This page will be regularly updated with details about the filming locations for Tinker Tailor and Smiley's People. Both series were shot entirely on location and for the most part the production teams  were very faithful to the locations described in the novels.

If you have details of any locations you would like me to include please comment at the bottom of this page or email guinnessissmiley@icloud.com


  1. During lockdown over the past two years I have researched and written up an account of Smiley's People locations based on local knowledge, site visits and by reviewing Google Maps and websites such as those refered to on this site. I presented the work in the comments section of the full episodes presented by Don Turco on Youtube. Unfortunately in January of 2021 the episodes were replaced by a notice saying that 'This video contains content from BBC Studios, who has blocked it in your country on copywrite grounds.'
    I'm sure that the BBC must do this to ensure that more people watch the episodes each week than watch Coronation Street on the other side but unfortunately their actions mean that unless you live somewhere other than the country where the programme was made you won't be able to read the comments contributed by fans of the programme and that incliudes my locations guide.
    Now this website has been created. I would love to just export my guide here but I can't read it myself so I've had to put it back together from memory. Maybe something will get omitted in the process, if you can read the original you'll be able to follow how I developed it from scratch.
    The timings below come from those on my DVD. Sorry if that doesn't match yours because of frame rates or whatever.
    Obviously we want to fill in the gaps, the Paris locations are particularly annoying. I can see the street names but I've never been able to read anything clearly enough. I've spent ages trying to tie up the street pattern with that shown on screen.
    Episode 1.
    1:06 Baltic S.A Import - Export, Palhor? et fils, Rue de Commerce Paris 75015. Location unknown.
    2:13 Hill in Paris with buildings in the background. Location unknown.
    2:46 Street in Paris with hotel shown to the left. Location unknown.
    2:54 Chauvelot bus stop. Location unknown.
    4:13 Bar. 'Fabricant' shown in the background refers to a trade union. Location unknown.
    8:32 Soviet Embassy - Paris Dauphine University, Place Marechal de Lattre de Tassigny . Paris 75116.
    10:57 Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, 12 Rue Daru, Paris.
    11:31 A la Ville Cafe de Petrograd Cafe 13 Rue Daru, Paris.
    12:51 Vladimir passes the post boxes. Location unconfirmed but possibly outside the British Museum.
    13:09 Baltic Exchange interiors, location unknown.
    15:20 The address on the envelope says Baltic S.A Import - Export, Palhor? et fils, Rue de Commerce, Paris 75015. The details on the paperwork beneath show September, it all happens in the autumn.
    15:47 Ostrakova's flat interiors. Location unconfirmed.
    18:54 M25 junction 3 with the M20 in Kent UK. That's the same junction where Kenneth Noye murdered Stephen Cameron in a road rage incident in 1996.
    20:08 Stunt number 1. Location unknown.
    21:00 Ostrakova's apartment exteriors. Rue de Jarente Paris 4. On Google Maps you can go right up to the entrance to the courtyard. There's a fair chance that all the interiors are filmed there too.
    22:11 Ostrakova posts letter 2. Location unknown.
    22:19 Willem catches the ferry. Harvestehuder Weg Aussenalster Hamburg.
    25:40 Odbins interior. Stephen Riddle tells us it was near St. James's. Location unconfirmed.
    26:47 Paddington Station. Vladimir's second phone call.
    28:20 Vladimir's flat interior. Location unconfirmed.
    28:39 Tin pavillion 5 minutes walk from East Heath Road. When I visited it years ago it was a steel frame structure so no drawing pins could be affixed.
    30:50 Hampstead Heath. The trees were decimated in the 1987 hurricane.
    33:00 The Pryor's interiors. Stephen Riddle tells us they shot inside.
    33:24 Hampstead Heath. This would have been a combination of shots from the first night when Michael Elphick was unable to perform and the second night when he could.
    53:40 Ostrakova's flat exteriors. Rue de Jarente Paris 4.
    54:35 Stunt 2. Location unknown.
    57:57 The Pryor's exterior.

  2. Episode 2
    1:18 Flat 6B 125 Westbourne Terrace, London W2 exteriors (and interiors unconfirmed).
    12:15 South End Green London. Note that the bowl on the statue was stolen subsequently and that the Cinema is gone now too.
    16:47 Savoy exteriors.
    17:10 Savoy interiors, said to be the final shoot of the adaptation.
    17:55 Smiley's Rover P6 emerges from the Blackwall tunnel and is seen on the A102M.
    18:10 The P6 ascends Church Hill in Woolwich SE18, turns right onto Greenlaw Street, past St. Mary Magdelen and right again to park on Sunbury Street. The sign showing the fictitious Battle Of The Nile Street was placed over an existing sign although if it were really Charlton, Charlton in South-East London then it would be SE7.
    19:00 Stella Craven's house number 144, exteriors and interiors. It's not where it should be because it's all flats around Sunbury Street. At one point I thought it could be in Maidstone because they got Willem's lorry from Lenham Storage but at 29:19 that looks like Shooters Hill in the background so it just needs finding in Woolwich. Notice how the street lamps change.
    34:00 Woolwich exteriors again.
    34:10 Hospital interiors, probably Hospital Laennec De Paris, Rue de Sevres, Paris 7.
    35:10 British Museum exteriors. Great Russell Street, Bloomsbury London.
    44:00 9 Bywater Street, Chelsea, London. Exteriors (and interiors. I read that they filmed at a neighbouring property but they said that for 10 Rillington Place too). Who is Olivious and did he really explore China in the Seventeenth Century?
    54:12 'I'm not at liberty to say'.
    56:09 Hospital interiors again.
    56:41. The phone bill makes intersting reading.

