Where is The Girl Before filmed and has the BBC series been on TV before?

a close up of The Girl Before being filmed

Audiences have been drawn into the story and stunning scenery of the new BBC drama - with many wanting to know where is The Girl Before filmed?

The Christmas break provides the perfect opportunity to kick back, relax and get into a new box-set binge. And luckily for us it seems that the BBC knew exactly what we were after when they served up new thriller The Girl Before - featuring an all-star cast, a wicked plot and a mesmerising house.

It follows the story of PR executive Jane who gets given an incredibly opportunity to live in a stunning, minimalist house designed by architect Edward. Enigmatic yet mysterious he asks that Jane follow his bizarre strict rules whilst living at his home. Yet Jane soon realises that much like her predecessor, this tenancy is one that comes with a frightening cost. Much like Olivia Coleman's new drama Landscapers and the upcoming This is Going to Hurt - fans of the show are hungry for information on the cast, the story behind the show and where The Girl Before is filmed. And we've compiled all the need-to-know info to accompany your new favourite viewing.

Where is The Girl Before filmed?

BBC thriller The Girl Before is filmed in Bristol and London.

Bristol residents will no doubt recognise several filming locations. With scenes for the show filmed at Queen Square park, the University of Bristol's Badock Hall and the Corn Exchange offices above St Nicholas’s market.

The Girl Before was filmed between April and May of this year, with no delays experienced as a result of the pandemic.


JP Delaney, the author of the book that's been adapted for TV, explained that whilst it's predominantly filmed in Bristol the drama is still set in London.

"We moved it from the book," he said. "In the book it’s [set in] Cricklewood and we moved it to Hampstead.

"Because we actually shot in Bristol. Some of the locations are Bristol, some are London. But we had a very precise postcode for it in our heads."

He added that London landmarks like Primrose Hill were added to give it the feel of being near central London.

The Girl Before House:

Audiences may be disappointed to learn that The Girl Before house is not real.

An exterior facade of the house was built on Woodland Terrace, a street in Redland, Bristol. Whilst the interior was a specially built set at The Bottle Yard Studios in south Bristol.

Though fans are unable to visit the real house, they can swing by the street address One Folgate Street where the story is set. This is a real street based in Shoreditch, London.

a long shot of the house where The Girl Before is filmed

(Credit: Photographer Amanda Searle)

The cast and crew both knew the fascination viewers would have with the house, being such an integral part of the plot.

“The house is the real star,” joked actress Gugu Mbatha-Raw in an interview with The Guardian.

"You really do feel there is a wow factor when you walk onto the set," she added in a separate interview. "And I know it’s a set, but I was so sort of caught up in it.

"I remember walking onto the set for the first time having visualised and seen drawings and just suddenly feeling very small and feeling that feeling of compression and releases as it is explained when the architects are viewing it."

The interior of The Girl Before house

Inside The Girl Before house (Credit: Photographer Amanda Searle)

Viewers on Twitter had a lot to say about the house whilst watching the first episode:

"I enjoyed that first episode but those stairs gave me palpitations the second I saw them. Told my husband at the time too. #TheGirlBefore," tweeted one user. 

Whilst another joked about the home's minimalist nature: "Rent a house where no books are allowed I mean why! that’s far-fetched right there lol #thegirlbefore," wrote another.

A viewer who had previously read the book, said that the house in the series was just how she envisioned it in her head:

"So; I read #TheGirlBefore a couple of years back, the way the house is in this adaptation is exactly how it was in my imagination, that’s some good descriptive writing from the author!"

Who's in The Girl Before Cast?

Viewers will no doubt recognise these British actors from both the big and small screen, who make up The Girl Before cast:

  • Gugu Mbatha-Raw (Belle, Black Mirror, Loki) plays Jane
  • David Oyelowo (Spooks, Selma, A United Kingdom) plays Edward
  • Jessica Plummer (Eastenders, I'm a Celebrity) plays Emma
  • Ben Hardy (Eastenders, Bohemian Rhapsody) plays Simon

Actress Gugu Mbatha-Raw takes on the role of lead protagonist Jane, in what is her first thriller.

