Filming Location of Breathtaking: A Throwback to the COVID-19 Pandemic Through a Doctor’s Eyes

Updated On: September 18, 2023

A Throwback to the COVID-19 Pandemic Through a Doctor’s Eyes

The COVID-19 pandemic shook our world to its core, and we all witnessed its impact in one way or another. But what if you could step into the shoes of those who were at the very epicentre, facing the storm head-on?

In the upcoming medical drama television series Breathtaking, we are taken back to the early days of the pandemic, when the unbeatable spirit of healthcare heroes shone brightest. We’ll be taken on an intimate journey through the eyes of those who fought tirelessly against an invisible enemy, bringing to light the sacrifices, resilience, courage, and heroism of healthcare professionals.

We will give you a glimpse into the plot, cast, crew, and filming location used as a backdrop to film Breathtaking.

What is the Plot of Breathtaking About?

Breathtaking is a three-part television drama co-written by Rachel Clarke, Jed Mercurio, and Prasanna Puwanarajah, inspired by Clarke’s gripping memoir published in 2021. The series plunges us into the heart of a city hospital amidst the COVID-19 battle, seamlessly blending real news footage from the early months of 2020 with a narrative that revolves around Dr. Abbey Henderson. 

Dr Henderson, a dedicated frontline hospital consultant and mother of two, and her fellow frontline medical staff are thrust into a relentless struggle to save the lives of unwell COVID-19 patients as the virus threatens to overwhelm the NHS.

Meet the Stellar Cast

Joanne Froggatt, the talented and acclaimed British actress, takes on the challenging role of Dr. Abbey Henderson. Golden Globe award star Joanne has gained widespread recognition for her portrayal of Anna Bates in the Downton Abbey TV series. With her dedication and magnetic on-screen presence, she has captured our hearts worldwide, and we expect that Froggatt’s portrayal will be a tribute to the anonymous heroes during that time. The other cast members are still kept under wraps.

Who is the Team Behind the Scenes in Breathtaking?

What sets Breathtaking apart is the authenticity it will bring to the screen. This is because the show’s co-writers, Rachel Clarke, Jed Mercurio, and Prasanna Puwanarajah, are all qualified doctors. And we are expecting that they will naturally lend their professional insight and medical experience to the filming.

Craig Viveiros, known for his captivating storytelling, helms the director’s chair, while HTM Television produces this emotionally charged series in association with Northern Ireland Screen. Brian J. Falconer leads the production, with Mercurio, Clarke, and Puwanarajah serving as executive producers.

What Are We Expecting from Breathtaking?

While we await the official trailer’s release, the creators of Breathtaking have promised a “thought-provoking, searing, and poignant account of an NHS doctor in the eye of the storm” during the pandemic’s early days.

When is the Release Date of Breathtaking?

An official release date for Breathtaking is yet to be announced, but we can safely say that this series will be worth the wait. As filming concluded in Belfast in May, we can expect to witness the drama unfold on our screens later in 2023.

Filming Location of Breathtaking: Immersive Realism in Belfast

To capture the authenticity of the pandemic’s chaos, Breathtaking chose Belfast as its backdrop. Filming wrapped up in the first half of 2023, with director Craig Viveiros employing long, real-time sequences to immerse the audience fully in the story. According to Viveiros, the choice of filming location and technique promises to make Breathtaking an emotionally charged and deeply immersive experience.

What are the Best Things to Do in Belfast?

If you’re contemplating your next journey and Belfast is on your bucket list, you’re in for a treat. Belfast ticks all the boxes for friendly locals, picturesque nature, and an impressive food and entertainment scene. And when it comes to things to do in Belfast, the options are endless. And the best part is, Belfast might be small in size, but it has the big-city vibes. 

So, whether you’re a history buff, a foodie, an adventure seeker, or just someone seeking tranquillity, Belfast will surely satisfy your desires. So, grab your raincoat, hold onto your umbrella (yes, even when the forecast says ‘sunny’; trust us on this one), and join us as we uncover the best things to do in Belfast.

Take A Tour Around Belfast

The first thing you’ll want to do when in Belfast is take a tour. If you’re seeking a convenient way to explore Belfast without extensive walking and still not miss any of Belfast’s must-sees, go for the Black Cab or the hop-on/hop-off bus tour. They’re also the perfect option if it’s raining. Along the way, a guide will lead you through the city’s turbulent past.

On your journey, you’ll encounter iconic landmarks like Titanic Belfast, Cathedral Quarter, the Albert Memorial Clock Stormont, and, of course, the striking murals that grace the city’s streets, often regarded as Europe’s most politically charged artworks.

If you prefer to explore Belfast more intimately, go for the 3-hour guided walking tour. This tour has earned excellent reviews for its immersive experience. As you stroll through the city, you’ll navigate both sides of the Peace Line near the Falls and Shankill Roads. You’ll have the opportunity to hear stories from both Loyalist and Republican communities, gaining insight into the impact of the conflict on both sides. 

