Follow in the footsteps of the Detectorists in the Suffolk filming locations
PUBLISHED: 17:36 15 May 2018
As the BBC repeats Detectorists, which was filmed in some of Suffolk’s most beautiful spots, we find out where fans can see where Andy and Lance found their “hot rocks and grots” and the function rooms where Sheila’s terrifying lemonade was once served.
The BBC is airing the final series of Detectorists – filmed in Framlingham in Suffolk – for a second time: watch an episode and then enjoy a pint in the Two Brewers pub, or Castle Inn as it’s known to the locals or nip in for a Zumba session where the Danebury Metal Detecting Club holds its meetings.
While the charming series is loosely based in the fictional Essex town of Danebury, it’s actually filmed in Suffolk, in and around Framlingham thanks to site visits made before filming began by writer, director and star of the show, Mackenzie Crook.
“As soon as we came out to Suffolk, and Framlingham, we knew this was the town we wanted to film it,” he said, adding that he’d been searching for locations “far enough away from London so that everyone had to come and stay in hotels and be away from home, just to get that community spirit”.
If you haven’t watched Detectorists yet (and there can be few justifiable excuses as to why not) the third series is currently airing on BBC2 on Wednesdays at 10pm and series one and two are available to watch as box sets on Netflix. Meanwhile, here’s how you can play your own role at the locations used in the series, from the Co op to Suffolk County Council’s Endeavour House. While you might not find the Museum of Twisted Metal, hear the sound of distant horses or see the Gold Dance,
Suffolk locations where Detectorists was filmed
1) Framlingham is most famous for its spectacular Norman castle where Mary Tudor became Queen of England in 1553 (and where you can eat Tarte Owte of Lent in the tearoom and Tudor pottage, or less authentically, a filled baguette or slice of cake) but next door might be more familiar to Detectorists’ fans: it’s where you can find St Michael’s Rooms, which play a starring role as the Scout Hall where the Danebury Metal Detecting Club meet. You can nip in for Zumba, Craft Creations sessions or to learn tap (http://stmichaelsframlingham.org.uk/st-michael-s-rooms/) and if you’re lucky, get served some of Sheila’s eyewatering lemonade from the serving hatch.
2) If you fancy a drink in the Two Brewers pub, it’s going to involve visiting two alehouses: The first, which serves as the exterior of the Detectorists’ favourite watering hole, is the Castle Inn at Framlingham, the second is the Crown Inn a few miles away at Great Glemham, which is used for the interior shots (and where you can enjoy a five-cheese sharing board for £12.95. Yes please http://thecrowninnglemham.co.uk/desserts-menu/) and perhaps see the pumps which were used during filming which served two fictional beers, Magpie and Treasure Trove (created for Detectorists, with names that link to the magpie scene seen in series one set to music by The Unthanks and the bounty being hunted for by the detectorists).
3) Sadly, Mags’ shop Crystal Encounters is no more…The shop where it was based, however, can still be seen on Market Hill, as can the Co op, which features in series two as Lance prepares to meet his daughter for the first time by buying her chocolates and flowers (which he promptly throws in the bin).
4) Suffolk County Council’s Endeavour House in Ipswich doubles for London: There’s a sentence you never thought you’d see in print. To help the illusion, a background reflection of London’s Shard and London Eye were used in a backdrop.
5) St Mary’s church at Aldham: Integral to series two when Andy and Lance move on from Bishop’s Field to fields overlooked by this lovely round tower church close to the busy Ipswich to Sudbury road and in the village of Aldham. Close to the church and the fields where the main characters from the show swept the field and eventually struck gold is the site where protestant preacher Roland Taylor was burned at the stake in the 1550s and where the evocatively named Wolves Wood stands sentry above the rolling pastures. It’s where the DMDC meet to search for a Luftwaffe Junkers which crashed in World War Two and where Lance finds the handle of a Saxon aestel which may, or may not, be cursed.
6) Close to Rendlesham Forest (famous in its own right for extraterrestrial visitors) is Staverton Park: This is where series three was based and also appears in the time-lapse sequence at the end of the very first episode of series one where we discover precisely what this stretch of land has witnessed throughout history. Guided walks are sometimes available on this private parkland, and there’s a pathway which edges the eastern edge of Staverton.
7) Double Street is where Lance lives: – Mr Chan’s Chinese Restaurant is at the top of Church Street just around the corner from Lance’s flat and is where he and new girlfriend Toni discuss his inability to spend the night on his houseboat due to his seasickness. The flat itself is on a one-way street
8) Orford CEVA Primary School: It’s where Becky’s school was based and where a Dickensian Day saw the pupils playing “greasy pig”. The King’s Head pub is also in Orford, and starred in series one.
9) The Lemon Tree on Church Street: Get two trees for the price of one: this restaurant is where Lance meets his long-lost daughter Kate for the first time and, believing his friend is meeting an inappropriately young date, Andy spies on the pair from behind an actual tree in the churchyard opposite. People eating at the restaurant today can enjoy Detectorist fans recreating this scene on a regular basis.
10) Wantisden Hall Farms: There has been farming at this Woodbridge site since 1550 when Wantisden Hall was built. Now comprising of more than 240 acres of woodland (including Staverton Park and The Thicks) and producing a variety of root crops, it’s also where Lance’s work scenes were filmed.
11) John Bradlaugh Electrical Services: It’s where Andy took his beloved metal detector to sell in a bid to get Becky back and then, when (girlfriend safely reinstated) tried to buy it back only to find that it had been sold. He had to make do with a Power Rangers detector designed for children which chirped “it’s morphing time!” every time it detected a find. The real-life electrical store is on Fore Street in Framlingham.
12) And if you want some more: A few random additions – we see a character spraying weedkiller along a path (Redwald Road near Woodbridge), when Andy is collected from a train station by Becky, she parks the car in the old Saxmundham police station car park, Andy finds a hedgehog on the entrance road to Bentwaters Park and at Mill Lane in Butley, a sequence was filmed involving a Vespa scooter being followed by Lance’s well-loved yellow 1970s Triumph TR7. (I think that’s enough hobbyist location spotting – Ed).