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Where Is Peaky Blinders Filmed?

There's a Museum Where You Can Walk in the Footsteps of the Peaky Blinders


Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Gemma Cartwright

When it first hit screens in 2013, the gritty '20s-set drama Peaky Blinders upped Birmingham's cool-factor by a 100 percent. Even that accent (dodgy as it may be) sounded sexy coming out of Cillian Murphy's mouth. But sadly, though the TV show is synonymous with the city in central England (nope, not the one in Alabama), Peaky Blinders is not actually filmed in the city. Birmingham was badly damaged in WWII, and post-war town planning meant a lot of the area was torn down and rebuilt. Instead, old terraced streets in Liverpool often play stand-in for the Small Heath street where the Shelbys start their story.


Image Source: BBC 2

However, creator Steven Knight is eager to support the area more as the show continues, and he does take advantage of one resource in the local area to film some pivotal scenes. Hidden away a few miles from Birmingham in the town of Dudley is the Black Country Living Museum, a 26-acre, open-air museum that celebrates and commemorates this history of the Black Country. Knight says "We think of the museum as home, this is our world and we love coming here."

The Black Country is the name given to an area to the west of Birmingham including the boroughs of Dudley, Sandwell, Walsall, and Wolverhampton (depending on who you speak to). During the Industrial Revolution in the UK, the area became a hive of industry, and the name supposedly comes from the soot that was constantly in the air from all the factory chimneys. I grew up nearby, and this Summer I returned, determined to walk in the footsteps of Tommy Shelby.


Image Source: BBC 2

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The museum offers an amazing day out for more than just locals and Peaky Blinders fans. You can visit a 1930s fairground, ride an old tram and a vintage bus, explore a country cottage, go down a mine, visit a Victorian apothecary, play traditional games on the cobbled streets, drink ale in a spit 'n sawdust pub, and eat your lunch at a 1950s fish and chip shop. Every building and vehicle is perfectly preserved, staffed by costumed characters who're keen to share their stories.

If you are a fan of the show, you can buy a Peaky Blinders map at the entrance, which points out the many parts of the museum where filming took place. You can also pick up a peaked hat of your very own in the gift shop (razor blades not included). If you're lost, the staff will happily help you find what you're looking for, and if you're lucky, one of them might be Shelby, too. You'll spot filming locations almost as soon as you arrive. The Victorian school stood in for Father John Hughes (Paddy Considine)'s church, Tommy famously rode his horse through the docks, ran through the village streets, and visited offices in the museum's Worker's Institute. Meetings took place in the blacksmith's yard and on the canal bridge. But one vista in particular will be familiar to fans, though it looks a bit different in real life.


Image Source: BBC 2

Here I am (complete with Tommy and Aunt Pol pins!) visiting the same spot, which featured in the very first episode of the show and was used extensively during season four (which is on Netflix now).

Thanks to its canal-side location, the museum also sits adjacent to the Dudley Canal Trust. If you do make the visit, don't miss the opportunity to pop over the bridge and pay a few pounds extra to slap on a hard hat and take a barge trip through the atmospheric tunnels and caverns that run under Dudley. Kids will love it (my 5-year-old companion was rapt), but it's also a really unique experience for adults. If a canal barge is good enough for May Carleton (Charlotte Riley) it's good enough for us! The trust runs special events, concerts, and themed trips throughout the year, too. Given the success of the show and the new lease of life it's given the museum, I'm sure it won't be long before there's a spooky Peaky Blinders barge trip too (though hopefully with a little less threat involved).


Image Source: BBC 2

To find out more about the Black Country Living Museum and to book tickets, visit the website.

Image Source: BBC
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