Dreamland (2023)

Freema Agyeman as Trish and Lily Allen as Mel stand in a theme park in front of a brightly coloured ride. Agyeman wears a blue halter-neck top, gold necklace and gold hoop earrings. She has long braided hair pulled back into a ponytail with an orange scrunchie. Allen wears a pink t-shirt, gold necklace and small gold hoop earrings. She looks over at Agyeman, disgruntled.

Freema Agyeman and Lily Allen in Dreamland (2023) © Sky

Director: Ellie Heydon
Starring:
Lily Allen, Freema Agyeman, Aimee-Ffion Edwards, Gabby Best, Frances Barber, Kiell Smith-Bynoe
Production Company:
Merman
Kent Locations Used:
Margate, Dreamland Margate, Margate Winter Gardens, Westbrook Bay

Set in the seaside town of Margate, Dreamland (2023) follows Trish, who is expecting her third child and is desperate for a baby girl. Supported by younger sisters Clare and Leila, her mum and legend Nan, the family’s world is thrown upside down upon the return of sister Mel.

Based on Sharon Horgan’s (This Way Up (2021), Catastrophe (2019)) BAFTA-winning short film, the six-part series is directed by Ellie Heydon (Harlots (2017), The Colour of Spring) and stars Lily Allen as Mel, Freema Agyeman (Little Dorrit (2008), Doctor Who) as Trish, Aimee-Ffion Edwards (Peaky Blinders, Detectorists) as Leila, Gabby Best (Morgana Robinson’s Summer (2017), The Marijana Method) as Clare, Frances Barber (Mapp and Lucia (2014), Whitstable Pearl (2021-2022)) as their mother, and Kiell Smith-Bynoe (Ghosts, Stath Lets Flats) as Trish’s husband Spence.

The series is set in Margate, and production made use of many locations in the seaside town. Margate Main Sands and Tidal Pool feature in Episodes 1 & 2 and the King’s Steps feature in Episode 3. Margate Harbour Arm features in Episodes 2 & 3 in a dramatic scene between Mel and Spence. The exterior of Trish’s dream fixer-upper home was filmed on Dalby Road. Various other roads feature in the series, including Marine Terrace, Marine Drive, Ethelbert Road, Palm Bay Avenue, Northdown Road and Princess Margaret Avenue. Westbrook Bay features in Episode 1, and Margate Lido appears in both Episode 4 & 5.

Dalby Café in Margate appears in Episode 2, where Trish and Spence discuss buying a house together. The Old Kent Market features in Episode 3, Margate Winter Gardens in Episode 4, Cinque Ports Restaurant in Episode 5, and Sands Hotel in Episode 6.

In Episode 2, Mel and Trish take Trish’s children for a day out to Dreamland. The children ride on the Chairoplane, Helter Skelter, Dodgems and skate at the Roller Disco. The Hall of Mirrors is the site of a confrontation between Mel and Spence, and the Dreamland car park is where Leila crashes her car and meets London hipster Dom (Hugh Coles).

Margate is a seaside town complete with sandy beach, harbour, amusement park, period housing and ultra-modern art gallery Turner Contemporary. It is a very popular filming location, having been the setting for Sam Mendes’ ninth film Empire of Light (2023), as well as many others.

Considered to be the oldest-surviving amusement park in Great Britain, Dreamland dates back to the early 1860s and was revamped in 2017. The park has a Roller Room, vintage arcades, a fully restored Grade II listed Art Deco ballroom and beautiful rides dating from 1920 to the present day. Recent productions to have filmed at the park include Series 4 of Killing Eve (2018-2022), Series 2 of Whitstable Pearl (2021-2022) and Two Weeks to Live (2020).

The Margate Winter Gardens date all the way back to 1911, and the building itself is a fine example of Edwardian architecture. The building is currently closed to the public.

Dreamland (2023) launched on Sky Atlantic and NOWTV on Thursday 6th April 2023.

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


Empire of Light (2023)

Micheal Ward and Olivia Colman stand on the roof of a building, looking out to sea. The night sky in front of them is lit up by fireworks and an illuminated town is visible in the distance.

Micheal Ward and Olivia Colman in Empire of Light (2023) © 20th Century Studios

Director: Sam Mendes
Starring: Olivia Colman, Micheal Ward, Colin Firth, Toby Jones
Production Company:
Neal Street Productions, Searchlight Pictures
Kent Locations Used:
Margate, Dreamland, Arlington House, Broadstairs, Cobtree Manor Park, Manston Airport, The East Kent Railway

Empire of Light (2023) is a dramatic love story centred around a beautiful old cinema on the South Coast of England in the early 1980s.

Written and directed by Academy Award-winning Sam Mendes (1917, Skyfall) and photographed by the legendary Roger Deakins (Blade Runner 2049, No Country for Old Men), Empire of Light stars Olivia Colman (The Favourite (2019), The Crown (2016-2023)) as Hilary and Micheal Ward (Top Boy (2019-2022), Blue Story) as Stephen, with Colin Firth (Operation Mincemeat (2022), The Mercy (2018)) and Toby Jones (The Electrical Life of Louis Wain (2022), Christopher Robin (2018)) in supporting roles.

