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.


The Larkins (2021-2022)

Pop and Ma Larkin posing for a photo in front of a flowering hawthorne hedge. Bradley Walsh as Pop Larkin sits in a brown leather chair and wears a brown waistcoat and light blue shirt. Joanna Scanlan as Ma Larkin stands behind him, wearing a blue shirt and patterned apron.

Pop Larkin (Bradley Walsh) and Ma Larkin (Joanna Scanlan) in Series 2 of The Larkins © ITV Plc / Objective Fiction / Genial Productions

Writer / Creator: Simon Nye
Starring: Bradley Walsh, Joanna Scanlan, Sabrina Bartlett (Series 1), Joelle Rae (Series 2) Tok Stephen, Peter Davidson
Production Company: Objective Fiction, Genial Productions
Kent Locations Used: Viking Bay and Victoria Gardens – Broadstairs, Eynsford, Faversham, Stonepitts PYO Farm, Sundridge, Squerryes Court, Walpole Bay Hotel & Museum, Underriver, Chiddingstone, various undisclosed villages and farms in North Kent, Tonbridge Castle, Leigh, Sackville School, Canterbury prison

ITV’s The Larkins (2021-2022) returns for Series 2. The show is an adaptation of the five beloved HE Bates’ novels about the Larkins which began with  The Darling Buds of May. The comedy drama series was written and created by Simon Nye (The Durrells, Finding Alice) and stars Bradley Walsh (Law & Order: UK, Coronation Street) as Pop Larkin, Joanna Scanlan (After Love (2021), Getting On) as Ma Larkin, Peter Davison (Call the Midwife (2012-2023), Doctor Who) as The Vicar, Sabrina Bartlett (Bridgerton (2020), Victoria) as Mariette Larkin (Series 1), Joelle Rae (Get Even) as Mariette Larkins (Series 2), and Tok Stephen as Cedric ‘Charley’ Charlton (Silent Witness, Grantchester).

Bradley Walsh takes on a role originally played by David Jason (Still Open All Hours, Only Fools and Horses) in The Darling Buds of May (1991 – 1993), a story about the lives of the working class May family in rural Kent in the 1950’s.

Series 2 sees a new family settle in the picturesque village, and they soon find themselves at war with the Larkins. Also joining the new townspeople is Reverend Candy (Maxim Ays (Sanditon, Still So Awkward)), whose handsome face immediately sets Primrose’s heart aflutter.

The Larkins family posing for a photo by a lake with trees in the background. The actors are wearing brightly coloured 1950s clothing. To the left children sit on a picnic blanket with a hamper. The adults stand to the right leaning on a wooden bench.

The Larkins © ITV Plc / Objective Fiction / Genial Productions
Pictured: Montgomery Larkin (Liam Middleton), Petunia Larkin (Rosie Coleman), Victoria Larkin (Lola Shepelev), Zinnia Larkin (Davina Coleman), Mariette (Sabrina Bartlett), Primrose Larkin (Lydia Page), Charley (Tok Stephen), Pop Larkin (Bradley Walsh) and Ma Larkin (Joanna Scanlan)

During filming of Series 1 and 2, as well as the 2021 Christmas Special, production filmed on various farms and villages in North Kent for the setting of the family farm and village.

Series 1

In Episode 3, Victoria Gardens and Viking Bay in Broadstairs feature when Ma and Pop Larkin go on a holiday to Margate. Faversham town and the Guild Hall feature in the same episode as Margate town and the Registry Office, where Ma and Pop rescue a runaway bride. The Walpole Bay Hotel & Museum in Margate also features in Episode 3 as the Margate Grand Hotel where Ma and Pop stay.

Eynsford village features in various episodes throughout this series. Eynsford Riverside appears in Episodes 1 and 2 as the Littlechurch river, Eynsford Village Hall appears in Episode 5 as the Littlechurch village hall where the locals vote on Tom’s plans for the village, and The Castle Hotel appears in Episode 2 during the pram race. The Five Bells Pub in Eynsford also appears in Episodes 2, 3 and 6 as the local village pub.

The Larkins enjoy strawberry picking in Episodes 4 and 5, and these scenes were filmed at Stonepitts Farm near Sevenoaks. Filming also took place at Long Barn in Sundridge, which became Seth’s Cottage in Episode 6, and Squerryes Court in Westerham became Bluff Court in Episodes 2 and 6, and the interior of Reg’s guesthouse in Episode 2.

The 2021 Christmas Special saw the return of various locations from the previous series, and featured some new sites including the Underriver Village Hall where the locals rehearse their festive pantomime, a private residence in Underriver which featured as the Norman’s home, and a private cottage in Chiddingstone which featured as the Nunn’s cottage

Series 2

As well as the welcome return of Squerryes Court as Bluff Court and Underriver village hall, Series 2  features some new Kent locations, including several in Tonbridge.

Sackville School features as Fordington Prison’s visiting area, and Tonbridge Castle and the river behind it also appear, doubling as the exterior of the Mid Kent Times Office. A private estate in Leigh in Sevenoaks appears in the series as the interior of the Chand’s bungalow, the interior of the Mid Kent Times Office and the exterior of Lady Violet’s (Prue Clarke) cottage. Canterbury Prison also features in Series 2 as Fordington Prison.