See Belfast’s Streets Art Extravaganza

Along the tour, you’ll witness how Belfast’s streets are a canvas for creativity and political expression. These murals are not mere artwork; dotted all over the city, they vividly narrate the city’s history and journey towards peace, showcasing Belfast’s resilience and determination. You’ll also stumble upon the non-political street art in Belfast’s city centre that adds to the city’s charm.

Take a 360° View of Belfast from the Victoria Square Dome

You shouldn’t miss the breathtaking 360° view of Belfast from The Victoria Square Dome, in the heart of the city centre. Don’t forget your camera because you’ll want to bombard your followers with the picture-perfect views from up there. 

Stroll Through Titanic Belfast

Let’s kick things off with a piece of history that’s both poignant and captivating — Titanic Belfast. This iconic museum stands proudly on the very spot where the RMS Titanic was built. Apart from the building’s exterior itself being an architectural masterpiece and a photographer’s dream, its interior is more intriguing. 

As you set foot inside, you’ll be transported back in time to the ship’s construction, voyage, and tragic sinking. The Titanic Experience unfolds across nine captivating galleries, where you can relive history through special effects, immersive rides, full-scale reconstructions, and interactive exhibits. 

Indulge Your Taste Buds at St. George’s Market

You won’t stand for long with an empty stomach. So, St. George’s Market is your go-to when your stomach rumbles. It’s the last-standing Victorian market in Belfast, located next to River LaganFrom traditional Irish dishes to international cuisine, the market is a feast for all your senses. Be sure to sample some Belfast baps, or if you’re a seafood lover, don’t miss Fishmonger’s Row at St. George’s Market. This is where you can savour the day’s freshest catch – from succulent oysters to mouthwatering crab claws. Don’t leave without grabbing a piece of handmade jewellery or art as a souvenir.

Explore Belfast Castle

Perched on the slopes of Cave Hill Country ParkBelfast Castle is a fairytale that comes to life. You will be mesmerised by the castle’s stunning architecture, history, and beautifully landscaped gardens. Enjoy the most scenic afternoon tea in the castle’s outdoor café with breathtaking city views as your backdrop.

C.S. Lewis Square: A Commemoration of a Literary Masterpiece

Calling all classic literature lovers! Hidden away in the heart of Belfast, you’ll find C.S. Lewis Square. It is named in honour of the legendary Clive Staples Lewis, author of The Chronicles of Narnia.

You’ll find several bronze sculptures created by Irish artist Maurice Harron, each representing a character from the magical world of Narnia. You can sit on the White Witch’s sleigh, converse with Mr. Tumnus the faun, or take a selfie with the majestic Aslan, the lion.  

Embrace Nature at Cave Hill Country Park

Escape the urban buzz and lose yourself in nature at Cave Hill Country Park. This natural reserve is known as “Napoleon’s Nose” due to its distinctive profile, and it offers breathtaking views of the city, hiking trails, and a sense of serenity that’s hard to find in the city.  

Enlighten Your Little Explorers at Colin Glen Forest Park

If you are looking for fun activities in Belfast with your little explorers, The Gruffalo Trail at Colin Glen Forest Park is your go-to. Keep an eye on the Gruffalo sculptures dotted throughout the entire forest. You can also hike, zipline or picnic in the woods near a gurgling river.

Rewind at Belfast Botanic Gardens

If you want some greenery and a chance to relax and escape the city’s hustle and bustle, head to Belfast’s Botanic Gardens. You’ll find locals, students, and tourists leisurely walking, having a picnic, or reading under one of the oldest and most exotic trees in the gardens.

Step Back in Time in The Ulster Folk Museum

Tucked away within the Botanic Gardens, the Ulster Museum beckons with its fascinating insights into the history of Belfast. It’s like you’ve stepped into a time machine and landed in a 19th-century Irish village. You’ll have a glimpse into the lives of the people of the past, historic buildings, and their traditions. You’ll even stumble upon an Egyptian mummy! 

Explore the Game of Thrones Territory


Calling all Game of Thrones fans — Belfast is your gateway to the Seven Kingdoms! Numerous iconic scenes from the series were filmed in Northern Ireland, and you can explore them through guided tours. Walk the Dark Hedges (Kings Road), visit Winterfell (Castle Ward), and immerse yourself in the fantasy world of Westeros.

Get The Chills at the Crumlin Road Gaol


History buffs, this one is for you! The Crumlin Road Gaol was a prison; it closed in 1996 and is currently a fascinating museum. It is ranked as the second most enticing activity in Belfast City on TripAdvisor, especially on a rainy day. It held women and children at one time and later became known for separating republican and loyalist prisoners. You will get some chills as you explore the prison’s wings, see the execution cells, and walk through the tunnels that connect it to the courthouse. 

Dine on the Banks of River Lagan 


After a long day exploring, enjoy a delightful dining experience by the tranquil waters of River Lagan running through the city’s heart. You can choose one of several riverside restaurants that offer views of the city’s illuminated attractions and scrumptious cuisine, from local seafood to international cuisine.

Beyond Belfast

But the adventure doesn’t stop within the city limits. Belfast is your gateway to the wonders of Northern Ireland. You can visit the mythic landscapes of Giant’s Causeway and cross the heart-pounding Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge, explore the ancient Dunluce Castle, and venture into many more activities outside Belfast.

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