Penelope Keith’s Hidden Villages (2015)

Penelope Keith standing in a picturesque British village with the sea visable behind

Penelope Keiths Hidden Village © Reef Television Limited Channel 4

Production Company: Reef TV

Kent locations used: Upnor, Birchington, Biddenden and Tenterden.

Returning to More4 for a second series, Penelope Keith’s Hidden Villages explores quintessentially British villages to discover their hidden features and study rural traditions.

Actress Penelope Keith, best known from her roles in The Good Life (1975) and To The Manor Born (1979) uses travel guides which were published 80 years ago, to look at the locations from a different perspective and consider the effects urbanisation and tourism could have on their future.

In episode four, Penelope explores villages in Sussex and Kent and the production visited Upnor, Birchington, Biddenden and Tenterden between May and June 2015.

Upnor is a small picturesque village in Medway with many houses finished in Kentish weatherboard. The village is home to Upnor Castle and is backed by rolling, wooded hills. Previous productions that have filmed in the area include  Great Expectations (1989).

Birchington lies on the North Coast of Kent between Herne Bay and Margate and has a glorious beach, Minnis Bay. BBC Three drama The Things I Haven’t Told You (2008) has previously been filmed in the area.

Biddenden lies in the picturesque Weald of Kent countryside, has a cobbled high street with half-timbered medieval and Jacobean buildings and is the home of the famous Biddenden Cider. Nearby Tenterden has white-painted weatherboarding buildings and a market as well as quaint cafes and eateries. The area has been used as a film location for Mapp and Lucia (2014) and Last Passenger (2013).

You can catch the Kent and Sussex episode of Penelope Keith’s Hidden Villages on Tuesday 22nd September on More4 at 21:00.


For more information about Kent’s Filming History please visit our Movie Map. 

The Things I Haven’t Told You (2008)

The Cast of Things I Haven't Told You at the seafront. Three cast members are sat at a bus shelter, one stands next to the sea and the other two are in the front of the shot with their arms around each other

The Cast of Things I Haven’t Told You by the seafront © Tiger Aspect/BBC Three

Writer: Lisa McGee

Director: Marcal Fores

Starring: Elizabeth Day, Nathalie Lunghi, Sophie Loftus, Haruka Abe, Mark Adams, Ryan Sampson and Lenora Chrichlow

Production Company: Tiger Aspect Productions

Kent Filming Locations: Herne Bay, Whitstable, King Ethelbert School in Birchington

 Elizabeth Day as Aisling Hunter and Nathalie Lunghi as Geri West in school uniforms in a school coridor

Elizabeth Day as Aisling Hunter and Nathalie Lunghi as Geri West © Tiger Aspect/BBC Three

The Things I Haven’t Told You is a BBC Three drama which follows six adolescents attempting to make their way through the traumas of being a teenager.

When super popular Geri West and barely average girl Aisling Hunter suddenly become friends, everyone is suspicious. What does Aisling know about Geri and what does she want in return for her silence?

Then Aisling disappears after a bizarre car accident.  Immediately rumours abound: was it really an accident or was it deliberate?

Starring Elizabeth Day, Nathalie Lunghi, Sophie Loftus, Haruka Abe, Mark Adams, Ryan Sampson and Lenora Chrichlow and Andrew Lincoln (Love Actually, Teachers).

The filming took place in the summer of 2007 and King Ethelbert School in Birchington, Whitstable and Herne Bay are featured.

Whitstable and Herne Bay are popular seaside destinations for Londoners on day trips. Herne Bay is a traditional pebble stone beach flanked with quaint and picturesque beach huts whilst Whitstable has a traditional fishing harbour. Whitstable has been previously seen on screen in productions such as Venus (2007).

Birchington is a coastal village near to Margate which is a vibrant seaside resort, with complementary historic and modern architecture. The Carer (2016), Free Speech (2014) and Exodus (2007) have previously used the Margate area for filming.

Things I Haven’t Told You was shown on BBC Three at 9pm on 17th March 2008.

For more information about Kent’s Filming History please visit our Movie Map. 

Blakes 7 – Bounty (1978)

Blakes 7 logo in space- cartoon planets with BLAKES 7 written in yellow on top

Blakes 7 logo © BBC

Director: Pennant Roberts

Creator: Terry Nation

Starring: Gareth Thomas, Sally Knyvette, Paul Darrow, T.P. McKenna

Production Company: BBC

Kent Locations: Quex Park – Waterloo Tower in Birchington

Blake’s 7 is a BBC One science fiction show which ran for four series between 1978 –1981. Set in the future, the show is about a group of outcasts who fight a guerrilla war against the totalitarian Terran Federation from an alien spaceship.

The series was created by Terry Nation (Doctor Who, And Soon the Darkness, London Conspiracy), who also created the Daleks in Doctor Who.

Episode 11 of Series 1, “Bounty”, sees Blake (Gareth Thomas) and Jenna (Sally Knyvette) try to convince Sarkoff (T.P. McKenna), the exiled former president of the planet Lindor to return to lead his people, before the Federation assumes control of the planet. However, the Liberator is taken over by a group of bounty hunters known as The Amagons.

“Bounty” is directed by Pennant Roberts (The Sherman Plays, Howards’ Way, Doctor Who) and stars Gareth Thomas (Merlin, Waterland, Parkin’s Patch), Sally Knyvette (Emmerdale, Castlevania: Lords of Shadow, General Hospital), Paul Darrow (Die Another Day, Rough Magik, Law & Order: UK) and T.P. McKenna (Straw Dogs, Red Scorpion, Ulysses).

Blakes 7 Screenshot at Quex Park- Waterloo Tower with trees around it

Blakes 7 Screenshot Quex Park – Waterloo Tower © BBC

Blakes 7 Screenshot Quex Park – Waterloo Tower- two characters leabing against the stone wall

Blakes 7 Screenshot Quex Park – Waterloo Tower © BBC

Waterloo Tower at Quex Park features in the episode as the ex-president Sarkoff’s residence in exile.

Quex Park is a unique country park of 250 acres set within an estate of 1800 acres in Birchington which offers parkland, gardens and a Regency-style country house with unique museum containing dioramas of African landscapes. Projects which have previously filmed in the Birchington area include Penelope Keith’s Hidden Villages (2015) and BBC Three drama The Things I Haven’t Told You (2008).

Blakes 7 aired between 1978 –1981 and is now available for DVD purchase.


For more information about Kent’s Filming History please visit our Movie Map.