After seeing the art-deco Dreamland cinema, director Sam Mendes chose Margate as the film’s lead location, the Empire Cinema. A sound stage was erected next door to provide additional cinema interiors facing the beach. The amusement park and roller disco also make an appearance.

Filming took place across Margate from March to May of 2022. Margate Seafront, including the main sands, tidal pool, Nayland Rock Shelter, Marine Terrace and the promenade feature heavily throughout the film as the backdrop for the Empire Cinema.

The area around Fort Paragon, the old Lido, Ethelbert Terrace and Cliff Terrace appear as the streets around Hilary’s flat.

In the town centre, the old Mayor’s Parlour doubles as the interior of a doctor’s office, Arlington House as Stephen’s home and various shops and cafes feature, including Café Darcy as an old chemist, Sands Café, Marina Café and Wildes as themselves.

Image of a vintage cinema with a red velvet curtain covering the screen. On the left and right side of the screen are two red doors. Over the top of each door is a white marble statue of a woman.

Dreamland Cinema in Empire of Light © Searchlight Pictures

Margate Railway Station booking hall also features as itself and the vintage train carriage featured in the film’s closing was filmed on The East Kent Railway.

In Broadstairs, Lillyputt Mini Golf, the promenade and bandstand feature on a day out, and Cobtree Manor Park in Maidstone appears at the very end of the film.

In addition to these locations, additional sets, including Hilary’s and Stephen’s flat interiors and the Queen Elizabeth Hospital were built up in the old aircraft hangers at the former Manston Airport site.

Have a look at what the cast and crew thought of their stay in Margate…

There is also an Empire of Light Film Map you can download at bottom of the webpage.

Margate is a seaside town complete with sandy beach, harbour, amusement park, period housing and ultra-modern art gallery Turner Contemporary. It is one of the most popular filming locations in Kent, having recently featured in True Things (2022), Above the Clouds (2020) and King of Thieves (2018).

Considered to be the oldest surviving amusement park in Great Britain, Dreamland dates back to the early 1870s and was revamped in 2017. The Park has a Retro Roller Room, vintage arcades, a fully restored Grade II listed Art Deco Ballroom and beautiful rides dating from 1920 to the present day. Dreamland is an increasingly popular filming destination, having recently featured in the final series of Killing Eve (2018-2022), Series 2 of Whitstable Pearl (2021-2022) and Two Weeks to Live (2020).

View of Dreamland cinema taken from the beach. An imposing art-deco style building with the word ‘Empire’ written across it in yellow text. Behind it stands a grey brutalist apartment building.

Dreamland as the Empire Cinema © Searchlight Pictures

Arlington House is an 18-storey residential apartment block opposite Margate seafront. It was designed by architects Russell Diplock Associates in 1963 and is a great example of British Brutalist architecture. True Love (2012), Exodus (2007) and Last Resort (2000) feature Arlington House.

Laid out in 1892, the Victoria Gardens include charming features such as a rustic arbour and pergola. The Bandstand is a prominent feature within the gardens, as are the Clock Tower and an Anglo-Indian style shelter. Situated in the traditional seaside town of Broadstairs, the Gardens have also played host to Hurricane (2018).

Now closed to the public, Manston Airport is currently empty and awaiting redevelopment. It boasts a long runway, hangar, large modern warehouse as well as a disused tower and office space. The James Bond film Die Another Day (2002) features scenes shot at Manston Airport.

Cobtree Manor Park stands on the site of the old Maidstone Zoo (still with some buildings intact including Elephant House) and is part of the Cobtree Manor Estate. The park includes over 50 acres of parkland, a play area, café, bridleways for horse riding and a sculpture trail.

The East Kent Railway has a 2.5-mile railway line offering extensive views of the countryside, a 500-yard tunnel, level crossings, sidings and two country stations at Shepherdswell and Eythorne. They offer a variety of train interiors, from 1930s wood panelling, a 1960-1990 railway coach, to the present modern day intercity style coach, as well as a selection of small diesel locomotives. The East Kent Railway was used for a scene in Southcliffe (2013).

Empire of Light will be releasing in UK cinemas on Monday 9th January 2023.

If you would like to visit Empire of Light’s filming locations and take a trip around vintage Margate attractions, please visit Thanet District Council’s Empire of Light trail page.

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


Eastenders (2007-2023)

An aerial map of London with the River Thames running through it. On the top half of the image, written in white font is the word ‘EastEnders’ with the BBC logo underneath.