  3. Episode 3.
    1:10 Smiley parks the P6 on Horseguards Parade.
    1:46 The Reform Club, Pall Mall. On their website they mention the filming.
    3:55 Hospital Laennec de Paris, Rue de Sevres Paris 7.
    4:40 Arrives back at presemably Rue de Jarente, Paris 4.
    4:44 Estahase's Islamic art shop at 37 New Cavendish Street, London. Now a branch of Carter Jonas estate agent. Exteriors and interiors but the location downstairs beeds confirming.
    18:30 A40 Westbound.
    19:04 M40 junction 2 with the A355.
    20:40 Stokenchurch, Buckinghamshire, UK. On Butterly Road, crosses the border into Oxfordshire and turns right onto Kingston Hill. Immediately behind the camera is the BT mast adjacent to the Stokenchurch cutting on the M40.
    20:59 Arrives at Merrillee Boarding. Location unknown.
    39:12 Ostrakova's flat interior.
    41:01 Smiley's Opel Rekord 2.00 S goes down the ramp onto the old St Pauli Landungsbrucken multi story car park. HH ED 1848 is the subject of much discussion on IMCDb, the Internet Movie Car Database in that it is a transitional car. It's colour, Pistaziengrun is said to be pure 1982 but it's bumpers are left over from the previous year that had notionally ented production.
    41:17 Behind Smiley, moored on the southern bank of the Nordereble is F89, Nigerian Naval Ship Aradu, a MEKO 360 frigate launched by Blohm & Voss, Hamburg on 25th of January 1980 and declared complete on 4th September 1981. She reached Lagos on the 21st of December. Sadly the country didn't possess sufficient funds to maintain her and today she remains inactive.
    41:30 As Smiley walks from the Rekord, behind him we see the domed cover over the Elbe tunnel.
    41:40 At the passenger ferry landing stage at Harvestehuder Weg on the Aussenalster we see Smiley checking Willem's story.
    42:40 Exterior at Die Blaue Diamant. On Alamy there are photographs concerning the production including errecting the illuminated sign outside the building ready for the night shoot. Other than central Hamburg the location isn't confirmed but I'd say it's on the banks of the Elbe. The clean side.
    During the interiors in Kretschmer's office we see the sign outside so I think that again interiors were shot at the same location. Checking the names of some of those performers leads to BBC people; they'd been in the chorus line or whatever in The Two Ronnies.

  4. Episode 4
    1:08 Roads towards Lubeck. Locations unknown.
    1:38 On the B75 going over the old Herrenbrucke, a bascule bridge, over the Trave at Lubeck. We see the area of water called Breitling. Demolished after it was replaced with the Herrentunnel on the B104 in 2000.
    2:00 In the background is the Herrenwyk power station, NKW stands for Nordwestdeutsche Kraftwerke Aktiengesellschaft. Demolished in 1992 following the bankuptcy of the steelworks.
    The following scenes wetre filmed on the Siems site and the Flender dock in Lubeck. Smiley drives on the Dampfeife and turns right before the railway line. When I followed his drive last year I could pick out some of the buildings on Google Maps but it has been updated, showing the destruction in the area. The security gate and button is a prop, the red and white structure is a blast furnace not the superstructure of a ship.. Eventually he reaches Flender dock, now shown on Google Maps as piles of gravel. Otto Leipzig's house is gone but two cranes appear in place, I'd say that one is the red one at Mann Kai. By the way, the viewer will have noticed these signs. One marked Kai and now Mann Kai. We'll seee them again at the water camp. All the same font, all set dressing.
    6:34 Alongside the railway on K20 Travemunde Landstrasse.
    7:30. The water camp is on Priwall on the northern shore of Potenitzer Wiek, the landing stages appear in Google Maps at the end of Wiekstrasse adjacent to the Schleswig-Holsrein Seemanmsschule. There are some continuity issues with boats appearing and disappearing.
    On Alamy there are several photographs taken showing Ralph Richter, Jan Fedder and Edeltrand Samland together with Guinness during filming at the water camp including one of Guinness siting on the Isadora. Today you could easily drive there but Smiley and crew would have had to take a ferry to Priwall because the peninsula was cut off by the Innerdeutsche Grenze which divided the German Democratic Republic (DDR, East Germany) from the Federal Republic of Germany (FDR, West Germany). On screen you can see signs warning that the border must not be crossed. Halt Hier Grenze.
    8:39 In the background is a Beobachtungsturm 11 lookout tower, it's the one located at the neck of the Priwall peninsula where it is said the DDR sentries had an excellent view of the nudist beach on the Baltic coast. Fair play to the BBC, they filmed at the real locations, in the book Estahase makes a remark about turning the wrong way and you've defected. And what about Guinness in his late sixties clambering in and out of boats. Not to say driving about, he is The Stig!
    18:06 Ostrakova's flat interior. Location unconfirmed.
    19:57 Travemunde Strand railway station. It's not Lubeck, it just gives the time of the next train to Lubeck. It's a listed building.
    21:37 Kretschmer's house. Location unknown.
    26:35 Ostrakova's flat interior. Location unconfirmed.
    26:51 Tatiana's room interior. Location unconfirmed.
    28:20 Ostrakova's flat interior. Location unconfirmed.
    30:50 British Embassy. Hotel de Pomereu, 67 Rue de Lille 75007 Paris.
    33:51 Guillam's phone call. Place de la Bastille. Paris 4.
    34:00 Helping out. Rue de Jarente Paris 4.
    37:17 Guillame's flat. Location unknown.
    42:09 Hotel De Pomereu 67 Rue de Lille 75007 Paris.
    44:07 First journey in the Type 2 on the way to Arras. Locations unknown.
    44:43 The Delbarre's farm at Arras. Locaton unknown.
    48:40 Second journey in the Type 2 on the way to the coast. Locations unknown.
    51:22 Cambridge Circus London.

