Doctor Foster filming locations in Hitchin

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. With the last episode of this second series being shown tonight 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. But for those who missed a few of them here are the key 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 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 considered 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 Kinetic Cycles / Wakelin’s coffee shop rather than opening out into a Courtyard cafe. Maybe some clever “green screen” was going on here.

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 are shown walking 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 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, Gatefold record coffee 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

Further down Hitchin's Churchgate Shopping Centre outside the Persian Rug Shop

Further down Hitchin’s Churchgate Shopping Centre outside the Persian Rug Shop

Hitchin Churchgate Shopping Centre Entrance

The Churchgate Shopping Centre entrance

Are there any Hitchin locations I missed? I think I got most of them? 🙂

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.

Doctor Foster preparing for a scene in the Market Square

Doctor Foster preparing for a scene in the Market Square. Source

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Leaving your passport in your hold luggage

Well that’s a first! Landing back at your UK airport, walking down the steps onto the runway … and then realising you’ve put your passport into the hold and you can’t get through passport control.

Imagine being greeted by this .. but WITHOUT your passport

Imagine being greeted by this .. but WITHOUT your passport. Source: Oilofulay

Well that happened to me just last week as I returned from the Berlin Marathon, but how can this happen?! Well EasyJet have a policy these days of picking out a handful of customers at the departure gate and asking them to have their hand luggage put into the hold at the last minute free of charge. This is to free up space in the cabin and never bothers me as it’s one less thing to have to then lug on-board … as long as you take out what you need for the plane of course! And this time for some reason I failed to take out my passport! I blame this forgetfullness on the Steins from the night before!

The Easyjet attendent mentioned something about taking out cameras and iPads, this possibly being for travel insurance reasons and/or not wanting more delicate consumables to be damaged. Maybe she mentioned passports but I’m pretty sure she didn’t! Anyway happy as Larry I boarded the flight with just my camera bag and water bottle on me and enjoyed the 1h40m flight home.

Luton Airport Passport Control but without my passport

Luton Airport Passport Control but without my passport. Source: Channel4.com

As soon as my feet touched the tarmac I realised! Oh shit! My passport! Meh! What’s the worse that can happen? Simply show your picture driving license to get through passport control instead?, or get “rubber gloved”? Gulp! I immediately spoke to an member of staff manning a zebra crossing. She smiled wryly and replied “Speak to the passport queue guy inside”. Either she knew what was about to happen to me or she sees this kind of thing every day and knew there wasn’t any cause for concern? I’d find out shortly either way.

Nobody wants to be greeted by rubber gloves at passport control

Nobody wants to be greeted by rubber gloves at passport control! Source: Aftermathnews

So I nonchalantly greeted the hi-viz guy at the start of the passport queue informing him of my situation as if it wasn’t any real issue … so just let me back in. He directed me to a row of seats facing the bank of passport control booths and there I waited, but not before quickly pointing out the back of my girlfriend’s head as she’d already headed off to the automatic passport booths. “Hopefully” she’d remember what my standard, ubiquitous, little, black wheelie bag looked like; my passport sitting neatly in my travel wallet in its front pocket.

So there I sat, just me, feeling a bit like a rumbled refugee, or at least a naughty little boy as the rest of the plane shuffled past. Five minutes later I was still sat there. My iPhone battery had died on the flight (not that you’re allowed to use it in passport control anyway) and even if it had been working I wasn’t able to take a sorrowful looking selfie for security reasons. However I “did” have my battery charger on me so ever so slowly my phone sparked back into life with the white Apple logo stuck on the screen for longer than usual before it allowed me to log in. This was in case my girlfriend was at the baggage carousel frantically calling me to ask what my bag looked like again.

After what seemed like an age the bearded hi-viz guy returned, passport in hand. He asked me my full name while holding it up to my face and that was that. The similarly bearded passport booth guy I’d been sat opposite for the last 15 minutes beckoned me forwards. He knew what I’d done, and that was it! A 10 second check and off I went.

Tweeting Easyjet about passports in hand luggage

Tweeting Easyjet about passports in hand luggage

But this does beg the question what would happen if I’d been travelling alone and there’d been no-one to spot my “hold” – I mean “hand” luggage!! I guess my bag would have been the last one forlornly circling the carousel but that could have lead to a 30 minute sweaty wait rather than just my self-induced 10 minute one!

So note to self. Keep your passport on you at all times or keep a smaller bag on you for plane stuff which contains your passport. I sent a tweet to EasyJet saying they should make sure the customers take their passports out first before any hand luggage goes in to the hold but I haven’t received an answer back yet.

Oh well. Lesson learnt. No rubber gloves. No harm done! 🙂

Has anybody else done something similar on their travels?

My "hand" luggage and passport where I like to keep item!

My “hand” luggage and passport where I like to keep it