Eastenders © BBC

Creator: Julia Smith, Tony Holland
Starring: Phil Daniels, Matt Di Angelo, Kellie Shirley, June Brown, John Bardon, Luisa Bradshaw-White, Linda Henry, Danny Dyer, Tamzin Outhwaite, Harry Reid
Production Company: BBC
Kent Locations Used:
Dungeness, Stansted, The Ringlestone Inn – Harrietsham, St Giles Church – Womshill, Port of Ramsgate, Victoria Gardens – Broadstairs, Morelli’s – Broadstairs, Stone Bay, Port of Dover, The Historic Dockyard Chatham, Joss Bay, Margate, Dreamland

Eastenders (1985-2023) is a long-running BBC One soap about the lives of the residents of Albert Square, set in the fictional borough of Walford in East London.

The series was created by Julia Smith (Angels, The District Nurse) and Tony Holland (Eldorado, Snoken) and first aired in 1985. The soap has become a fan favourite and won a number of awards, including 10 BAFTA’s.

Though filmed mainly in a studio, the production team have ventured out to Kent multiple times over the years.

In an hour-long special broadcast in March 2007, production visited Dungeness, where viewers find that Kevin (Phil Daniels (Chicken Run, Quadrophenia)) is still alive following the revelation that he is not the father of Dean (Matt Di Angelo (Hustle, I Dream)) and Carly (Kellie Shirley (In the Long Run (2019), Biff & Chip)). A tragic accident provokes Kevin’s decision to return to Albert Square.

Eastenders behind the scenes - camera crew and actors on a country road with fields and fences behind them.

Behind the scenes at The Ringlestone Inn in 2007 © Kent Film Office

For the 2007 Easter Special, production visited the village of Stansted which appears as Dot’s (June Brown (Misunderstood, Sitting Target)) hometown. The Ringlestone Inn in Harrietsham features as the place where Dot and Jim (John Bardon (East Is East, Clockwise)) stay during their trip down memory lane to Dot’s old home. Also featured is St Giles Church in Wormshill, where Dot used to go to Sunday school, and where she discovers abandoned baby Tomas and decides to take him home with her.

In 2015, production visited Broadstairs and Ramsgate in an episode where Tina (Luisa Bradshaw-White (This Life, Holby City)), Shirley (Linda Henry (Beautiful Thing, Bad Girls)) and Mick (Danny Dyer (The Football Factory, Severance)) go on the hunt for their father Stan’s (Timothy West (The Day of the Jackal, EverAfter)) stolen ashes. Locations featured include the Port of Ramsgate, Victoria Gardens in Broadstairs, Morelli’s in Broadstairs, and Stone Bay where the Carter family scatter Stan’s ashes.

Mick Carter (Danny Dyer) walking bare foot in the sand. Camera crew behind him by the beach huts.

Behind the scenes in Ramsgate. Mick Carter (Danny Dyer) © BBC/Kieron McCarron

In 2018, Eastenders came back to Kent for the episode featuring the return of much-loved character Mel Owen (Tamzin Outhwaite (Bull (2021), Cassandra’s Dream), who had departed from the show nearly 16 years prior. The Port of Dover features as itself in the episode, as do DFDS Ferries, who provided the ferry for the scene where Ben Mitchell (Harry Reid), pursued by Mel, escapes to France with a bag of stolen cash.

In 2022, production visited Kent twice. The Historic Dockyard Chatham features in the episode aired on Monday 5th September, doubling as 1979 London for flashback scenes of the Mitchell brothers. Areas filmed include Anchor Wharf, The Ropewalk and The Tarred Yarn Store.

Later in 2022, production returned to Kent for their 2022 Christmas Day Special and Boxing Day Special to film a dramatic car crash scene at Joss Bay involving Linda Carter (Kellie Bright) and Janine (Charlie Brooks). Mick Carter (Danny Dyer) manages to rescue them from the ocean, but he never returns.

Most recently, in 2023, the Eastenders crew visited Margate to film a final day out for terminally ill Lola (Danielle Harold) and her husband Jay (Jamie Borthwick). The couple visit Walpole Bay, Dreamland, Henry’s Gifts, Margate King’s Steps, Sands Café and the Lido before Jay is arrested and taken to Margate Police Station – the exterior of which is actually the Margate Museum in Market Place.

Dungeness is a unique expanse of SSSI shingle beach with ramshackle huts, old and ultra-modern residences, two lighthouses and a power station. This privately-owned estate is a popular filming location, having also featured in Doctor Who: The Claws of Axos (1971), Back to Life (2019-2021) and Brave New World (2020).

Stansted is a rural village in the Tonbridge and Malling district of Kent with schools, pubs, village halls and a recreation ground. The village has excellent transport links as it is near the M20.

The Ringlestone Inn in Harrietsham is a 16th century pub steeped in history, with beamed ceilings and a large garden. Harrietsham is a rural village situated six miles east of Maidstone, which has a number of historic buildings including The Old House and The Saxon Church of St John the Baptist. Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949) also filmed in Harrietsham.

St Giles Church is the sole church in the tiny village of Wormshill, in the Maidstone district. The Church appears to have been built by the Normans, and features in the Domesday Book (1086AD). Wormshill lies near the top of the North Downs, within the Kent Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and contains a number of heritage-listed buildings.

