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1987's Withnail & I is often considered the ultimate 'cult film'. Set in 1969, two substance-abusing, unemployed actors retreat to the Lake District for a holiday that proves disastrous.

The two actors? 'Withnail' and 'I', played by Richard E Grant and Paul McGann respectively. Most fans speculate that 'I's' real name is Marwood, but that's for another time.

In 2017, a poll by Time Out magazine ranked Withnail & I the 15th best British film ever made. But despite this, director Bruce Robinson once referred to the film as '‘like a colostomy bag'’ that trails around with him. 

His muse and flatmate Vivian MacKerrell, provided so much of the inspiration for Withnail. It was he who famously inspired the moment when Withnail relieved his desperate need for a drink by swigging lighter fluid.

A central theme of Robinson's work is, well, drink. He also wrote the screenplay for and directed 'The Rum Diary', Hunter S Thompson's novel.

What makes Withnail & I so funny and in a way, tragic, is the anarchic portrayal of drink and all the hijinks and stories that follow.

Everyone has their favourite quote, mine for example is the eternal: "We want the finest wines available to humanity, we want them here, and we want them now."

What's your favourite quote? Let us know in the comments

Fancy seeing some of the most famous spots in the film? Well, there are several in Cumbria.

Famous Withnail & I filming locations in the Lake District

1. Haweswater Reservoir, Lakeside Road, Bampton, Penrith, CA10 2RP

In a key scene, Withnail shouts “I’m going to be a star!” towards the water with his arms outstretched.

2. Bus Shelter/Telephone Box, Wideworth Farm Road, Bampton, Penrith, CA10 2RE

In the film, this is the telephone box Withnail uses to call his agent about a job he hasn’t got.

It is reportedly one of the most popular Withnail & I filming locations to visit because, inside the telephone box, a Withnail & I VHS sleeve and guest book await you.

3. Sleddale Hall, Shap, Penrith CA10 3NE

This is the Withnail & I filming location you’ll recognise the most, Uncle Monty’s cottage Crow Crag. In real life, the cottage is called Sleddale Hall.

Both the interior and the exterior were used in filming.

'Uncle Montys Summer Soiree feat. Withnail and I' at Crow Crag is currently on sale for 2024. There are limited tickets left.

This includes parking, evening meal, film screening, disco and camping overnight.

If you are to visit the hall when an event isn't planned, you may find it tricky as it is now private property.

Recommended reading:

Withnail and I farmhouse in Cumbria sold for £265,000

Haweswater reservoir crowned among the best woodland walks

How you can see badgers at Haweswater

4. River Lowther Bridge, Shap, Penrith, CA10 3NE

This bridge and river are where Withnail attempts to shoot at fish (wearing no trousers) because he, quote, “needs flesh”.

It’s only a very short scene in Withnail & I but a hilarious one at that.

5. Scar Side Farm Gate, Bampton, Penrith, CA10 2QU

This film location from Withnail & I is where I (or Marwood) attempts to shoo away the randy bull back behind the gate so he can close it. It is arguably one of the most famous scenes.