Katy Towse
31st January 2022

Intrigue, mystery, deceit combined with fascinating characters and incredible story-telling -  the winning formula for the perfect Crime drama!

We absolutely LOVE a good Crime story here in the UK and have a long history with the popular genre starting with writers such as Agatha Christie and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle - writers who knew exactly how to create those recurring characters that capture hearts and minds over and over again.

From classic shows such as Sherlock Holmes, Midsummer Murders and Inspector Morse to more modern productions such as Dr Foster and Hot Fuzz, Herefordshire is proud to have created some of the best Crime Film and TV stories and characters right here in the county.

With such an incredible slew of productions under its belt, it’s easy (it’s elementary, surely?! ) to see how Hertfordshire became the filming centre for the Great British crime drama obsession…

Holmes History at Hatfield

The combination of Hatfield House and Leavesden Studios seem to be the winning formula for Hollywood’s Sherlock Holmes, with all the recent film and TV productions using both Hertfordshire locations to set their sensational stories.

Popular 2020 Netflix hit Enola Holmes starring Henry Cavill and Helena Bonham Carter certainly wasn’t the first production featuring Sherlock Holmes to be filmed at Hatfield House - writer and director Guy Ritchie also shot scenes of his 2009 Sherlock Holmes blockbuster starring Hollywood stars Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law at the premier location property where Hatfield House actually doubles for the headquarters of the Temple of the Four Orders.

The production crew also returned to Ritchie’s hometown for the 2011 sequel, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, where the stunning Marble Hall and Library at Hatfield featured as the backdrop to the unfolding drama. The estate was then used again for 2015 movie Mr Holmes, starring British acting legend Ian McKellen as an aged, retired Sherlock with the gardens featuring in pivotal scenes and many of the internal rooms doubling for the interiors of the Diogenes Club.

A trip to Hatfield will have visitors scene-spotting throughout, remembering classic cinematic moments and walking the halls that this much-loved character, and all who’ve played him, have walked time and time again!

Doctor Foster Went To.... Hertfordshire!

Heading back to the small screen for a moment, we find another hugely popular (though much more recent) crime character heading to Hertfordshire in the BBC’s hit drama Doctor Foster.  

Ten million viewers tuned into the mystery drama back in 2015 and 2016, with the well-known British actress Surranne Jones starring in the lead role that left viewers on the edge of their seat as Doctor Foster investigates her own husband who she suspects is having an affair.

Filmed in multiple locations across the Hertfordshire towns of Hitchin (representing the fictional town of Parminster) and Watford, local sights can be seen in both seasons of the award-winning drama much to the delight of locals and visitors alike!


Featuring daring detectives, macabre murders, headless horsemen, and diabolical deaths in the countryside, great British institution dramas such as Miss MarpleInspector Morse, Midsomer Murders and Jonathan Creek have all been shot on location in Herts at various points in their historic television runs.

Long-running hit Midsummer Murders features the extraordinary Knebworth House doubling as the fictional setting ‘Quitewell Hall’ on a number of occasions including the famous ‘Dark Rider’ episode in which a headless horseman appearing at the imposing property before a series of gruesome deaths – spot the unfortunate victim falling to his untimely death from the mansion's roof! The Knebworth estate then hosted a Civil War re-enactment episode where the historical society event gets rather out of hand with warring between the Roundheads and Cavaliers becoming all too real!

Knebworth also stepped in for the fictional mansion “Metropolis” in a 2009 feature length special of Jonathan Creek starring comedian and actor Alan Davies in the titular role. In this hit ITV drama, magic-trick-designer-turned-detective Jonathan Creek is often called in to solve puzzling cases and in this particular episode, The Grinning Man, along with his sidekick (paranormal investigator Joey Ross, played by Sheridan Smith) he is called to the gothic mansion to solve the crime!

Also filmed in the county and featuring another classic British crime character, is 1960s film Murder Most Foul which places Miss Marple at the heart of the action in a story loosely based on an Agatha Christie novel. Shot on location at The Palace Theatre in Watford,

Locations across the county have also been used in British favourite Inspector Morse. Despite it famously being set in the University City of Oxford, the detective drama has taken advantage of the Hertfordshire countryside, magnificent mansions, quintessential pubs, as well as St Albans' historic streets and grand cathedral.

We all know the cantankerous Inspector Morse (played by John Thaw) likes to discuss a case over a pint or two, and where better in St Albans for him to enjoy an al fresco drink with Lewis (Kevin Whately) than outside the historic Ye Olde Fighting Cocks which appears in a classic episode from the nineties in which they investigate the suspicious death of a brewery manager. We also see pubs The Crooked Chimney, in Lemsford and The Old Barge by the river in Hertford appear from time to time when the much-loved character pops in for a pint or two.

Anyone else feeling a Morse-themed pub crawl coming on?!


Speaking of pub crawls…

The World’s End is a popular Brit comedy from hilarious duo Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, featuring an epic pub crawl / alien fight (don’t all the best films?!) around Herefordshire’s Welwyn Garden City and Letchworth Garden City. The production took place at pubs such as The Peartree, The Two Willows and The Doctor’s Tonic in Welwyn Garden City. In Letchworth locations included The Three Magnets, The Colonnade, The Arena Tavern and The Gardener's Arms – all of which are open for a drop of scene spotting along with your pub grub and the perfect local pint!


(Fun Fact: The comedy team behind The Worlds End also headed to Welwyn Garden City when they were making Hot Fuzz which featured scenes at The Barn Theatre!)

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