Darling Buds of May (1991 – 1993)

The cast of The Darling Buds of May © ITV

Director : David Giles, Robert Tronson, Rodney Bennett, Steve Goldie

Writer: H. E Bates, Paul Wheeler, Stephen Bill

Production Company: Excelsior, Yorkshire Television

Kent Filming Locations: Pluckley, Folkestone,

Set in Kent in the 1950’s Darling Buds of May was filmed on location in Pluckley and Folkestone. The programme focused on the Larkin family who appeared to have the ideal family life living off the land.

Pop and Ma by the River © ITV

Pop and Ma by the River © ITV

Catherine Zeta Jones as Mariette with Oast House in the background © ITV

Catherine Zeta Jones as Mariette with Oast House in the background

Buss Farm Oast being worked on before filming

Buss Farm Oast being worked on before filming © Roger Holmes

Behind the scenes on Folkestone seafront

Behind the scenes on Folkestone seafront © Shepway District Council

Amazingly, ‘Pop’ Larkin (David Jason) has managed to avoid the tax man. In the first six episodes, tax inspector Cedric (Philip Franks) comes to the farm to collect debts and ends up abandoning his career to live the dream of country living and marry ‘Pop’s’ daughter, Mariette (Catherine Zeta Jones). The programme has long been accredited with launching Catherine Zeta Jones’ career.

The series was hugely successful and achieved high viewing figures throughout its run. The effects are still felt in the lovely village of Pluckley, Kent which still welcomes those seeking a glimpse of the ‘perfick’ life.

For many, Darling Buds of May reflects the dream Kentish Life, involving living in an Oast House and enjoying the countryside that Kent has to offer with family and friends. It is perhaps this, which made the series so popular.

Pluckley to this day remains a sleepy countryside village but it is not only famous for its Darling Buds of May appearances, it is also renowned for its more ghostly inhabitants. Pluckley has earned the title of the most haunted village in Britain. It is said that 12 to 16 ghosts inhabit the village and every year on Halloween tourists inundate the village to see if they too can have a supernatural experience. The village however remains unspoilt and picturesque, reminding visitors of its Kentish beauty as depicted in the series.

The series aired between 1991 and 1993 and is now available to buy on DVD.


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

To view the Darling Buds of May Trail: https://kentfilmoffice.co.uk/moviemap/darlingbuds-thetrail/

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

For more information about Folkestone: http://www.discoverfolkestone.co.uk/

For more information about Pluckley: http://www.pluckley.net

Every year there is a Darling Buds of May car show held at the Farm that provided the principal location for the Larkin family home. For more information about the car show: http://www.darlingbudsfarm.co.uk/event/carshow/

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