Strike: Lethal White Filming Locations

Article by Jane
September 5th, 2020
Strike: Lethal White Filming Locations

Robert Galbraith’s Strike: Lethal White filming locations include the Uffington White Horse, Little Venice, Rotherhithe and some convincing Westminster substitutes. The BBC One drama stayed true to the book’s locations as possible.

And as we know from The Cuckoo’s Calling and Silkworm, JK Rowling (writing as Galbraith) makes her locations true to life to begin with.

“always the case with the Strike books, is the level of research: with many of the locations mentioned in the text, you just know she’s been there.”
Jackie Larkin, Producer (BBC One)

So Tom Burke’s Cormoran Strike and Holliday Grainger’s Robin Ellacott are seen around London and Oxfordshire too. Look out for a few swaps and close matches though!

Where Was Strike: Lethal White Filmed?

Lethal White was filmed in Bermondsey, Little Venice, at Le Manoir au Quat’ Saisons and near the Houses of Parliament. With the addition of several smart addresses for politician Jasper Chiswell, of course.

“A lot of Lethal White takes place in and around the Houses of Parliament, following an old aristocratic family.”
Holliday Grainger, Robin Ellacott (BBC One)

Robin and Matthew’s (Kerr Logan) own new house is in South London. And picking up the action where we left off in Career of Evil, the Robin’s wedding location appears onscreen too. There are even a few secretive locations that are rarely seen by the public – though not for want of trying.

One London location known for its traditional outlook has attracted some determined fans since the Galbraith novel came out.

“they were aware of the book, and were growing used to fans knocking on the door, trying to get in… although we could film there, we could only show the interior and not a shot of the exterior door, because they’d had enough of fans trying to get a peek!”
Jackie Larkin, Producer (BBC One)

Strike’s office and other sets were constructed at West London Film Studios in Hayes (also home to Killing Eve).

One notable Cormoran and Robin scene didn’t make it from page to screen, taking out a potentially different kind of location. If you’ve read the book, or you don’t mind potential spoilers for a future series, here’s why it was cut (and why it might come back).

Robin and Matthew’s Wedding

David Dixon / The Church of Saint Mary the Virgin, Masham
We saw Robin’s wedding location at St Mary’s Church in Masham, North Yorkshire in Career of Evil – in Lethal White we follow Strike to the wedding reception.

“One of the most memorable locations was being able to take over a beautiful hotel for Robin and Matt’s wedding sequence. Having three days there allowed us to do a really good job of thoroughly covering those scenes. I think they feel extremely realistic. I certainly felt like I was at a wedding.”
Ruth Kenley-Letts, Executive Producer (BBC One)

Bronte Film and TV released a few behind-the-scenes pictures from Lethal White filming locations including the wedding reception venue in the run-up to the series’ release. The courtyard seen beyond the reception room belongs to Rushton Hall in Kettering.

You can get a closer look at Robin’s wedding cake and menu courtesy of Bronte Film and TV.

It looks like the vegetarian option Robin discussed on the phone in Career of Evil was baked aubergine and vegetable lasagne. Without cheese for the vegan guests, we assume, as per her conversation?

The Northamptonshire hotel really does host weddings, so in theory you could make your wedding a Strike inspired one!

The Cunliffes’ Honeymoon

Robin and Matthew’s honeymoon scenes were filmed on location in Mauritius. It looks idyllic onscreen – but despite being the only non-UK filming location in Lethal White, it was the only one struck by bad weather.

“We got there, we got the perfect sunset, for the sunset scenes, but the next day we had to do the scenes on the beach, and there was a storm coming and we got everything we needed, literally called a wrap, sat down, breathed a sigh of relief, and the rain started.”
Sue Tully, Director

Though the stormy weather would have represented the couple’s relationship more accurately!

Houses of Parliament

Lethal White’s Westminster scenes were filmed around London, combining real exterior shots with stand-ins.

“They don't grant permission to film in the Houses of Parliament, so we needed to replicate it… we follow Robin as she goes undercover in Parliament under the guise of being a researcher called Venetia. There’s all the trepidation that goes with entering a building like that, not least undercover.”
Jackie Larkin, Producer (BBC One)

So we see the impressive, real façade of the Houses of Parliament. We’re led through 900-year-old Westminster Hall - though this Lethal White Westminster filming location is actually the 600-year-old Guildhall of the City of London.

The Great Hall is a notable Palace of Westminster filming location seen in the Strike. Its most distinctive features are the unusual chandeliers, stained glass and towering statues.

