Where was The Holiday Channel 5 filmed and what's the disturbing Jill Halfpenny thriller about?

Many of us will be wondering where was The Holiday Channel 5 filmed as a dream trip turns into a living nightmare...

Where was The Holiday Channel 5 filmed? Starring Jill Halfpenny and Owen McDonnell
(Image credit: Channel 5 )

Where was The Holiday Channel 5 filmed is the question on many fans’ minds ever since the chilling adaptation of T.M.Logan’s bestselling thriller landed. 

Whilst the best book-to-movie adaptations stand out from the crowd with their brilliant performances and tight pacing, often it’s TV adaptations that end up stealing the show and leave fans wanting more. From The Girl Before book adaptation to Ann Cleeves’ The Long Call on ITV, book-to-TV thrillers are some of the most gripping shows around. Now T.M. Logan’s acclaimed novel, The Holiday, has joined these successful ranks as Channel 5’s new four-part adaptation premiered. 

Starring the likes of former EastEnders star Jill Halfpenny and Killing Eve and Silent Witness 2021 actor Owen McDonnell, it tells the tale of a dream vacation that very quickly becomes a nightmare after she discovers a terrible betrayal. 

But what is The Holiday Channel 5 about and where was it filmed? We reveal what you need to know as the tension mounts…

The Holiday Channel 5 starring Jill Halfpenny and Owen McDonnell

(Image credit: Channel 5)

What is The Holiday Channel 5 about? 

Based on T.M.Logan’s bestselling book of the same name, The Holiday begins with Kate as she sets off with her loving husband Sean (played by Killing Eve’s Owen McDonnell) and a group of her best friends and their partners for a relaxing Mediterranean holiday. But it’s not long before this happy starting point soon transforms into a journey of suspicion and fear as Kate discovers that Sean has been having an affair.

Whilst this is already enough to fracture even the strongest of marriages, Kate has the additional heartbreak of knowing her husband's lover is in Malta with them, but not which one of the four women she is. Though the identity of the friend who betrayed her won’t remain hidden forever as Kate attempts to uncover the truth, all without confronting a none-the-wiser Sean. 

It’s only as the determined mum-of-two begins to edge closer towards making a painful discovery that things go from devastating to downright sinister. If the show goes on to follow T.M.Logan's book plotline then there's a killer in their midst and it becomes all too clear that with such a huge secret yet to be revealed, one of the group could be prepared to do anything to keep it that way...

If you were transfixed by the twists and turns of the Chloe BBC ending and the intense family focus and heartbreak that happens in No Return, then The Holiday is packed with all the intense moments and intriguing clues you need. 

Where was The Holiday Channel 5 filmed? 

If you’re wondering where was The Holiday Channel 5 filmed then you’re probably not alone as the show’s Mediterranean is pretty breath-taking. And there’s nothing quite like a tranquil backdrop to make the most heartbreaking and twisted events seem all the more disturbing. 

Unlike the book which is set in Provence, the Channel 5 adaptation takes place in Malta and according to The Sun (opens in new tab), it’s here that The Holiday film crew headed to shoot the miniseries. 

The Holiday starring Jill Halfpenny

(Image credit: Channel 5)

Filming reportedly took place in April last year over a five-week period, though the choice to film in Malta wasn’t without its challenges. At the time the idyllic island was in the middle of a lockdown during the COVID-19 pandemic and the difficulties this placed on filming almost left lead star Jill Halfpenny in tears.

As reported by Express.co.uk (opens in new tab), Jill revealed to Channel 5 that Malta’s restrictions were “pretty strict” and the experience, just like Kate’s in The Holiday, wasn’t particularly relaxing. 

“Malta was in a pretty strict lockdown when we were there. We were in complete isolation for 14 days, doing fittings and read-throughs on Zoom, and then we were working six-day weeks," she explained. "We had to just go to set, film, and go back to our hotel rooms, there was a beach right outside the hotel, but police were patrolling it, making sure people wore masks. So it wasn’t very relaxing!”

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Though Jill did go on to reveal how “pleased” The Holiday cast and crew were to be out there regardless of the challenges, saying, “We would much rather be working in those conditions than not working at all, though, so we were all still really pleased to be out there.”

And it seems that despite the beautifully sunny weather that features in The Holiday miniseries, this wasn’t actually always the case. Instead, Jill revealed that she had one of the coldest days of her life during filming in Malta.

She shared, "It was April when we were filming, and I think you can tell in some of the shots that it was incredibly windy, so it wasn't anywhere near as warm as it might look. In fact, there was one-day filming that was the coldest day I've ever had on set in my life."  

The Holiday Channel 5 starring Jill Halfpenny and Owen McDonnell

(Image credit: Channel 5)

“We were all in summer outfits having this meal on the side of a rock, and the wind was coming in from the sea. I thought I was going to cry because I was so cold, but luckily Kate is always really tense, so it didn’t show too much," Jill added.

Whilst book fans might be a little surprised now the ultimate question—where was The Holiday Channel 5 filmed?—has finally been answered, the Malta setting of the adaptation couldn’t be more perfect as a backdrop as Kate’s life-shattering turmoil is brought to life.

How to watch The Holiday

If you're looking to watch The Holiday then Channel 5 is the place to head as the next episode of the four-part miniseries will air at 9pm on March 2. And unlike other gripping dramas like Trigger Point ITV which airs in the same slot every week, Channel 5's The Holiday is being broadcast on consecutive nights. 

This means that fans won't have long to wait before the truth about who really betrayed Kate comes to light. And for anyone who won't be able to watch The Holiday live, Channel 5's on-demand service, My5, gives you the chance to catch up on all the tiny details and huge moments you've missed in the episodes so far.

The Holiday Channel 5 starring Jill Halfpenny and Owen McDonnell

(Image credit: Channel 5)

But if you’re abroad when The Holiday Channel 5 airs then sadly you won't be able to watch the show as you normally would at home, thanks to regional restrictions. Luckily there’s an easy solution and you can use a VPN to continue watching this hit drama. This is a handy bit of software that changes your IP address so that you can access on-demand content or live TV just as if you were at home.

Our sister site, TechRadar, has tested all of the major VPN services and they rate ExpressVPN (opens in new tab) as the absolute best. They say, “It’s compatible with all of your devices, supports most streaming services, and ranks among the fastest. You can even install it on devices like an Amazon Fire TV Stick, Apple TV, Xbox, and PlayStation. So for a one-stop-shop, you can’t go wrong with Express.”

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Ranked among one of the fastest VPN providers, this risk-free service is also compatible with all of your devices. Enjoy access to almost any streaming service, and if you don't like it there's a 30-day money-back guarantee.

If you've never installed a VPN before, don't worry, it's quick and easy. Just follow these three steps:


  1. Download and install the VPN following ExpressVPN's easy-to-follow instructions.
  2. Once you've installed your VPN, open the app and select your server location as anywhere in the UK.
  3. With your VPN installed and server location set to UK, you can now watch The Holiday online. 

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Now the matter of where was The Holiday Channel 5 filmed has been cleared up, the stakes will only get higher as the new adaptation takes Kate from uncovering a family nightmare to something even more terrifying. And with three more episodes to go until the gripping finale, who knows what deadly twists and turns lie in store...

Emma Shacklock
Emma Shacklock

Emma is a Senior Lifestyle Writer with six years of experience working in digital publishing. Her specialist areas including literature, the British Royal Family and knowing all there is to know about the latest TV shows on the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and every streaming service out there. When she’s not writing about the next unmissable show to add to your to-watch list or delving into royal protocol, you can find Emma cooking and watching yet more crime dramas.