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Where is Death in Paradise filmed? The Caribbean island behind the BBC show

Here are the real-life settings behind ‘Saint Marie’ island

Natalie Wilson
Friday 03 May 2024 10:34
Death in Paradise season 13 trailer

With perpetual sunshine, golden swathes and free-flowing bottles of “Etensel” beer, Death in Paradise injects a virtual dose of vitamin D into gloomy UK winters – and it’s bound to inspire your wanderlust.

Thankfully, the balmy backdrop of Saint Marie island, though fictional in name, is a real-life slice of the Caribbean open for holidaymakers to top up their tans, don some flippers and kick back with a cocktail on a serious winter sun getaway.

It has now been revealed EastEnders star Don Gilet is preparing for the role of detective inspector on Saint Marie in time for a Christmas special later this year and the 2025 series alongside returning regulars Don Warrington and Shantol Jackson.

The announcement of the sun-drenched spin-off Return to Paradise set in Australia with Anna Samson starring as leading lady DI Mackenzie Clarke has also sent the cameras rolling in ‘Dolphin Cove’ destinations across Sydney and the Illawarra coastal region.

As series 13 of the crime comedy waves goodbye to Ralf Little, here are the filming locations behind over 100 episodes of the deadly British-French series.

Saint Marie island, though fictional in name, is a real-life slice of the Caribbean (BBC / Red Planet / Amelia Troubridge)

Where is Death in Paradise filmed?

Since it first aired in 2011, the six islands of Guadeloupe – a French archipelago in the Lesser Antilles – have been the stage for the paradise filming destination of the hit BBC show.

Situated between Dominica and Antigua in the eastern Caribbean Sea, the dreamy scenery – terracotta roofs, traditional churches and a blanket of wafting palms you see on screen – are primarily filmed on butterfly-shaped Guadeloupe’s Basse-Terre island, specifically on its north west coast.

Basse-Terre and Terre-de-Haut set the scene for Death in Paradise (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

What filming locations can you visit?

Deshaies, a vibrant fishing village on Basse-Terre island, doubles as the show’s fictional seaside setting of St Honoré, with Death in Paradise location tours running in peak season for super fans looking to find more than just sun on Guadeloupe.

Scenes at Catherine Bordey’s – the barmaid-turned-mayor mother of OG detective Camille Bordey– beachfront bar and frequent haunt for the fictional crime team, though originally shot at Le Kaz restaurant further inland, are now filmed at Le Madras cajun and creole restaurant on Rue de La Vague Bleue promenade. Visit Catherine’s Bar yourself for a menu of fresh seafood and frosty daiquiris.

Catherine’s Bar films in Le Madras restaurant on the Deshaies seafront (BBC / Red Planet / Amelia Troubridge)

As for the show’s dramatic Honoré Police station and the centre of most episodes, the Presbytery attached to the church of St Peter and St Paul in Deshaies sets the scene.

Elsewhere the show’s legendary shack, currently home to bumbling British detective DI Neville Parker played by Ralf Little, is constructed each season on Anse de la Perle Beach and The Langley Fort Royal Hotel, where the cast stays from December to May, has also invited the cameras in for a murder or two over the years.

How can I get there?

Deshaies doubles as the show’s fictional seaside setting of St Honoré (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

It takes two flights via Paris, France to get to Pointe-à-Pitre Airport, the main air hub in Guadeloupe. Vueling Airlines return flights start from £540. From there it’s just a 50-minute drive to Deshaies to live out your Death in Paradise dreams – murder, betrayal and chaos excluded.

Where is Beyond Paradise filmed?

The Humphrey Goodman spin-off has just concluded its second season (Red Planet Pictures/Joss Barratt)

BBC spin-off ‘Beyond Paradise’ follows the investigations of Kris Marshall’s DI Humphrey Goodman, and though seaside in location, the series is filmed on a far less exotic shore.

Beyond Paradise returned to the fictional Devonshire town of Shipton Abbott for season two with filming taking place in the Cornish fishing port town of Looe.

On-screen destinations include the Port Eliot Estate, Werrington Park and the Tamar Valley Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Catch up with Death in Paradise season 13 and Beyond Paradise on BBC iPlayer.

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