The Port of Ramsgate offers 32 acres of dedicated Port land including 3 modern Ro-Ro bridges and Water and bunker facilities on all berths. The Port is a popular filming location, often doubling as the Port of Dover. Other productions to have filmed here include Not Going Out (2013), The Tunnel (2013) and Whitstable Pearl (2021).

Laid out in 1892, the Victoria Gardens in Broadstairs include charming features such as a rustic arbour and pergola. The Bandstand is a prominent feature within the gardens, as are the Clock Tower and an Anglo-Indian style shelter. Only Fools and Horses: The Jolly Boys’ Outing (1989), The Larkins (2021-2022) and True Things (2022) also feature Broadstairs.

The first Morelli’s ice cream parlour was opened in Broadstairs in 1932. Refurbished in the 1950’s, this parlour retains a magical, vintage feel with its soda fountain, juke box and pink leatherette booths. Other productions to have filmed here include Hancock and Joan (2008), Edge of Heaven (2014) and The Lady in the Van (2015).

Stone Bay is a 200-meter-long sandy bay, with chalk cliffs, rock pools, promenade and beach huts. This quiet bay is seldom discovered by visitors. Hurricane (2018) also filmed there.

As the busiest passenger port in Europe, The Port of Dover is a very sought-after filming location. Other productions to have filmed at the ferry terminal include Disney’s Christopher Robin (2018) and the Series 7 Christmas special of Trollied (2018).

The Historic Dockyard Chatham is a 17th Century dockyard spanning over 80 acres, containing over 100 buildings dating from the Georgian and Victorian periods. It is Kent’s most popular filming location, having recently played host to A Spy Among Friends (2022), Enola Holmes 2 (2022) and Living (2022).

Joss Bay is a Blue Flag sandy bay, 200 meters long. Facilities include lifeguards, café, deckhairs, parasols and sun beds, and a Kiddies Corner with bouncy castles and trampolines. The Flood (2019), Sulphur and White (2020) and Dracula (2020) all feature scenes shot on Joss Bay.

Margate is a seaside town complete with sandy beach, harbour, amusement park, period housing and ultra-modern art gallery Turner Contemporary. It is a very popular filming location and was recently the setting for the Sky series Dreamland (2023) and Empire of Light (2023).

Considered to be the oldest-surviving amusement park in Great Britain, Dreamland dates back to the early 1860s and was revamped in 2017. The park has a Roller Room, vintage arcades, a fully restored Grade II listed Art Deco ballroom and beautiful rides dating from 1920 to the present day. The park has recently featured in Series 4 of Killing Eve (2018-2022), Series 2 of Whitstable Pearl (2021-2022) and Two Weeks to Live (2020).

Eastenders has been broadcast weekly on BBC One since 1985. Old episodes are available to stream via BBC iPlayer and UKTV Play.

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


Whitstable Pearl (2021-2022)

Kerry Godliman as restaurant owner Pearl Nolan is centre of the image wearing a green top and blue apron. She has blonde hair and behind her is a pebble beach with boats and fishing huts

Whitstable Pearl stars Kerry Godliman as restaurant owner Pearl Nolan © Acorn TV

Creator: Julie Wassmer
Starring: Kerry Godliman, Howard Charles, Sophia Del Pizzo, Frances Barber
Production Company: Buccaneer Media
Kent Locations Used: Whitstable, Canterbury, Faversham, Herne Bay, Margate, Ramsgate, Detling, Dover, Sevenoaks, Rochester

Based on the much loved series of novels ‘The Whitstable Pearl Mysteries’ by Kent resident Julie Wassmer (EastEnders, London’s Burning), Whitstable Pearl (2021-2022) is a detective series for Acorn TV. The story follows big-hearted local restaurant owner Pearl Nolan (Kerry Godliman) who sets up a local detective agency after undergoing police training in an earlier career. She is soon embroiled in her first case when she discovers the body of close friend, Vinnie. Pearl forms an unlikely partnership with DCI Mike McGuire (Howard Charles) and finds herself pulled into the dark underbelly of the picturesque town she calls home.

Whitstable Pearl was adapted for screen by Norwegian filmmaker Øystein Karlsen (One Night, Dag). Kerry Godliman (After Life, Call the Midwife (2012-2023)) headlines the show as Pearl Nolan alongside Howard Charles as DCI Mike McGuire (Shadow and Bone, Liar Series 2 (2020)) and Frances Barber (Cold Feet, Queens of Mystery (2020-2021)) as Pearl’s mum Dolly.

