With Twin Peaks’ return almost upon us, we take a photo tour of the real life locations behind David Lynch and Mark Frost’s series. Never seen Twin Peaks? Catch up with our reviews of Season 1 and 2 here.
Where is Twin Peaks filmed? For super-fans of the show, a trip to North Bend, Washington, and environs is the ultimate thrill; a suitably surreal undertaking. As you enter a world of evergreen landscapes, small towns and big mountains, you found yourself quoting Audrey Horne. Isn’t it too dreamy?
While much of the show’s interiors were shot in an old ball bearings factory in Van Nuys, California, the masterpiece pilot episode, a lot of Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me (1992), and six weeks of location shooting for Season 3 took place in western Washington state. East on the I-90, a swift half-hour drive from Seattle, is the Snoqualmie Valley. It is here you’ll find major locations used in Twin Peaks.
Where they filmed the discovery of Laura Palmer’s body is further away, on the Kitsap peninsula, near the town of Poulsbo. It’s also home to the Blue Pine lodge, aka. the Martell house. To get there, you’d have to take the ferry from downtown Seattle to Bainbridge Island – across the Puget Sound – and drive to Sandy Hook. An alternative (much longer) route would see you do a loop from Seattle to Poulsbo via Tacoma and the Narrows Bridge (once known locally as ‘Galloping Gertie’, because it swayed and wobbled in high winds).
In the glorious age of sat nav and Google Maps, a trip to Twin Peaks locations is all doable and easy enough. My trip was by no means definitive – there are locations further afield (the Palmer house is up in Everett, north of Seattle) – but what I saw was more than enough.
These photographs of the locations offer a glimpse of a real world only seen through a television screen. Seeing them in person is, well, extraordinary. In many ways, the production team and David Lynch found the perfect place, because near enough every location they used in the Snoqualmie Valley is within a 10-minute drive of the next. Some of them almost literally stand next to each other. I’ll be so bold as to re-work one of the show’s iconic lines: the filming locations are not what they seem…
Twin Peaks Season 3 premieres in the UK on Sky Atlantic at 2am on Monday 22nd May, at the same time as its US broadcast, with episodes then released weekly. Don’t have Sky? You can also stream it live and on-demand with NOW TV, as part of a £7.99 monthly subscription. Season 1 and 2 are also available on Sky and NOW TV. Click here for more information.
All photos: Martyn Conterio