October 23.

 

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