Tipping the Velvet (2002)

Rachel Stirling and Keeley Hawes are sitting together in their victorian under garments infront of a large red curtain. The text Tipping the Velvet is in white italic writing above them.

Tipping the Velvet © BBC


Production Company: Sally Head Productions

Starring: Keeley Hawes, Rachael Stirling, Anna Chancellor, Sally Hawkins, Benedict Cumberbatch, Hugh Bonneville

Kent Locations used: Whitstable, The Historic Dockyard Chatham

Tipping the Velvet is a BBC television drama serial based on Sarah Waters best-selling  novel of the same name. Set in the 1890’s, the story focuses on  the lesbian love affair between male impersonator music hall star Kitty Butler (Keeley Hawes) and Nan Astley (Rachael Stirling).

The series stars many familiar faces including Rachael Stirling (Snow White and the Huntsman, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen), Keeley Hawes (Death at a Funeral, The Bank Job), Anna Chancellor (The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, The Dreamers), Sally Hawkins (All or Nothing, Layer Cake), Benedict Cumberbatch (Sherlock, Star Trek Into Darkness) and Hugh Bonneville (Downton Abbey, Iris).

 The production team visited Whitstable which doubled as the coastal village where Nancy Astley (Rachael Stirling) lives with her family before she leaves for London and The Historic Dockyard Chatham which was used for the London street scenes.


Photograph of a handful of the production team standing on the jetty on Whitstable beach.

Production team at Whitstable © Kent Film Office


Rachel Stirling dressed in a red victorian style dress is walking under an umbrella being held by a member of the production team. They are walking down a narrow street in Whitstable surrounded by small white houses.

Rachel Stirling on set © Kent Film Office

Whitstable is a traditional seaside town renowned for its Oysters, which are integrated into its rich history and culture. Whitstable has been used previously for other TV and film projects such as Cook Me the Money (2013), James May’s Man Lab (2013) and Venus (2007).

The Historic Dockyard Chatham is a very popular filming location due to  its varied Victorian and Georgian period architecture a and has previously welcomed productions such as Mr Selfridge (2013-2014), Les Miserables (2012) and Sherlock Holmes – Game of Shadows (2011).

Tipping The Velvet was shown in 2002 and is now available to buy on DVD.


For more information about filming in Kent please contact: filmoffice@kent.gov.uk

For more information about Tipping the Velvet please visit: http://www.bbc.co.uk/drama/tippingthevelvet/

For more behind the scenes images:http://brochures.moviesite.biz/view/kent/Behind_The_Scenes_at_Whistable_for_Tipping_The_Velvet_.html

For more information about Whitstable: http://www.canterbury.co.uk/canterbury-district/Whitstable.aspx

For more information about The Historic Dockyard Chatham: http://www.thedockyard.co.uk/

MMFor more information about Kent’s Filming History please visit our Movie Map: https://kentfilmoffice.co.uk/kent-movie-map/moviemap-live-2/