Paying tribute to figures like Admiral Lord Nelson, the Duke of Wellington and former Prime Minister, Sir Winston Churchill, they’re a convincing touch for the Whitehall atmosphere.

Another of the Strike: Lethal White filming locations for Westminster is Charterhouse in Godalming, Surrey. The school's South African Cloister was used for a shoot, with Robin going undercover as Venetia. Charterhouse is a popular filming location, so its cloisters might look familiar. You might even recognise it as the Houses of Parliament from BBC series Bodyguard.

As for the MPs offices where ‘Venetia’ works alongside the Chiswell siblings… well, they’re not quite as elegant.

“Most MPs work in pretty basic offices. And there’s a mice problem! You’re welcome to that scoop. It’s just not as glamorous as the Westminster we see on the news.”
Ruth Kenley-Letts, Executive Producer (BBC One)

Lorelei's Flat

Lorelei's flat is on Brick Lane in Lethal White and the exact filming location is at the Bethnal Green Road end.

Since we know that Strike's girlfriend Lorelei (Natalie Gumede) runs a vintage fashion shop, she lives in the right place.

It looks like the front door to her flat is located around 155-159 Brick Lane, near the bagel shops. The exterior shot of Lorelei's flat is seen clearly when Cormoran arrives unannounced, and leaves later in Episode 2.

The Charity Gala

Exterior shots of Della and Geraint Winn's charity ball were filmed at The Athenaeum on Pall Mall.
The Grecian-influenced facade appeared as the Princess Theatre venue in Misbehaviour earlier in 2020.

So the first of the Lethal White filming locations for the charity ball is geographically accurate, in the St James's area. Once Strike, Robin, Izzy and Chiswell step inside they're actually at a second location, Wrotham Park in Hertfordshire.

Fans who have read the Robert Galbraith Lethal White novel will note that the black tie scene plays out in the same way, but the book's timeline has been dropped. Rowling placed the events in 2012, so naturally the gala was set up as a Paralympic fundraiser - with the BBC One Strike series set in the present day, the Winns' charity (and CORE protesters' objections) have been generalised.

Wrotham Park's interconnecting blue-walled rooms give the characters the opportunity to mingle just as they do in the novel. And there are plenty of corners for Charlotte to pop out from and the Winns to lurk in.

Home to the Byng family, Wrotham Park is not easy to visit (though you can hire it for events). But it might look familiar because it's an extremely popular filming location.

This Barnet mansion appears in The Riot Club's house tour scene, and as the training academy in Kingsman: The Secret Service and as Belgravia's Lymington.

But one of its most famous gigs is appearing as The Crown's audience room filming location, Wrotham Park's music room. It's used on a regular basis throughout every season of the Netflix drama, for many of its pivotal moments.

Drummond's Gallery

Drummond's Gallery is on Ryder Street and the frontage was added to a real art gallery. It's first seen when Chiswell and Strike return to the gallery after their lunch at Pratt's. The Corner of Bury Street, just a few paces away, is used later in the series.

The Protest

Pall Mall. Panhard / CC BY-SA (
BBC One’s Lethal White filming location for the protest scene is Pall Mall. It’s another accurate match with the Galbraith novel, which places it near the St James’s Palace end.

Another true-to-life location for the crime drama, but it turned out to be more authentic than expected!

“We had a protest scene that we shot around Pall Mall. In the show, an activist group has taken over a public square, and they’re making as much noise and causing as much disruption as possible. Meanwhile, literally 10 minutes up the road, Extinction Rebellion was in Trafalgar Square.”
Jackie Larkin, Producer (BBC One)

Around Bermondsey

With a fair bit of the action taking place south of the river there are several Lethal White filming locations around Bermondsey.

Tom Burke and Holliday Grainger filmed street scenes on Rotherhithe’s Salter Road, near YHA London Thameside.

In the original Strike novel, we see a lot of Southwark Park Road, five minutes’ drive away in Bermondsey. Southwark’s Alma Grove is mentioned in the book too. In real life it’s lined with brick terraced houses whose doors are often painted bright colours. Aamir Mallik’s turquoise door would fit right in.

Robin and Matthew’s House

Robin and Matthew’s new house on Albury Street is just off Deptford High Street, and it’s one of the few new Lethal White filming locations that’s not part of the investigation.

In the Galbraith novel, several events happen around the house so we see more of the Cunliffes’ home.

Film crews were spotted in the area in November 2019. Though it was a busy few months for Deptford, with several productions filming in the area throughout the year.

