As Seen On Screen: Autumn’s TV Filming Locations You Can Visit
Just in time for long, dark evenings and grey, chilly days, the best new TV series and films always come out in the autumn. And this year it’s no different, with brilliant shows on the schedule across terrestrial and streaming platforms. Here’s the best TV filming locations you can actually visit.
Go Behind The Scenes
The Crown – Ardverikie Castle
Famously the most expensive show on television (the first season alone reportedly cost over $130 million to produce), The Crown has hooked viewers around the world with its fictionalised retelling of the lives of the British monarchy in the 20th century. Now, with season four, things are heating up as the show takes on both the Diana and the Margaret Thatcher years, starring Emma Corrin as Lady Di and Gillian Anderson as the Iron Lady.
Along with the previous series, filming took place across the UK in locations as diverse as Hatfield House, Greenwich Naval College and Ely Cathedral. However, one of the key TV filming locations for The Crown season four is 900-year-old Winchester Cathedral, which is used as a dupe for St Paul’s Cathedral for the wedding of Prince Charles and Diana. Although Covid restrictions are currently in place, the cathedral is open to visitors. Another important location is Ardverikie Castle, a beautiful, Gothic estate in the Highlands that replaces Balmoral in key scenes including Diana’s first stay there. You can visit the 38,000-acre estate to go fishing, walking and climbing, and you can even stay in one of its cottages.
Bridgerton – Bath
Based on the hugely popular novels by Julia Quinn, Bridgerton is a much-anticipated show set in the cut-throat Regency world of high-society London. Produced by Shonda Rhimes, the show follows the eight siblings of the Bridgerton family as they navigate romance, rebellion and scandal. It stars Phoebe Dynevor as Daphne Bridgerton and Regé-Jean Page as her love interest, the Duke of Hastings. Meanwhile, none other than Julie Andrews voices the mysterious Lady Whistledown, whose gossip columns narrates the books.
To recreate the Regency world, the production decamped to Bath to film its scenes, in particular the sweeping world heritage site The Royal Crescent. Other nearby locations like Trim Street and Beauford Square were also transformed in TV filming locations, with cobblestones laid to cover 21st-century concrete. All the sites are easy for visitors to Bath to see; explore our complete guide to the city here.
Rebecca – Hatfield House
Another eagerly anticipated addition to the autumn TV schedule is Rebecca, which joined Netflix in October. The film is based on the much-loved novel of the same name by Daphne du Maurier, and follows in the intimidating footsteps of Alfred Hitchcock’s 1940 film. It stars Lily James as Mrs de Winter, and Kristin Scott Thomas as the artic housekeeper, Mrs Danvers.
Of course, a story that’s structured in and around the setting of a house (‘Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again…’ as the book famously begins) would need to be shot in some pretty impressive locations. Hatfield House in Hertfordshire and Cranborne Manor in Dorset served as the main settings for Manderley’s interior and exterior. The former is just 21 miles north of London and, although the house is currently shut due to Covid restrictions, you can still enjoy its beautiful autumnal gardens and park. Cranborne Manor gardens are also open to the public, and there are plenty of walks you can do in the surrounding area.
Enola Holmes – Benthall Hall
A new take on Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes stories based on the young adult books by Nancy Springer, Enola Holmes follows the detective’s younger sister, played by Millie Bobby Brown. In the Netflix film, Enola travels to London to discover the whereabouts of her missing mother (Helena Bonham Carter) – all while outwitting the smarts of her brothers Sherlock and Mycroft.
While Hatfield House was also used for interior scenes, the production used the exterior of beautiful Benthall Hall in Shropshire for Enola’s home. Now owned by the National Trust, it was built in 1535 and played a key role in the English Civil War, hosting a Royalist garrison. It’s still inhabited by the Benthall family today, but unfortunately due to Covid is closed right now – but keep checking back for when it reopens.
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