A woman with red hair and a black hat (Frances Barber as Dolly) walks along the sea shore with a woman wearing a black coat carrying a box (Kerry Godliman as Pearl Nolan). In the distance is the shoreline with houses and a beach

Frances Barber as Pearl’s mother Dolly (left) and Kerry Godliman as Pearl Nolan © Mark Bourdillon / Acorn TV

For both Series 1 and 2, most of the filming took place in and around Whitstable itself, including scenes filmed by the coast at Whitstable Harbour, Whitstable Beach, Whitstable Yacht Club and Tankerton Beach. In Series 1, Whitstable High Street features and local shops were filmed including Iain’s Plaice (fish and chip restaurant) and art gallery Chappell Contemporary as Houlihan’s Hardware store. Other Whitstable businesses filmed for Series 1 include the Cemetery, Football Ground, MFA Bowl and Seaview Holiday Park, which features as the trailer park where Vinnie lives. Several private residences were used for filming, including Beacon House as Pearl’s House for Series 1, the exterior of The Ness as Mike’s Flat in Series 2 Episode 2, The Warehouse Cottages for the same episode, and various private residences on Island Wall for Series 2 Eps 1 and 2. Filming took place at The Old Neptune pub, which doubled as the Pearson’s Arms for both series. Whitstable train station also features briefly in Series 2 Ep 2 as Pearl trails a suspected cheating spouse.

The Kent Events Centre was used as a studio build location in Series 1 for interiors of Pearl’s seafood restaurant.

Meanwhile, Margate in Thanet features in both series with Margate Beach and The Walpole Hotel doubling for Whitstable seaside scenes in Series 1, Dreamland and the Nayland Rock Hotel featuring in Series 2 as a theme park and The Bradford Hotel. For Series 1, production also filmed at St Peter’s Roman Catholic Church on Canterbury Road in nearby Westgate-on-Sea. The Port of Ramsgate and Royal Harbour Marina double for the Port of Dover cruise terminal and Dover Marina in Series 1.

Dover features multiple times in Series 2, with locations such as The White Cliffs, Port of Dover, Lydden Spout Battery and Western Heights making an appearance in Episode 1, along with various nearby roads. The Citadel also appears in both series, doubling as a police station. The Citadel also features in Series 1 as a children’s home, and in Series 2 Episode 1 the location’s tunnels feature as the setting for the dramatic confrontation between Kruz Tomlin (Yaw Nimako-Asamoah) and his stepfather Leo (Oliver Walker).

For Series 2, production also visited various locations in Sevenoaks, including a private house which doubled as Dolly’s House, Stonepitts PYO Farm and the St Clere Estate which doubles as Zelda St John’s (Stephanie Beacham) mansion.

Rochester High Street in Medway appears in Series 2, with local businesses Baggin’s Book Bazaar, Kiss the Bride and a former Estate Agents featuring in Episodes 2 and 3.

Interior scenes for Series 1 were filmed at the former St Martin’s Hospital in Canterbury doubling as a police station and a hospital. Other filming locations for Series 1 include a field near Faversham at Belmont Park and private residence in Herne Bay.

Whitstable is a 16th century thriving seaside resort in Kent. Known for its native oysters, Whitstable boasts a working fishing harbour, shingle beach and busy high street. Recent productions to film in the town include The Great Pottery Throw Down – Series 3 (2020) and The Thames: Britain’s Great River With Tony Robinson (2019).

Beacon House is a colonial clapboard wooden turn of the century Beach House.  Set above beach on a private sea road, the grounds include wild woodland gardens and views out to sea and lines of beach huts. Catastrophe Series 4 (2019) filmed at this location.

The Kent Events Centre based in Detling is the largest, most flexible conference and exhibition venue in Kent, offering 7,000 sqm of indoor space available to film productions as studio space and 200 acres of outdoor space.

Margate is a traditional seaside town complete with sandy beach, harbour, amusement park, period housing and ultra-modern art gallery Turner Contemporary. The Walpole Hotel was built for discerning guests in 1914 and extended in 1927.  Built over 5 floors it has 42 Bedrooms, 2 flats and a newly added small museum space. Dreamland is considered to be the oldest-surviving amusement park in Great Britain, and has played host to a variety of productions, including Killing Eve (2018-2022), Two Weeks to Live (2020) and Jellyfish (2018). Located nearby, The Nayland Rock Hotel also featured in Killing Eve (2018-2022), as well as King of Thieves (2018).

Westgate-on-Sea is a charming Victorian town, steeped in Heritage with quaint shops and two fantastic blue flag beaches. Margate is popular as a film locations with recent productions including Two Weeks to Live (2020), Pandemonium (2020) and Top Boy (2019-2022).

The Port of Ramsgate offers 32 acres of dedicated Port Land including 3 modern Ro-Ro bridges and Water and bunker facilities on all berths. It is often used as ‘stand-in’ for the Port of Dover. Royal Harbour Marina offers 700 finger moorings set in a picturesque and historic harbour setting. Crime dramas to previously film at the Port of Ramsgate include The Tunnel: Vengeance (2017) and Baptiste (2019).

Dover houses the major port, connecting the UK with the European mainland. Dover Castle towers above the town, signalling Dover’s strategic importance in the defence of the country and the White Cliffs are one of the most recognised landmarks in Britain. Recent productions to have filmed in Dover include Pistol (2022), Rogue Agent (2022), and The Tunnel: Sabotage (2016).

