Research on the distribution of cancer deaths by setting—hospital, hospice, home, other—is longstanding, but has been given fresh impetus in the UK by policy commitments to increase the proportion of deaths occurring in patients’ homes. Studies of factors associated with the location of cancer deaths fall into two main categories: geo-epidemiological interrogations of routinely collected death registration data, and prospective and retrospective cohort studies of terminally ill cancer patients. This paper summarises the findings of these studies and considers the place of death factors that are generated in semi-structured interviews with 15 palliative care service providers working in the Morecambe Bay area of north-west England. These qualitative data are found not only to confirm and considerably enrich understanding of known factors, but also to bring new factors into view. New factors can be grouped under the headings: service infrastructure, patient and carer attitudes, and cultures of practice. Such an approach provides useful information for policy makers and practitioners in palliative care.