Peaky Blinders has returned to our screens for series five of the hit BBC drama about the Shelby family set in the lawless streets of 1920s Birmingham.
But while the action may be based in Brum’s Small Heath, producers now use locations across the north west to recreate the gangster period feel for the drama, which stars Cillian Murphy as gangster-turned-MP Tommy Shelby.
And Manchester locations feature heavily in the new series five, as the cast and crew were spotted filming at a number of locations in the region over the past year.
The new series, which returned on Sunday 25th August on BBC One, sees the world in turmoil following the financial crash of 1929.
Sam Claflin, Anya Taylor-Joy and Brian Gleeson have joined the cast headed up by Cillian, who reprises his role as Tommy Shelby – now the MP for Birmingham North.
This time he’s set to be approached by a charismatic politician with a bold vision for Britain – and Tommy’s response is going to affect more than just his family.
Here’s our lowdown on some of the key locations to look out for in series five – and listen out for some iconic Manchester music along the way too.
Manchester city centre
Look out for some of the most dramatic scenes in the new series all filmed on Manchester streets. Producers of the show have long been fans of the Northern Quarter, with a number of scenes filmed on Dale Street, Mangle Street and Back Piccadilly in recent series.
But for series five it’s the cobbled backstreets lined with old cotton warehouses off Princess Street in the city centre that are at the heart of the action. Cillian Murphy (Tommy Shelby) and Paul Anderson (Arthur Shelby) were among the show’s stars filming on Manchester’s Winser Street and Harter Street earlier this year.
The Manchester scenes featured heavily in the opening episode of series five, while Winser Street was also used for an explosive scene in episode five, outside Tommy’s office.
Another major scene filmed here for episode 5 is a grand funeral procession for the character Peter as Tommy looks on – and perhaps in a nod to the Manchester setting, Joy Division’s Atmosphere soundtracked the haunting scene.
These Manchester streets also feature heavily in the promo video released by the BBC last month, with Tommy Shelby seen with gun in hand desperately circling Winser Street looking for a mystery assailant.
Stockport Town Hall
The grand grade II listed interiors of Stockport Town Hall have been fertile ground for producers of the new series. The venue’s Committee Suite, which is commonly used for weddings and events, has been transformed to become the grand boardroom of Shelby and Co for the drama.
You’ll see the portrait of Tommy Shelby hanging over the grand fireplace of the wood-panelled committee suite in plenty of scenes in series five as the family mull over the business’ crisis.
But that’s not the only location inside the building that was used.
With Tommy’s political career on the rise, he will often be seen inside a council chamber. It may look rather dark and dingy in the drama, but it was the interior of Stockport Council’s chamber that was used.
Stockport Council are clearly just as excited about the return of the show this weekend – they have posted on their official Facebook page to look out for the town hall and that rather impressive Tommy portrait in the new series.
Clearly producers have fallen in love with Stockport, as they also spent a number of nights filming dramatic scenes at the grand Art Deco Plaza cinema in the town centre.
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The Plaza becomes Birmingham’s Bingley Hall for the action, which revolves around a political rally that ends in a large protest.
Expect to see plenty of the streets around the cinema in Stockport in the new scenes, too, which will feature in the explosive series finale on the BBC.
Tommy Shelby’s mansion
As gangster Tommy’s fortunes have grown over the years, he has moved out from the Victorian terraces of Birmingham to a country pile. And for the purposes of the drama that has been Cheshire’s grand Arley Hall and Gardens.
It features heavily again in series five – with the opening scenes of the drama seeing Tommy prowling his country estate.
The interiors of the grade II-listed mansion house are also used for the drama – including the library doubling as Tommy’s study.
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If you’re a new fan of Peaky Blinders, or still haven’t visited the hall in which it is filmed, we are open tomorrow and Tuesday from noon till 5pm. You can walk in the footsteps of Tommy, Polly and Arthur and stand in the library which doubles as Tommy’s study in the programme. Pop into our exhibition room to find out why one of the BBC drama’s script writers describes Arley as ‘an iconic part of Peaky Blinders’. You can combine all that with a stroll around the gardens and lunch in The Gardener’s Kitchen. We look forward to welcoming you!
And the good news is that you can walk in the footsteps of the Shelby family here – the gardens are open daily, and the hall is open to the public on Tuesdays, Sundays and Bank Holidays.
The Garrison Pub
While there really IS a Garrison Pub in Birmingham’s Small Heath, it has been empty for some years and is not used for the filming.
Sadly for fans of the show, it’s not a real place at all but is one of many purpose-built sets that producers have created for many of the interior scenes we see in Peaky Blinders.
The good news for fans in Manchester? At least there’s a Peaky Blinders themed bar in the city to help get you in the mood for the show.
Peaky Blinders returns to BBC One at 9pm on Sunday 25th August, followed by episode two on Bank Holiday Monday 26th August at 9.30pm, and episode three on Sunday 1st September at 9pm.