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Where is Call the Midwife filmed?

Everything you need to know about key locations for Call the Midwife.

Call The Midwife - Ep4
Published: Friday, 24th December 2021 at 10:50 am

Call the Midwife fans have been clamouring for more episodes following that tear-jerking season 10 finale.

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Here’s the good news: Call the Midwife is returning for a Christmas special in December 2021, which should keep us happy until season 11 arrives early in 2022 (with more drama set to come for Trixie and Matthew).

The TV show was inspired by the memoirs of midwife Jennifer Worth who worked in a convent in post-war East End London.

If you’re looking forward to the return of Call the Midwife this Christmas, you might be wondering, where on earth is it filmed? Well, it certainly isn’t shot in 21st century Poplar, which is a real place in the capital – and has changed rapidly since the late 1950s and early ’60s.

Instead, the production team has cleverly combined studio sets with location shoots and preserved historic exteriors to create the world of Call the Midwife, from Nonnatus House to the streets of East London.

Without further ado, here are all the filming locations you need to know about ahead of the action-packed future episodes.

Where is the Christmas special 2021 filmed?

The Call the Midwife Christmas special 2021 is set in Poplar, so it was filmed at a studio near London – as detailed below.

Call the Midwife Christmas 2021 special Helen George

The annual festive special also has scenes filmed in Kent. Read more about this below as well.

Previous Christmas specials have been set further afield: in recent years we've been to the Outer Hebrides in Scotland (2019), and to the Mother House near Chichester (2018), with filming taking place at West Wittering in Sussex.

Where is Nonnatus House filmed?

Call the Midwife has made its home at Longcross Film Studios in Surrey, close to Chertsey and not far from London. Here, the production team has created an extremely impressive exterior set which is left standing year-round.

Stepping onto set is like being transported back in time and straight into the Call the Midwife universe.

Call the Midwife Longcross

Taking pride of place is Nonnatus House, but the set also includes the Hendy Street allotments where Fred Buckle (Cliff Parisi) spends his time – as well as the arch, Violet's shop, the square outside Nonnatus, nearby houses, and local shopfronts.

Interior scenes are also filmed at Longcross. The Manor House's grand central staircase is a recognisable the midwives' headquarters, while locations such as the Turners' house and the nuns' dining room are filmed using a closed studio set.

Longcross Studios was once a Ministry of Defence site, but is now a major filming location – having been used for movies including Thor: The Dark World, Guardians of the Galaxy, Skyfall, Fast & Furious 6, and Doctor Strange.

Call the Midwife filming

Unfortunately for Call the Midwife fans, the studio is not open to the public.

The BBC drama arrived at Longcross in 2013, when the production team was forced to leave Nonnatus House's previous location at St Joseph's Missionary College in Mill Hill, North London – so it could be sold and converted into luxury flats.

Where is Poplar filmed for Call the Midwife?

Nurse Valerie Dyer and Nurse Lucille Anderson in Call the Midwife

The Historic Dockyard Chatham in Kent has been used to film exteriors and outdoor scenes since the show's very beginning. In fact, it now runs an Official Call the Midwife Tour, which features a walk through key filming locations as well as an exhibition of props, sets and costumes.

It may be 30 miles from Poplar, but the Dockyard doubles as London's East End, with its old-fashioned cobbled streets and building exteriors that work perfectly for the show as it heads into the 1960s.

For example, the entrance to Doctor Turner's surgery is filmed at Chatham – as are plenty of scenes where our midwives zoom through their streets on their bicycles.

Chatham street scene - Call the Midwife

And, of course, if the storylines demand a ship, there's the nearby HMS Cavalier which has appeared multiple times in Call the Midwife throughout the years.

Dating back to the mid-16th century and used by the Royal Navy for hundreds of years, the Dockyard closed in 1984. It is now run as a visitor attraction, but its 100 original Victorian and Georgian buildings also make it a popular filming location.

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The Call the Midwife Christmas special airs on 25th December at 7:40pm on BBC One, with series 10 following in 2021. Looking for more to watch? Check out our guide to the best Christmas TV or find out what to watch tonight with our TV Guide.

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