The Lost King Filming Locations: In Detail

Article by Jane

October 16th, 2022

The Lost King filming locations like George Square, the National Library and George IV Bridge, Waverley, Edinburgh Castle, Victoria Street and Assembly Roxy, the National Mining Museum and North Queensferry show off Edinburgh, the Lothians and Fife.

Based on the true story of Philippa Langley, The Lost King follows one amateur historian’s quest to solve a royal mystery. Richard III died at the Battle of Bosworth Field in 1485. But 500 years of rebuilding left his grave lost in the mists of time, and bad press hadn’t helped matters.

Once Langley starts researching the life and death of Richard III, she realises the clues to finding the grave were there all along. In the 2022 film, Philippa (Sally Hawkins) is helped by her now ex-husband, John Langley (Steve Coogan), and the spirit of Richard III (Harry Lloyd).

Where Was The Lost King Filmed?

The Lost King - Steve Coogan
The Lost King was filmed in 2021 in North Queensferry, Newtongrange, Leicester Railway Station, and Edinburgh’s Waverley Bridge, Stockbridge Library, Roxburgh Street, George Square, National Library of Scotland, Victoria Street, Edinburgh Castle, the Royal Mile, and Bruntsfield.

The Richard III film was directed by Stephen Frears and produced by Dan Winch, who was determined to give Philippa due credit for her discovery.

Once the real Philippa had traced the burial site, she felt sidelined by the University of Leicester and the controversy has rumbled on ever since.

“I felt my role had been greatly diminished… I’d done the research. I funded the dig and commissioned it.”
Philippa Langley

Steve Coogan was captivated by her story, and the way she went about her research. He co-wrote the screenplay with Jeff Pope in an effort to tell the story that came before the headline-grabbing discovery and reburial.

“She is an ordinary normal person, an amateur- she hasn’t written academic papers or any books, and she did what the assembled academics in the world have failed to do for 500 years…”
Steve Coogan, Co-Writer

As a result, most of the film was shot in Edinburgh – the Scottish capital where the real Philippa Langley carried out her research. Here are just some of The Lost King’s filming locations in Edinburgh and beyond.

Where was The Lost King filmed?

The Videre Theatre

The Videre Theatre location in The Lost King is Assembly Roxy in Edinburgh. In the scene, Philippa Langley goes to the theatre to watch the play, Richard III. After seeing the play, Philippa’s visions of Richard III are inspired by the

The interior was used, with locals spotted filming taking place in the area in April 2021.

Officially part of Edinburgh’s Old Town, the multipurpose venue sits on the edge of the Pleasance and Newington areas. Look out for real events at Assembly Roxy, which hosts everything from theatrical performances to classical music, storytelling and book tours.

The Bookshop

Victoria Street Victoria Street. Daniel Kraft, CC BY-SA 3.0 , via Wikimedia Commons
The Lost King’s bookshop location is on Victoria Street in Edinburgh. Best known for its colourfully-painted independent shops, this cobble street curves its way from George IV Bridge to the Grassmarket below. The street has drawn interest for centuries, though it’s seen an extra boost since the 2000s thanks to its similarity to Diagon Alley.

It sits just below the Royal Mile. If you continue on to the Grassmarket, you’ll find yourself in the shadow of Edinburgh Castle and the streets that run overhead. Edinburgh’s Old Town is built on two levels, so you could find yourself stepping into a ground floor that’s actually several stories up.

The National Library of Scotland

The film’s National Library of Scotland filming location is the real library on George IV Bridge. It holds all kinds of archives and rare historical documents. Look out for special exhibitions and events that are open to the public to showcase its bookish treasures.

In The Lost King’s library scene, Philippa Langley researches her new project with a heavy-looking tome.

Further scenes were filmed at another Edinburgh library, Stockbridge Library, in May 2021. Harry Lloyd’s Richard III was spotted outside the Hamilton Place Scotmid during the shoot.

Philippa’s Office

The Lost King’s office filming location is WaverleyGate on Waterloo Place. Philippa is seen inside the building, and leaving after quitting her job.

Once the General Post Office building, WaverleyGate stands at the north end of North Bridge near the Balmoral Hotel. It was the subject of a complex renovation in the early 2000s, which explains the modern interior housed inside its Victorian facade.

The Royal Mile

The Royal Mile The Royal Mile. Andraszy, CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons
Look out for the Royal Mile as a filming location in The Lost King, adding yet another movie appearance to the list. Philippa is seen just up from St Giles’ Cathedral, close to the crossroads with George VI Bridge.

In recent years, it’s played host to Fast and Furious 9’s supercars and The Princess Switch 3’s Christmas market and cake contest. You can also catch the Royal Mile in Avengers: Infinity War and Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga, with one of the Icelandic entrants making a last-minute dash towards... Glasgow’s OVO Hydro.

Bruntsfield and Morningside

Views over the Langleys’ neighbourhood show Edinburgh’s Bruntsfield and Morningside. There are seven hills in Edinburgh, and we can see two of them beyond the Victorian villas. Look out for the landmarks of Arthur’s Seat to one side and Blackford Hill on the other.

Filming took place elsewhere in the area too, including Bruntsfield Links.

Rugby Pitch

The rugby pitch location in The Lost King is Inverleith Park near Stockbridge. It’s beside the popular Botanic Gardens, with views across the city to Edinburgh Castle.

There’s also a coffee stand, which can just be seen in The Lost King’s park scene.

Inverleith Park is set to appear onscreen again in the near future. Last year, the same park was also used for Good Omens Season 2, with locals spotting David Tennant during the shoot.

