DORSET has been the setting for many iconic TV shows and films.

West Bay appeared as Broadchurch in the ITV crime drama, Bournemouth was the setting for TV’s grumpiest man Victor Meldrew in One Foot in the Grave and most recently, Winspit Quarry was used to film a scene for a new 12-episode Star Wars TV series called Andor.

Dorset was also one of the destinations for E4’s cult comedy series The Inbetweeners where the foursome travelled to Swanage for a field trip in 2009.

The episode is one of the most memorable episodes of the teen comedy with multiple iconic moments including Will’s Yoda impressions, Simon falling into the harbour and *that* fish moment.

But eagle-eyed viewers will know that the Swanage they visited wasn’t actually Swanage at all.

What happened in the Field Trip episode?

Dorset Echo: Will took a liking to new girl Lauren during their school trip to 'Swanage'. Picture: E4Will took a liking to new girl Lauren during their school trip to 'Swanage'. Picture: E4

In the series two opening episode, Will, Simon, Jay and Neil have signed up for the annual Geography and Sociology field trip to Swanage.

The Swanage field trip is 'legendary for carnage' after all, according to Jay. 

During the coach journey, Will has to sit next to new girl Lauren and he falls for her. Despite Will’s feelings for her, Lauren has her eyes on Simon.

Will’s Yoda impressions don’t help impress a confused Lauren as she grows closer to Simon, much to Will’s dismay.

Over the course of the episode, Neil and Jay attempt to find a mythical and rumoured woman who has sex with students. Despite their quest, they do not find her and even confuse a friendly ice cream lady.

Lauren asks Simon out on a date and they hug before going to their separate rooms, as Will looks on with frustration and dismay.

A scheming Will however convinces Simon should focus on his childhood friend Carli and to break off his date with Lauren. A jubilant Will invites Lauren for a boat trip, but this is ruined when the rest of the boys join him on the boat.

The four teenagers ride out to sea, but Simon falls into the harbour and develops hypothermia – leading him to take off his clothes and attempt to warm himself.

The boat becomes stranded in the water while Will frantically tries to restart the engine - as a growing crowd watches on from the harbour.

After a fish ends up in the boat, Neil ‘puts it out of its misery’ and punches the fish to death.

A frustrated and panicked Will screams at a concerned Lauren while a naked and confused Simon waves at Carli.

The four boys are eventually saved, much to their embarrassment and laughter from other students on the field trip.

The summary of this episode is ludicrous, but summed up why the comedy was so popular with teenagers and young adults.

Where was it filmed?

Dorset Echo: Littlehampton doubled as Swanage in the Inbetweeners episode. Picture: GoogleLittlehampton doubled as Swanage in the Inbetweeners episode. Picture: Google

Despite the episode mainly being set in Swanage, all of these external scenes were actually filmed in Littlehampton, West Sussex.

It was also where James Buckley, who played Jay, ‘almost died’ after he looked down the flare barrel before it was set off, and was close to being hit.

The distance between Littlehampton and Swanage is around two hours and 21 minutes, providing there’s no major delays on the M27 in and around Southampton.

There are no shots of the real Swanage in the episode and the town is only mentioned by name.

Why wasn’t it filmed in Dorset?

Dorset Echo: Swanage in Dorset - the real Swanage we didn't see in the InbetweenersSwanage in Dorset - the real Swanage we didn't see in the Inbetweeners

TV and films are full of these tricks where other locations fill in for external shots or double as locations.

For example, Bristol doubled as Peckham in Only Fools and Horses and was never actually shot in Peckham.

Or how the fictional Gloucestershire village of Sandford in Edgar Wright’s cop comedy Hot Fuzz was never actually filmed in Gloucestershire, but instead was filmed in Wells, Somerset.

Even the first Inbetweeners movie played fast and loose with dramatic licence - it was 'set' in Malia but filmed in Magaluf.

This is largely to save money or it is logistically more convenient to film at nearer locations. Despite Littlehampton being more than two hours away, it is closer to London than Swanage and made sense why the town substituted for the coastal Dorset town.

After all, the series was filmed in the suburbs of North West London and was set in and around the area.

Another reason why Swanage wasn’t used as it is a smaller town than Littehampton and could have been logistically more difficult to close off streets and areas to film scenes.

Eagle-eyed viewers at the time did wonder why 'Swanage' wasn't actually Swanage and wondered why the producers didn't change the location to make it 'more accurate'.