The Strike fans at The Tottenham rounded up some behind the scenes photos of the housewarming party shoot.

The White Horse

Uffington White Horse. USGS / Public domain
Lethal White’s White Horse filming location is the real thing. Galbraith/Rowling based Strike’s White Horse landmark on the Uffington White Horse in Oxfordshire – and the BBC One series filmed in exactly the spot described in the novel.

It’s part of English Heritage’s Uffington Castle site, with the castle referring to the Iron Age fort that tops the hill. Lethal White’s White Horse location is probably one of the oldest filming locations around, dating back 3000 years.

The Bronze Age White Horse at White Horse Hill and the convenient nearby car park are managed by the National Trust for English Heritage.

Around Soho

We’ve seen the distinctive square with its mock-Tudor pavilion before in previous Strike mysteries. It is in fact Soho Square (Galeforce TV gave a sneak peek from behind the scenes earlier in 2020).

It’s a few blocks away from Strike’s detective office, and is even closer to his local, The Tottenham, on Oxford Street.

Of course, we know The Tottenham scenes are actually filmed in Fitzrovia at the Duke of York – but let’s not spoil the fun.

Chiswell House in Woolstone

Philipps House. Ronald Searle / CC BY-SA (
The real Chiswell House Woolstone location is Philipps House (formerly Dinton House), a Neo-Grecian mansion at Dinton Park near Salisbury. That makes it one of the few Woolstone filming locations that doesn’t directly match the book.

Philipps House was designed by Sir Jeffry Wyatville, who famously added the ‘ville’ suffix after working on alterations to Windsor Castle and Chatsworth. It was built at the start of the 19th Century for William Wyndham of Dinton, with a deliberately understated grandeur.

Of course, the point was to avoid looking too ostentatious – but conveniently, that made it the perfect for Strike’s politician.

In Lethal White Chiswell’s stately home filming location had to look imposing and ‘old money’ while revealing his financial situation.

“Chiswell’s country house, for example, had to be a grand, old and crumbling estate in the middle of the countryside. The family can’t afford to keep it maintained, so we needed to find something that had the right balance of opulence and decay.”
Jackie Larkin, Producer (BBC One)

You can visit the National Trust’s Philipps House and Dinton Park, though the house isn’t always open. In which case, you can explore the parkland and see if you can glimpse the spire of Salisbury Cathedral in the distance.

Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons

Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons. cpchannel / CC BY (
The team from Strike: Lethal White filmed at the real Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons in Oxfordshire. And yes, the same Lavender Walk mentioned in the Robert Galbraith novel was used in the shoot.

It’s one of the areas open to visitors to the prestigious hotel, so this one is relatively easy to visit, though it’s no budget break.

“The good does not interest us… only the sublime.”
Raymond Blanc OBE, maître de maison

Marco Pierre White trained at the Manoir, becoming one of 28 Michelin-starred chefs to pass through its kitchens.

Just a short drive from Oxford itself, Cormoran and Robin destination happens to be close to Chiswell House (a fictitious addition to Woolstone).

Pratt’s Club, London

Jasper Chiswell (Robert Glenister) is a member of Pratt’s in Lethal White and amazingly the Strike team were given access. Fans had already picked up on this real life location, but of course, getting through its doors is a different matter.

“Not many people will get a glimpse of Pratt’s! You can feel the history in a place like that, and I think the cast enjoyed being in the authentic location. It felt like a real coup.” – Jackie Larkin, Producer (BBC One)

If you’ve read Robert Galbraith’s Lethal White novel, you might remember Pratt’s as quite a curious place. This is not one of the showier clubs. In fact, it thrives on its lived-in atmosphere, jammed with crockery, armchairs and the occasional rhinoceros.

The staff are universally ‘named’ George and Georgina (harking back to the old tradition of household servants going by set names).

And mysteriously the present (and only) Georgina told the Guardian’s Amelia Gentleman in 2015 that women were barred from membership for scheduling reasons. In Georgina’s words, Pratt’s “still don’t allow women in because it is a supper club; we only open at seven at night.”

Canal Scene

BBC One’s Lethal White canal filming location is an area of Little Venice near Warwick Avenue Bridge. That sets it exactly where the scene takes place in the novel, a short walk from Warwick Avenue tube station.

It was one of the earliest filming locations to go public, with snaps of the shoot appearing in September 2019. Though it won’t appear until later in the series.

Spoiler warning: if you’ve read Robert Galbraith’s Lethal White and know what happens, here’s the canal scene filming. Be warned, it reveals a few of the key players from later in the series, and a hint of the action.