The Citadel, located on Dover‘s Western Heights was constructed in the late 1700’s as a port of defence during the Napoleonic war. Most recently it has been used as a borstal, prison, and immigration detention centre up until its closure in 2015. It is now becoming popular as a filming location and has welcomed several productions over the past year – soon to broadcast.

The town of Sevenoaks has a varied landscape, featuring a bustling high street, stately homes and castles as well as beautiful countryside. Located in that countryside is the St Clere Estate, which offers stunning views of the North Downs, formal gardens, paddocks, a kitchen garden, orangery, green houses, and a temple by the lake. Built in 1630, it has some fine architectural examples of the Caroline era. It has recently played host to a variety of productions including The Great (2020-2023), Gangs of London (2020-2022) and The Third Day (2020).

Rochester is a city with the feel of a medieval market town, including a cathedral, castle ruin and unspoilt high street by the River Medway. Other productions to have filmed in Rochester include Unforgotten (2021), Jekyll and Hyde (2015) and The Mystery of Edwin Drood (2012).

Herne Bay is a coastal resort popular for filming along the Kent coast. Kate & Koji (2020-2022) is a recent production to film here. Faversham is a beautiful historic market town set on Faversham Creek. TV productions to film in the area include Hetty Feather Series 1 – 6 (2015 – 2020) and Celebrity Antiques Road Show – Series 8 (2018).

St Martin’s Hospital is a large building on the outskirts of busy Canterbury town centre. It has hosted filming for crime drama The Tunnel: Sabotage (2016) and The Tunnel: Vengeance (2017).

Series 1 of Whitstable Pearl was released on Acorn TV on Monday 24th May 2021.

Whitstable Pearl Series 2 will be released as a box set on Acorn TV on Monday 28th November 2022.

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


Killing Eve Series 1 & 4 (2018-2022)

Sandra Oh as Eve Polastri and Jodie Comer as Villanelle. The two stand among bushes, framed by lit white candles. Eve wears an off-the-shoulder navy blue dress and Villanelle wears a long-sleeve white flowy dress.

Killing Eve (2022) © BBC America

Writer: Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Emerald Fennell, Laura Neal
Starring: Sandra Oh, Jodie Comer, Fiona Shaw, Kim Bodnia
Production Company: Sid Gentle Films for (BBC America)
Kent Locations Used: Nells Café in Gravesend, Margate Beach, Margate Harbour Arm, Dreamland, Nayland Rock Hotel, the Lido Complex, Sands Café and various streets in Margate.

Killing Eve (2018 – 2022) is an intense spy thriller, based on the Codename Villanelle novellas by Luke Jennings, in which MI6 intelligence investigator Eve (Sandra Oh) and psychopathic assassin Villanelle (Jodie Comer) go head to head in a game of cat and mouse.

Killing Eve is back again for its fourth and final series with screenwriter Laura Neal (Sex Education (2021)) joining the team. Series 4 picks up with titular character Eve Polastri on the run from shadowy crime organisation The Twelve.

Written by Phoebe Waller-Bridge (Fleabag, No Time to Die), Emerald Fennell (Promising Young Woman, Saltburn), and Laura Neal (Sex Education (2021), My Mad Fat Diary), stars Jodie Comer (Doctor Foster, Free Guy) as Villanelle, the fearsome female assassin, Sandra Oh (Grey’s Anatomy, Sideways) as Eve Polastri, the MI6 agent hunting her down, Fiona Shaw (The AvengersHarry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone) as Carolyn Martens, head of MI6’s Russia division and Kim Bodnia (Pusher, The Bridge) as Konstantin, Villanelle’s handler.

For the opening scene of Series 1, Episode 5, production visited the M2 motorway in Medway and Nell’s Café, a popular roadside truck stop off the A2 near Gravesend. In the scene, Eve (Sandra Oh) and Elena (Kirby Howell-Baptiste) question Frank (Darren Boyd) about his connections to Villanelle and the criminal organisation she works for.

Gravesend is situated on the southern bank of the River Thames and boasts a cast iron pier, promenade and high street as well as international rail links at the nearby Ebbsfleet International station. The Gravesend area has previously welcomed film productions such as The Escape (2018), Bull (2021), and the popular Netflix anthology series Black Mirror (2019), which used several locations across Gravesend for the hostage sequences in Series 5, Smithereens. BBC’s crime drama The Interceptor (2015) also filmed at Nell’s Café.

In 2021, production visited various locations across Margate for Episodes 4 to 7 of Series 4, including local attractions and businesses Dreamland, the Lido Complex, The Nayland Rock Hotel and Market Square. Filming also took place on the sea defence steps of Margate Beach, Margate Harbour Arm, the Nayland Rock Shelter, Sands Café and Newgate Lower Promenade.

Street filming featured some of the many different aspects of Margate, maximising the town’s rich architectural history from the Edwardian Nayland Rock Shelter, the Georgian Royal Crescent Promenade to the quirky, modern vibe of Market Street, Duke Street and Broad Street with their narrow streets and boutique shops. In contrast, All Saints Avenue gives a city feel, running alongside Arlington House with its brutalist architecture. Recent productions to film in Margate include Whitstable Pearl (2021-2022)Pandemonium (2020) and Netflix’s crime drama Top Boy (2019-2022).