  5. Episode 5
    1:10 Circus interior. Location unknown.
    14:58 Roof of undetermined building overlooking the old Swiss Centre at Leicester Square, London. Looking down on the rotating sign (16:22) and also showing Centrepoint in the distance.
    18:18 Safe house under Heathrow's flightpath in West London. Location unknown.
    19:52 Lacon's Trattoria. Location unknown.
    23:03 Paddington Station platform.
    23:06 Sleeper interior. Guinness is on record saying that this scene was the only part of the shooting he didn't enjoy. The camera had to be placed in a wall and he felt like he was making a porn film.
    23:44 Cornwall, Uncle Harry's place. The Humber bares the sign of City Taxis in Truro. Location unknown.
    26:50 Gull Rock, Gerran's Bay, Cornwall. Simon Langton said that this was one of the last scenes shot and they were glad to get out of Cornwall before the County was cut off by snow.
    29:49 West London safe house again.
    31:30 Bellevue Hotel, Berne, Switzerland.
    33:00 Smiley walks over the Kirchefeldbruke, we see the casino behind him and as the came pans to the right the roof of the Kunsthalle on Helvetiaplatz. The statue is the World Telegraph Monument. Smiley gets into Estahase's Volvo on the Bernestrasse.
    35:31 Gregoriev's house, number 18 on the right in Elfenau. Location unknown.
    36:27 Changeover to the Renault 4. Location unknown.
    37:15 They drive along Argauerstalden and turn left into Lerberstrasse, pull off to the left and stop.
    40:53 Tatiana's room.Location unconfirmed.
    41:50 Thun railway station.
    42:11 Kantonalbank Von Berne, Bahnhofstrasse 3600 Thun. There's an article concerning the area I found before that mentions the filming. Unfortunately the Hotel Bahnhof has been redeveloped and the cafe isn't there any more.
    49:10 Unloads the bicycle, location unknown.
    49:47 Grand Hotel Giessbach 3855 Brienze. Exteriors and interiors. When the programme was made it was the Park Hotel and was in disrepair as you can see. It had suffered, as had the rest of the Swiss travel industy from the changes in that industry but it was renovated, renamed and is now a very nice place. By the way it was me that got it named in IMDb, it was the only suggestion they'd accept. Getting locations, let alone trivia on that site's difficult. They don't want to accept something you've worked out. In this case my proof was another Alamy picture, this time of Eileen Atkins photographed in costume on set.
    55:19 Hotel Bellevue again. It was the crew's base in Switzerland, needless to say it does good food. Good old licence fee.
    55:50 Toby makes his call and runs across the road at the Bundesplatz Berne.
    56:13 Kleine Schanze, Berne. Try Youtube, there's a film of people dancing there.

  6. Episode 6
    1:08 Chess, not specifically located.
    4:17 They get into the Audi 100. Location unknown.
    4:59 Interiors and exteriors at Musikschule Konservatorium, Kramgasse 3011 Berne.
    27:07 Meting at the Rosengarten, Berne.
    30:28 Meeting at Pension Scharz, Strandbad. Location unknown. I've tried all my mehods to find the building including reverse image search and I've followed the coast of both the Thunnersee and Lake Brienze to find the right combination of roads, railway (tram?) coast, mountains and architecture.
    31:25 Grand Hotel Giessbach 3855 Brienze.
    41:12 Letter, Location unknown.
    47:19 Lady Bay Bridge, River Trent, Nottingham. When on site all the features are present, the bridge and cobbles and the steps and archway. The shops aren't there but the cobbles are so it looks like they might have been sets built under the bridge. I've read reports too of the fake lookout towers being built and traffic driving across the bridge during the day before it was closed for the night shoot(s). There's also a report of shooting at shops in nearby West Bridgeford so perhaps the Turkish cafe interiors happened there.
    So few scenes in the final episode.
    Can anyone help fill in the gaps.


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