Lady Stair’s Close

Philippa Langley is seen crossing Lady Stairs Close, another Edinburgh Old Town filming location in The Lost King. In the scene, she travels from the Old Town to Princes Street Gardens with her newly acquired books by way of the close.
The historic close dates back to the early 17th Century, when its notable buildings were constructed. Around a century later, Elizabeth, Dowager Countess of Stair, bought the house that is now the Writers’ Museum.
A Victorian effort to save the building would follow, after it had fallen into disrepair over the centuries - so what we see here is partially down to the 19th Century ideals of 17th Century architecture.

Princes Street Gardens

Princes Street Gardens Princes Street Gardens. Osama Shukir Muhammed Amin FRCP(Glasg), CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons
Look out for West Princes Street Gardens in The Lost King. The famous gardens appear in the scene where Philippa starts reading her haul of Richard III books.

This is a location to visit if you love tales of strange discoveries. The now-pleasant gardens were once at the bottom of the Nor Loch. When it was drained to smarten up the city for the New Town’s construction, all kinds of relics and clues to centuries-old mysteries were dredged up.

Edinburgh Castle

The Lost King’s castle scenes were filmed at the real Edinburgh Castle. We see several parts of the castle in the movie, as Philippa and John Langley explore it with their kids.

Look out for Mons Meg, the castle’s largest canon, and views out over the city. You really can find the skyline maps there if you want to challenge yourself to spot local landmarks from above.
Entry is free to Historic Scotland pass holders, but it can get busy at certain times of year.

Check with Edinburgh Castle for all the booking details – and special events like the spectacular annual Castle of Light.

The Forth Bridge

Did you recognise the Forth Bridge filming location in The Lost King? We get a good view of the Forth Bridge in the film – this is the famous rail bridge, one of three bridges that span the Firth of Forth.

These scenes were filmed around North Queensferry’s High Street, on the Fife side, which is just a short drive from Edinburgh. Look out for the Albert Hotel, an old fixture of the town’s high street. Though this part of Fife might just be best known for its scenic coastal path.

In The Lost King, the Richard III Society is seen meeting at the Albert Hotel at several points throughout the film.

Waverley Bridge

Look out for Edinburgh’s Waverley Bridge as Steve Coogan’s John drops Sally Hawkins’ Philippa off at the train station. They’re seen talking in the car on Waverley Bridge in one of the shots, with the Old Town’s Cockburn Street in the background.

Waverley Station

Waverley Station Waverley Station. G-13114, CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons
Philippa is seen around Waverley Station as she catches the train to and from Leicester. This is the main station in Edinburgh, and is the one that travellers would use to travel to Leicester.

Though be warned, the journey is likely to involve a change or two.

Leicester Railway Station

The Long King’s Leicester Railway Station filming location was the real location in Leicester. But it’s one of the few scenes that weren’t filmed in or around Edinburgh.

As reported, the University of Leicester haven’t agreed with their portrayal in the new Richard III film. So it may not come as a surprise that scenes of Philippa Langley and the archaeology department’s car park dig were filmed elsewhere.

Leicester University Campus

The Lost King’s Leicester University campus locations include Buccleuch Place and George Square in Edinburgh. In the scene, Philippa tries to round up support for her Richard III project while walking from George Square to Buccleuch Place. Of course, Edinburgh is known for its hills and slopes, and this journey takes them down a set of steps.

Buccleuch Place is home to more University of Edinburgh buildings, and behind them lies the Meadows – the city’s largest public park.

Leicester University Gardens

George Square George Square. Stinglehammer, CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons
The Leicester University gardens scene in The Lost King was filmed in Edinburgh’s George Square, a leafy square surrounded by several University of Edinburgh buildings. In the film, Philippa and Richard III are seen in George Square as Philippa tries to persuade archaeologist Dr Richard Buckley to take on her project.

As you can see onscreen, it’s surrounded by a mixture of original 18th Century terraces and 20th Century blocks.

Ironically, those modern buildings were built after demolition work swept away more of the original buildings. And now those 1960s blocks are protected as examples of Scottish Modernist architecture.

Leicester Town Centre

After meeting with the university archaeology team, Philippa is seen walking along Gallowtree Gate towards Market Place. This Lost King filming location in Leicester is fairly accurate, since it’s just around the corner from the real car park.

It’s now home to the King Richard III Visitor Centre, which preserves the dig site and tells the monarch’s story.

New Street in Leicester

The Lost King’s New Street scenes were actually filmed in Patriothall, Edinburgh. It’s situated between Scotmid and an art gallery on Hamilton Place, opposite Stockbridge Library, where the cast and crew were spotted in 2021.

After walking through Leicester town centre following her meeting with the archaeology department, Philippa is seen entering the close leading to the courtyard beyond. In the film, she is then seen entering the car park filming location - also in Scotland.

Leicester Car Park

Scottish Mining Museum Scottish Mining Museum. Robin Webster / Scottish Mining Museum
The Leicester car park where Richard III is found in The Lost King is really the National Mining Museum Scotland. The museum shared its big moment onscreen, as the car park discovery is made. It’s here that Philippa meets with Richard Taylor (Lee Ingleby) and the university’s archaeologist (Mark Addy).

As shown in the film, the car park was laid over the remains of Leicester’s Grey Friars church’s land. First mentioned in 1255, the church was demolished by Henry VIII around fifty years after Richard III’s death and burial.

Of course, the scenes were really filmed at the National Mining Museum in Dalkeith, not far from Edinburgh. It’s a living history museum which preserves a former working mine, the Lady Victoria Colliery. Continuing its close connections with the past, the museum doesn’t just tell the stories of miners and community life in days gone by. Ex-miners regularly give tours and share their first-hand experiences with visitors.

Event Space

The Apex Grassmarket appears in The Lost King’s event scenes later on in the film. Despite its huge glass windows and contemporary design, this hotel is situated in Edinburgh’s historic Grassmarket.