Where is Call the Midwife filmed? Filming locations and behind-the-scenes details of beloved BBC show

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Where is Call the Midwife filmed? Christmas special filming locations and behind-the-scenes details
(Image credit: BBC One)

If you're wondering about the filming locations for Call the Midwife, you've come to the right place. 

For the past ten years, Call the Midwife has been a staple of our festive viewing line-up. Ever since its premiere in 2012, the BBC One period drama has delighted fans across the UK and beyond with its annual Christmas special. Widely regarded as each season's most anticipated episode, the holiday broadcast is known for topping the ratings chart with its gripping storylines and scenery shake-ups. In 2020, Call the Midwife even bagged the title of the most-watched programme on Christmas Day, attracting a TV audience of 8 million. 

The buzz for the historic drama this year is no exception, with fans asking when is the Call the Midwife Christmas special as early as November. People are also wondering about the filming locations of Call the Midwife's Christmas special, as well as all the behind-the-scenes gossip from the highly-anticipated episode. Then there's loyal fans wanting the details on why did Lucille leave Call the Midwife in the most recent season 13 episodes...

Where is Call the Midwife filmed? 

Most of the exterior scenes for Call the Midwife were filmed at the Historic Dockyard Chatham, a maritime museum in Kent. Its cobbled streets can be spotted in many of the clips of the nurses riding their bicycles, while its Victorian Ropery is notably used for the Poplar Police Station. 

The Lisbon Buildings, the exterior of the London hospital, and the entrance to Dr. Turner’s surgery can also be found here. 

Call the Midwife

The Historic Dockyard Chatham

(Image credit: Getty)

Not all the scenes of Call the Midwife are recorded at the docks though. This is because 1960s Poplar - which is the show's setting - looks completely different today. As such the producers had to find an alternative to recreate the town's mid-century aesthetic.

They decided to have a set built at the Longcross Film Studios in Surrey, to ensure that the architecture of Call the Midwife was historically accurate. The set is reportedly left untouched year-round, so there's no need to deconstruct and reassemble when filming resumes in the New Year. It's home to many of the show's iconic buildings, including the fictional Nonnatus House, which was formerly set in North London.


(Image credit: BBC One)

Call the Midwife filming: Behind the scenes 

The stars of Call the Midwife have been drumming up a frenzy for the Christmas special over the past month with their festive social media posts, some of which have featured a behind-the-scenes look into the episode's filming. 

On December 14, the show's official Twitter posted an exciting glimpse into the Mullock family's storyline in the upcoming Christmas special. The broadcast will further explore the struggle of Rhoda and Bernie's daughter Susan (Emily Webb), who was born in Series 5 with a severe injury caused by the drug Thalidomide. 

"Filming for this Christmas episode was an interesting technical challenge for little Emily as Susan – who had to spend many hours immobile, or wearing specially adapted prosthetic limbs and artificial legs to replicate the crude walking aids built for children injured by Thalidomide at that time," Call the Midwife wrote in a post on Facebook. 

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On December 12, another behind-the-scenes look at the upcoming festive special was posted. 

In the 1.49-minute-long clip, the stars of the Turner family talk about what they most love about filming the festive episode. Laura Main, who plays former nun Shelagh Turner in the show, reveals she is "mad for Christmas", adding that she loves how she can celebrate the special day "two times a year" because of Call the Midwife. "I don't have to wait twelve months, it's wonderful." 

Stephan McCann, who plays Dr. Turner in the show, also shares his excitement about the eleventh Christmas special. "The funny thing about Christmas specials is, they're not like anything else," he says. "Like Christmas itself, they take a tradition of their own." 

"The sets look absolutely magical. The Turner home, I've never seen it look more beautiful," Main adds. 

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Emma Dooney
News and lifestyle writer

Emma is a Lifestyle News Writer for Goodto. Hailing from the lovely city of Dublin, she mainly covers the Royal Family and the entertainment world, as well as the occasional health and wellness feature. Always up for a good conversation, she has a passion for interviewing everyone from A-list celebrities to the local GP - or just about anyone who will chat to her, really.