"I’d never done a psychological thriller before,” she reflected in an interview with The Guardian. "I also loved the fact that it was female-driven; there wasn’t just one great female part, but two."

a still of The Girl Before cast Gugu Mbatha-Raw and David Oyelowo

Gugu Mbatha-Raw and David Oyelowo filming A Girl Before on BBC. (Credit: Photographer Amanda Searle)

Mbatha-Raw also celebrates another first with The Girl Before - marking her first project as a producer. Part of this behind-the-camera role involved signing up co-star David Oyelowo who plays Edward - a long-term friend of Gugu's.

When is The Girl Before next on TV?

The Girl Before is a four-part series that will air consecutively over four nights in December on BBC One:

  • First episode - aired 19 December at 9pm
  • Second episode - airs 20 December at 9pm
  • Third episode - airs 21 December at 9pm
  • Fourth epiosde - airs 22 December at 9pm

Viewers can also catch up with The Girl Before on BBC iPlayer now - where the full box set has been released.

Each episode runs for approximately 59 minutes with no ad breaks.

Is The Girl Before a true story?

No, The Girl Before is not a true story. It is instead based on the 2016 novel of the same name by JP Delaney.

The Girl Before was an instant success for the author, becoming both a New York Times and Sunday Times bestseller. The latter publication hailing it as: “An outstanding debut that is more than a match for Paula Hawkins’ The Girl on the Train… A remarkably poised psychological thriller.”

It has sold over 1 million copies in 40 countries worldwide. The new television drama follows the book's plot which reads:

"After a break-in, Emma wants a new place to live. But she can’t afford anywhere that feels safe – until she finds One Folgate Street. The house is a minimalist masterpiece of pale stone, plate glass and soaring ceilings. But the enigmatic architect who designed it retains full control: no books, no cushions, no photos or clutter of any kind. The space is intended to transform its occupant, and it does.

After a personal tragedy, Jane needs a fresh start. When she finds One Folgate Street, she’s instantly drawn to the space – and to its aloof but seductive creator. Moving in, Jane soon learns about the untimely death of the previous tenant, a woman similar to her in age and appearance. As Jane tries to untangle truth from lies, she unwittingly follows the same patterns, makes the same choices, and experiences the same terror, as the girl before…"

The Girl Before by JP Delaney (Paperback) - £5 | Amazon
"Enter the world of One FOlgate Street and discover perfection... but can you pay the price?" Pick up a copy of this addictive bestseller - of which the new BBC series is based on.

The British writer - whose real name is Tony Strong - specialises in pyschological suspense and writes under the pseudonyms of JP Delaney, Anthony Capella and Johnathon Holt.

He said of the adaptation: "I'm not one of these writers who wants to adapt because I want my book to be on the screen. I was the opposite, I wanted to collaborate and see all these amazing people change it.

"And the funny thing is it didn't change that much, it got more nuanced and stylish."

Has The Girl Before been on TV before?

No, The Girl Before has not been on TV before.

The new thriller has been brought to life by Killing Eve director Lisa Brühlmann. She worked closely with author JP Delaney and screenwriter Marissa Lestrade to take it from page to screen.

Acclaimed American director Ron Howard was also involved in bringing the project to life. And as such, US audiences are also able to stream The Girl Before exclusively on HBO Max.

And if you love true crime, be sure to check out Britbox's Secrets of the Krays - now streaming on the service.

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Emily Stedman
Features Editor

Emily Stedman is the former Features Editor for GoodTo covering all things TV, entertainment, royal, lifestyle, health and wellbeing. Boasting an encyclopaedic knowledge on all things TV, celebrity and royals, career highlights include working at HELLO! Magazine and as a royal researcher to Diana biographer Andrew Morton on his book Meghan: A Hollywood Princess. In her spare time, Emily can be found eating her way around London, swimming at her local Lido or curled up on the sofa binging the next best Netflix show.