Where is Doctor Foster filmed? – locations in Hitchin

Where is Doctor Foster filmed? – locations in Hitchin

3rd October 2017 0 By Biggsy

Last Updated:

Reading Time: 6 minutes

Hitchin in Hertfordshire has served as the main backdrop to many a scene in the latest series of Doctor Foster, acting as the fictional town of Parminster. Many a Hitchin resident tuned in initially back in 2015 to see what parts of town would be shown, but now we’re just as engrossed as everybody else. So where exactly are the key locations?

Doctor Foster filming in the Market Square back in September 2016
Doctor Foster filming in the Market Square back in September 2016

With signs being out up in the centre of town back in September 2016 most of us already had a good idea where they would be, including the local Hitchin Running Club who were politely asked to do a little detour one evening as bright neon green, pink and yellow doesn’t look too good on camera.

Do you need a refresher? Buy the series on DVD

For those who missed a few episodes buy Doctor Foster series 1 and 2 on DVD from Amazon for the ultimate catch-up.

Show me all the Doctor Foster locations

A lot of the action is filmed around Hitchin’s Market Square. This panorama photo sets the scene and shows a lot of the locations that were used.

Hitchin Market Square panoramic shot
Hitchin Market Square panoramic shot
The key Doctor Foster locations in Hitchin
The key locations in Hitchin with. Google Link

The Market Square and Café Air Coffee Shop

Hitchin’s Market Square serves as the location for characters to grab a coffee before visiting the Courtyard Parminster Community Centre. The Square is a delightful, enclosed location which has various stalls on a Saturday throughout the year, a kids’ bouncy slide and sometimes even an old school merry-go-round too. The Square also hosts the annual Christmas carol service and is the main hub of the town. It also leads through to the most picturesque view of the town, looking over to St Mary’s Church.

Neil grabbing a coffee in the square
Neil grabbing a coffee in the square
Kate grabbing a quick coffee too
Kate grabbing a quick coffee too
Hitchin's Café Air coffee shop in the Market Square
Hitchin’s Café Air coffee shop in the Market Square
Doctor Foster with the traffic warden
Doctor Foster with the traffic warden
The road around Hitchin Market Square where the traffic actually goes the other way
The road around Hitchin Market Square where the traffic actually goes in the other direction

The Courtyard Parminster Community Centre café … aka Cooper’s Yard and The Dogs Trust

The orange clad windows actually belong to the Dogs Trust charity shop and the walkway leads up to Wakelin’s coffee shop rather than opening out into a Courtyard cafe. Maybe some clever “green screen” was going on here. One of the many independent coffee shops in Hitchin.

Doctor Foster striding towards the Parminster Community Café
Doctor Foster striding towards the Parminster Community Café
Hitchin's Dogs Trust leading up to Kinetic Cycles and Wakelin's Coffee
Hitchin’s Dogs Trust leading up to Kinetic Cycles and Wakelin’s Coffee

Strattos nightclub … aka Osinsky’s and Waterstone’s

This nightclub is actually a pool hall, bar and restaurant called Osinsky’s, with its facade outside being the front of Waterstone’s bookstore. In the show, Doctor Foster and the teacher walk UP to get out but you actually walk up the stairs to get IN with Osinsky’s bar being on the first floor and not underground. When I was taking the photos below a group of 5 women were amusingly trying to recreate some of the scenes from episode 2.

Doctor Foster going up to leave the nightclub
Doctor Foster going UP to leave the nightclub
Hitchin's Osinsky's bar where you actually go up to go in
Hitchin’s Osinsky’s bar where you actually go up to go IN
Doctor Foster shouting Simon outside the nightclub
Doctor Foster shouting “Simon!” outside the nightclub
Hitchin Market Square looking back towards Osinsky's and Waterstone's
Hitchin Market Square looking back towards Osinsky’s and Waterstone’s
Simon taking that photo of Doctor Foster
Simon taking that photo of Doctor Foster
Hitchin Market Square without Simon, looking towards the Rose & Crown pub
Hitchin Market Square without Simon, looking towards the Rose & Crown pub

The Doctor Foster bench … on the top of Windmill Hill

Perhaps the most iconic setting is the bench on the top of Windmill Hill that looks back west over Hitchin, which treats you to some beautiful and far-reaching sunsets in the summer. The hill faces Hermitage Road which is soon becoming one of Hitchin’s coolest streets with the Hermitage bar, the beer shop, and Farley’s hairdressers. Look up towards the hill and you will see two wooden benches. The “Doctor Foster” bench is the one on the right

The Doctor Foster bench on top of the hill
The Doctor Foster bench on top of the hill
Sitting on the Doctor Foster bench at the top of Windmill Hill
Sitting on the Doctor Foster bench at the top of Windmill Hill
Find Hermitage Road and look to the top of the grassy hill
Find Hermitage Road and look to the top of the grassy hill. The bench is the one on the right of the two up there.

Hitchin Market and St Mary’s Church

When Kate and her friend are wandering through town they walk adjacent to St Mary’s Church before turning through Hitchin Market. St Mary’s Church is the largest parish church in Hertfordshire and is remarkably big for a town of the size of Hitchin – cited as evidence of how Hitchin prospered from the wool trade.

Kate walking through the market
Kate walking through the market
Hitchin Market and St Mary's Church
Hitchin Market and St Mary’s Church outside Manny’s café

Churchgate Shopping Centre

They then find themselves in the “once” futuristic looking Churchgate Shopping Centre which was built in the 1960s, sadly removing some old buildings which had completed the enclosed feel of the Market Square.

Doctor Foster heading back into the Square
Doctor Foster heading back into the Square
Hitchin Churchgate Shopping Centre and the Market Square
Hitchin Churchgate Shopping Centre and the Market Square
Kate having a chat with her friend's friend
Kate having a chat with her friend’s friend
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Hitchin Churchgate Shopping Centre Entrance
The Churchgate Shopping Centre entrance

Since the filming of Doctor Foster a lot of other Hitchin filming locations have been used/discovered – both before and after.

Also check out the post by Hornblower Travels that wonderfully portrays our beautiful little market town and all the things there are to see in it, from music festivals to Indian festivals and from lavender fields to historic old pubs and buildings. Even the late, great magician Paul Daniels made an appearance at the Hitchin Market Theatre and I was picked to up on stage with him!

Doctor Foster preparing for a scene in the Market Square
Doctor Foster preparing for a scene in the Market Square. Source ‘The Sun’

Hotel accommodation in and around Hitchin

If you’re from further afield and need some accommodation then check out the local hotels shown below



Booking.com