Ever wonder where your favourite show was filmed? Although Peaky Blinders is set in Birmingham, it's filmed across many UK locations. The BBC hit show transports us to post-war Birmingham, thanks to stunning locations like Yorkshire and Liverpool, which play star roles doubling for Birmingham's streets. We explore eight key spots that helped bring the Shelby family's world to life.
Explore Peaky Blinders Locations List
1. Port Sunlight, Liverpool
We're starting in Liverpool at a lovely spot called Port Sunlight. Remember in season two when the Shelby brothers gifted Aunt Polly a peaceful home? Those scenes were filmed right here! This charming village, built in the 1880s, was the perfect backdrop for Polly's residence. Fun fact: Port Sunlight also hosts a fantastic museum you can visit.
2. Black Country Living Museum, Dudley
Next up is the Black Country Living Museum in Dudley, West Midlands. With its reconstructed 1920s shops, houses, and work areas, this open-air museum was a goldmine for the Peaky Blinders production team.
Many scenes were filmed here, including memorable ones at Charlie Strong's Scrap Metal Yard and Canal Street Bridge. As a bonus, you can visit the museum and experience the 1920s Industrial Revolution era firsthand!
4. Powis Street, Liverpool
Powis Street in Liverpool holds a special place in Peaky Blinder's history. This once-abandoned residential street is featured in the very first shot of the first season. It served as the home for Tommy Shelby and his family, including the Shelby headquarters and their illegal betting office. Though it's been revamped since filming, it's still a must-see location for any Peaky Blinders fan.
4. Arley Hall, Cheshire
As the Shelby family rose in status, so did the locations. Enter Arley Hall in Cheshire, the setting for Tommy Shelby's manor home in season five. This stunning country manor, built in 1832, is a significant step up from the Shelbys' beginnings on Powis Street. If you're ever in the area, you can visit the mansion and stroll around its beautiful gardens, just like the newly appointed MP Tommy Shelby did.
5. Leeds Town Hall
You might remember when Tommy's archenemy Major Campbell met up with a spy in a museum to exchange intel. But did you know the "museum" was Leeds Town Hall? That's right, some critical scenes in Peaky Blinders were filmed right in the heart of North Yorkshire. So, next time you're strolling through central Leeds, keep an eye out—you might spot a familiar location from the show!
6. Formby Beach, Liverpool
Formby Beach, a National Trust property in Liverpool, provides the backdrop for one of the most dramatic scenes in Peaky Blinder's history. Here, we witness the ultimate confrontation between Tommy Shelby and Alfie Solomons, played by the talented Tom Hardy. The breathtaking beach, with its extensive coastline and stunning views, adds an extra layer of intensity to this pivotal scene.
7. Victoria Baths, Manchester
The Victoria Baths in Manchester played an essential role in Peaky Blinders. In season two, these historic baths were the backdrop for the horse fair where Tommy Shelby first meets his love interest, May Carleton. Today, this former bathhouse has been transformed into a wedding and arts venue, but it still holds a special place in the hit show's history.
8. Keighley & Worth Valley Railway, Yorkshire
Last but certainly not least on our list is the Keighley & Worth Valley Railway in Yorkshire. This historic railway station was the setting for many scenes in Peaky Blinders, including the emotional scene between Grace and Inspector Campbell.
Fun fact: the Bronte sisters often used this station, and their journeys inspired some important works of English literature. Just like them, the creators of Peaky Blinders chose this perfect location to craft a compelling piece of British media.
Recreating the Peaky Blinders Vibe
"Peaky Blinders" is known for its distinct visual style combining gritty realism with a sense of period authenticity. Here are some tips for a photographer or filmmaker inspired by the show's aesthetics:
1. Use Natural Light: The series often uses natural light to create a realistic yet gloomy atmosphere. Learn to work with different types of natural light and understand how to use it to create the desired mood.
2. Incorporate Period Elements: "Peaky Blinders" is set in the early 20th century, and the production design reflects that era. Incorporate elements from the period you are portraying into your shots. This could include clothing, architecture, vehicles, or everyday objects.
3. Use Colour Grading: The show is known for its distinctive colour grading, often leaning towards a cooler, desaturated palette. This helps to create a sense of grittiness and bleakness. Experiment with different colour grading techniques to achieve a similar look.
4. Depth of Field: The series frequently uses a shallow depth of field to focus on the characters and make the background less prominent. This can also help to create a sense of intimacy or intensity.
5. Location Choice: The locations in "Peaky Blinders" contribute significantly to the show's atmosphere. They are often dark, industrial, and have a lot of gritty character. When scouting locations, look for places with a unique personality and fit the aesthetic you're trying to achieve.
6. Use of Smoke and Fog: The show frequently uses smoke and fog to create a sense of mystery and to add texture to the scenes. This can also help to diffuse light and create a particular mood.
7. Composition and Framing: Pay attention to how "Peaky Blinders" frames its shots. There's often a lot of symmetry, and the characters are often placed in the centre of the frame. Experiment with different composition techniques to create visually exciting shots.
8. Costume and Production Design: The costumes and production design are a key part of the show's visual identity. If possible, collaborate with costume designers and production designers to create visuals that feel authentic to the era you're portraying.
9. Cinematic Lighting: Besides natural light, "Peaky Blinders" also uses cinematic lighting techniques to create dramatic and moody scenes. Learn about different lighting techniques and how to use them to create mood and atmosphere.
10. Attention to Detail: The show is known for its attention to detail, which helps to create a sense of authenticity. Pay attention to the small details in your shots, as they can significantly impact the overall look and feel.
From the picturesque streets of Port Sunlight to the historic halls of Yorkshire's railway station, the filming locations of Peaky Blinders have played a significant role in bringing the show to life.
These locations provide a captivating backdrop for the series and invite fans to step into the world of Tommy Shelby and the rest of the cast. So next time you watch Peaky Blinders, remember that the settings you see on screen aren't just sets - they're real places you can visit to inspire your photographic journey.