Moordale from Sex Education is your quintessential British town. It has a cozy community feel (especially since all the characters go to the same school), a perpetually gloomy gray sky threatening to spill over at any moment, and a walkability slash bikeability (in Otis and Eric’s case) that seems fantastical to my American mind. Walkable cities surprisingly do exist outside the U.S., but I’m sorry to tell you that Moordale isn’t one of them.
The fictional town of Moordale only exists within the world of Sex Education and so do the schools we see in the show — and yes, that’s schools plural. Seasons 1 through 3 unfolded their sex clinic confessionals at Moordale Secondary School, which was filmed at the abandoned Caerleon campus of the University of South Wales. Unfortunately, the building was sold to housing developers and demolished sometime after Season 3 finished filming, so Sex Education had to change course… and filming locations.
Season 4 introduces two new schools with the same amount of drama. Most of Moordale High’s alumni migrate to Cavendish Sixth Form College, while Maeve crosses the pond to attend a writing program at America’s prestigious (and fictional) Wallace University. Here are the real-life filming locations that put school and sex therapy back in session during the final season of Sex Education.
In the Season 3 finale, Maeve decided to accept a spot in a competitive U.S. study abroad program. We finally get a look at Sex Education’s version of America this season (in which Dan Levy plays Maeve’s English professor!), and it’s literally too good to be true. The care package Aimee sends Maeve at the end of Episode 1 of Season 4 shows Wallace University’s address as the Arlington Estate in Woodview, Madison. Run through the states and capitals song in your head; Madison isn’t a real U.S. state. The Arlington Estate is real, though! It’s just not the building we see on screen.
As badly as I want to believe the United States is home to a university that looks like a castle, I’ve got to hand it to the U.K. for having schools within actual Victorian manors. Wallace University was filmed at the Westonbirt School in Gloucestershire near Bristol, England. The show’s supervising location manager chose Westonbirt because it had “the feel of an Ivy League college.” Wallace’s interior shots were filmed at the Wills Memorial Building at Bristol University.
Cavendish Sixth Form College
Cavendish prides itself on being artsy, modern, and progressive, which ironically contradicts the museum where it was filmed. The school’s exterior shots were filmed at St Fagans National Museum of History in South Wales. The interior shots were filmed in a lobby the production team built outside of the museum and inside the studio to bring more Moordale flair to the space.
I’m only wearing leather jackets and pleated skirts this fall to pretend I go to Wallace. A girl can dream, right?