Ancient forests, sparkling lakes and haunted castles – it should come as no surprise that filmmakers flock to Britain. As well as breathtaking landscapes, Britain is peppered with fabulous historic architecture – from castles to stately homes – whose fabled walls have provided the backdrop for many a classic film or cult TV drama. With summer on its way, many of these beautiful settings are opening their doors to the public, so we thought we’d share our top British estates and palaces on film so that you can enjoy a behind-the-scenes glimpse of the locations for some of your favourite films and TV series on your next UK holiday.
Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire
Arriving at this immense and magnificent Baroque palace is nothing short of awe-inspiring and it’s not hard to start imagining your own film as you pick your way through the incredible grounds that seem filled with the promise of splendid balls and magnificent royal feasts. Perhaps this is why it has clocked-up a host of cinematic appearances including 2009’s The Young Victoria and 2007’s Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, alongside being awarded World Heritage Site status in 1987.
Highclere Castle, Hampshire
This beautiful and imposing Victorian castle has recently been catapulted to fame as the one and only Downton Abbey. In fact, writer Julian Fellowes modelled the hit TV series on this very castle. Walk in the footsteps of the Granthams and stroll through the 5,000 acre estate, or enjoy a spot of afternoon tea in the castle’s tearooms. For the full Downton experience, luxury travel experts Black Tomato offer a Set Jetting package which includes a ride in an original Downton AC Six car and a gourmet lunch of classic British culinary delights at The Yew Tree pub, a favourite of the cast.
Chatsworth House, Derbyshire
Often described as one of the most enchanting homes in England, it seems fitting that Chatsworth House set the scene for one of the UK’s most treasured romances, the 2005 film adaptation of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. Brimming with 105 acres of picturesque gardens, over 30 opulent rooms and one of Europe’s largest art collections, there’s plenty to fuel a weekend of your own romantic strolls and wistful wanderings.
Stoke Park, Buckinghamshire
When it comes to great British film this luxurious Buckinghamshire country club has racked up more illustrious appearances than any other on our list. From blockbuster classics such as Bridget Jones Diary, to cult British gangster films such as Layer Cake and RocknRolla, this exquisite 300-acre estate has seen countless celebrities grace its hotel and gardens. Even James Bond has had his turn at Stoke Park when Sean Connery filmed the iconic Goldfinger scene on the estate’s championship golf course. Well worth a visit for any British film aficionado.
Nicole Harley is Editor at The Epicurean.
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