From luxurious houses and sweeping views of Windermere, to drone shots of the Lake District’s rich autumnal foliage, part of the appeal of watching ITV’s Deep Water — starring Emmy-winner Anna Friel, Sinead Keenan and Rosalind Eleazar — is down to the picturesque scenery.
In an exclusive interview with RadioTimes.com, the series’ writer and executive producer Anne Symon (Mrs Wilson) outlined how crucial the “elemental landscape” was when she was adapting Paula Daly’s Windermere series of novels.
“It was really important to me that we used the scenery a lot. Because I didn’t want it to feel like small-stakes, domestic women gossiping, I wanted it to feel like these women go into huge journeys, huge choices. And by putting them in that very elemental landscape, particularly as the series goes on, we see them out and about in these huge landscapes,” she explained. “And it kind of gives a sort of an epic quality to their stories, rather than making them feel kind of small.”
Read on for our complete location guide to Deep Water…
Where is the lake in Deep Water filmed?
All of the water scenes in Deep Water were filmed in the Lake District at Windermere, the largest natural lake in England. However, the series was shot over autumn and winter — meaning some of the water scenes proved difficult for actors…
“It was really hard. We were filming from September to December, so the weather was getting worse every day we were there. And the days were getting shorter, but yeah. All the water stuff was filmed in Lake Windermere,” Symon said.
“I was keen that one of characters should be a swimmer in the lake. So that became Joanne [played by Faye Marsay], and you don’t see it in episode one but she’s one of these wild swimmers — she’s a very practical person. And so she very much uses the lake for exercise in a practical way… She’s quite lonely, and you see her as alone in the lake.”
Where is Kate’s house in Deep Water filmed?
Kate Riverty (played by Rosalind Eleazar) has an opulent, lake-side house where she holds a dinner party in episode one. According to Symon, the real-life house is situated on the Hawkshead side of Windermere, close to Hawkshead Village.
“One of the interesting things is that the more money you have the bigger your connection to the lake… It was a deliberate decision that Kate had to have a house overlooking the lake, and that they have a boat, so they’ve got a boat house.”
The proximity of Kate’s house is also a reflection of her character, according to Symon: “Kate’s of the water… she’s kind of like a mirror, in that she kind of reflects stuff back at people and then you don’t really know what’s going on underneath, at least you don’t know in episode one. And then as the series goes on, you discover that she’s very much got hidden depths and vulnerabilities and that she’s not this perfect ice maiden that she appears to be.”
Where is the local school in Deep Water filmed?
During episode one, Lisa, Roz and Kate often see one another outside the school gates of the local primary school, where their children all attend. As in HBO’s Big Little Lies, the goings-on outside school gates — and the way the parents present themselves there — help establish the class and power dynamics. While Lisa brings a burnt bundt cake, Kate arrives with a two-tiered chocolate cake.
When it came to choosing locations, the production team opted to stay close to Windermere and shoot the school scenes at Staveley Primary School.
“We had a rule that everything had to be within half an hour of Windermere,” Symon explained. “Just for practicalities or we’d be driving around all the time. But also just to keep our world really kind of authentic, so yeah, so we didn’t want to go to the North Lakes, or over towards Manchester or whatever, we very much always wanted to stay in that world.”
Where are Roz and Lisa’s houses in Deep Water filmed?
“Lisa [played by Ana Friel] lives in the countryside in the hills, as do Joanne and Roz in a place called Staveley,” Symon told RadioTimes.com. “Which is sort of a bit further out from Windermere. And I guess all the houses, they’re stone houses of the area, but they’re all very different to reflect their different characters.
“Lisa is very much of the earth, as a character, she’s got her dog kennels. We built those kennels into the scenery so that you can really see that she’s of the hills
Meanwhile, neighbours “Joanne and Ros live in a terrace. Again, it’s a very beautiful location, but more pragmatic housing”.
Where is the café in Deep Water filmed?
Roz’s brother, Pete Toovey (played by Carl Rice) works at a lakeside café, where — in another visual similarity to Big Little Lies — the women often meet to share their problems. For the shoot, the crew took over a real-life café: Bluebird Café on Coniston Water, “another, one of the most beautiful lakes,” according to Symon.
“That’s where you see one of the first scenes between Lisa and Kate where they talk about the son bullying. That’s the same cafe. We go back there quite a lot. So that is a real cafe that we obviously took over,” she added.
Deep Water begins on Wednesday 14th August at 9pm on ITV. The entire season will be available to stream after the first episode airs