Considered to be the oldest surviving amusement park in Great Britain, Dreamland dates back to the early 1870s and was revamped in 2017. The Park has a Retro Roller Room, vintage arcades, a fully restored Grade II listed Art Deco Ballroom and beautiful rides dating from 1920 to present day. Dreamland has previously welcomed productions including Two Weeks to Live (2020), Jellyfish (2018), and the Only Fools and Horses 1989 Christmas Special The Jolly Boys’ Outing.

Built in 1885, the Nayland Rock Hotel is situated on Margate beach, with stunning panoramic views of the English Channel, and only a walking distance away from Margate’s top attractions. Joe Penhall’s King of Thieves (2018) starring Michael Cain and Michael Gambon features the Hotel in a scene where the aforementioned actors have lunch together.

Killing Eve first aired on BBC One on Saturday 15th September 2018, and Series 1-4 are available to stream on iPlayer.

Series 4 of Killing Eve was made available on BBC iPlayer on Monday 28th February 2022.

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


Two Weeks to Live (2020)

Maisie Williams as character Kim Noakes stands to the right of the programme title against a blue background holding candy floss. She is wearing scruffy clothes featuring a green and black jumper, blue hooded jacket and ripped burgundy trousers. A penguin toy splattered in blood is suspended in front of the programme title featured in pink with the strapline Sweet. Innocent. Badass. Underneath.

Two Weeks To Live (2020) with Maisie Williams © Sky UK Ltd

Writer: Gaby Hull
Director: Al Campbell
Starring: Maisie Williams, Sian Clifford, Mawaan Rizwan
Production Company: Kudos Film and Television for SKY UK TV
Kent Locations Used: Herne Bay, Dreamland, Harbour Arm and Margate Beach

Maisie Williams (Game of Thrones, Doctor Who, Mary Shelley) stars in the new six-part comedy drama Two Weeks to Live (2020) for Sky TV. The series will focus on the adventures of Kim Noakes, a young woman raised on the margins of society by her mother. Fifteen years after the death of her father, Kim decides to leave everything behind and find his killer.

Directed by Al Campbell (Code 404, Man Down) and written by Gaby Hull (We Hunt Together, Cheat) the series was produced by Kudos Film and Television for Sky TV and also stars Sian Clifford (Fleabag, A Serial Killer’s Guide to Life) and Mawaan Rizwan (Next of KinVera).

During filming, production visited Herne Bay to film a scene on Hampton Pier  as well as a house on Grand Drive. The cast and crew also filmed in Margate at amusement park Dreamland, the Lighthouse Bar on the Harbour Arm and Margate Beach.

Actors Sian Clifford, Maisie Williams and Mawaan Rizwan stand in front of a merry-go-round.

Two Weeks To Live (2020) with Sian Clifford, Maisie Williams and Mawaan Rizwan filming at Dreamland, Kent © Sky UK Ltd

Herne Bay is a seaside town which has a pier and shingle beach and is set just outside of the historic City of Canterbury. Recent productions to film in the area include Kate & Koji (2020), The 1900 Island – Series 1 (2019) and Blue Planet UK – Series 1 (2019).

Margate is a seaside town complete with sandy beach, harbour, amusement park, period housing and the modern art gallery Turner Contemporary. Margate seafront in the district of Thanet is a popular film location and has been used as in various productions such as Above The Clouds (2020)Top Boy – Series 3 (2019) and King of Thieves (2018).

Two Weeks to Live will be available to stream on Sky TV from Wednesday 2nd September 2020.

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


Jellyfish (2019)

Jellyfish Poster- A woman riding a bike in a coat along the seafront at night is at the bottom of the poster with the jellyfish text at the top.

Jellyfish (2019) © Jellyfish Feature Film LTD

Writers: James Gardner, Simon Lord
Director: James Gardner
Starring: Liv Hill, Sinead Matthews, Cyril Nri
Production Company: Nik Holttum Productions
Kent Locations Used: Margate, Thanet

Jellyfish (2019) is a drama about a teenage carer discovering an unlikely talent for stand-up comedy. Fifteen-year-old Sarah Taylor (Liv Hill) struggles to care for twin siblings and a bed-ridden, manic depressive mother (Sinead Matthews) as well as bullying from her school peers. Jellyfish tells the story of how stand-up comedy becomes an unlikely outlet for Sarah’s frustration and quick-tempered wit.

Jellyfish is a feature film directed by James Gardner, who co-wrote the piece with film producer Simon Lord. Gardner has won six awards for Jellyfish, including three for Best Film, and is known for directing other works such as Barry Glitter and Ferris and the Fancy Pigeon, for which he won the Royal Television Society (RTS) Award for Best Post-Graduate Drama. Simon Lord has worked with Gardner on previous projects including Barry Glitter, and wrote the screenplay for the 2020 film Above The Clouds.