Broadstairs in East Kent is a picturesque coastal town with several beautiful beaches, restaurants, bars and walking trails which provide visitors with a real Kentish seaside town experience. Victoria Gardens has stunning clifftop views of Viking Bay and Louisa Bay. Broadstairs and Viking Bay has welcomed productions including Breeders Series 2 (2021), Devils (2021) and Hurricane (2018).

Faversham is a beautiful historic market town in the Swale Borough of Kent. The historic town boasts over 500 listed buildings. Previous productions in the town include Bollywood film Jagame Thandhiram (2021), Whitstable Pearl (2021-2022) and Hetty Feather Series 1 – 6 (2015 – 2020).

The Walpole Bay Hotel & Museum in Margate was built for discerning guests in 1914 and extended in 1927. The hotel has five floors and 42 bedrooms and a museum space. The décor and layout is versatile to suit many eras and the hotel provides cast and crew accommodation and on road parking in a quiet cul-de-sac. Margate is a traditional seaside town complete with sandy beach, harbour, amusement park, period housing and modern art gallery Turner Contemporary. Recent productions to film in Margate are Whitstable Pearl (2021-2022), Two Weeks to Live (2020) and Pandemonium (2020).

Located on the River Darent, Eynsford has some distinctive features including its viaduct, ford and ancient ruins and is part of the Sevenoaks district. Stonepitts Farm sits at the foot of the North Downs in Seal, near Sevenoaks, with magnificent views over the beautiful Vale of Holmesdale that has been a local landmark for hundreds of years.

Squerryes Court in Westerham is a beautiful 17th century manor house which has been the Warde family home since 1731. It is surrounded by 20 acres of attractive and historic gardens which include a lake, restored parterres and an 18th century dovecote. Westerham is a very busy village on a through road near Sevenoaks. Recent productions to film in the Sevenoaks district include The Cleaner (2021), The First Team (2020) and Great British Railway Journeys Series 11 (2020).

Chiddingstone is one of the oldest and most picturesque villages in Kent. It’s described as the most accurate example of a surviving Tudor village in the county, complete with half-timbered frames, gables and stone hung red-tiled roofs. Previous productions to have filmed in Chiddingstone include A Room with a View (1986) and The Wind in the Willows (1996).

Tonbridge is a riverside town with picturesque castle, churches and historic buildings. Tonbridge Castle was built at the time of the Norman conquest and in 1741, stone from the towers, walls and keep were used in the building of the Medway canal. Other productions to have filmed in Tonbridge include PRU (2022), Making Noise Quietly (2019) and Missing (2009-2010).

Now owned by Canterbury Christ Church University, the former Canterbury prison has wings with closed cells dating back to 1808. It is a popular filming location, with previous productions such as Deceit (2021), Small Axe (2020) and Break (2020) having filmed there.

The Larkins Series 1 began airing on ITV on Sunday 10th October. All episodes are available to stream on ITV Hub as well as the Christmas Special which first aired on ITV on Saturday 25th December 2021 at 9pm.

Series 2 of The Larkins began airing on ITV on Sunday 16th October 2022.

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


Hurricane (2018)

Official Hurricane Movie Poster- Crashed plane at the bottom of the poster, three main characters at the centre of the poster in period clothing, planes and london skyline in background. Hurricane reads in the centre

Official Hurricane Movie Poster ©IMDb

 

Writers: Robert Ryan and Alastair Galbraith

Director: David Blair

Starring: Iwan Rheon, Milo Gibson, Stefanie Martini

Production Company: Head Gear Films

Kent Locations Used: Victoria Gardens & Stone Bay, Thanet

Hurricane is the story of Squadron 303, a group of courageous Polish soldiers who fought with British troops in the skies to defend England in WWII. The story is told through the eyes of Polish flying ace Jan Zumbach (Iwan Rheon), whose hope it is, that Britain can defeat the Nazis and free his own country.

Starring Iwan Rheon (Game of Thrones, Our Girl) as Jan Zumbach, Milo Gibson (Hacksaw Ridge, Gangster Land) as John Kent and Stefanie Martini (Prime Suspect, Endeavour) as Phyllis Lambert.

Victoria Gardens was used in one of the scenes scene with a bus where Josef Frantisek (Krystof Hádek) meets Jan Zumbach (Iwan Rheon) and Ziggy (Matt Malecki). Victoria Gardens, Broadstairs is situated in Thanet which is home to some of the most beautiful Georgian, Victorian and Regency buildings. Broadstairs has a is a sandy beach with sea-carved chalk cliffs with the scenery being used in the film when a character parachutes onto the beach from a war plane.

There was also a beach scene at Stone Bay, Broadstairs, where Jan Zumbach (Iwan Rheon) is seen walking off a beach (this follows him stealing a plane in France to fly to England).

Broadstairs is situated in Thanet which is home to many beautiful Georgian, Victorian and Regency buildings. The area is a popular location for a variety of films and TV series including Liar (2017), The Lady in the Van (2015), The Calling (2009,  Mr Selfridge Series 4 (2016).

The film is due to be released in the UK on 7th September 2018.

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