This is exactly where Netflix’s Sex Education is filmed and when it’s set

Love Sex Education but a little confused about some of the details of the show? Don't worry, we've answered all your burning questions.
Loading the player...

Sex Education is one of our all-time favourite Netflix shows.

The first season premiered at the beginning of 2018 and broke the streaming platform’s own records, with more than 40 million viewers tuning in over the first few weeks to watch this hilarious new coming-of-age comedy.

And now the second season is about to drop, with the official release date marked for January 17, 2020.

Starring Gillian Anderson and a gorgeous young British cast, the show is cute, sexy and laugh-out-loud funny.

But as well as being praised for the way it tackles issues of sex and consent, viewers have fallen in love with the show’s picture-perfect backdrop.

However, no one is quite certain about exactly where the show it set, or even what decade it’s supposed to reflect!

Keep on scrolling to find out everything there is to know about where Sex Education is filmed and when it’s set.

When is the show set?

While the show is technically set in the present day – all the teen characters use smartphones and regularly text – their 80s-style wardrobes, music and lots of old school interiors and decor have confused viewers about when Sex Education is actually set.

That’s a completely deliberate tactic from the show’s creators.

“The whole aesthetic of the show is completely inspired by John Hughes and that ’80s high school aesthetic that we all know and love, and it’s quite universal,” British actress Emma Mackey, who plays Maeve, told Cosmopolitan UK.

Director John Huges is famous for his iconic 80s films Pretty in Pink, Sixteen Candles, and The Breakfast Club.

“There are a whole range of films that we loved growing up, and that’s why the production team chose that because it works and it appeals to people,” Emma said.

Ncuti Gatwa, who plays Otis’s best friend Eric, said the ambiguous nostalgia is intentional.

“It’s almost nostalgic in the way we tried to add that classic high school, and pushed the heart and soul with a British twist; with a bit of British seasoning,” Ncuti said.

Emma joked: “Yeah [otherwise] we’d all be heads down on our phones, and it would be quite a boring show!”

READ NEXT: Why Gillian Anderson in Netflix’s Sex Education is the female hero we need right now

Otis and Maeve in an awkward sex-ed class. (Image: Netflix)

Eric and Otis in some fabulous 80s-inspired outfits. (Image: Netflix)

Where is Sex Education filmed?

The series was filmed in England and Wales, along the River Wye and including locations in Llandogo and Tintern, Monmouthshire.

So it’s technically set in Britain – the students and teachers have British accents – despite the American touches like no uniforms, branded sports jackets and lockers.

The scenes set at the high school were filmed at the former campus of the University of South Wales at Caerleon, a small suburban town in the northern outskirts of the Welsh city of Newport.

The house where Jean and Otis live is a real house – it’s actually a bed and breakfast called The Chalet in Symonds Yat East, overlooking the stunning lower Wye Valley.

It’s valued at around $1 million and is marketed as self-catered luxury accommodation online.

READ NEXT: Sex Education star Emma Mackey looks EXACTLY like Margot Robbie

Otis and Jean’s house in Sex Education. (Image: Netflix)

The school scenes are shot at an old university in Wales. (Image: Netflix)

Is it set in America or Britain?

Viewers are also a bit confused about the mix of American and British culture in Sex Education.

“There is a bit of both worlds, decidedly, in the series, and the aim and the hope is that Americans won’t notice,” actress Gillian Anderson, who plays Otis’s sex therapist mother Jean, told Radio Times.

“For instance, the Brits may notice that they are throwing American footballs, whereas the Americans won’t notice that that might be strange for people speaking with British accents,” Anderson said.

“The rules are shifting all the time in terms of how an audience receives the shows that they’re watching, what they’re willing to accept and what realms and worlds they’re willing to step into to suspend their disbelief,” she siad.

“I think Netflix feels quite strongly that they’ve hit on something with this amalgamation.”

READ NEXT: Did you know that these Sex Education actors are dating IRL?

The infamous toilet block where Otis dishes out sex advice. (Image: Netflix)

Head boy Jackson’s character feels like a the typical American jock. (Image: Netflix)

The show’s creators, writer Laurie Nunn and series director Ben Taylor, said the American-feel of the show is absolutely intentional.

“I’ve always been really influenced by American film and TV shows. They played a really big part in my own teenage years, so that was always something I wanted to come back to,” Nunn told the Radio Times.

“It’s definitely set in Britain, but we’ve made a very conscious choice to have that American, throw-back nostalgia, John Hughes feel to it.”

Taylor said one of Hughes’ films, The Breakfast Club, served as a major point of inspiration.

“We wanted to make a show with lockers from The Breakfast Club in it,” said Taylor.

“It was stylistically a deliberate choice early on that we dislocated it from geographically knowing exactly where it was. Mid-Atlantic, American influence, but British ingredients.

“I’ve always been really frustrated that the British school experience is never portrayed with positivity or colour or warmth or hope; it always tends to be sticking two fingers up and saying, ‘I’m out of here as soon as I graduate’,” she adds.

“Whereas I think there’s an American feeling that, even though the films are riddled with anxieties and angst, you’d still look back at them as the best years of your life. That became the backdrop of what we wanted to set Otis’s story against.”

Related stories

Unwind and relax with your favourite magazine!

Huge savings plus FREE home delivery