Jellyfish, starring Liv Hill (The Little StrangerThree Girls), Sinead Matthews (Pride & Prejudice (2005), The Boat That Rocked) and Cyril Nri (Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, This Life) premiered at Tribeca Film Festival in April 2018 and had its International premiere shortly after at Edinburgh International Film Festival, where it won the Michael Powell Award for Best Performance in a British Feature Film.

Liv Hill stands on a deserted beach wearing a coat looking out at the pink sunset over the low tide.

Liv Hill in Jellyfish © Jellyfish Feature Film LTD 2017

Mostly filmed in Margate, a seaside town in Thanet in Kent, production shot on the seafront, Margate train station, Dreamland and Cedar Close as Sarah’s home and the Theatre Royal. The film also features landmarks such as The Lido, Arlington House and the Main Sands as its backdrop. Margate offers amusement, culture and luxury, and is part of the district of Thanet, a popular film location. Recent productions to film in Margate include Above The Clouds (2020) and Top Boy – Series 3 (2019).

Jellyfish was released on Friday 15th February 2019 in UK cinemas and is available to watch on Amazon Prime.

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


Only Fools and Horses: The Jolly Boys’ Outing (1989)

Only Fools and Horses cast walking in a row towards the camera- metal globe behind them

Only Fools and Horses The Jolly Boys’ Outing © BBC

Director: Tony Dow

Writer: John Sullivan

Starring: David Jason, Nicholas Lyndhurst, Buster Merryfield, Paul Barber, John Challis, Sue Holderness, Roger Lloyd-Pack, Kenneth MacDonald, Gwyneth Strong, Tessa Peake-Jones.

Production Company: BBC

Kent Locations: Margate, Dreamland, Broadstairs, Herne Bay

The Jolly Boys’ Outing is the 1989 Christmas Special of the popular BBC series Only Fools and Horses and sees the Trotter brothers go on their annual coach trip to Margate with the Nag’s Head regulars. However, the trip doesn’t go to plan and forces the gang to stay overnight where Del bumps into his old flame Raquel.

Renowned British comedy Only Fools and Horses is about the Trotter brothers who live in Peckham, South London and the highs and lows they face trying to get rich. The sitcom was created and written by John Sullivan (The Two Ronnies, Roger Roger) and ran from 1981 – 2003, becoming one of the most loved sitcoms.

The Jolly Boys’ Outing episode was directed by Tony Dow (Babylon 5, Honey, I Shrunk the Kids: The TV Show) and stars David Jason (Open All Hours, The Darling Buds of May) as Derek ‘Del Boy’ Trotter and Nicholas Lyndhurst (Goodnight Sweetheart, Rock & Chips) as Rodney Trotter and Buster Merryfield (Shroud for a Nightingale, Strangers and Brothers) as Uncle Albert.

The supporting cast also boasts many familiar face including Roger Lloyd-Pack (The Vicar of Dibley, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire), Tessa Peake-Jones (Marchlands, Holby City) and Paul Barber (The Full Monty, Coronation Street).

Margate was the main destination in the episode where the boys visit theme park Dreamland. The former Broadstairs Police Station also features in the episode as well as the now closed Roman Galley Pub in Herne Bay which was used for the pitstop location where the gang stop off on their journey to Margate.

Margate is a delightful seaside town with a sandy beach, harbour, arcades, and period housing. The area has been seen on screen before featuring in productions such as BBC One’s improvised drama True Love (2012) and feature film Last Orders (2002). 

Herne Bay boasts beaches and seafront gardens as well as many shops and eateries, amusement arcades and a windmill. Productions that have chosen to film in the area include Got To Dance (2012) and Things I Haven’t Told You (2008). 

The Jolly Boys’ Outing episode of Only Fools and Horses was first shown on Christmas Day 1989 and is now available on DVD.

 

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


O Dreamland (1953)

Dreamland entrance, with amusements at the front and Dreamland written down the side of the building

Dreamland © Markus Kellmann

Director: Lindsay Anderson
Kent Locations Used: Dreamland

O Dreamland (1953) is a short documentary film made in 1953 by just the director Lindsay Anderson (If…, Britannia Hospital) and a cameraman and is about amusement park Dreamland in Margate.

The film takes the audience on a tour of Dreamland in Margate and its various attractions such as bingo, arcades, rides, café and mechanical puppets set to background noise and music.

The 12 minute film was made with basic equipment – a single camera and an audiotape recorder and after completion it was shelved and likely never to be shown however Anderson decided to screen the film as part of the Free Cinema programme.

Dreamland had been closed since 2006 but there was a redevelopment of the site. It re-opened to the public in June 2015.

Margate is a delightful seaside town with a sandy beach, harbour, arcades, galleries and period housing. Margate has become a popular location having previously welcomed productions such as Sky Atlantic drama The Tunnel (2012), BBC One’s improvised drama True Love (2012) and feature film Last Orders (2002).

O Dreamland (1953) was released in 1953 and is currently available to stream for free on BFI Player.

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